August Challenge

August means one thing in the policy world – members of Congress returning home!

It's that time of year again when members of Congress return to their home districts and states to meet with constituents. The "August recess" represents an invaluable opportunity for students and researchers to participate in advocacy by scheduling local meetings with their members of Congress to discuss the food, agriculture and natural resources research being done in their own backyards.

This summer, ASA, CSSA & SSSA are again challenging our members to schedule a meeting with their members of Congress during the month of August. The message for the August Challenge meetings is simple: introduce yourself and tell Congress about the research being done right in their districts and states.

The ASA, CSSA & SSSA Science Policy Office is here to help you in your advocacy efforts. Our Advocacy Toolkit  provides step-by-step instructions on how to contact your members of Congress and schedule your meetings. We also have informational materials and talking points that you can use on your meetings on the topics listed below.

  • The importance of research investments
  • The USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grants program
  • Geoscience research at NSF
  • International Year of Soils and the Congressional soils resolution
  • The benefits of research funding in your state

‚ÄčIf you or your lab receives any federal funding, then what happens in Washington impacts you. While research is an issue that usually receives support from both sides of the aisle, establishing strong relationships with your members Congress and their staff can help foster new champions for our sciences. 

Congressional calendars fill up quickly, so it's not too early to begin the scheduling processes. If you are interested in scheduling a local meeting or site tour in August, email the Science Policy Office at with "August Challenge" in the subject line. The Science Policy Office staff is ready and willing to do whatever we can to help you schedule your meetings and make your advocacy effort a success.