Internship Update from Chloe Higgins

July 7, 2021

I can’t believe hat it’s already July and that I only have a few week left in this internship! This has been such an incredible growth experience in so many ways and I am learning so much.

The last few weeks have been focused on preparing for the NCGA Summer Meetings which will take place in New Orleans in mid-July, and for the virtual fly-in which will be the following week. My preparation has included designing flyers and talking points for various activities and information during the Summer Meeting and fly-in, writing bios on the Senators and Representatives that will be hearing from us during the fly-in, and helping update the CornPAC website.

One thing I truly appreciate about this internship is the wide variety of work I have gotten to do, ranging from researching politicians to watching committee hearings to developing my graphic design skills and everything in between. I’ve seen so many different sides of the lobbying process and have learned so much about the policy issues impacting corn growers.

A highlight of the past few weeks has been traveling to St. Louis for a few days for the Women & Mentors Retreat (you may have seen my takeover on Instagram!). This retreat was centered around learning how to be a strong female leader and about how to maximize a mentoring relationship. At the end of the week, we were each matched with one or two mentors to develop a relationship with in the coming months. The trip was a great learning experience and it was so fun to meet more people from across the country – I even got to hang out with fellow intern Danie Brandl!

As things slowly begin to reopen and travel becomes more accessible, it has been so fulfilling to watch people reconnect with colleagues that they have not seen in person for more than a year. There are so many glimpses of hope that I’m grateful to witness and be a part of! Reopening has also meant that I get to be more of a tourist in Washington, D.C. This past Fourth of July weekend I finally got to visit some of my favorite tourist spots in the city and watch the fireworks from the National Mall – one of the best moments of summer for sure.

It’s hard to believe that I only have 24 days left in D.C., but I know there will be many more opportunities for learning and growth. I can’t wait to see what’s in store!

June 9, 2021 

The NCGA office where I am fortunate enough to work in person, right down the street from the Capitol!

The first three weeks of this internship have absolutely flown by! I moved to Washington D.C. at the end of May and started working at the National Corn Growers Association office on May 24th. These past few weeks have been filled with a wide variety of projects, meetings, travel, and opportunities to learn.

As the public policy intern, I am mainly focused on supporting the work of the policy staff in the DC office. This means I have been assigned everything from researching Congressmen’s stances on ethanol, to updating the CornPAC website, to tracking and calculating total US corn exports. The staff here works on a wide variety of policy issues and everybody is eager to help me learn about any topic that interests me, sending me articles and webinars to supplement my knowledge as I continue understanding the wide variety of policy issues that impact corn growers.

In addition to may day-to-day work, I have taken full advantage of my time on the East Coast and in DC (perhaps my favorite city in the world). So far, I have explored Georgetown, the National Gallery of Art, the National Mall, and lots of coffee shops! I also had the chance to fly to Maine last weekend and I have more trips planned all throughout this summer. I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel after a year of being “stuck” in Nebraska and I’m even more grateful that NCGA encourages me to take full advantage of my time in this city.

I can’t wait to see what the coming months will bring. If these past few weeks are any indication, it is going to be an incredible summer!