KANSAS CITY, MO. – From Emerald, Wisc., Kaylin Spaeth is motivated and determined to make a positive impact on the world. As a freshman at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls studying agriculture business and dairy science management, she is off to a good start.
From international experiences to leadership positions and internships, Spaeth pursues experiences that set her apart from her peers and prepare her to pursue her dream of advancing agriculture through a career in financial management for the dairy industry. Most recently, she was selected as one of 17 Campus Ambassadors for Agriculture Future of America.
AFA is a leader and professional development organization for collegiate leaders and young professionals. Providing leader development, intern support and scholarships, AFA seeks to be a catalyst in the preparation of a new generation of agriculture leaders. Spaeth and her fellow team members serve as liaisons between AFA and their college campuses and AFA’s corporate partners.
“My relationship with AFA has been beneficial in utilizing my leadership qualities over the last year,” she said. “I hadn’t ever heard of AFA before becoming a National AFA Leader and Academic Scholar, but since then I have been able to become involved and expand my capabilities.”
Spaeth and the other ambassadors were selected through a competitive application process to serve as AFA’s student voice. Spaeth says she is looking forward to her experiences with the team.
“AFA is not well known at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and I believe there are many students who could benefit from it,” she said. “I can’t wait to raise the awareness of AFA, introduce people to the organization and help them realize how much more they can use their skills.”
In addition to serving as a liaison between AFA and their respective campuses, the Ambassadors will assist the Student Advisory Team in delivering the 2014 AFA Leaders Conference. Held Nov. 6-9 in Kansas City, Mo., this event is AFA’s core leader development program and 600 delegates from across the nation will be selected to attend. The Ambassadors and nine Student Advisory Team members met April 10-12 to kick off the planning process with team training and theme setting exercises.
“For me, AFA Leaders Conference helped me finally realize the potential that I possess,” Spaeth said. “Throughout high school I knew I was a leader, but I never really had confidence in myself. AFA Leaders Conference was able to change that. I left with an extremely positive attitude.”
Spaeth’s entrance into the AFA leader development program began last fall when she was selected as an AFA Leader and Academic Scholar. Since that time she has also attended one Track of the AFA Leaders Conference. In addition to her involvement with AFA, Spaeth has also been active in other organizations including the Agriculture Business and Marketing Society, Dairy Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, The University of Wisconsin River Falls Honors Program and Block and Bridle.
AFA’s mission is to create partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding college men and women who are preparing for careers in the agriculture and food industry. With student participation increasing 122 percent in the last five years, AFA leader development programs have impacted 10,000 college leaders and young professionals from more than 200 colleges and universities throughout 43 states since 1997. AFA has awarded more than $8 million in academic and leader development scholarships. For more information about AFA, visit www.agfuture.org or contact Megan Karlin at Megan.Karlin@agfuture.org.