July 27, 2016

Life at the Council

By Maddy Breeling, USGC summer intern in Washington DC
Visiting the botanic gardens near the Capital!
My view on my way to work!

I can’t believe I am already halfway done with my internship with the U.S. Grains Council in Washington D.C.! The time has flown by, and each day has brought about a new project or adventure that I haven’t had the opportunity to be bored yet. A lot has changed since I last wrote, and I finally feel that I have gotten into the swing of things with my work and living in the capital.

I have continued to work daily on my final projects for the Council: collecting data on farmers’ attitudes towards trade and a presentation on current international biotechnology communication efforts, but I also have had a variety of opportunities in other areas both within and outside of the Council. One of my favorite things I have been able to do is attend Trade School, put on by the National Corn Growers Association. I was able to learn in depth information regarding trade agreements and polices, specifically surrounding TPP and TTIP. I found it very interesting and feel that I can take the things I learned back to Nebraska, and even to my classes! Also, I have been connected to a group of other Ag related interns and have had opportunities to attend briefings and lunches where we discuss the issues facing the industry. This has been great to meet other interns who have similar interests, and be more well-rounded in all aspects of the agricultural industry.

I have also been coordinating with the Membership and Communications teams to help prepare for the upcoming 56th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting which is taking place in Louisville in a few short weeks. Whether it’s talking to members or agribusinesses about the event, or helping to organize the floor plan, or even picking out the gifts, I have been able to work closely with my co-workers to plan this important meeting. This has been a good opportunity because it is something that I will be able to work towards, and actually see come to fruition.

I am loving the professional experience and skills I am gaining at the Council, but am loving the personal experiences I am gaining as well. Living in D.C., one never gets bored. There is always something to do whether it’s attend the Smithsonian Culture Festival, listen to live Jazz in the Sculpture Garden, or go explore Arlington, I am always on the move. Being here, I also feel the passion of the upcoming election and have been able to experience politics and its process on a daily basis. There are a variety of speakers, meetings, protests, and other events put on almost every day that relate to the election and spark discussions among my friends and I. It is definitely an interesting and exciting time to be living only a few blocks from the Capitol building.

As I begin the last half of my experience here in D.C., I am more excited than ever to be working at the U.S. Grains Council, and take everything I have learned and experienced back to Nebraska; back to the Good Life.

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