Student Explores Agricultural Policy on State Level with Indiana Farm Bureau
Written by: Jo Thomas, Academic Advisor
(Quantitative Analysis; Syracuse, IN) has a long-standing interest in agriculture policy and the impacts it has on the industry. After spending last summer in Washington DC with the USDA, Nick was looking for an opportunity that would allow him to explore agricultural policy on a state level.
This spring, instead of spending time in the classroom like some of his classmates, Nick accepted a semester long position as a public policy intern with the Indiana Farm Bureau. “Indiana Farm Bureau is a top-notch organization that does a great job advocating for its members, so it was the perfect opportunity for me!”
The internship took place in Indianapolis and involved primarily working with the Public Policy team. Together, they took a deep look into issues like healthcare, property taxes and pesticide regulation to find the best solution for Indiana farmers.
“Each day at the statehouse I delivered a policy briefing to Indiana Farm Bureau members and accompanied them to their visits with state legislators. I was also actively involved with INFB’s state political action committee, AgElect, by contacting candidates in important primary elections and helping to coordinate meetings between candidates and members of the AgElect oversight committee.”
In addition to his typical job responsibilities, Nick was able to engage in the policy making process and make a real impact on producers across the state.
“This was a very exciting year to work with the Indiana Farm Bureau team. We worked with legislators to pass Senate Bill 184, a bill that would allow Indiana Farm Bureau to provide a more affordable option to farmers looking for health benefits. Throughout this process, hundreds of Farm Bureau members came to the statehouse to advocate SB 184 along with numerous other legislative priorities. This taught me the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with legislators and other key stakeholders. I was able to watch Farm Bureau members connect with legislators on a personal level, and I believe that this connection led to more effective advocacy.”
Through his internship, Nick grew professionally and personally, while exposing him to new career opportunities he wants to pursue after graduation. “I have picked up so many useful skills and built new relationships that will help me have success early in my career!”