Summer legislative internship in DC brings student’s goals into focus

By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs

While other people may shy away from terms like “agricultural politics,” Megan Gould gets excited. After spending this past summer in Washington D.C. as a legislative intern with S-3 Public Affairs, Megan has found her passion and confidence in politics.

Gould poses with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background.
WSU student Megan Gould poses in front of the U.S. Capitol building, where she worked as a legislative intern this summer.

“I was drawn to the importance of advocating while I served as a state officer for the Washington FFA Association,” Megan said. “After seeing the importance of using your voice to be an influence, I was drawn to the political process.”

With the help of two dedicated mentors, Megan’s main task was to follow the Farm Bill and Agricultural Appropriations Bill through the Senate and House Floor. This also included working with public relations to create graphics, attending committee hearing to keep notes to send to lobbyists, creating a media consumption survey for college students across the country, and more.

Out of all this, Megan enjoyed the committee meetings the most. She attended these meetings at least once a week and took notes as legislators asked farmers about their opinions on pieces of legislation to see how that regulation or policy would affect people at the farming level.

“I loved seeing the system at work,” she said. “Seeing an average day farmer or industry person sitting down and talking to legislators was incredible.”

As a sophomore majoring in Agriculture and Food Security with a minor in Political Science, Megan hopes to use her education and internship opportunities to set herself apart for future employment in Washington D.C. The field is extremely competitive, and Megan hopes to ensure her success in the field by gaining more experiences through internships.

“I think a large opportunity that goes unnoticed by students is internships,” Megan said. “They can really help you realize what you want to do after graduation and pave the way for job opportunity upon graduation.”

While internships within agricultural policy aren’t for everyone, Megan encourages all students to apply for as many internships as possible. You never know what opportunities you will experience or lessons you will learn if you never try.

“I was more than just an intern,” Megan said, “I could make a difference with my time in D.C.”