What we do
Empower young leaders making an impact in food and agriculture
Agriculture is essential to the future of our interconnected world. We need leaders ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges — things like food security, sustainable energy and environmental quality — head-on. That’s where we come in. Our programmatic experiences and scholarships help dynamic, diverse young leaders develop their personal skills and prepare for careers in the food, agriculture and natural resources industries.
For more than 25 years, we've been studying what makes a transformational leader in agriculture. We've distilled our observations into six themes or skill areas that we call competencies. Not only are these skills highly sought after by employers, but we believe they'll prepare you to solve problems, strengthen the industry and set you up for success in all aspects of life. The six competencies are woven through all of our programs.
Current high school senior or undergraduate student
Age 17-25 during the AFA Leaders Conference*
Attending a four-year institution in the US or plans to obtain a four-year degree
3.0 GPA or higher (recommended)
Passion for food, agriculture and/or natural resources
Intention to pursue a career in the food, agriculture and/or natural resources industries
*AFA programming is designed for students ages 17-25. Based on previous participant feedback, our programming does not meet the developmental needs and expectations of students outside this age range.
Courtyard Marriott New Orleans
300 Julia Street New Orleans, LA 70130
All meals, program materials and rooms are paid for by AFA's partners. You are responsible for covering any incidental and parking charges added to your room.
Join the AFA Student Advisory Team
Think you’d be a good fit?
Here’s what we’re looking for:
Comfortable with public speaking
Create inclusive environments and interactions
Work in teams, as well as independently
Time management skills
Interest in event and program management
What’s in it for our Student Advisors?
You’ll receive real-world professional experience to set you up for success as a young professional and beyond. This is top-notch training you won’t get in your classrooms or internships. Plus, you’ll join a network of motivated peers to grow with into your careers.
Professional training in facilitation, public speaking, respect and inclusivity, and customer service (valued at over $1,800)
Tangible teamwork, event planning and leadership experience for your resume
Exclusive exposure to AFA partners and industry leaders through virtual and in-person events and meetings
Registration and travel expenses to AFA Leaders Conference
Travel and expenses paid to AFA meetings
LinkedIn badges after completion of trainings and at end of experience
Undergraduate full-time student majoring in agriculture, food, natural resources or a related field who has a passion for agriculture, food, and natural resources (not graduating before Fall 2022)
Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
Must be between 17-25 years of age
Must have attended at least one Track of AFA Leaders Conference before applying for the Student Advisor position
Passionate about AFA’s mission and can represent the organization in a professional manner
Have submitted an application to the 2022 Leaders Conference by deadline of Sept. 7 (separate from Student Advisory Team application)
Valid U.S. driver's license
Interested in applying? See here for full details
Questions? Contact Elizabeth Galbreath at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-406-2062
If you are attending Track 1 at the 2021 AFA Leaders Conference, this means you are new to our AFA program. Welcome! We want to make sure you receive all the information you need to make this experience great.
Students are selected in a variety of ways. Approximately 150 students are pre-identified by leader and academic scholarship programs offered by AFA. Remaining attendees are selected through an application process for corporate or college/university sponsorship through AFA and its partners.
Do you have questions or need help with the application? Please send the program team an email at email@example.com.
AFA and its partners expect each attendee to attend all sessions of the AFA Leaders Conference. AFA has a responsibility to its partners that delegates will fully participate in the program to be best stewards of their investment. Therefore, students who are unable to attend the entire conference may have to forego sponsorship or face repercussions such as loss of an academic scholarship. If a student finds they are unable to attend the entire conference for any unexpected reason, they should contact AFA immediately to discuss their options.
The AFA Leaders Conference is primarily a business casual event. However, Friday of the AFA Leaders Conference calls for business professional attire.
The AFA Leaders Conference is attended by over 800 college men and women from across the nation. More than 300 industry leaders are involved in the conference as speakers, panelists, discussion group leaders, exhibitors or guests.
AFA is here to help! AFA works to strengthen our relationship with more and more colleges and universities each year. We are more than happy to do any of the following: provide a customized excuse letter to provide to your professor; utilize our personal relationships on your campus to make a request on your behalf; or contact the professor, department chair or dean directly. Please feel free to reach out to the program team for assistance as soon as you know you have a conflict. As much as possible, we try to avoid a situation where a student has to forego the AFA opportunity (see the question on attendance) because of an academic conflict.
Good question. AFA has formal relationships with many campuses where we have a specific relationship with faculty and staff which seems to deem the AFA Leaders Conference a sanctioned event by the University. However, you must work directly with your professors on your class schedule.
