Students attend Commodity Classic 2020 through AFA's Technology Institute
By: Madison Hire
In February four students from our department had the opportunity to attend the Commodity Classic in San Antonio through the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Technology Institute. While it was a short three days many of the students came out with a different look on what direction the industry is heading and new contacts within the industry.
Two seniors studying Agribusiness Management, Zeb Davis and Nelson Knobloch, attended the conference. They are both pursuing careers in this industry and saw this as an opportunity to push themselves outside of their comfort zones.
"I wanted to understand the trends, challenges, and opportunities of ag technology," said Knobloch.
They were able to hear from many different speakers such as Secretary Perdue, President Trump, farmers, and many industry representatives. Both were able to see what direction technology is heading, learning about new practices, and being able to see how some new machinery works.
"Throughout the trip, I was exposed to so much technology that will lead our industry to a better, more productive future. Seeing what companies are investing in to make the lives of producers easier and more efficient was enlightening," said Davis.
There were many conversations about crop production sustainability and different environmental resources and how they are being used. Students also attended many different sessions covering machinery, industry growth, environmental factors, and many more topics.
"One of the sessions we had was roundtable with executives from different companies and organizations. I really enjoyed this opportunity because instead of a typical networking-type discussion, each executive came to the table with a specific challenge in their industry for us to brainstorm and problem-solve throughout the session. I really appreciated that these high-level leaders wanted our input and solutions as undergraduate students," said Knobloch.
Davis and Knobloch both walked away from the experience feeling inspired to continue learning and enriched with new information and ideas. They both walked away with many new connections, concepts and ideas to take into their careers.
"I feel I am more prepared to serve the agriculture sector. I feel I am a better agriculturalists and learner for my time spent in Texas. I now have a broader network of contacts, new friends, and a better understanding of technology in agriculture," said Davis.
Other students in attendance: Jasmine Leininger and Chaela Minor