Students Travel to Kansas City for AFA Conference

Forty-nine Boilermakers traveled to Kansas City November 1-4 to attend the Ag Futures of America Leadership Conference.  All forty-nine students received a $1000 company sponsorship to attend the conference which included their conference, hotel, and food expenses.  The Purdue bus which provided free transportation for the students was sponsored by Purdue Ag Alumni Association, John Deere, and Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics.  The students were divided into four tracks which focused on the needs of the various students and included:

  • Track 1 – Freshmen with focus on skills for success in college.
  • Track 2 – Sophomores/Juniors with focus on communication skills and preparing for employment.
  • Track 3 – Juniors/Seniors with focus on preparing students to live and work in a global environment.
  • Track 4 – New capstone track for students who have completed multiple tracks and wants to build on these competencies.

Addison Lopp (Senior, Agribusiness Management; Brookston, IN) really enjoyed the new Track 4,  “Track 4 pulled everything we have learned in the first three tracks together into four days of action packed sessions. This track has a completely different feeling and experience than the first three from the stand point that it is primarily student lead.  It allows us to ask questions and direct the conversation in the direction that we the students want to take it. This track was also different in the aspect that it was a small group of 20 students. In the sessions we were able to have one on one conversations with many industry leaders. We gained insight into what to look for in your first job, how to approach those tough conversations with your boss while being new on the job, and many more insights to what expect when entering the “real world” that you don’t hear in the classroom. I highly recommend all students who have gone through track 3 to apply, this track is the capstone of the AFA experience. I am thankful for being able to take part in the groundbreakers of track 4. “

Justin Schroeder (Junior, Agribusiness Management; Mount Vernon, IN) shared the following about Track 3, “There was a lot of positive energy in track 3.  When you bring a group of leaders like that together, passionate about agriculture and eager to make a difference, great things are going to happen.  Track 3 had a very professional tone;  I credit that to the fact that most students were preparing to enter the work force.  That said, we had a ton of fun.  It was great to work with student from colleges all across the country.”

Angela Abney (Sophomore, Agribusiness Management; Bargersville, IN) stated the following about her second year with AFA, “Track 2 of Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference was a great success. We focused on communication skills, preparing for employment, and networking with industry professionals. We had several very interesting workshops regarding spending habits of college students, first impressions, critical thinking, and educating the public on Agriculture. Attending the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference was one of the best decisions I have made to date, besides the decision to become a Boilermaker!”

Nolan Sampson (Freshmen, Agricultural Economics; Union Mills, IN) had the following to say about his first year attending AFA. “AFA was one of the most unique programs I have had the privilege to participate in. Similar in the mission of other programs to build students, but unique in the intensity of the conference. We were busy all day meeting with some of the most prestigious industry leaders.
Networking was my favorite part of the conference. There were opportunities to sit down personally with industry leaders and share a meal and conversation.  I also gained new perspectives on agriculture as a whole through interaction with many other students from all parts of the country. I feel the program definitely benefitted me as a student, as a leader, and in my future goals in the ag industry.”


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