AGEC Student Spends Summer Serving Agriculture Through Policy Internship 

Written by Jo Thomas, Academic Advisor

Ever since Molly Grotjan (Sophmore; Agrimarketing; Zionsville) attended the National 4-H Conference as a high school student, she has had an interest in serving the agricultural industry. After careful consideration and taking classes related to international studies, government and STEM in high school, she realized that her interest in agriculture would lead her to a desire in interning in Washington, D.C., either in the public or private sector. 

Molly began her studies at Purdue in the Fall of 2018 and by the Spring of 2019, accepted a summer internship located in the office of Congressman James Baird (IN-04) in his D.C. office. Molly served as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Baird, who currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The internship responsibilities included working with constituents and assisting his legislative team with the Congressman's committee memberships. 

Unlike other internships, this position encouraged Molly to pursue opportunities within understanding the private sector's role in the legislative process. “Public and private partnerships are essential in ensuring that Congress has support to pass certain bills that will externally provide the optimal result to various people and industries.”

The internship provided unique learning opportunities and most importantly for Molly, allowed her to be an active participant in those experiences.  “I enjoyed getting the opportunity to engage with constituents, but also enjoyed understanding how US agriculture is represented, debated, and voted on at the national level. The office was supportive of interns pursuing opportunities to learn the legislative process firsthand. Thus, I attended hearing, briefings, and bill mark-ups. This fundamental experience helped me learn about bipartisanship and conflict resolution.” 

Interested in learning more? Molly has some advice, “I would encourage anyone who has an interest in Ag policy to pursue the CATE: PP internship program. This program helps in obtaining an internship and supports each student through their professional and personal goals.”

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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