Maranda Braulick and Kalli Christensen attend the Agricultural Policy Experience which facilitates learning among students in advocacy, agriculture, personal branding, community involvement and legislature.

Maranda Braulick and Kalli Christensen of the Sleepy Eye FFA chapter participated in the Minnesota FFA Agricultural Policy Experience in St. Paul March 4 to 6.

The Agricultural Policy Experience encouraged and challenged more than 25 students to increase their current knowledge of issues in agriculture in order to become active leaders in their communities.

Students had the opportunity to visit with Department of Agriculture staff, legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as agriculture leaders. The culminating activity for students was participating in FFA Day at the Capitol and having the opportunity for discussion with senators and representatives throughout the day.

Topics covered during the conference included political influence, personal branding, students’ roles in policy engagement and exploration of the legislative process. Students submitted agriculture, food, environment or education focused bills, for a mock legislature experience in preparation for the event, which were then discussed and used to demonstrate the legislative process.

The students also hosted a legislative reception where they had the chance to interact with legislators and state department leaders. Political leaders and agriculture industry representatives attended this reception to connect with students and hear their story in agricultural education.

This unique experience for a select group of FFA members was made possible by support from Compeer Financial Services, Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union Foundation, AgCentric, the Center for Rural Policy and Development, the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC), and the Minnesota Turkey Council through partnership with the Minnesota FFA Foundation.