Agriculture Future of America conference preps students for working world

Elizabeth Galbreath and Lester Schonberger were two of the three students who attended the Agriculture Future of America conference last fall.

Elizabeth Galbreath and Lester Schonberger were two of the three students who attended the Agriculture Future of America conference last fall.

As a sophomore pursing a degree in agricultural sciences, Elizabeth Galbreath is learning plenty about the business and science of agriculture. But last fall, Galbreath and other students from the college got to learn about a completely new side of the agricultural world when they attended the Agriculture Future of America conference.

“It really gave me an understanding of what agriculture is on a national scale,” said Galbreath, of Street, Maryland. “I never had an opportunity like that before.”

Susan Sumner, associate dean and director of academic programs, took three students to the Kansas City, Missouri, conference for a whirlwind experience that taught them everything from resume writing and public speaking to dining etiquette and body language — all while networking with some of the most influential leaders in the agriculture industry. AFA provides free conference registration to attendees and partners with universities to assist with travel costs.

“This conference is a great opportunity for our students to apply what they have learned and to develop relationships with the companies that may be their employers in the future,” Sumner said.

That was one of the biggest benefits of the conference, said Michael Granche, a freshman from Catlett, Virginia, who is pursuing degrees in both agribusiness and animal and poultry sciences.

“The conference has absolutely prepared me for my future career,” he said. “One thing that unifies every man, woman, and child on this earth is that we all need to eat. By learning how to feed more people more efficiently, we are better securing our future posterity.”

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