Wednesday, November 5, 2014

30 Days: Thoughts of a Future Farmer Day 5

AFA - Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference
(This title is a hyperlink to the AFA Leaders Conference webpage.)

This morning I was up before my 5:00 alarm.  5:00 is not my usual alarm time, and I'm usually not up this much before this.  It's been a whirlwind of a week trying to get an entire week and a half of work done so I can be out of state Thursday through Sunday. 

It's all worth it, I assure you.

Tomorrow, I get to be one of roughly 50 students from Purdue University to travel to Kansas City, MO, for the annual Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference.  Some first reactions sound like, "Oh, another boring conference."  If you ask me, it's quite the opposite, and I've been to a number of conferences and still say this. 

AFA is an organization that is built on the foundation of enriching and encouraging young leaders in the agriculture industry in order to give them opportunities to expand their future.  This conference brings 550 students from across the nation together with industry professionals from across the country (and some across the globe).  I may be wrong, but the student to industry professional ratio is somewhere around 5:1.  Those are very nice odds for young people to make connections, learn about future opportunities, and build relationships that will make for future opportunities.

The program has four tracks, or versions, based on your collegiate level (Freshmen go to track one, sophomores track two, etc.).  I attended track one last year and it included countless speakers on topics from time management, issue understanding, and nationwide networking, to a resume panel with recruiters from top companies in the industry, a formal dining etiquette session, and a panel on issues across the industry.  I look back on last year's experience and I look even more forward to going back tomorrow and seeing friends from Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, New Mexico, and other states.  I look forward to the opportunity to sit in sessions that were specially developed for those who are a little deeper in their college career, getting closer to the real world, and working for a higher cause.

I could go on and on, however, I won't.  You will hear more about this trip over the next four days (along with many other things).

Thanks for sticking around for Day 5!

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