You really have a voice in Washington – AgriPOWER Class VII blog

by Josh Henderson of New Concord, AgriPOWER Class VII participant

Washington… If you say that word to people, there are so many words that they would use to describe what they feel when that word is heard, both good and bad. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to D.C. with my AgriPOWER classmates along with Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals from around the state for three days The trip was packed full of issue updates, meetings with EPA, New Zealand Embassy and a lobbyists panel, as well as the opportunity to meet with our legislators.

You always wonder how much influence you may have on policy or if your only voice is on Election Day. From my experience on this trip – you do have a voice and lawmakers take it very seriously. However, I don’t believe you can just stroll up to a lawmaker’s office demanding a meet and greet with your legislator. That is where Ohio Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau come in. They did a wonderful job coordinating and preparing this opportunity for us to have meetings with our congressmen.

It really shows the true value of your membership and how an organized group of like minded people are so effective in playing a part in policy decisions. These legislators want to hear our personal story, but it’s because we represent so many more just like us back home that they take the time to listen.

That word “Washington” has a much more positive meaning in my life now because of this experience.

See photos and tweets shared by participants during their time in D.C.

The yearly Young Ag Professionals and AgriPOWER Institute trip to D.C. was a bit hit with lots of learning about issues,…

Posted by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals on Thursday, September 17, 2015


Check out some of what we’ve been up to! Full photo album coming soon!

Posted by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apply for AgriPOWER Class VIII by April 15.

Read more from other AgriPOWER Class VII participant

Session 1 blogs

Vicky Shaw discussed her experience in the program’s first session learning about her strength and picking up public speaking tips.

Angela Shoemaker discussed her experience in the program’s first session and learning to step out of her comfort zone.

Session 2 blogs

Chris Kick blogged about interacting with the media and being an effective spokesperson.

Sara Campbell wrote about using storytelling in conversations with consumers and visiting Turner Farms.

Session 3 blogs

Josh Henderson blogged about truly having a voice in Washington.

Libby Bender shared her experience meeting with the authors of the EPA’s WOTUS rule and meeting with her congressman.

Heidi White wrote about learning more about trade at the New Zealand Embassy.

Session 4 blogs

Lara Staples wrote about learning what state government and the people who run it are really like.

Stephanie Leis blogged about the speakers from session 4 and their connection to agriculture.

Jenny Meyer discussed inspiration to share her story more.

Session 5 blogs

Jeff Adams blogged about learning more about tax law and CAUV.

Shelly Detwiler wrote about local government, school funding and oil and gas production.

Session 6 blogs

Matt Schlegel wrote about some of the  peanut and cotton harvesting equipment the class saw on their trip to South Carolina.

Steven Ruggles shared what he learned about vegetable farming in South Carolina and the similarities and difference between vegetable farming and grain farming.

Jami Willard of Columbus wrote about the whirlwind tour of South Carolina’s agriculture that Class VII experienced.

Session 7 blogs

Elaine Beekman of Wellington blogged about this final session not being the end of the learning from AgriPOWER.

Kayla Jones of Newark wrote about volunteering at Highland Youth Garden during the final session.

Mandy Way of Chillicothe blogged about her experience in AgriPOWER reviving her passion for agriculture.


Meet other Class VII graduates.


AgriPOWER is an elite training program designed to help participants become community leaders and advocates for agriculture.


Callie Wells 

Callie Wells is the director of digital communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.