The Congressional Visits Day is an annual event held in Washington, D.C. which brings graduate students and scientists to Capitol Hill to raise awareness and support for science and research funding. The Congressional Visits Day exposes constituent scientists to the federal budget and appropriations process, while helping them develop relationships with members of their congressional delegation. Society members with an interest in science policy can apply for one of the two award opportunities listed below to receive a trip to D.C. to participate in the Congressional Visits Day.

What is Congressional Visits Day?

Scientific expertise is rare on Capitol Hill. Even those Congressional members and staff who are responsible for agricultural and environmental policy, often have little or no scientific background. Every spring, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) bring Society members from across the country to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Congressional delegation and advocate for food, agricultural and natural resources research.

When is the 2019 Congressional Visits Day?

The 2019 Congressional Visits Day will be held on March 4-5.

How can Society members participate in Congressional Visits Day?

ASA, CSSA and SSSA members have two award opportunities to participate in Congressional Visits Day. Recipients of both award receive a trip to D.C. to participate in the annual ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Congressional Visits Day. The Societies will cover travel, hotel and meal expenses for award recipients.

All award recipients will receive policy, communication and advocacy training to learn how to effectively work with members of Congress and their staff. While in D.C., recipients will also have the opportunity for one-on-one interaction with the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA leadership. The student and professional participants in CVD will form an invaluable network to draw from in your future research, advocacy endeavors and career development.

Future Leaders in Science Award – graduate student members

Excellence in Advocacy Award – non-student members (early, mid or late career members).

How many awards are given out?
There are 18 Future Leaders in Science award recipients and three Excellence in Advocacy award recipients.
How do I apply?

The application for the both awards is closed. Please check back in the fall for information about the 2019 awards.

Can only award recipients participate in Congressional Visits Day?
Of course not! While there are a limited number of award recipients, anyone is welcome to participate in the Congressional Visits Day if they can cover their own travel and housing arrangements. The Science Policy Office can assist you with lodging recommendations and other logistics. Please email Julie McClure ( if you are able to provide your own funding for Congressional Visits Day.

Want to learn more?
Hear what past participants in Congressional Visits Day have to say about their experience on the Hill
Other questions?
Please contact the Science Policy Office at or 202-408-5558 with any questions.

CVD in Action!

Check out these photos from the 2018 CVD.   

See all the social media content for the 2018 CVD.


"My participation in CVD taught me to be confident in my direct involvement with policy because any person can make a difference, but they have to contribute to the discussion." 

Wayne Roper, 2017 CVD Participant



"CVD provided us a comprehensive opportunity for learning about civic engagement and crafting our message with agricultural experts. Two weeks later, I used the skills I learned at CVD to advocate for ag research funding at my state legislature."

Sharon Perrone, 2016 CVD Participant



“I think many people see government as 'inaccessible' and are unsure of what they as a citizen can do. However, during my time on Capitol Hill, I realized how much my representatives are appreciative of and receptive to advocacy from their constituents.”  

Heather Matthees-Dose, 2015 CVD Participant


"I wanted to participate in Congressional Visits Day because I wanted to understand how the appropriations committee actually dictates funding. It’s important as a graduate student to learn where the agricultural sciences are going; to have and understanding of the current funding situation and the prospects for future research funding." 

Steven Hystad, 2014 CVD Participant


Verdesian: the Nutrient Use Efficiency People

CVD History

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