The past three months at NASDA have taught me many things, but above all I have learned to be confident and trust my abilities to adapt. After living in Washington State and Oregon my entire life, moving to Washington, D.C., and experiencing the government up-close was a new territory for me. The policy team took me in, showed me the ropes and helped grow my knowledge to a point where I was able to comfortably speak with government and agency officials and represent NASDA at events.

In my second week at NASDA, I had the honor of flying to Wyoming with the team for the 2023 NASDA Annual Meeting. While there, I got the experience of meeting secretaries, commissioners and directors of state departments of agriculture and sitting in on our member’s meetings and committees. Although I was only on the job for a week prior, the staff made me feel welcome and a part of the team right away. This allowed me to hone my networking and social skills along with planning and event coordination abilities.

Over the past three months, I worked on policy covering food security, nutrition, environment, pesticide, animal disease prevention and much more. As an international relations and economics major, I love learning all sides and perspectives of an issue. NASDA pushed me to not only read and analyze these issues but be a part of the discussion and action that comes with working alongside local, state and federal governments.

One of the highlights of my time at NASDA has been working on the Tri-National Agricultural Accord between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Watching cross-country dialogues, negotiations and event coordination has given me a perspective that I could not have had anywhere else. This work has proven that my passion for international economics and law translates beyond my coursework and into my professional career.

After my time at NASDA, I feel more confident in starting my career and advocating for myself. I feel fortunate to have the experiences that this internship gave me and am ready to translate them into my studies and future job opportunities. Agriculture has a way of connecting people and driving the world’s essential needs like no other industry. Watching this unfold and getting a glimpse of the inner workings of agriculture is something I will always be grateful for.

Contact Information

Stephanie McBath
Associate Director, Public Policy