Young farmers visit Capitol Hill

Now Media Group


Farm Bureau's youngest leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting with Wisconsin's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on June 8. The issues discussed were trade, immigration, wolves, food labeling and the farm economy.

The June 6-10 trip was available to Farm Bureau members active in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) Program.

'At first it was difficult to commit to leaving the farm for a week, but the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, talk to our representatives and meet other YFA members was definitely worth the time away,' said Brad Hoffman, a Shawano County Farm Bureau member and dairy farmer.

While in Washington, D.C. the young leaders met officials from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture where they discussed issues pertaining to wetland conservation, food safety and telecommunication and broadband expansion.

A visit to the New Zealand Embassy included a conversation on trade and the global agricultural economy.

'My view of the agricultural industry was broadened through the briefings with the USDA, foreign embassies and American Farm Bureau. This information made it possible to connect our local stories in a meaningful way with our representatives,' Christa Hoffman, Shawano County Farm Bureau member said.

The 27 young leaders met with Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin and their representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Members who attended the D.C. trip were: Sean and Jennifer Beres, Waukesha County; Alex Bringe, Vernon County, Nate and Karyn Eckert, Taylor County; Nick Entringer, Sheboygan County; Becky Hasburgh, Iowa County; Brad and Christa Hoffman, Shawano County; Josh Huber, Marathon County; Peter Kimball, Pierce County; Michael Leahy, Fond du Lac County; Lee and Megan Meinholz, Dane County; Erik and Amanda Melin, Polk County, Cassie Olson, Eau Claire County; Derek Orth, Grant County; Keith and Kelly Oudenhoven, Outagamie County; Jeff and Katrina Pionek, Manitowoc County; Leslie Svacina, St. Croix County; Adam Wehling, Buffalo County; Dustin and Aimee Williams, Green County; Nate Zimdars, Fond du Lac County.