By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Stephanie-GeorgePULLMAN, Wash. – As an agriculture and food business economics major, Stephanie George enjoys exploring the inner workings of farming and commerce.

But even she sometimes finds the intricacies of agricultural cost-benefit analysis a little dry.

Thankfully, her involvement in Agriculture Future of America (AFA) lets her find real-world relevance in her studies – and put them to work for her future career. She wants other students to do that, too.

As campus ambassador for AFA at Washington State University, George is encouraging fellow students to apply for sponsorships to the AFA Leaders Conference that helps them become the agriculture industry’s next generation of leaders.

If selected for sponsorship for the conference, which will be Nov. 5-8 in Kansas City, Mo., students will take part in leader training workshops and network face-to-face with approximately 300 industry professionals and 700 students from across the nation.

The deadline for sponsorship applications is Friday, Sept. 11. The application involves a few short essay questions. Applicants should be agricultural science majors or have a career focus in the agricultural industry. New and returning students are encouraged to apply. CAHNRS will offer a travel scholarship to each student who is selected.

To apply, visit http://www.agfuture.org/2015conference.

“Every student that has taken part has come back feeling empowered,” George said. “They meet students and leaders from across the country who are pumped and passionate about agriculture.”

At the conference, students progress through four skill tracks. This year, three seniors from the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) will take part in the returning senior capstone track aimed at their transition to careers, impacts on global agriculture and lifelong learning.

Those students are Lauren Celmer, food science; Devon Griffith, viticulture and enology; and Madison Moore, agricultural economics. CAHNRS (http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/) will provide these students with a travel scholarship to support their AFA training and congratulate them for being selected out of a competitive pool of applicants.

“We don’t realize our full potential if we limit ourselves to just classroom experience,” George said. “Traveling, meeting students from across the country and learning about opportunities at national companies was really empowering. It completely opened my mind to the possibilities.”