A Four-Track Program

The annual AFA Leaders Conference is a four-track program designed to offer college men AFA Leaders Conferenceand women four different personal and professional development opportunities spread across and matched to their years in college.

Track 1 program is designed for freshmen and focuses on assessment and the development of fundamental skills crucial for success in college and career. Delegates complete personal assessment tools and receive training in resume development, time management, goal setting and personal skill development while assessing the opportunities available to them within their chosen career path.

Track 2 program is designed for sophomore/juniors and focuses on communication skills and preparing for employment. Dressing for success, first impressions, critical thinking, team leadership roles and personal ethics are addressed as a part of this program.

Track 3 program prepares junior/seniors to live and work in a global market. Sessions include managing personal change, stress management and preparing for employment. Delegates participate in discussions focused on rural policy, personal financial management and international agriculture business. Extensive executive mentoring is an integral part of this track.

An all new Track 4 program is a unique capstone experience for seniors who have been involved in multiple tracks of the AFA program. Building on the competency development of other tracks, Track 4 is a highly interactive, participant-directed program. Sessions focus on making the transition from college to career and discussing individual and collective impacts to global agricultural issues. Discussion groups, participant-led facilitation and pre-conference preparation add value to the participant experience. Extensive executive mentoring is an integral part of Track 4.

AFA partners with Franklin Covey to provide resources for personal development. At each level of the program, students further enhance skill sets and competencies.

Conference Eligibility Requirements

The future demands that America’s agricultural workforce be talented men and women with strong credentials in education, leadership and work experience. AFA is committed to helping individuals who are passionate about agriculture (or just finding their interest in agriculture) develop their talent and become the human capital that organizations desire to employ.

To be eligible to apply to attend the AFA Leaders Conference, students must meet the following criteria:
  • Recommended 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Undergraduate student status
  • Age 17-25
  • Attending a four-year institution or articulate plans to obtain four-year degree
  • Possess a passion for agriculture
  • Plan to pursue a career in the agriculture industry

*Track 4 applicants must have previously attended the AFA Leaders Conference and be graduating within 9 months of program (All Track 4 participants must have completed Track 3 to be eligible. If only one previous track completed, it must have been Track 3.)

Students that will be a graduating senior during the year of programming and who have not participated in any previous AFA program will be subject to a minimum level of performance in the selection process where AFA industry partner funds underwrite program costs.

If you have questions or concerns about these eligibility criteria, please Contact AFA.

Application Process

If you are a student interested in attending AFA Leaders Conference, you can apply through the following avenues:
  • Apply for industry sponsorship. Each year, AFA industry partners provide resources for students to attend Leaders Conference. These resources provide for registration, lodging, and all meals for the duration of Leaders Conference. Travel is not included. Specific sponsorship opportunities are denoted for career interests and ethnic diversity. Applications for industry sponsorship for the 2016 AFA Leaders Conference will open April 1. The application deadline is typically the first part of September. Learn More.

  • Seek support from your university. AFA works with over 70 colleges and universities and shares in the investment of future leaders in agriculture. Learn more about how AFA partners with universities by visiting our Collegiate Partners page and check with your College of Agriculture to see if they sponsor students or to find information on how to apply. If you need additional information, please Contact AFA.
  • High school seniors are selected to attend Leaders Conference during the fall of their college freshman year by being selected for the AFA Leader and Academic Scholarship available nationally or through defined community partnerships.
  • If you have attended Conference before, AFA is committed to your continued development as a leader. As a return delegate, AFA may cover up to 70% of your fee to return to Leaders Conference. Returning delegates must login to access information on registering for the 2016 AFA Leaders Conference. If you are selecting this option, please select "Self-funded" from the "Participant Type" question. If you do not have login information, please Contact Us



Conference sessions are facilitated by more than 100 nationally recognized leaders in agriculture, business, government and education. Delegates have the opportunity to expand their personal and professional portfolios through discussions and training sessions with industry leaders. These leaders and mentors draw on their personal experiences as they participate in conference discussion sessions.

AFA Opportunity Fair

An important component of the Leaders Conference, the AFA Opportunity Fair, provides a unique environment for human resource representatives to communicate, advocate and mentor AFA students about opportunities available within the industry. Corporations, associations and colleges/universities representing the span of the industry recruit AFA students for internships, full-time employment and graduate studies.