Ag Voices of the Future

Valent and ASA Offer New Opportunity for Young People Interested in Ag Policy

ASA and Valent USA are pleased to announce the Ag Voices of the Future program, a new opportunity for young people interested in improving their understanding of major policy issues that impact soybean farmers, the importance of advocacy, and careers that can impact agricultural policy. The first class took place this summer in conjunction with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Briefing, July 10-13, in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. agriculture industry needs more leaders in Washington, D.C. who understand the needs of farmers and the agriculture industry, especially as it relates to the development of policies and regulations that impact farm productivity. The proportion of rural congressional districts is at its lowest point in history. An analysis of the most recent U.S. Census data, correlated with the 2012 Census of Agriculture, shows that only one of 435 districts in the U.S. House of Representatives is comprised of a rural population greater than 75 percent.* In fact, more than half of the U.S. population currently resides in 39 of the nation’s largest cities.  As a result, positions on Congressional staffs, regulatory agencies and services groups within the Federal government are often filled with individuals who have a very limited understanding of farming and the needs of the agriculture industry.

The new Ag Voices of the Future program, sponsored by Valent and ASA, is designed to expose young people with a connection to the farm to an education on major policy issues and advocacy, and encourage these future young leaders to consider careers in within agriculture associations and industry, as well as government regulatory and legislative positions.

2017 Ag Voices of the Future Class

  • Corbin Bell, Missouri
  • Kelsey Cassebaum, Alabama
  • Mason Gordon, Indiana
  • Evan Jackson, Kentucky
  • Will Nalley, Kentucky
  • William Raftis, Illinois
  • Kelsey Smith, Illinois
  • Abigail Steinkamp, Indiana

Click here to see photos from the program. 

Questions regarding the Ag Voices of the Future program may be directed to Michelle Hummel in the ASA office at (314) 754-1328 or mhummel@soy.org.

*Data provided by research conducted by the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.