By Sarah Gallo, Government Affairs, Director, CHS, Inc.
When people talk to me about working as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., they always ask how the political landscape has changed in recent years. But I want to discuss how the conversation about agriculture has evolved. In meetings with policy makers, the viewpoints of producers are considered alongside those of both traditional and non-traditional allies and opponents. And while the diversity of voices should be applauded, it also serves as a reminder that being present in policy and regulatory conversations is critical.
Agriculture is an exciting and innovative sector in our country. Students participating in Congressional meetings during National Ag Day activities can provide important perspectives as lawmakers craft legislation and regulations that will shape the farming industry for decades to come.
I am proud to work for CHS and have opportunities to interact with young producers, particularly when the conversations are centered on navigating the complex, and often confusing, intersection of policy and politics. I strongly believe that this close connection to the people for whom I advocate has made me a more effective lobbyist.
There is a certain thrill about walking the halls of Congress and participating in the democratic process. But opportunities for producers to showcase their operations, or speak firsthand about their experiences, don’t stop in Washington. Being an advocate for agriculture at home, on your farm, and in your community is what shifts the minds of lawmakers and transforms the landscape so that future generations can thrive in rural America. To that end, keep telling your story, and I promise to share it with everyone willing to listen.