Students Head to Capitol Hill for Ag Policy Education

A select group of 10 college students from nine different states completed the Ag Voices of the Future program this week in Washington, D.C.

The program is sponsored by Valent USA and the American Soybean Association (ASA) and gives the students an inside look at how agricultural policies are made in Washington. The program also offers an education on effective advocacy and the significant legislative, trade and regulatory issues that impact farmers. Students in the program also have the chance to visit with others who work in Washington to learn more about careers related to agriculture policy. The class was held July 9-12, 2018, in conjunction with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Forum.

An application process for the program was initiated in the spring, and the following students were selected to participate in this year’s Ag Voices of the Future program:

  • Erin Chalupa, Iowa
  • Abigail George, Wisconsin
  • Sarah Lehner, Ohio
  • Shelby Riggs, South Dakota
  • Cameron Walls, Illinois
  • Camryn Clift, Kentucky
  • Courtney Heiser, Ohio
  • Miriam (Mary Kate) Morgan, North Carolina
  • Benjamin (Caleb) Swears, Arkansas
  • Nathalie Yoder, Florida


The three day program was packed with educational meetings and valuable networking opportunities. The students visited with staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental P

rotection Agency (EPA), who have a direct impact on agricultural regulations. They participated in Hill visits with other representatives from their state soybean associations, and they met with a senior staff member for the Senate Ag Committee and leaders from other national organizations, including CropLife America and the Agricultural Retailers Association. In the evenings, the students also enjoyed a guided tour of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, as well as a tour of the U.S. Capitol guided by Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL). They wrapped up the week at the CropLife America offices for a communications training session on modern agriculture.

For more information on the Ag Voices of the Future program, click here.

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