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Thursday, July 14, 2011

A message from "The Hill"

As some of you may know I am spending my summer melting in Washington, D.C. as an intern for Sen. Jerry Moran (one of our former Upson lecturers!). One of my responsibilities is to answer phones and read mail from concerned Kansans on a myriad of issues. I always thought that it was silly to take the time to call or write to your various members in Congress because nothing would really ever come of it.

After working here for about a month and a half I have come to realize just how much constituent concerns and opinions matter in the formation of policy! Every day our calendar is full of agricultural groups coming in to meet with our agricultural legislative assistant or even to spend time discussing the industry with the Senator himself if scheduling permits. Giving agriculture a face and a voice in Washington on specific issues of concern can certainly exact change!

A couple weeks ago I sat in on a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the livestock industry. I was amazed how Senators from across the country and the aisle were advocating on behalf of ranchers and producers in their various states. Even when opposing positions on hot issues such as GIPSA and ethanol were brought up it was clear that the Senators were trying to best represent the farmers and ranchers at home. It was very obvious when an invited panel of guest speakers from the livestock industry came to the front of the room how well represented our livelihood truely is.

As fellow ag advocates I challenge you to make a difference! If there is a specific issue which you feel passionately about, please contact your members of Congress. Feel free to call in to my office, I'd love to hear a familiar voice :)

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