Supporting Young Leaders

When you hear about Farmers RECC investing in the communities we serve, it’s not just in electrical infrastructure, economic development or the local events we support. We also have a national reach, sponsoring local students each year on the Washington Youth Tour.

In June, four local rising seniors joined 59 other electric co-ops students from across the commonwealth for a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The trip gives Kentucky’s next generation of leaders the chance to meet with their senators and representatives and to participate in civic engagement activities with students from across the country. “My week in D.C. was an amazing experience that I am very grateful for,” says Kylie Lessenberry from Barren County High School.

Students were joined in Washington D.C. by more than 1,800 delegates representing electric co-ops from across the country. Marking its 58th year, the Washington Youth Tour educates students about the issues facing co-ops, encouraging them to come home to Kentucky and help lead the co-ops in the future. “The Washington Youth Tour was full of sights and experiences I won’t soon forget. It was so much fun to tour the museums and memorials of the city as well as having the opportunity to meet with our congressional representatives and senators” said Ava Logsdon from Hart County High School.

The busy itinerary included stops at national memorials, Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust Museum and International Spy Museum, Arlington National Cemetery and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. At the U.S. Capitol, Farmers RECC students interacted with Kentucky’s congressional delegation, including Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Brett Guthrie, Rep. Thomas Massie, Rep. James Comer, Rep. Andy Barr and Rep. Morgan McGarvey. Students also heard from staff members representing Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Hal Rogers.

“Getting to lay a wreath that represented our tour at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider is something I’ll never forget. This trip has only grown my desire to serve our country in the armed forces,” says Katelyn Huffaker from Barren County High School.

Coordinated by Kentucky Electric Cooperatives, this trip gives students the unique opportunity to witness our government in action. “This trip is designed to give students a personal understanding of American history and their role as a citizen by meeting their Representative and Senators” says Mallory Wafzig, the statewide association’s cooperative outreach manager and youth tour director.

“I’m truly grateful for Farmers RECC for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I’ve gained so many new friends during this trip and learned so much about our nation,” says Madelynn Dooley from Barren County High School.

Kentucky’s co-ops have sent rising high school seniors on the Washington Youth Tour since 1972. “We are investing in our local students because we believe it is important for young leaders to see our nation’s capital and gain a better understanding of what it means to be a citizen,” says Toby Moss, Farmers RECC CEO.