Smith Impacted During D.C. Internship

10/3/2013 8:00:00 AM


Audrey Smith of Walla Walla, Wash., was selected as the second recipient of the Keith R. Olsen Agricultural Policy Internship Award at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Smith secured a summer internship in the office of Congressman Adrian Smith, who serves the third district of Nebraska.

“I was honored to be selected as the award recipient,” said Smith. “I really got a feel for how government works. Working in D.C. also made me so much more confident and reassured in my choice to study agriculture and policy. I would love to go back to D.C.”

The Olsen Internship Award enabled Smith to intern in a public policy position in Washington, D.C. Most internships in the nation’s capital are unpaid; the award provided support for living expenses in one of the nation’s most expensive cities.

Smith noted it was shocking to see just how divided the House of Representatives is in terms of party affiliation. It was really hard watching bills being shot down by both sides when they are so desperately needed, like the first farm bill. Just when you think that something will pass, you watch a 15 minute vote take place, and all the votes start adding up and just like that the bill fails following days and days of debating, she said.

“Living and working in D.C. really made me appreciate the all the people that dedicate their lives to our country. It was eye opening and a little scary to see all the changes being made to our government everyday that will impact my generation in the future,” said Smith.

“It was also a great way to make long lasting connections. I now have friends all over the country from California, Iowa, Oregon, New York, the list goes on and on,” said Smith.

“I strongly encourage anyone who is thinking they might want to go to D.C. to apply. If you ask anyone that has lived or visited D.C. it is very expensive and this scholarship helped me out tremendously! Not only do you receive a monetary award, but also emotional support from Nebraska Farm Bureau while you are there,” concluded Smith.

Audrey Smith is a senior at UNL studying agriculture economics with public policy focus. While at UNL, Smith served as the co-captain of the University of Nebraska Rodeo team and secretary for the Collegiate Farm Bureau. She also is the secretary of the Sigma Alpha sorority.

The Keith R. Olsen Agricultural Policy Internship Award was established in 2011 by Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation to honor Olsen, who served as Farm Bureau president from 2002 to 2011 and on the board of directors for nearly 20 years. Olsen had emphasized creating opportunities in agriculture for young people during his years with the organization.

The award provides up to $4,000 to a UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources junior or senior to work as an intern in a Nebraska Congressional office, a Congressional Committee or approved agricultural organization.

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