Nearly 30 Farm Bureau members and staff were in Washington, D.C last week to advocate for Wisconsin farmers. The trip marked the completion of the WFBF Leadership Institute, a year-long leadership training program available to Farm Bureau members.
Farm Bureau leaders became lobbyists for a day while meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on June 5. The issues discussed were trade, immigration reform, wolves, WOTUS, Whole Milk for Healthy for Kids Act and options for delayed planting problems.
“During my time in Washington D.C. with Farm Bureau, I learned the importance of staying up to date on issues and how to get out of my comfort zone to speak up,” said Jackson County Farm Bureau member Erica Olson. “This experience taught me a lot about how our voices matter. It was a unique opportunity to be up close speaking on issues affecting Wisconsin farmers with representatives that can make a difference on Capitol Hill.”
The group heard from a variety of experts from American Farm Bureau, several officials from the United States Department of Agriculture and visited the Canadian embassy.
In addition to meeting with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, Farm Bureau members also toured George Washington’s Mount Vernon and enjoyed a night tour of the national monuments.
“I learned that the legislators really do care about agriculture,” said Marinette County Farm Bureau member Corey Kuchta. “They want to work with Farm Bureau to implement policies that will help Wisconsin farmers stay strong and survive the whirlwind of price swings and Mother Nature.”
Accompanied by the WFBF Board of Directors, the Leadership Institute graduates who participated in the D.C trip Savannah Brown, Black River Falls; Neil Christianson, Shawano; Andrew Dal Santo, Platteville; Scott Eastwood, Sun Prairie; Jeff Huber, Wisconsin Dells; Rob Klussendorf, Medford; Lauren Kostello, Manitowoc; Corey Kuchta, Coleman; Jamie Marx, Oconto Falls; Erica Olson, Black River Falls; Amanda Volp, Omro; Nate Zimdars, Ripon.
The WFBF Leadership Institute consists of five multi-day sessions which provide hands-on learning on issues important to agriculture, development of leadership and speaking skills, interaction with Farm Bureau and governmental leaders and staff at the state and national levels and networking with other participants. The class concludes with a capstone trip with the WFBF Board of Directors to Washington, D.C.
The next Leadership Institute class will be offered in 2020. Those interested should contact WFBF’s Director of Training and Leadership Development, Wendy Kannel, at 608.828.5719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.