40 Chances Fellows

 Forty Chances

AFA 40 Chances Fellows

Each person has approximately 40 Chances – or 40 years – in his or her adult life to make a positive impact on the world. In partnership with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and its 40 Chances awareness campaign,Agriculture Future of America has selected 40 freshmen students to take part in the 40 Chances Fellows program. 

The 40 Chances Fellows program was created when the Foundation presented AFA with a grant sponsoring 40 of the 2012 freshman delegates to attend the next three years of AFA Leaders Conference. Students applied and were interviewed as part of a competitive selection process. The 40 Fellows were chosen based on their desire and potential to impact global food security issues. 

Inspired by this grant, AFA has expanded the program to provide additional opportunities, based on AFA’s four primary programmatic pillars: self-assessment, communication, managing change and life-long learning. Like Conference, the 40 Chances Fellows program is a four-year program each focusing on one of AFA's programmatic pillars.

Program Overview

Year 1: Self-Assessment

  • StrengthsFinder Assessment 
  • Individual strengths coaching
  • Resume and cover letter refinement
  • Career vision development
  • Mentor identification
Year 2: Communication
  • Strategic plan and core values
  • Organizational meeting participation
  • Creation of a LinkedIn profile
  • Three writing examples
Year 3: Managing Change
  • 2 elected/selected positions
  • Future Leader Project Presentation with your internship
  • Reflection on AFA Training
  • Reflection on the evolution of career path and goals 
  • Service related project with other fellows (location TBD)
Year 4: Lifelong Learning
  • Submission of portfolio
  • Final coaching session with AFA Staff
  • Capstone international experience
  • 40 Chances Program debrief

Visit the 40 Chances Resource Page


  • Jared Baird, Purdue University
  • Morgan Beach, University of Missouri
  • Meghan Bennett, The Ohio State University
  • Jessica Blosberg, University of Minnesota 
  • Jordan Bonham, The Ohio State University
  • Adam Chesser, University of Missouri
  • Emma Christensen, South Dakota State University
  • Danielle Cooney, University of Illinois
  • Shelby Cooper, University of Illinois
  • Wesley Davis, Purdue University
  • Bradley Dillner, Missouri State University
  • Luke Drachenberg, University of Wisconsin
  • Kate Griswold, University of Wisconsin 
  • Jenica Hagler, Washington State University
  • Ryan Hanousek, University of Nebraska 
  • Kevin Hanson, University of Minnesota
  • Jessica Harsh, Purdue University
  • John Holland, Clemson University
  • Lindsay King, Oklahoma State University
  • Tate Klocke, Iowa State University
  • Austin Liepold, University of Minnesota
  • Sara Linn, Oklahoma State University
  • Michael Long, University of Wisconsin
  • Sarah Maurer, University of Illinois
  • Scott McDermott, The Ohio State University
  • Chandler Mulvaney, Auburn University
  • Nicholas Neumann, University of Missouri
  • Nolan Sampson, Purdue University
  • Rachel Schroeder, North Dakota State University
  • Brice Schulte, The Ohio State University
  • Kayla Seidler, North Dakota State University
  • Daryl Simmons, Butler Community College
  • Colleen Smith, Cornell University
  • Amber Sparenberg, Purdue University
  • Adam Striegel, Iowa State University
  • Haley Thompson, University of Missouri
  • Rebecca Travis, Missouri State University
  • David Van Klompenburg, South Dakota State University
  • Matthew Welter, Iowa State University