IDFA welcomed yesterday a class of senior Agricultural Economics majors from Texas A&M University. The students made the trip to Washington, D.C., as a part of their honors Agricultural Policy course and met with Bob Yonkers, IDFA vice president, chief economist and Texas A&M alumnus, to learn more about IDFA’s role in the economic procedures and policy of dairy.
He shared with the group how earning a graduate degree from Texas A&M and his resulting career led to his current position at IDFA, where he oversees the research and analysis of the economic impact of marketing conditions, government regulations and alternative policies on the U.S. and international dairy industries. He also explained the role that IDFA plays in policymaking on Capitol Hill, and about other services and events that the association hosts every year.
Yonkers answered several questions from the students and spoke about how IDFA responds to topics like genetically modified crops and animal welfare concerns, as well as the current legislative focus on the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization and the Safe and Affordable Food Act. He also gave advice to students asking about how to become better advocates for these issues at the national level, stressing the importance of staying active on the Hill.
A major part of the honors course, which is writing intensive, focuses on creating briefs for major issues in agricultural policy. Yonkers told the group to be concise and clear when communicating these policy issues and stressed the need for summarizing the key points to deliver a strong message. “If you don’t want to put your words on one page, someone else will, and that’s a problem,” he said, noting that a big part of communicating and advocating is controlling both the message and its context.
Yonkers (far left) poses with the honors students from Texas A&M University.
For more information, contact Yonkers at email@example.com.