Wade Campbell, a USU senior majoring in Agricultural Business, worked beside Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food Leonard Blackham as the 2012 Utah Farm Bill was under discussion on Capitol Hill. Bill writing, drafting legislation and lobbying senators was an everyday experience for Campbell during his five month internship.
Every five years, the Utah Farm Bill undergoes editing and implementing. Careful consideration and a well thought out process regarding agriculture, the procedures and money it takes in order to keep the world of agriculture going in every state was the main topic of discussion.
This year, 150 million dollars was budgeted for distribution among the different states. Blackham wanted each state to have nine million dollars, but in regards to land acreage, no less than $500,000 will be given to each state.
In order for the state of Utah to receive a fair allotment of money, Blackham asked Wade to help put together a plan. Wade attended meetings with administration, as well as other task forces to discuss different options and gain better insights on the processes.
Later he met with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He and the organization worked closely together to get all funds ready. Designing spreadsheets and discussing how the money should be distributed was just a small part of Wade’s time spent working with them.
He was also able to be a part of organizing Senate Bill 46. This bill was designed for conservation easements that would designate agricultural land to be used only for agriculture.
“The bill would have had a lot of positive impacts on the world of agriculture,” said Wade.
Being able to work with the commissioner everyday helped Wade learn more about the processes and challenges that go into making the world of agriculture run smoothly.
“I continue learning so much,” said Wade. “This internship and the experiences I have had will be something that I will refer to often throughout my future career.”
Writer: Sarah Hatch