Striving For the Drive at Western Bonanza 2017

By Caitlin Stanton
Junior, agricultural science major

At the beginning of fall quarter, 29 members of the Western Bonanza Leadership Team gathered in a classroom to begin the months-long process of planning the largest student-run livestock show in the nation. These individuals were hand-picked to plan all aspects of the show from entries to marketing and everything in between. Western Bonanza is student run under supervision of advisor Hailey-Rose Switzer.


Western Bonanza started as a senior project in 1985 with a beef show. Today, there are four species being shown simultaneously in five rings, and Western Bonanza has become one of the most competitive jackpot shows in the West.

Throughout fall quarter, members of the leadership team begun the process of planning by choosing a theme, settling on “Striving For The Drive.” From there, awards were ordered, sponsors were contacted and entries were opened.

Once winter quarter began, planning was in full swing. More than 100 students enrolled in ASCI 212 (Livestock Show Management), many of them new to Western Bonanza or livestock shows in general. Students were divided into nine committees to support the show. Several workdays were planned and students found themselves at the fairgrounds constructing rings, moving panels and filling sandbags.


As animals filled the fairgrounds on February 16 and 17, exhibitors, parents and supporters arrived, ready to start the weekend. Exhibitors traveled from six states to attend the show, bringing some of the best livestock on the West Coast. On Friday night, a complimentary exhibitor dinner was served followed by clinics sponsored by ShowRite, SureChamp and Sullivan Supply/Stock Show U. Exhibitors also had the opportunity to participate in Sullivan Supply/Stock Show U’s Team Fitting Contest where they had 30 minutes to fit their cattle and compete for bragging rights and prizes.

On both Saturday and Sunday of Western Bonanza, exhibitors were on the grounds early, getting their animals ready for a long day of showing. The cattle show started at 8AM with other species following and most shows did not finish until early evening. While this made for a long day for the Western Bonanza team, many found it to be the most rewarding part. Junior agribusiness major and Awards Committee member Alex Castelanelli said, “handing exhibitors their awards and seeing the smiles on their faces was great.”

After champions were named and awards handed out, Cal Poly students remained to load trailers, take down stalls and clean the fairgrounds. “We were faced with many obstacles this year but the Western Bonanza team was able to pull off a great show” said General Manager Maddie Albiani.

Despite new challenges with the fairgrounds under construction and a powerful winter storm, Western Bonanza once again proved why junior livestock shows are worth the effort. The 33rd Western Bonanza is in the books with Learn by Doing at its best.

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World Ag Expo

By Quince Gourley
Sophomore, ag communication major

The World Ag Expo has endless opportunities and industries to explore in the 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space!  February 14-16 marked the 50th anniversary of the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.


I attended the World Ag Expo on behalf of the Cal Poly Ag Ambassadors club to represent the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. