GMG alum Abe Dieleman profiled by Iowa Cattlemen Magazine

Garwin native currently interning for ICA in Sen. Grassley’s Washington, D.C. office

Abe Dieleman attending the Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party sponsored by the International Dairy Foods Association. PHOTO COURTESY OF IOWA CATTLEMEN MAGAZINE

Sun Courier note: This article was first published in the July issue of the Iowa Cattlemen Magazine. It is being republished here with permission from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Abe Dieleman has joined the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) as the legislative intern. Abe is currently in Washington, D.C., as you’ll learn below, and will spend the first part of his internship there before returning to Iowa later this summer to finish out his internship.

We wanted our members to get a chance to meet him and hear how this internship is impacting the next generation of leaders within our industry.

The legislative internship is made possible by support from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation.

Abe, tell us a little about yourself.

AD: My name is Abe Dieleman. I’m from Garwin, Iowa and I’m going to be a junior this fall at Iowa State University majoring in agronomy.

Do you have a cattle or agricultural background? Tell us more about that.

AD: Yes. I grew up on a row crop, beer feedlot, and hog finishing operation a few miles from Garwin. I always helped my dad on the farm as a child and have continued that interest. After graduating from college, I plan to move back home and start farming with my dad and grandpa.

What was the drive behind applying for the legislative internship?

AD: I’ve been interested in politics and public service for most of my life. I started attending school board meetings with my dad when I was in third grade. I continued to be interested in politics and even attended the 2016 Iowa caucus.

In my junior year of high school, I was a legislative page in the Iowa House of Representatives and worked as a legislative clerk in the House during my senior year. I was also a member of the Mid-Iowa Youth Beef Team. Between my MIYBT involvement and experience in politics, I felt this internship was a perfect fit for me.

What do you hope to gain from this internship?

AD: I’m looking forward to learning the differences between state and federal-level politics. I am also excited to be in Washington, D.C. during a presidential election year and when work is being done on the Farm Bill. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of what Iowa farmers are concerned about involving the federal government.

Who are you working with and what is your assignment while in Washington, D.C.?

AD: I’m this year’s Legislative Intern for IA working in Senator Grassley’s [R-Iowa] office.

You’ve been there now for a bit, what does a typical day look like for you?

AD: As an intern in the legislative department, I spend most of my time working on projects assigned by a legislative assistant, usually specific to their portfolio. Since I am sponsored by ICA most of the projects revolve around agricultural policy. Many times, I am reading legislation and taking the key points to make a summary.

I also get to give Capitol tours to Iowans who are visiting D.C. There are many opportunities for Interns to network and I usually take advantage of these during my lunch. We also get to attend committee hearings. watch any House or Senate floor business, and explore the Capitol complex.

What has been your favorite part of your time in the role so far?

AD: My favorite part of the internship so far has been learning about the Farm Bill and other legislation going through the Senate Agriculture Committee this summer. There are many parts of policy that I was previously unaware of, and after being here for only three weeks I feel I have learned so much.

Has there been anything that has surprised you yet?

AD: Yes. I am surprised by how much work is constantly happening and how quickly things can change. There is a lot going on in the Senate and it takes a lot of people to understand and interpret everything to get the work finalized.

Do you have any free time, and if so, what are some of the fun things that you’ve been doing while in D.C.?

AD: I have been able to walk around the National Mall a couple times and see all of the historical monuments. It has been a great opportunity to visit them without being pressed for time to really take it in.

I have also attended a Washington Nationals baseball game. I went to the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, where we saw the Democrats face the Republicans with the Republicans winning 31 to 11. I also plan on visiting some of The Smithsonian Museums before returning to Iowa in July.

In your opinion, how do you think that this internship benefits the Iowa cattle producer?

AD: The internship shows the importance of investing in the education of the next generation of farmers. While in D.C., I will learn about the important policy factors of the cattle industry. Upon returning to Iowa, I will be able to help Iowa producers and future producers understand what goes on at the federal level and how it can impact Iowa farmers.

Any final thoughts?

AD: I want to thank the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation for sponsoring my internship and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association for supporting an intern. I appreciate you recognizing the importance of education for future farmers and am so grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Abe, thanks for giving us insight into your experience so far. We hope you have a great time and learn a lot while you are there.