Published on 04/26/19

CAES Congressional Agricultural Fellows to take on Washington, D.C., this summer

By Sadie Lackey

Seven University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) students will call the nation’s capital home this summer while serving as CAES Congressional Agricultural Fellows.

The students will spend 12 weeks on Capitol Hill working in the offices of Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson and Georgia Reps. Sandford Bishop, Doug Collins, Buddy Carter, Rick Allen and Austin Scott.

While in D.C., students will immerse themselves in agricultural policy and the culture of Capitol Hill by preparing briefs, attending committee hearings, conducting research and working closely with congressional staff as a part of the fellowship.

“It had been a dream of mine to represent the University of Georgia as an agricultural fellow since I first heard about the program as a junior in high school from my high school ag teacher,” said Morgan Hart, a junior agricultural education major selected for the fellowship program. “I am excited for the opportunity to learn about agriculture policy and educational policy, because both of these subjects will directly impact my future career as an agricultural educator. I can think of no better way for me to educate my future students on how legislation affects the agricultural industry than having firsthand knowledge and experience.”

Since 1997, CAES has helped develop the next generation of agricultural policy makers by introducing them to the inner workings of Washington, D.C., through the CAES Congressional Agricultural Fellowship program. More than 100 students have participated in the program. 

“This May, this summer’s seven Congressional Agricultural Fellows will join the longest-running UGA student internship program in Washington, D.C.,” said Josef Broder, CAES associate dean for academic affairs and fellowship program coordinator. “The ag fellows program continues to be a premier experiential learning opportunity for students in our college. The program has been instrumental in shaping the careers and leadership aspirations of the fellows.”

The students representing UGA as 2019 Congressional Agricultural Fellows are:

  • Katelyn Bickett, a sophomore agricultural communications major from Chickamauga, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Buddy Carter’s office
  • Reaganne Coile, a junior agricultural communications major from Bogart, Georgia, who will work in Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office
  • Alyson Dallas, a senior agribusiness major from Griffin, Georgia, who will work in Sen. David Perdue’s office
  • Morgan Hart, a junior agricultural education major from from Moultrie, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Rick Allen’s office
  • James Matthews, a junior agribusiness major from Barnesville, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Sanford Bishop’s office
  • Ben Parker, a junior applied biotechnology major from Perry, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Austin Scott’s office
  • Cam Shepherd, a senior agricultural and applied economics major from Athens, Georgia, who will work in Rep. Doug Collins’ office

The Congressional Agricultural Fellowship is a CAES experiential learning initiative funded by Georgia EMC and the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

“The CAES Congressional Agricultural Fellowship is one of many ways our students gain practical knowledge and experience beyond the classroom,” said Amanda Stephens Newquist, CAES director of experiential learning. “We believe that experiential learning programs like this one allow students to gain the skills and confidence they need to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation.”

For more information on CAES, the college's experiential learning initiative and other opportunities available to students, visit 

Sadie Lackey is a student writer for the CAES Office of Communications and Creative Services.

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