Former AFA CEO Russ Weathers retires from board chair position as Bayer executive Gwyn Schramm is named board chair

March 15, 2022

Former AFA CEO Russ Weathers retires from board chair position as Bayer executive Gwyn Schramm is named board chair

KANSAS CITY, MO. (March 15, 2022) — Agriculture Future of America (AFA) former CEO K. Russell “Russ” Weathers recently retired from his position as chair of the AFA Board of Directors. Current board member Gwyn Schramm is named board chair, through which she will be integral in supporting and sustaining the work of AFA.

Schramm, SVP, Strategic Accounts & Licensing at Bayer Crop Science North America, will serve as board chair in a two-year term through February 2024. During this time, Schramm will serve as an advisor regarding short and long-term business operations, coordinate with board committees to carry out committee functions and ensure the organization’s commitment to diversity that reflects the community AFA serves, among much else.

“I believe in the collaboration AFA builds between agriculture industry partners and young leaders in the pursuit of personal growth and continued learning,” says Schramm. “Interactions with student leaders energize and inspire me, and I am excited to invest in these future leaders.”

In her role, Schramm will work closely with board committee chairs Camille Abrams, CHS, Inc., Finance Committee; Abe Hughes, Trimble, Development Committee; Joel Mathiowetz, Mathiowetz Family Farm, Strategic Planning Committee; Steve Reno, Corteva Agriscience, Program Committee; and Manda Tweten, ADM, Board Development and Nominating Committee. 

Schramm and fellow 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.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gwyn as board chair. Her insight and creativity are invaluable as she continues to push the organization toward growth and success,” say Mark Stewart, AFA President and CEO. “At the same time, we tip our hat to the countless contributions Russ made to AFA and the industry as a whole. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to and passion for developing young leaders.”

Weathers is a founding director of AFA and the Board of Directors, therefore, remains on the Board of Directors as a lifetime member. Weathers’ time with AFA began in 1996 after accepting the position of president and CEO. Under Weathers’ leadership, the organization provided over 13,000 experiences to young agriculture leaders and awarded over $9 million in leader and academic scholarships. 

“Weathers dedicated his career to providing young people with experiences that enhance their learning and develop personal and professional skills,” says Stewart. “He played an integral part in helping thousands of young people develop their leader potential and continues to be a mentor to many.”

In recognition of Weathers and his contributions to AFA and the agriculture industry, a scholarship in his name was founded in 2016. To date, the scholarship fund has raised more than $44,000 with a goal of $75,000. To make a gift in honor of Weathers, visit  

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 more than 24,000 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 $11 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit


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