AFA creates future agriculture leaders

By Amy Loeffler

Students hold up their hands to spell out VT.

Michael Granche and Elizabeth Galbreath at the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference.

The future of farming may depend on students like Elizabeth Galbreath.

Galbreath, a junior agribusiness major from Street, Maryland, is the campus ambassador for Agriculture Future of America, an organization that identifies, encourages, and supports high-achieving students by preparing them for careers in the agriculture and food industries.

As an ambassador for AFA, Galbreath is the go-to for information on campus about the organization and its mission and goals, as well as its main event, the AFA Leaders Conference, which hosts about 600 students every year in Kansas City, Missouri.

This year, in addition to helping students navigate the competitive application process for the conference, Galbreath will help lead one of the conference’s senior-level sessions. She’ll attend the conference with 11 other students from the college who were picked to be future agents of change.

Being a voice for agriculture has resonated well with Galbreath, who grew up on a dairy farm and is a self-described “dairy princess.” She wants to improve communication between consumers and producers by making sure that nonfarming civilians know the story behind how their food is grown and promote AFA’s philosophy of having open and thoughtful dialogue about agricultural production.

“AFA has allowed me to understand that we’re all in this industry together as producers. The different ways of farming, whether it’s conventional, organic, or a small family farm, require all of us working together to get the message out that farmers are making a safe, healthy product that we take pride in,” Galbreath said.

Galbreath presented at this year’s TedxVirginiaTech event in November.