Young leaders in agriculture selected as AFA Ambassadors
In continued commitment to building bridges for young leaders in agriculture, Agriculture Future of America (AFA) recently selected 22 college students to serve as organizational Ambassadors. The Ambassadors represent AFA on their respective campuses, in their geographic regions and nationally, serving in their role through March 31, 2022.
AFA Ambassadors heighten awareness of AFA programs and work to establish creative strategies to accomplish increased student involvement. Ambassadors also interact with industry professionals at various events and meetings on behalf of AFA.
“AFA was founded to serve students and there’s no better way to do so than by empowering the Ambassadors as advocates for the organization and wider agriculture industry,” says Mark Stewart, AFA president and CEO. “The Ambassadors work in tandem with AFA to bring premier leader and career development experiences to highly motivated young professionals studying agriculture and related fields. The 22 individuals bring passion and commitment to AFA and provide top-notch opportunities for their peers.”
Ambassadors kick-off their term in March 2021 with training and team building exercises. In the initial training, Ambassadors will gain further insight on their role including goals specific to their campus involvement with AFA, their function in partner relationships, coaching on sharing AFA with various audiences and resources available throughout their term.
“The Ambassadors are vital in cultivating student participation and institutional support on their campuses,” says Ashley Collins, AFA director of collegiate relations. “We provide them with the resources and support to develop strong relationships among their peers and campus faculty to bolster backing for AFA involvement. AFA is also committed to diversifying student participation to be representative of nation-wide enrollment in agriculture programs, and the Ambassadors are fundamental in reaching diverse audiences.”
The Ambassadors typically meet in-person three times throughout the year, with supplemental monthly virtual meetings. Ambassadors will engage in respect and inclusivity training and team building is an integral piece of all Ambassador meetings. AFA’s student leader program has been made possible through partnership with the CHS Foundation.
2021-22 AFA Ambassadors
Luke Altermatt, Oklahoma State University
Jenny Burke, University of Florida
Michelle Cooney, Illinois State University
Kylie Farmer, Texas Tech University
Katie Forrest, North Carolina State University
Jasmine Garza, California State University - Fresno
Olivia Greenwood, Prairie View A&M University
Matthew Hale, University of Tennessee - Martin
Taylor Hartke, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
Mattie Kottman, University of Missouri
Adella Lonas, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Saydee Longhurst, Utah State University
Payton McGinnis, University of Arkansas
Lizzy Montgomery, Purdue University
Della Paloy, Washington State University
Genny Pelletier, University of Maryland - College Park
Sarah Shen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sawyer Starrett, Wilmington College
Lalo Vargas, University of Idaho
Amy Wampler, The Pennsylvania State University
Jack Wilson, Iowa State University
Onsang Yau, Cornell University