January 12, 2011
Cooperative Affairs, Organic Valley
Alumni, 2008 Public Policy Internship Program
As policy intern, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute was the perfect place to gain the practical experience I needed to complete my Masters degree in Sustainable Development. Through my studies at the School for International Training (now the World Learning Institute), I began to realize how policy is not only directly linked with many of the successes throughout the sustainable agriculture movement, but also many of the barriers.
My internship goal was to learn more about the political landscape that surrounds the agricultural industry in the United States. Margaret Krome, MFAI Policy Director, gave me the opportunity to learn more than I ever would have imagined during a three-month summer internship. I was able to join her in Washington D.C. for a fly-in and attend meetings with top governmental officials at the USDA, several legislative staff members, as well as spend a week working in the office of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). During my internship, Margaret and other members of MFAI were extremely supportive in helping me meet my personal, professional and educational goals.
One month after I graduated and my internship ended, I was fortunate to be hired on full time as the Policy Organizer for Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. In my current position I strive to be the link between politicians and farmers on the ground. Not only do I assist sustainable farmers in having their voices heard in Washington, I also assist in giving farmers the tools they need to benefit from governmental programs and grant monies.