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Jul 13, 2022

Kyle Leary Selected into the National Grain and Feed Association’s Committee Apprentice Program (CAP)

By Kyle Leary - Grain Marketer

In March, I was among 40 selected to be on the National Grain and Feed Association’s Committee Apprentice Program (CAP). The CAP is designed to develop future leaders within the grain and feed industry by allowing early-career professionals to sit on an NGFA committee.


One of the main events of the one-year term is a trip to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of the industry. My three days spent in D.C. were packed with meetings and activities. While there, my group visited the USDA and spoke with several key people. We also heard from the Counsellor of Ag from the Canadian Embassy.


On the primary day spent on the hill, several speakers came in and talked with the whole group: Reps. Peter DeFazio D-OR, Ashley Hinson R-IA, G.T. Thompson R-PA, Frank Lucas R-OK, Don Bacon R-NE, and Sen. John Boozman R-AR. After that, we broke into small groups of five and visited the offices of different representatives. My group met with the offices of four senators: John Boozman R-AR, Tom Cotton R-AR, Amy Klobuchar D-MN, & Tina Smith D-MN. 


We had three main priorities we discussed:


  1. Advocating for the next farm bill with a focus on prioritizing working lands conservation.
  2. Raising awareness of the inadequate rail service shippers and experiencing and the need for more regulator authority for the surface and transportation board.
  3. Passing a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that modernizes U.S. locks and dams with an improved public/private cost-share formula and preserves navigation access to the lower Snake River dams. 


I focused most of my time talking about the inadequate service by the railroad since that is affecting Crystal Valley and our patrons directly.


The trip ended with our Country Elevator Committee meeting. We had a great speaker, John Newton, the Chief economist for the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, come in. It was interesting to hear his take on these wild markets. 


It was a great learning experience to see that side of the industry and spend some time in the capital.         

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