Each year, Agriculture Future of America hosts the AFA Leadership Conference in Kansas City, MO. Boilermakers who have attended the conference have left with invaluable leadership and career skills to enhance their hiring potential and career success in the agriculture industry. Thanks to the generosity of multiple Purdue Agriculture Alumni who created student leadership endowments, Purdue University is able to send roughly 50 students every year.
The mission of the Agriculture Future of America is “to create partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding college men and women preparing for careers in the agriculture and food industry.”
The AFA was founded by R. Crosby Kempler, Jr. and other professionals in the field of agribusiness. The organization provides opportunities for leadership and career development to individuals who possess three qualities: talent, passion and commitment to a career in agriculture.
AFA is committed to human capital development, meaning they want to cultivate skills such as professionalism, intrapreneurialism, and intellectualism in young ag leaders so they can enter the industry to help grow and develop the businesses and organizations that employ them.
AFA Leadership Conference
“AFA has allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and experiences that reach outside of the classroom. I have been able to make important connections with industry leaders and students from all around the nation. These connections have helped me figure out what career path I would like to take by exposing me to many unique parts of the industry. In addition, I have been able to learn new techniques and leadership methods to implement here on Purdue’s campus,” says Purdue Agricultural Economics student, Paige Stevenson.
The 2016 AFA Leadership Conference will be Nov. 3-6 in Kansas City, MO. This year’s theme is “History Starts Now,” which pays tribute to past achievements in agriculture and the importance of their place in the future of the industry. The AFA will also celebrate its 20th anniversary.
“As the premiere personal and professional development event for collegiate students, it’s an honor to be a partner with the Ag Future of America Organization. I have seen firsthand the growth students make after attending the leader conference or leader institutes. Exploring on a more a personal level how they want to make an impact in the agriculture industry is just one example of the opportunities students engage in,” Says Tracie Egger, Assistant Director of Academic Programs in the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
This conference is an excellent way for students and young professionals to build professional networks with industry leaders and increase their knowledge of agriculture today.
“I believe AFA is an excellent conference to attend. Students have the ability to expand their networks and build relationships with industry professionals, and through these relationships, students learn about opportunities that exist in agriculture that they may have not known about before attending. In addition to the networking, the personal and professional development focus of conference sessions really helps students’ jumpstart their way to being a successful future agriculturalist,” says Brandon Brunt, Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Education student.
It’s easy to see why so many Purdue Ag students want to attend AFA. This conference offers students a chance to grow personally and professionally. Tracie Egger says, participation in any of the AFA events instills more excitement about the future of agriculture and creates a strong awareness about the career choices that exist in the agriculture industry.