Your sponsorship does not include transportation to/from the conference, miscellaneous beverages/snacks purchased, tips for hotel bellmen, etc. Delegate conference registration which is worth $1,000 is covered by AFA's partners and includes hotel room, guest room internet, meals and program costs associated with the 3 ½ day conference.
Please visit our cancellation policy. Click here.
Open application is made available through the AFA website in the spring months. Apply for Sponsorship. Selection is made in September. Also check with your college career service or academic programs office to see if your college will be sponsoring students as well. Learn More
AFA provides academic scholarships to individuals who are chosen through Community Partners in 8 Midwestern states each year, as well as to individuals selected as AFA National Leader and Academic Scholars. That scholarship package includes sponsorship for the scholar to attend the AFA Leaders Conference the fall of that same year. This is AFA’s definition of a scholarship and these are generally known as AFA Community Scholars.
Sponsorship is awarded to those who apply and are selected to attend the AFA Leaders Conference through any other mechanism – corporations, colleges or universities, an intern employer, a local community donor, etc.
AFA + NACD Sustainability Institute
AFA Selects Student Ambassadors
Kansas City, MO – Feb. 17, 2020 – Agriculture Future of America has selected 25 Ambassadors to serve for the organization’s 2021 fiscal year, from March 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. These students represent 25 schools from 21 states. During their year of service, these students will interact with agribusiness leaders, campus faculty and fellow students as they represent AFA.
“AFA has always valued students as leaders,” said Mark Stewart, AFA president and CEO. “These 25 AFA Ambassadors have been selected to represent our organization on their campuses, in their regions and nationally as we work to build bridges to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture. This highly competitive group was chosen because of their passion and commitment to agriculture and AFA.”
The AFA Ambassadors set goals to increase awareness of AFA programs on their campuses and in their regions and work to establish creative strategies to accomplish those goals. Ambassadors will also interact with industry professionals at various events and meetings on behalf of AFA. The health of AFA’s relationship with a college campus relies heavily on the work of our Ambassadors.
“As AFA’s director of collegiate relations, one of my main objectives is to diversify our student participation in our programs so that our group of students represents the enrollment in agriculture programs throughout the United States,” said Ashley Collins. “When we have a strong Ambassador on a college campus, we see strong applications and participation from that campus. I’m excited to be able to work alongside this group of Ambassadors as we work to reach more students on more campuses.”
On average, 66% of the applicants to AFA’s leader development programs come from a school where AFA has an active Ambassador.
The Ambassador’s first meeting will be in April. This will be a joint meeting with the AFA Student Advisory Team and will include team building, inclusivity training and planning for their year of service. AFA’s student leadership program has been made possible through strategic partnership with the CHS Foundation.
2020-21 AFA Ambassadors
Kayla Bashore, University of Florida
Lily Beasley, University of Kentucky
Kendra Betz, Missouri State University
Jailynn Britt, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore
JC Campbell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Erin Chalupa, Iowa State University
Sophie Chance, North Carolina State University
Landry Cunningham, Texas A&M University
Morgan Duenke, Northwest Missouri State University
Kalie Ellis, Tennessee State University
Ines Frazier, Prairie View A&M University
Morgan Hasler, North Dakota State University
Grace Hasler, Purdue University
Joseph Jangulo, Illinois State University
Morgan Kanemoto, California State University - Fresno
Tori McGuire, Fort Valley State University
Tiffany Patrick, Virginia State University
Alan Ramos, University of Idaho
Patrick Rush, The Pennsylvania State University
Claire Sheppard, Oklahoma State University
Nicole Stafford, Kansas State University
Caleb Swears, University of Arkansas
Cara Teigum, South Dakota State University
Julie Ustach, Utah State University
Haylee Young, Texas Tech University
Meet AFA Ambassador and Washington State University student Della Paloy! 👋
Here are four fun facts about her, in her own words:
◾ I am a Junior Ranger at 50 National Parks. 🌲
AFA alumni, did you hear? The AFA Alliance is hosting a brand-new event, AllianceX!
Registration opens April 2 for this alumni only, high-energy networking & speaker experience. So, set your reminder to claim one of 100 available seats.
Learn more: https://bit.ly/3CgPFaw
Today and every day, AFA celebrates the achievements of women. In support of International Women’s Day, AFA staff are wearing purple and green.
💜 Purple signifies justice and dignity
💚 Green symbolizes hope
Head to https://lnkd.in/dGJVP5Z to learn more about #IWD2022!
It's the showdown of the century. A high stakes nail-biter. It's the battle of the non-profits. Who will take home the Magnetic Ag March Madness Tournament trophy? You decide.
We're calling on you — AFA partners, alumni, friends and students — to decide the fate of the tournament. Vote today: https://bit.ly/36ILU2C