Adrienne Bradley’s deep passion for agriculture and leadership made her a natural to be selected as a 2013-14 Agriculture Future of America student advisory team member.
“I’m really excited about the organization because there really aren’t a lot of collegiate organizations that prepare you to go out into the agriculture industry,” said Bradley, a Grass Valley resident.
The advisory board members are college students who will serve as ambassadors to AFA, spread awareness of the organization and its scholarships on their college campuses and travel around the country to visit partner organizations. AFA is a Kansas City-based nonprofit organization that provides internship support, academic scholarship and professional development for college students interested in careers in agriculture and the food industry, said Megan Karlin, marketing development coordinator for AFA.
“We have our scholarship program, our national scholarship, (which are) open to primarily high school seniors and we do have some available for current college students,” she said.
The student advisory board is a competitive process open to anyone in the U.S. who is pursuing a four-year degree in an agriculture or agriculture-related program, Karlin said.
Bradley is a University of California, Davis student and studies agriculture economics.
She became involved in agriculture after she was a member and eventual president of Future Farmers of America at Bear River High School, she said.
“It was through leadership experiences with the FFA that I became passionate about agriculture,” Bradley said. “When I became president, that really affirmed my passion for agriculture and service.”
She said AFA provides an opportunity to grow in leadership and develop her career pursuits, as well as a way to spread her passion to others.
“I want to serve as a catalyst to get more students interested,” Bradley said. “When I think of AFA, I think, ‘catalyst’ — a bridge that connects your college education to a career.”
One of Bradley’s favorite quotes is “vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s needs,” something she hopes to follow, she said.
Part of how she wants to do this is work to address the challenges that the industry and world face.
“There’s so much need in agriculture for service,” Bradley said. “By 2050, we’re supposed to feed 9 billion people. How are we going to do it?”
The issue will be addressed at the advisory board-led conference to take place in Kansas City in November that industry leaders and 500 students nationwide will attend, Bradley said.
“The theme we came up with is Feed, Unite, Educate and Lead the future,” Bradley said. “That’s what we see as AFA’s purpose.”
Bradley is in her first month of service, and so far the experience has been “so incredible” and collaborative, she said.
“It’s really amazing to see nine students from all over the country come together to serve the industry,” Bradley said. “We’re all students who share a common passion to make a difference in the industry. We will be competing together for the same jobs, but we love working together for the betterment of the industry.”
Bradley said she looks forward to all that the advisory position and AFA have to offer.
“This is a great opportunity for growth,” Bradley said. “That’s what I think college is all about — to be the best possible candidate when you graduate, not only for your future career, but to put you in the best possible place to make the best decisions you can.”
For information on AFA, visit http://www.agfuture.org/s/1342/start.aspx
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.