Resilient. That is the word to describe the year 2020. Our nation has experienced a crisis that ignited a domino effect of issues to follow. First the COVID-19 pandemic created a toilet paper shortage, then there was the cancellation of most major sports. Oh, and we can’t forget the appearance of the Giant Asian Hornets who thought this was the time to make their infamous debut. On a more serious note, the pandemic caused major disruption in our agricultural supply chains, and for those who rely on the American farmer for affordable, healthy and nutritious food, this was a challenge worth fighting with every resource available. It literally takes a village.
During my time at NASDA, I have tracked how coronavirus relief funds have been appropriated to and used by state departments of agriculture, listened to calls on the federal government’s efforts to expand rural broadband, and watched dozens of congressional hearings related to coronavirus response. I have watched as our nation’s leaders were faced with the single biggest challenge in our lifetime. One thing I have learned summer is to always expect to face the unexpected. We can’t pick the cards we are dealt, but we have the power to make our own decisions and the path to success is not always a certain one.
NASDA’s staff has become family to me. Not only have they advised me in my career development, but they have guided me through a summer of remote working conditions–a first for all of us. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve the agricultural industry in this fashion and for the experience that will certainly benefit my future endeavors. My passion for public service and agricultural advocacy has remained solid and I look forward to using my experience in my home state.