Ag Voices of the Future

Valent and ASA Are Now Accepting Applications for the
Ag Voices of the Future Program

Students must be at least 18 to apply.  Class Size is Limited.  Applications are due June 1.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is now accepting applications for the Ag Voices of the Future program, sponsored by Valent USA.  This program is 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 Ag Voices of the Future class will be held in conjunction with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Briefing, July 9-12, 2018, 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 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.  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 is designed to expose young people, with a connection to the farm, to an education on major policy issues and advocacy.  It will also encourage them to consider careers within agriculture associations and industry, as well as government regulatory and legislative positions.

Application Information

To apply for this program, students must be at least 18 years old and have an interest in learning more about advocacy and policy issues that impact U.S. soybean farmers and career opportunities in Washington, D.C. and the agriculture industry. This program may be especially appealing to students majoring in a various areas of agriculture, political science, communications and business. Program sponsors will cover all travel, lodging and meal expenses for the students who are selected for this program.

Class size is limited. Click here to complete an online application. All applications must be submitted by Friday, June 1. 

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.

2017 Ag Voices of the Future Class

2017 Ag Voices of the Future Class visits USDA. Front row (from left to right): Mason Gordon, Kelsey Smith, Evan Jackson and Kelsey Cassebaum. Back row (from left to right): Corbin Bell, Abby Steinkamp, Will Nalley and William Raftis.

  • 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.