Students Dig Into Crop Science

Students Dig Into Crop Science

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — Kansas City, MO. — Sixty-two student delegates arrived in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 19 for the inaugural Agriculture Future of America Crop Science Institute. 

This program is one of four AFA Leader Institutes, which connect passionate, talented college students to various sectors of the agriculture industry. The 2015 AFA Crop Science Institute delegates represent 25 universities from 21 different states.

“Career exploration is an important part of the leader development process for college students,” said Russ Weathers, AFA CEO. “We are excited to give students a better look at the opportunities available. This environment introduces students to careers they may not have heard about before and allows them to make valuable connections with their peers and industry professionals.”

Some of those valuable connections were made Sunday night during an executive panel and dinner. Many more connections will be made throughout the event, particularly during industry tours on July 20. Monday morning, the students will head out bright and early to tour a variety of crop science companies and related service providers. The students will break into five tour groups and each group will visit four different companies. From seed and input companies to cooperatives and marketing agencies, the students will see a wide variety of possibilities within crop and soil sciences.

Following the day of tours, the five groups will convene at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, for a reception and dinner with representatives from many of the companies they visited throughout the day. On Tuesday, delegates will continue to learn from industry professionals through networking breakfasts and formal round tables and panels. Topics discussed will include career paths within crop and soil science as well as information technologies and biotechnology.

Each student who took part in this Institute applied and was selected based on their talent, passion and commitment to the crop science industry. AFA’s partners offered sponsorships to cover the students’ registration costs. DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto Company, Valent U.S.A. Corporation and WinField, A Land O’Lakes, Inc. company provided support to cover students’ participation in this event. Cargill, Inc., Dow AgroSciences, GROMARK, Inc., and Syngenta also supported the program.

Tour Hosts:

Cargill, Inc.         

Crop Production Services

Dow AgroSciences

DuPont Pioneer


Helena Chemical Company

Iowa Corn Growers Association

John Deere

McCormick Company

Monsanto Company

Stine Seed Company


United Suppliers/Verdesian

Valent BioSciences

West Central Cooperative

WinField, A Land O’Lakes, Inc. Company

About AFA

AFA creates partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding collegiate and young professional men and women who are pursuing careers in the agriculture and food industry. With program participation increasing 94 percent in the last five years, AFA leader development programs have impacted 12,000 college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 43 states since its inception in 1997. AFA has awarded more than $9 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit or contact Megan Karlin at


Cassie Becker GROWMARK Publications & Media Relations Specialist
Meghan Karlin Agriculture Future of America