This year's trip takes place Sept. 12-14 and Ohio Farm Bureau will take will take 35 Young Ag Professionals on the trip this year, with a few seats available to collegiate Farm Bureau members. Register your interest with your county Farm Bureau office by May 15, 2023.
Kenderick Schwendeman is the sixth generation that is part of his family’s Schwendeman Farms where they raise corn and soybeans. He currently serves as Washington County Farm Bureau president. Last year, he was a participant in Farm Bureau’s annual Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience for young agricultural professionals.
Young professionals with strong leadership potential are hand-selected each year to share their ideas with members of Congress and to learn about international agriculture and how to grow personally and professionally.
During the trip, participants like Schwendeman heard from experts and in turn voiced their thoughts on topics such as the 2023 Farm Bill, environmental regulations, energy and economic policies. This is an annual opportunity for members to help legislators make the connection between what is happening on Ohio farms and what is being debated in the halls of Congress and within federal agencies.
This year’s trip takes place Sept. 12-14 and Ohio Farm Bureau will take will take 35 Young Ag Professionals on the trip this year, with a few seats available to collegiate Farm Bureau members. Register your interest with your county Farm Bureau office by May 15, 2023.
A. I think it was important to attend the Young Ag Professionals D.C. trip this past September because being away from the farm for three days is a small amount to pay compared to what the future of farming could hold if I weren’t given the opportunity to voice the needs and opinions of farmers from and around my area. I was honored to be able to talk with the legislators about concerns we as the farmers had and see what the legislators themselves had to say about what they thought were important issues that needed to be discussed or addressed in this country. It is important to bring farmers straight to the legislators and for them to understand the reasoning behind our concerns.
Q. How are you involved with your county Farm Bureau?
A. I currently serve as the Washington County Farm Bureau president. Our county Farm Bureau serves many purposes in our community, and I have been given the opportunity to attend a lot of different meetings, help in the community with fair food booths, and also been given the opportunity to travel. While being on the county Farm Bureau board for the last six years, I have served as county president for almost two years. I have been given the opportunity to attend the DC trip twice, serve on the county Public Policy Committee for four years, served as a delegate for the state annual meeting for five years, and attended Ag Day at the Capital in Columbus for five years, as well as many other meetings, seminars, and dinners.
Q. What advice would you give someone who is considering this trip?
If you are on the fence of choosing whether or not you want to attend the Young Ag Professionals DC trip, I would say do it. It is a great opportunity to bring concerns of yours and those in your area to be clearly understood by our legislators in Washington, D.C. The only way that we know that our concerns are being clearly understood is by us directly going to DC and speaking with the legislators ourselves. Attending the DC trip is a great way to network with legislators and other farmers around the state and nation.
Q. What advice would you give someone who is chosen to attend the DC trip?
If you are chosen to attend the D.C. trip, be prepared with questions you have to ask the legislators. This is a great time to be a part of the agricultural future and speaking your concerns, and giving your say can actually make a difference while on this trip. It is important to be a part of the agricultural future because what is decided can eventually have an impact on your farm. I think if you are given the opportunity to be involved in the future of agriculture, then definitely pursue it.
See the recap from the 2022 Young Agricultural Professionals Washington, D.C. Trip.
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Brandie Finney of Crawford County is the editor of the May 2023 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.
Hannah DiVencenzo of Lorain County is the editor of the April 2023 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.
attendees were able to network with others around the state of Ohio as well as attend a variety of sessions that included business and production agriculture, niche marketing, and career/leadership development topics.