INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Farm Bureau hosted its first FFA Advocacy Day in Indianapolis on March 11. More than 40 FFA students from across Indiana met with their legislators to discuss how legislation could affect their future and their communities.
“This year’s event was the first Farm Bureau advocacy day that focused specifically on FFA students,” said Katrina Hall, INFB’s director of public policy. “These students are in a great position to shape the future of agriculture and rural communities. We wanted to present these young leaders with an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and become engaged.”
The advocacy day began with a welcome from Randy Kron, INFB president, who spoke to the importance of advocacy and INFB’s policy process. Then, the students received a briefing on key issues from the INFB public policy team. After the briefing, the group went to the Statehouse to put what they learned into action.
During lunch at the Statehouse, the group heard from Sen. Brian Buchanan and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. Following their remarks, the students were able to meet with legislators to share how policy decisions impact them personally. Their discussions focused on rural school funding, agricultural career and technical education funding, expanding rural broadband, and securing funding for the new swine barn and Fall Creek Pavilion project at the Indiana State Fair.
“The FFA students had an opportunity to connect with legislators on topics that directly impact them,” said Hall. “It was rewarding to see the Statehouse full of young people in their blue jackets finding their voice with elected officials.”
The students also were able to connect with other leaders in the agriculture industry during the day. There was a session of short meetings with representatives from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Indiana Dairy Producers, the Agribusiness Council of Indiana, Purdue University and others.
“It was a full day of learning and growth opportunities for these FFA members,” Hall said. “Next year, we hope to hold the event again and grow the number of students involved.”
— Garrett Kelly, Indiana Farm Bureau
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