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Purdue first-year represents Indiana 4-H nationally

A passion for public policy paired with a newfound interest in agriculture led Madison Powell, a first-year student at Purdue, to Washington, D.C. for the National Ag Day Training and Advocacy Day. She was one of five 4-H representatives selected to join students from FFA, Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and MANRRS to connect with policy influencers and agriculture leaders at local, state and federal levels.

“My goal was to be a sponge during this trip and take in as much information as possible. It was great to meet representatives from FFA, MANRRS and learn about AFA. Even talking to other 4-H representatives was insightful to see how 4-H is organized in other states,” said Powell.

Before the trip to D.C., Powell met virtually with numerous agriculture groups and companies to learn about the various parts of the industry and public policy. She especially enjoyed meeting with the Wheat Growers Association and Bayer, the sponsor of the trip.

On National Ag Day, Powell met a representative for U.S. Senator Todd Young and discussed the importance of agriculture education. The group also joined Mary Snap, Microsoft Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and 4-H Council Board of Trustees, to learn about her career experiences.

Six people pictured in front of restaurant.
National 4-H Representatives Lunch with Mary Snapp, 4-H Council Board of Trustees and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives , Office of the President of Microsoft. Pictured: Jonathon Cable, Brendon Engeman, Madison Powell, Mary Snapp, Leslie Webb and Hallie Rabb.

Powell reflected on how her experiences with 4-H have helped her become more confident.

“4-H allows you to explore yourself professionally and personally. I have so much self-confidence from my experiences that range from standing in front of judges and telling them about my poster to presenting in front of 200 people to talking to agriculture leaders during National Ag Day. There are so many opportunities, small and large, to grow as a person through 4-H.”

With her sights set on a career as a 4-H educator, Powell looks forward to exploring more opportunities through the Purdue Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication department, collegiate 4-H and her current intern role in the Indiana 4-H state office.

“I’m thankful for my experiences in 4-H. I was shy growing up and 4-H allowed me to come out of my shell and experience so many different things. Staying involved in 4-H in college has been not only fun but another great opportunity to learn new things and share my experiences with others.”

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