Two interns with careers focused on public policy began working with the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Department of Governmental and Agricultural Programs (GAP) March 31.
Reed Phillips, a native of Alexander City, is a 2013 graduate of the University of Alabama. Blake Poole of Buchanan, Ga., will graduate from Auburn University in May.
Federation GAP Department Director Brian Hardin said he’s excited to have young people on staff who are interested in government.
“With this being an election year, Reed and Blake will have an opportunity to see a real grassroots organization in action,” Hardin said. “Their energy and enthusiasm will be an asset to our organization, our members and Federation-endorsed candidates.”
Phillips majored in political science, was a member of the University of Alabama crew team and served as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. He worked with the U.S. Senate since graduation and was an intern with the Secretary of the Senate in the Office of Web Technology. Phillips also served as a Senate page, was proctor of the Senate pages and, most recently, worked as a staff assistant to the Senate Ethics Committee. He applied for the Federation internship as a way to develop a better understanding of how membership organizations can impact legislation and regulations.
“I wanted more experience in how organizations work with senators and congressmen to represent members,” Phillips said. “I want to work on issues that make a difference. At the state level, public policy work has greater potential of impacting people, and this is a chance to see that work in action.”
Poole will graduate with a concentration in Agriculture, Leadership and Political Science. He played football for Auburn from 2009 through the 2013 season. He was a volunteer at Storybook Farms and was involved in Auburn University’s Young Farmers, Block & Bridle Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“It’s really an honor and a privilege to be here,” Poole said. “I love politics, and I love farming — I grew up around both. Being able to work with Mr. Hardin and his team will help me understand how government policies affect farming.”
Poole owns and operates a small beef cattle herd in Buchanan, Ga. After the internship, he plans to return to the farm and eventually run for public office.