Guzman Finds New Appreciation for Agricultural Policy at AFA Policy Institute

Student at the Washington Monument.
Guzman at the Washington Monument.

In September, Lana Guzman, UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) sophomore, attended Agriculture Future of America’s (AFA) Policy Institute. Guzman, an agricultural education and communication student, was selected to spend three days in Washington, D.C. for the program. The institute provides participants with numerous opportunities to see policy in action, discuss how it works, and explore career opportunities.

On the first day, Guzman attended several panel discussions with various policy industry professionals. The panelists gave their perspectives on how the industry works and shared their experiences as lobbyists. Later on, AFA hosted a dinner and social networking event that fostered interactions between student participants and AFA partners. 

The second day of the AFA Policy Institute was packed with industry tours. Guzman’s group visited the American Farm Bureau Federation’s office and the Canadian Embassy. They met with staff, toured facilities and learned about the organizations’ missions. Guzman found the industry tour to be particularly impactful.

Guzman at American Farm Bureau Federation office.

“This visit exposed me to vital trading relationships between Canada and the U.S. The presentation explained the agricultural commodities produced throughout the different regions of Canada. I learned about the history, power and benefits of the trading relationship between both countries,” said Guzman.  

On the final day of the program, students participated in several career round table discussions. This activity allowed Guzman and her fellow participants to learn about various companies who play a role in agricultural policy. Through her experience at the AFA Policy Institute, Guzman diversified her mindset, grew her connections and found a new appreciation for policy. 

“The experience really widened my perspective on the role of policy in every aspect of the food, agriculture, and natural resources industries. As part of my future career goals, it is crucial to properly educate and effectively communicate on the policy industry within agriculture. Even in the role of education, policy plays a vital role in the agriculture curriculum, funding, and support received for these programs,” said Guzman.  

The VP Promise offers financial support to students engaging in experiential learning opportunities within agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. CALS is dedicated to fostering student development and success, encouraging students to expand their horizons through participation in study abroad programs, leadership roles, scholarly conferences, and other enriching experiences.

Interested in CALS academic programs? Take our majors quiz to find out which program may suit you best!


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Posted: December 7, 2023

Category: Agriculture, Professional Development, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: AFA, Agricultural Education And Communication, Agricultural Policy, Professional Development, VP Promise

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