The Intern Weekly: What an Experience!

by Yatta Yates

A few of our new employees, (from left) Jarod Fisher, Palesa Motshidi, Tess Weigand, Yatta Yates and Dean Loux attended the Washington Experience Conference in Washington D.C. earlier this week to learn more about the Farm Credit System.

A few of our new employees, (from left) Jarod Fisher, Palesa Motshidi, Tess Weigand, Yatta Yates and Dean Loux attended the Washington Experience Conference in Washington D.C. earlier this week to learn more about the Farm Credit System.

I now understand why they call it the Washington Experience.  What’s this, you ask? The Washington Experience is a three day trip to Washington, D.C. to visit Capitol Hill and learn more about the agriculture industry with other newly hired Farm Credit employees from our district.

I was joined by other interns and new employees from AgCarolina Farm Credit, AgChoice Farm Credit, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, Farm Credit of the Virginias, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, as well as my co-workers from MidAtlantic Farm Credit.

During this three day trip, we were given the opportunity to meet with some important people in the agricultural industry that work on Capitol Hill. Each meeting we went to I learned more about Farm Credit and was able to listen to the various views on current discussions.   For example, at one of our meetings I learned that the Farm Bill has not been passed yet. It seems like this was a major topic because the current bill has expired and they are waiting for a new bill to be passed but it is currently on hold. As new employees we were given the opportunity to ask questions about how these members felt about bill not being passed yet, and what they think is going to happen. Cory Claussen, who is a Senate Agriculture Committee staff member, told us that if the farm bill is not passed they might have to get another extension to see if the bill can be passed or revert back to permanent law.

All of our meetings were informative but one meeting I could really relate to was held at the Farm Credit Council Office. We met with Jenny Materio, who had a discussion on the YBS Program which focused on young, beginning, and small farmers and ranchers.  During this discussion she talked about community supported agriculture. I was excited to be part of this discussion because of a recent project I had been working on.  I was actually one of the only four people who knew what a CSA was of the 30 people in the room. (Thanks MidAtlantic!)

At the end of the trip, one thing that really stuck out to me was advice from Mr. Claussen.  He gave us some insight on what he does, how he obtained his position and also gave us some pointers on getting to a position like his – which is interesting to me since I’ll be graduating college in a few short years. He said, “No matter what job you may have make sure you do it well; whether it is getting coffee, making copies, or filing paper work make sure you do it well.” This stuck to me because as an intern, you get assigned a variety of tasks, but at the end of the day, if you do a job really well  it lets people know that you are serious and can handle any task no matter how big or small it may be.

Do you have any questions for me regarding the trip? If so, comment them below.  And come back next Friday as Palesa shares what she’s been doing as an intern, as well.

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