CEO's Message


I hope you’re surprised by what you find on our website, and I hope surprised is what you’ll be if you engage as a partner with AFA.

We are different. We work with partners, not sponsors. We want involvement not just financial investment. We work with young men and women to provide leader experiences; not leadership experiences – we drop the ship because the students we work with are already leaders. We work with young professionals who are seekers of lifelong learning, not just those looking for a conference to attend. These may seem like a bunch of semantics to you, but to us, it’s purposeful.

We want young leaders to be surprised by the experiences they have with us – AFA Leaders Conference; AFA Leader Institutes; AFA Leader Fellowship™, AFA ONTAP or the AFA Alliance. Moreover, we want our experiences to be unique and challenging. The last thing we want is to be redundant.

We work to enhance three attributes in young leaders: professionalism, intellectualism and intrapreneurialism. You may not be an entrepreneur (or you might be!) but wherever you land we hope we have instilled an entrepreneurial mindset within you to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture. You’ll be intrapreneurial wherever you are — making others around you and your organization better. This helps rise the tide.

So surprise if you’re just now learning about AFA! If your interest is piqued and you want to learn more, feel free to contact me personally. It takes a lot of partnerships to rise the tide in food and agriculture — thanks for joining us on this important journey!

Mark Stewart
President & CEO