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Building Experiences Beyond the Classroom through Agriculture Future of America

Student success is cultivated through learning, networking and exploring interests, often extending beyond the classroom. Agriculture Future of America (AFA) provides students opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom, gain career-readiness skills and connect with employers and other students, allowing students to further explore their place in agriculture and natural resources.

The UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) supports programs like AFA, which continue to make an impact in the personal and professional lives of students.

AFA Leaders Conference for Undergraduate Students

The goal of AFA is to build connections for food and agricultural leaders and foster engagement and innovation in food and agriculture. As a part of this, the AFA Leaders Conference offers undergraduate students personal and professional development opportunities.

The 2021 conference is taking place Nov. 11-14 in Kansas City, Missouri. Students must apply by September 7 to be considered. Throughout the AFA Leaders Conference, students build relationships with food and agriculture employers, receive advice to improve their résumé, and connect with students from similar university programs across the country.

Students who participate in the conference are expected to cover the cost of travel to and from the conference, although some funding is available from CALS to support students’ travel. Other costs such as meals, lodging and event materials are covered by AFA and its partners. Explore additional information about the conference or apply today!

CALS Student Serves as AFA Ambassador

As an additional way to provide connections for students, AFA selects students to serve as ambassadors for the organization. AFA recently selected 22 college students to represent AFA on their respective campuses, in their geographic regions and nationally. Jennifer Burke, an animal sciences student, was selected to represent CALS and the University of Florida as an AFA ambassador for the 2021-2022 year.

Burke began her term in March 2021 with a training to meet her team and learn more about expectations. In her role as an ambassador, Burke promotes AFA programs and assists in developing ways to increase student involvement. Burke also builds relationships with industry professionals at various meetings and events for AFA. Read more about the impact Burke is making as an AFA organizational ambassador.

CALS Dean Joins AFA Board

To ensure that the AFA programs are benefitting students throughout the country, the AFA board of directors works together to provide insight for the organization. CALS Dean Elaine Turner recently joined the AFA board of directors. The board of directors includes leaders from food and agricultural corporations, educational institutions, associations, trade media and production agriculture.

Turner joined the CALS dean’s office in 2006 as associate dean, and she took over as dean in 2014. She provides leadership for academic programs across the 16 departments and schools that comprise the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Serving more than 6,600 students, CALS is one of the largest and most comprehensive colleges of its kind in the nation. Turner is committed to promoting excellence in teaching and academic advising, while also helping students get experience related to their personal and professional goals, in order to be society-ready upon graduation.

As a board member, Turner will continue to support leaders in food and agriculture, just as she does at the University of Florida. Read more about Turner’s role with the AFA board of directors.

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