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MADISON – Farm Bureau’s young leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on June 6. The issues discussed were trade, immigration and the farm bill.

The June 4-8 trip was available to Farm Bureau members active in the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Program. The program provides members between the ages of 18 and 35 with an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills while networking with their peers.

“This YFA trip was the experience of a lifetime,” said Brittany Muenster, an Outagamie County Farm Bureau member and dairy farmer. “The program dramatically increased my confidence when advocating for agriculture.”

While in Washington, D.C., YFA members met officials from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture where they discussed issues pertaining to federal crop insurance, Conservation Reserve Program and changes to dairy’s Margin Protection Program.

A visit to the New Zealand Embassy on June 5 included a conversation on trade and the global agricultural economy.

The 21 young leaders met with Senator Tammy Baldwin, staff from Senator Ron Johnson’s office and their member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As millennials, so many of our conversations happen behind a screen,” said Ryan Schultz, a Kewaunee County Farm Bureau member. “By meeting face-to-face with our elected officials, we can show that we are real people, with real stories, being impacted by legislative action.”

Members who attended the D.C. trip were: Lynn Dickman, Waushara County; Justin and Livia Doyle, Iowa County; Dan and Katie Duthie, Washington County; Stephanie and Joel Hammerly, Columbia County; Emily Johnson, Rock County; Derek Lieffring and Melanie Jandrin, Buffalo County; Amber and Joe McComish, Lafayette County; Brittney Muenster, Outagamie County;  Sam and Ryan Nowak, Waushara County; Brian Preder, Waupaca County; Ryan and Sarah Schultz, Kewaunee County; Julie Wadzinski, Barron County; Tammy Wiedenbeck, Grant County and Andrew Winiarczyk, Sawyer County.

For more information about the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist program, visit http://bit.ly/WIYFA.

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