Agriculture Future of America Enters into Multi-Year Partnerships With Cargill and Valent U.S.A., Totaling $1.2 Million With Support Through 2025

June 1, 2023

KANSAS CITY, MO. (June 1, 2023) — Agriculture Future of America (AFA), the premier provider of leader development experiences for college students in agriculture, is proud to announce it has entered into multi-year partnerships with Cargill and Valent U.S.A, reinforcing AFA’s mission of developing the next generation of leaders for the food, agriculture and natural resources industries.

The combined partnerships total $1.2 million with support through 2025. Funding from the partnerships supports AFA programmatic offerings including AFA Leaders Conference, AFA Leader Institutes, AFA Alliance Alumni Network events and AFA student leaders.

“The generosity displayed by these organizations demonstrates their deep passion for developing talented young leaders,” says Mark Stewart, AFA President and CEO. “Both have been long-standing partners of AFA and we deeply appreciate their continued commitment to support AFA and the future leaders of our industries.”

Cargill and Valent U.S.A. have partnered with AFA for 24 and 9 years, respectively. Their contributions combine to total nearly $4 million, supporting scholarships and student sponsorship to attend AFA programs. These organizations continue to be an integral piece in developing students, providing monetary support and attending AFA events to engage and inspire young leaders.

“Throughout my involvement with AFA, these companies always had a presence at AFA programs and engaged in meaningful conversations during my interactions with them,” says Parker Aase, former AFA student leader. “Reflecting now as an AFA alumnus, it’s evident that Cargill and Valent care deeply about and value their work with AFA as they actively join in the mission to develop top talent. It’s because of partnerships like these that young professionals, including myself, are prepared to enter the workforce as transformational leaders.”

Representatives from Cargill and Valent U.S.A. sit on the AFA Board of Directors, including Jen Shomenta, Transformation Leader for Cargill’s Food Ingredients and Bioindustrial business; and Matt Plitt, President and CEO of Valent U.S.A. In addition to their board duties, AFA Directors attend AFA events to guide students and encourage them about their future in the industry. They also work within their organizations to inspire colleagues about the mission of AFA and get them involved in ways that support the future leaders of food, agriculture and natural resources.

To learn more about partnering with AFA, 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 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

About Cargill

Cargill helps the world’s food system work for you. We connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients and families with daily essentials—from the foods they eat to the floors they walk on. Our 155,000 team members around the world innovate with purpose, empowering our partners and communities as we work to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, sustainability way.

From the feed that reduces methane emissions to waste-based renewable fuels, the possibilities are boundless. But our values remain the same. We put people first. We reach higher. We do the right thing. It’s how we’ve met the needs of the people we call neighbors and the planet we call home for 157 years—and how we’ll do so for generations to come. For more information, visit and our News Center.

About Valent U.S.A.

Valent U.S.A. LLC, headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., develops and markets products in the United States, Canada and Mexico that advance sustainable agriculture, protect crops, enhance crop yields, improve food quality, beautify the environment and safeguard public health. Valent products include a well-known line of quality herbicide, insecticide, fungicide and plant growth regulator products for agricultural, seed protection and professional use. Valent is a leader in marketing and sales of both traditional chemical products and biorational products developed by its affiliate, Valent BioSciences LLC. For more information about Valent or our full product line, please call 800-6-VALENT (682-5368) or visit

Media Contact:

Becca Frazier

Marketing Manager