August 23, 2012

Washington Adventure: The Conclusion

By David Bresel, NCGA-DC Intern

My Washington Adventure is now complete. I am back in Nebraska getting ready for my last year in law school to begin. It was an incredible journey this summer. I’m never going to forget the people I met and had the honor to work with.

Before I left Washington, I had a chance to work on a few more projects. One of those projects was the inclusion of Russia into the World Trade Organization. The repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment is currently going through the legislative process. If repealed it will allow fair and consistent trade policies between the US and Russia.

Another project I had a chance to work on was the California Labeling initiative. The California Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labeling initiative has been assigned a ballot number for the November election. Proposition 37 continues to move one step closer to being voted on. This ballot proposition was created by activists who oppose modern farming techniques and a prominent trial lawyer who has made a fortune suing businesses under the bounty-hunter provision in California Proposition 65. The proposition would force family farmers, food producers and grocers to implement record keeping and labeling mandates that no other state or country requires. They’d be forced to keep special records for all food products they sell tens of thousands of products so they can prove whether or not their products contain GE ingredients in the event they are ever sued under the propositions “bounty hunter” lawsuit provision.

A coalition of organizations has created a grassroots campaign in an effort to educate and stop Proposition 37 from passing. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to educate the public on the benefits and advantages of GMO and to stop any further State regulations from making it onto the voting ballot. If the coalition and campaign is able to stop Proposition 37 in California it will most likely discourage other States from taking up the issue in the future.

Along with the projects that I had a chance to work on, I also was able to do some last minute sightseeing. One of my favorite things was seeing the Library of Congress. I am a big fan of history and reading so seeing all of the first edition books and historical documents that are featured in the library was awe inspiring. It is easy to look over museums in D.C. because there are just so many. But this is one museum that deserves every bit of good attention that it gets. It's truly a marvel of a place.

My time at the National Corn Growers Association has been an invaluable experience for me. I hope to use the opportunity that I’ve been given this summer to search for an agricultural career after I graduate from law school. My goal is to move back to Washington someday and help the agriculture community that has given me so much. I want to thank everyone who has helped me throughout this summer. Thank you to all of the lobbyist in the D.C. office, the staff in the St. Louis office, the U.S. Grains Council, and to the Nebraska Corn Board for all of your support.

The National Corn Growers Association office in Washington, D.C. is hosting David Bresel of Lincoln, Neb., as their summer intern supported by a partnership between Nebraska Corn Board and NCGA. David is a student in at the University of Nebraska College of Law. He will be involved with a variety of issues related to environmental regulations, transportation, free trade agreements, biotechnology, ethanol and energy.

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