Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Visit From Congressman Thompson

Today a group of students from the high school met with Congressman Thompson and discussed agriculture policy with him. The idea of meeting with the Congressman started in December when a group of students watched the movie Food Inc. The movie is an expose about how the food that Americans consumes is produced and the companies that control the production. The goal of this project is to get students involved in the democratic process and learn how to attempt to change the world in which they live. Immediately after the movie, students were debriefed in small groups and given a chance to discuss what they had just watched. Following the movie, a second meeting was arranged for the students to meet with local farmers and discuss how farmers on a “small scale” produce their commodities. Last week the students met with four local farmers and asked them questions about small-scale food production. Since the students have raised many questions about how the Federal government can impact food production, Congressman Thompson was invited to talk to the group. The Congressman graciously accepted.

The Congressman began by giving the students an overview of his work on the Agricultural Committee in the House of Representatives. He discussed the process involved in learning about farm policy and some of the bigger issues facing the government as it relates to farm policy. The Congressman then took questions from the students. The “Q&A” was a great opportunity for the students to interact with someone that will help shape agricultural policy. Finally, the Congressman encouraged the students to become involved in our great democracy. He offered specific suggestions on how students can (and should) become involved in letting their politicians know their view on different subjects.

Today’s event is part of the “RASD Celebration” that is occurring over the next two weeks. The school district thanks the Congressman for coming to the school to talk with the students. I would also like to thank the adults in the school that have been instrumental in providing this opportunity for our students. Rena Urmann, Mrs. Vargas, Ms. Schaut and Amy Goode have spearheaded this project and have done a wonderful job. Great job!

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