Agriculture + Politics = A Perfect Internship

Nov. 5, 2014

By Sarah Peterson, Agribusiness and Applied Economics Undergraduate Student

As a senior in Agribusiness and Applied Economics, I have a different plan in mind for my degree. I am primarily interested in agricultural policy – representing farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to our elected officials. With this career in mind, when I was looking for summer internships I decided to stray away from the norm and look for an agricultural policy internship in Washington D.C.

Searching for the type of internship I wanted was a challenge due to the different ways that Washington D.C and political organizations work. While the majority of people I knew had their internships tied down by December, due to the nature of the internship I was looking for, I was still applying for internships in January and February. However, all of my searching paid off when I landed an internship with the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. 

As an intern on The Hill I gained a completely different perspective on the writing and implementation of agricultural policy. I had the opportunity to attend hearings, briefings and receptions on agricultural issues ranging from honeybees to crop insurance. I researched and tracked legislation, wrote memos and reports for staff members, made valuable connections and was able to enjoy living in our capital city while I was at it.

Washington D.C. is definitely an exciting place to live. Throughout my summer I was able to see all the sites, hit up some local favorites and even run into a few famous politicians!

One of my summer highlights was attending a Congressional baseball game in the Washington Nationals stadium. The Republicans in the legislature faced the Democrats in a game of baseball to raise money for charity. Another was going for dinner at a restaurant near where I was living and running into Senator Rand Paul!

All in all, interning in DC was a perfect segway between my major and the career I hope to have in agricultural policy after I graduate.  

Learn more about the Agribusiness and Applied Economics major required internship program. 

November 5, 2014