Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) recently sent about 30 young people, staff and state board members to Washington, D.C. on the Young Agricultural Professionals (YAP) annual trip where they participated in the Farm Bill Now rally and to learned about the United States political process.
Upon arrival in D.C., the group was briefed and then headed to the Capitol Reflecting Pool for the Farm Bill Now rally. The group held signs with slogans like “Ohio farmers need a Farm Bill now,” and tweeted throughout the rally.
“I was amazed at how many senators and representatives attended the rally to show their support to the bill,” said Jamie King, Seneca County Farm Bureau member.
“This trip provides perspective of how local ideas and policies are implemented at the state and national levels,” said Melinda Witten, OFBF Young Agricultural Professionals coordinator. “Attending the rally was a unique opportunity where our Young Ag Professionals could to see first hand how OFBF and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are working together for local farmers.”
The first day of the trip also included a workshop on effective ways of lobbying and a group discussion with congressional aides about how Washington works. An AFBF tour was also on the agenda.
“My favorite part from the experience was probably the tour of AFBF,” said Colin Barclay, Allen County Farm Bureau member. “It allowed us to see where the grassroots ideas of this organization are carried out and gave us all the opportunity to meet AFBF President Bob Stallman.”
The second day of the trip included a visit to the South Korean Embassy, a tour of the Capitol building, congressional office visits, a briefing on the Senate Ag Committee and night tours of national monuments.
During congressional office visits, Young Ag Professionals met with the offices of U.S. Reps. Bob Gibbs, Bob Latta, Bill Johnson, Steve Austria, Jim Jordan, Steve Stivers, Jim Renacci, Jean Schmidt, Micheal Turner, John Boehner and Sen. Sherrod Brown.
“I will be in a different district than before so I fee; like I’ve got an advantage if there is an issue in the future I want to discuss with him,” King said, about meeting with her representative.
The final day of the trip included a tour of the United States Department of Agriculture building, and a discussion about how to take what was learned on the trip and use it at home.
“I think it is great that Farm Bureau organizes this trip to help young ag professionals navigate through the city as well as learn how to talk to our representatives,” King said.
Learn more about Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals
View a photo album from the 2012 OFBF Young Agricultural Professionals Trip to D.C.