July 27, 2017

Policy, Painters, and Soft-Pop Artists

July means a couple things in NCGA’s Washington office-- one, Corn Congress is rapidly approaching and two, August recess is near. Corn Congress has been a highlight of the summer. I was able to dabble in some graphic design and develop the templates for this year’s one-pagers, I emailed and called member offices to organize Hill visits, and more importantly, I finally met many of our grower members. One of them, Chip Bowling, graciously invited our staff out to his farm (as is tradition), and exposed me to my first Crab Fest. I gained a new appreciation for the price tag next to crab. It was tedious work for a small harvest, but oh did it taste good.

With August recess nearing, activity on the Hill is starting to wind down. However, trade policy is still on my radar, and that of other Ag groups in town. I attended my third NAFTA hearing of the summer today, and listened to testimonies from grain, dairy, poultry, beef, oilseed, fruit, and vegetables, about what the renegotiation means to their industries. Ag groups have been united behind the policy of “do no harm”, one that has been conveyed strongly to Congress; however, trade barriers are still present for some industries, and everyone is going to be pushing for a seat at the table as negotiations get underway.

In my time away from the office, I’ve made some new friends. Some of you may know them, some may not-- their names are Rothko, Bennet Newman, and Ed Sheeran. Rothko and Newman are men of few words. We met recently at the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, the gallery’s contemporary section. I’m a huge fan of contemporary art. I love the color, design, expansive canvases, and the relaxation of spending a couple hours wandering through the galleries. If you’re having a hard time relating to me right now, I do, for the record, enjoy Terry Redlin’s works as well. (I highly recommend making the trip to Watertown, SD and visiting the museum there with his pieces.) Sheeran is the more vocal one of the trio, and has been a huge supporter in my efforts to run and exercise more this summer. Spotify has allowed us to have a close knit relationship, and for that I am thankful.

Despite being in a city that never sleeps, it’s been great taking a little more time for myself. If you’ve felt a little spread thin, stressed, or overwhelmed lately, perhaps take a little break from the politics and spend a little more time with some painters, or soft-pop artists. They’ve been good friends to me, and I hope they can be to you too!

Jacy Spencer
National Corn Growers Association
Washington D.C. Office
20 F Street NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Office: 202-628-7001

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