Cargill Executive to Serve on Agriculture Future of America Board of Directors

February 1, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MO. (February 1, 2022) — Agriculture Future of America (AFA) recently appointed President of Cargill’s Global Edible Oils business, Jennifer Shomenta, to its board of directors. Shomenta fills the seat of Marc Mears — Cargill vice president of North America grain, cotton and crop inputs operations — who retired from the board after serving a three-year term.

Shomenta joined Cargill in 1992 and has held various positions in commodity merchandising for the grain, soy and corn processing businesses. In 2017, Shomenta was appointed the Managing Director of Cargill Global Malt and transitioned the business via divestiture through closing in 2019. At that time, she was appointed Managing Director of Cargill’s Edible Oils business in North America. 

“Jennifer demonstrates a deep commitment to the betterment of food and agriculture, and we are excited for her to bring that dedication to AFA,” says Mark Stewart, AFA President and CEO. “Her business acumen combined with passion for developing young talent strengthens AFA’s commitment to fostering professionalism, intellectualism and intrapreneurialism among college students.”

Shomenta has served as the Chair of Cargill's Global Women's Network and now serves on its Advisory Board. In addition to her service with AFA, Shomenta has also served on the Board for several Minneapolis non-profits and currently serves on the Minnesota Zoo Foundation Board. 

“Each board member brings diverse perspectives and qualities integral for leading AFA to success,” says Stewart. “We are thrilled to have a strong group of talented professionals providing strategic guidance to the organization while living out AFA’s mission of building bridges for young leaders to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture.”

AFA board members are recognized leaders from food and agricultural corporations, educational institutions, associations, trade media and production agriculture. The AFA Board of Directors meets three times annually to provide strategic and fiduciary oversight for the organization.

AFA Board of Directors
Camille Abrams, CHS Inc.
Travis Becton, John Deere
Teddy Bekele, Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Abe Hughes, Trimble Inc.
Scott Kay, BASF
Joel Mathiowetz, Mathiowetz Family Farms
Rodney Patterson, Farm Credit
Shelly Phalen, Smithfield Foods
Matt Plitt, Valent USA, LLC
Julie Anna Potts, North American Meat Institute
Chandra Reddy, Tennessee State University
Steve Reno, Corteva Agriscience
Gwyn Schramm, Bayer
Jennifer Shomenta, Cargill, Inc.
Mark Stewart, Agriculture Future of America
R. Elaine Turner, University of Florida
Manda Tweten, ADM
Megan Weidner, Bunge North America 

Lifetime Members
Sandy Kemper, C2FO
J. Mariner Kemper, UMB Financial Corporation
L. Joshua Sosland, Sosland Publishing Company
K. Russell Weathers, Agriculture Future of America 

AFA Alliance Representative
Ellen Zimmerman, U.S. Grains Council

About Agriculture Future of America
AFA builds bridges for young leaders to foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture through premier leader and career development experiences. With program participation increasing 28% in the last five years, AFA has provided 21,000 leader development experiences to college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 43 states since its inception in 1996. AFA has awarded more than $10 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit