9 answers

What is the best course of action through college (majors and internships) for someone interested in becoming a lobbyist for agriculture?

Asked Fayetteville, Tennessee

I am interested in becoming a lobbyist, specifically for agriculture. I am currently a business: marketing major. I was wondering if this is a good track to remain on or if I need to go into something along the lines of Political Science. I am aware that I will also have to go back for my masters. I also need to know what types of internships I need to get into. Thank you in advance! #agriculture #lobbyist

9 answers

Angela’s Answer

Updated Atlanta, Georgia

Hi Madison,

I am very happy to see that your want to become a lobbyist for agriculture. It is big business right now, and you should be very successful when you become a lobbyist.

The best course of action, would be to take courses in agriculture, or find a school with an agriculture major. My degree is in Foods and Nutrition, but you will get more in depth information and understand the agriculture industry from the bottom up. Also, when you are ready for an internship, look at agribusiness companies such as John Deere, Cargill, Caterpillar, and other food industry companies or associations that are based in areas such as grain, beef, corn, sugar, etc. The plant-based industry is booming right now, so if you can get an internship with one of these companies, that would be great. I am not sure of the future for this, but right now would be a good time to understand that industry from the round up. (e.g., sourcing of plants and ingredients to make burgers).

These can give you valuable experience in learning the industry. Having a business degree is helpful, but be sure to add basic law courses as an elective, because understanding the legal language is important , especially when you begin lobbying lawmakers. Many of them are lawyers.

Learn to understand the agriculture business from consumers point of view. All agriculture affects consumers in some fashion, and you will be successful when you can understand and know that business affects the consumer, and will make you more relatable when you begin lobbying.

I hope this information is useful to you. Good Luck in your future endeavors!

Angela recommends the following next steps:

  • Register for courses in agriculture
  • Volunteer if you can at a 4H if you live near an area for that
  • Subscribe to free magazines for the agriculture industry

Rose’s Answer

Updated

Hi! Technically, you don't need any degree to lobby. If I were you, I wouldn't change my major, but maybe add a minor in communications or political science. I recently worked on a campaign for Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and my advice to you would be to learn the political process within your state, make as many connections as you can, visit/talk with legislators and cabinet members during their off season (not during session or committee weeks), and really study up on agricultural policy, as well as statistics, within the state you plan to lobby in. Hope I helped!

Hayes’s Answer

Updated Chattanooga, Tennessee

You can maintain your focus on business, but also look into any agribusiness specific coursework. So many agriculture related businesses offer internships, so apply for as many as you can. Also look into internships with government departments of agriculture and extensive offices. That will set you on solid course.

Aimee’s Answer

Updated
Two things make a successful lobbyist: expertise on an issue and connections to policy makers. Look for opportunities to intern and learn about ag policy. There are lots of resources because the Farm Bill is up for reauthorization in Congress. The House and Senate passed their versions and a conference committee from both chambers will meet after Labor Day in the hope of passing a bill by the end of September. Lots of ag groups are publishing information on hot-button issues on the Farm Bill. Look at the ag committees at the federal and state level and see if any of your local elected officials are on these committees. If so, reach out to their offices and see if they have internship opportunities. Also, see if your state legislature offers summer employment or internships.

Ivan’s Answer

Updated

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQnORhx3gUM Origins of ring around the Rosie?


I would say environmental sciences.

Paula’s Answer

Updated

Hi, Madison. You don't actually need a specific field to be a lobbyist. I've been lobbying for almost 15 years and I have degree in business. I've represented banking, utilities, insurance, credit unions, etc. You simply need to connect with some of the local elected officials and industries like the Farm Bureau.


I'm always looking for interns and willing to train.


Paula

Paula recommends the following next steps:

  • Please contact me at psardinas@nwcua.org if you are interested in an internship in Washington State.
  • If you are in Washington, reach out to Legislators in Eastern, WA. Most are willing to train.

Missy’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

you can stay on your course for business, but be sure to take some government and political science courses. You should start volunteering for political campaigns, Democrat or Republican parties, or at your state Legislature.

Sterling’s Answer

Updated Detroit, Michigan

Hello Madison,

It enlightens me to know that there are students who look forward to becoming a lobbyist before graduation. The best advice i could give someone with your aspirations would be to take a Policy Analysis Methods class, or something of that nature, and also some classes dealing with the agriculture field as well as a Public Policies and an Ethics class. The knowledge that you learn from those four types of classes should help you prepare for being efficient in political measures dealing with lobbying for agriculture. Also become extremely knowledgeable about agriculture within your state First, because laws and regulations vary by the city and state but knowing A LOT about what is going on around your community is a great start that requires zero class time...Public Affairs and Public Relations are a few majors within political science that could put you into some classes that are specifically about reading, writing, or analyzing a policy.

Best of Luck,

S.Bailey

John’s Answer

Updated

Many lobbyists have law degrees or degrees on government.


You should also have working knowledge of the needs and issues of the field you plan to represent.



Finally, you must be self assured and confident to present these issues to lawmakers