Agriculture Advocacy on Capitol Hill
Agriculture Advocacy Intern
NAAE Advocacy Intern Report
My father has been an agricultural education instruction for more than thirty years, so I have been around agricultural education my entire life. Even as a young child, I could identify geraniums, Holsteins and combines. I knew all the opening and closing parts by age twelve and I could amend a main motion. While in high school, I was a very active FFA member, and I enjoyed learning about all aspects of agriculture industry. Back then I never imagined that I would one day have the opportunity to work in Washington, D.C., advocating for agricultural education. But here I am, spending a summer in our nation’s capitol raising support for my passion - agricultural education.
Thus far, I have spent most of my time up on Capitol Hill meeting staffers and sharing with them the importance of both agricultural education and career and technical education. I have discovered that whether they are a Republican or a Democrat, a Senator from Iowa or a Representative from the Chicago area, they all realize the role that agricultural education plays in preparing students for the future. Each time I leave a meeting, I walk out the door feeling confident that the person I’ve just met understands the important relationship between agricultural education and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
When I am not on the Hill, I am working closely with National FFA staff members, like Kent Schescke, to promote agricultural education even further. Whether we are meeting with students who are participating in the Washington Leadership Conference, or attending a meeting at the American Farm Bureau Federation, we are always doing our part to be the voice for agriculturalists across the country.
Though I have been working hard this summer, I have also had time to enjoy all this wonderful city has to offer. I have learned so much about our nation’s history as I have toured museums and monuments. One unique opportunity I had was to dine at the Republican Capitol Hill Club. I even got to cross “Spending the 4th of July In D.C.” off my bucket list. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store for me!
Prior to this internship, I knew that agricultural education was my passion, but I was unaware of how much I would enjoy sharing with others all the benefits of agricultural education. Just as the Ag. Teacher’s Creed says: "I will work for the advancement of agricultural education and I will defend it in my community, state and nation."
I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of this association. I am thankful for all of you who work diligently to make a positive impact in the lives of the more than 11,000 students enrolled in agricultural education.