27 selected for AFA’s national student leader team

High Plains Journal

March 24, 2014

How would picking the brains of CEOs and company leaders while you were a college student change your perspective? Twenty-seven of the nation’s top agriculture students are about to find out how it will affect them.

Agriculture Future of America has selected its nine Student Advisory Team members and 18 Campus Ambassadors for the 2014-2015 year. These students represent 25 schools from 22 states across the country. Throughout their time of service, they will interact with agribusiness leaders, campus faculty and fellow students as they represent AFA.

“AFA values these students as leaders,” said Russ Weathers, AFA president and CEO. “This year, AFA expanded its Campus Ambassador programs to reach more campuses, provide broader student perspectives and add diversity in student leadership. AFA’s strategic partnerships with ADM, Cargill, CHS, Farm Credit and Monsanto helped make this possible and we are thankful for their support.”

All 27 students will fill the Campus Ambassadors role at their respective schools by serving as a liaison between AFA and university faculty and staff and their fellow students. Additionally, the nine Student Advisory Team members are responsible for planning and facilitating the 2014 AFA Leaders Conference, Nov. 6 to 9, in Kansas City, Mo. Their planning will kick off April 10 to 12, when all 27 students convene in Kansas City for training and to develop the 2014 Conference theme.

“There’s a special excitement created when you bring 27 of our nation’s top collegiate agriculture leaders together to help move AFA’s mission and vision forward,” said Derek Mulhern, AFA program coordinator.

Throughout the summer, the Student Advisory Team will visit partners and potential partners of AFA in Colorado, Illinois and Indiana. They will have opportunities to discuss various facets of agriculture and business with leaders from the organizations. These visits expand the students’ understanding of agriculture and add value to the Conference they plan.

The Student Advisory Team includes: Breanne Brammer, University of Missouri; Brytann Busick, Oregon State University; Morgan Dawson, Purdue University; Jenica Hagler, Washington State University; Jake Hirniak, University of Missouri; Jade Kampsen, South Dakota State University; Emma Likens, University of Nebraska; Margery Magill, University of California – Davis; and Chandler Mulvaney, Auburn University.

Campus Ambassadors are Joy Beam, The Pennsylvania State University; Jacob Bohlander, Purdue University; Jordan Bonham, The Ohio State University; Emily Carpenter, Colorado State University; Benjamin Conner, University of Kentucky; Shelby Cooper, University of Illinois; Christine Curtis, The California Polytechnic State University; Zane Gouker, University of Arizona; Layton Hrubes, Montana State University; Vinz Karl, University of Minnesota; Sara Linn, Oklahoma State University; Mason Moore, New Mexico State University; Amanda Rhodes, State University of New York – Cobleskill; Kaylin Spaeth, University of Wisconsin – River Falls; Colleen Smith, Cornell University; Adam Striegel, Iowa State University; Rebecca Travis, Missouri State University; and Taylor Truckey, Michigan State University.

AFA creates partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding collegiate and young professional men and women who are pursuing careers in the agriculture and food industry. With program participation increasing 70 percent in the last five years, AFA leader development programs have impacted 9,000 college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 42 states since its inception in 1996. AFA has awarded more than $8 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit www.agfuture.org or contact Megan Karlin at megan.karlin@agfuture.org.