The past few days, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for my internship with Ohio Farm Bureau. This trip is for farm bureau county presidents to learn about agricultural policy and interact with legislatures and organizational leaders at the Capitol. The idea of sharing a personal agricultural story was a primary message shared throughout the sessions. But the fact is, there is more work to be done than just sharing a simple story. We must act upon our communication efforts and then we can truly see the impact we can make for our causes.
I met with Congressman Bob Latta from my congressional district to discuss current topics relating to agricultural policy like a new farm bill, energy expansion, water regulations and more. What was most beneficial about this visit was the fact that since he is from my area of the state, all of these issues directly related to him and his family at home.
One of the key points Latta made was that it is not merely up to him to communicate our thoughts, but for us to get in touch with other organizations and governmental leaders to ensure our voice will be heard.
I think Latta does a great job of connecting with people in his district besides frequently traveling back home. He is very active on his Twitter and commented during our meeting that he “must travel and connect with the people who put him in office to do his job right”. The county presidents and I enjoyed interacting with Latta and he encouraged us to reach out so he could visit their farms and stay connected with the local communities.
In addition to our congressional visits, participants had the opportunity to hear from different speakers at the Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and more congressional speakers like Speaker John Boehner, congressmen Paul Ryan, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as other legislative leaders from Ohio. From this trip, I was able to learn more about my interests in policy making and potential job opportunities that await me in DC. Learning how to communicate on the Capitol has been an exciting experience that I am eager to share with others. So now, it is your turn.
What is stopping you from communicating with your congressional leaders to turn your messages into actions? How do you think policy makers can enhance their understanding and use of communication to make a greater impact for our country?