A new program to allow university students to interact with industry leaders is being launched by Farm Foundation, NFP through a grant from CHS Foundation.
The $8,800 grant will make it possible for six undergraduate and graduate students to spend two days with agricultural and food system leaders at the January meeting of the Farm Foundation Round Table.
"The opportunity to meet and visit with agricultural leaders is a valuable opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to gain insights into the industry," says William Nelson, CHS vice president for corporate citizenship and president of the CHS Foundation. "This program is a good fit with the CHS Foundation focus on education and leadership development to build a strong rural America."
In operation since 1946, the CHS Foundation is the major giving entity of CHS, an energy, grains and foods company with a stewardship focus of building vibrant communities.
The grant funds provided will cover expenses for six students to participate in the Farm Foundation Round Table in Houston, Texas, in early January 2014. A Round Table member will serve as a mentor to each student, introducing him or her to other leaders and encouraging participation in discussions. The students' work will be highlighted at a reception during the meeting.
"The Cultivators' Program provides a link for students about to enter the work force to connect with the men and women leading agriculture and food businesses across the value chain," explains Farm Foundation President Neil Conklin. "This academic-to-real-world linkage allows students to see their potential role in the industry, and the opportunities ahead."
The program began in June 2013 when six students attended the Round Table meeting in Ames, Iowa. Six new students will participate in the Houston meeting: E.M. Sajeev, a graduate student at Purdue University; Maci Lienemann and Ryan Hanousek, both undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska; Duminda A. Gunawardena and Luis Enrique Secaira, both graduate students at Texas A&M University; and Garrett Lister, a graduate student at Kansas State University.
To be selected as a Cultivator, students must be nominated by their college Dean or academic advisor. Final selection is made by a committee of Farm Foundation Round Table members.
A program of Farm Foundation, NFP, the Farm Foundation Round Table is an invitational group of leaders from across the value chain of food and agriculture in the United States and Canada. Farm Foundation, NFP works as a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster a deeper understanding of issues shaping the future for agriculture, food systems and rural regions. The Foundation does not lobby or advocate.