An Intern’s Take on Washington D.C.
This past February the Nebraska Corn Growers Association took 13 new leaders to Washington D.C. for the annual D.C. Leadership Mission. Throughout the week we made several industry stops. On Monday night we met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary, Greg Ibach. He gave us an update on the progress of the 2018 Farm Bill and other federal issues. We also had the opportunity to meet with the Corn Refiners Association, National Pork Producers Council, CropLife, American Farm Bureau, Growth Energy, U.S. grains council, Renewable Fuels Association, and Animal Ag Alliance, just to name a few. When talking to our industry partners we focused on trade, the Renewable Fuel Standards (RSF), 2018 Farm Bill, and Waters of the US (WOTUS). Each group shared their concerns on these topics and discussed how they plan to work on these issues. They all had similar concerns for the coming year. While we were in D.C. we also had the opportunity to meet with all of our Congressional Leaders; Senator-Deb Fischer, Senator-Ben Sasse, Congressmen- Adrian Smith, Jeff Fortenberry, and Don Bacon. When we met with them we discussed several issues including trade, the RFS, 2018 Farm Bill, and WOTUS. We shared how important NAFTA is to our local agricultural economy in Nebraska. We also talked about the need to protect crop insurance for our farmers.We wrapped up the week on Thursday afternoon at the National Corn Growers Association office. The attendees shared their thoughts and experiences from the trip. Many said it pushed them out of their comfort zone and helped to build their leadership skills as well as share their passion and concerns they have on policy and legislation. They were able to see first-hand how policy affects their farming operations every day. One leader said that policy affects us all whether we are a big or small farm, and we the producers are the ones that have a voice to impact the decisions that Congressional Leaders make in D.C. It is our job as leaders in the corn industry to share our stories. The attendees were excited to network with different industry partners and build connections with other producers from the state that will last a lifetime.We also had a little fun while we were in D.C. Some of our group leaders took us on a hike around D.C. to see beautiful monuments at night. This is a view one doesn’t get to see during the day. It also helped to walk off the delicious meal that we had earlier that evening! Needless to say, it helped contribute to my 9-mile average workout each day.Overall the trip was very educational, and our leaders were eager to come back to Nebraska and share their leadership experiences with fellow corn producers. If you are interested in attending in 2019, contact Morgan Wrich at 402-438-6459!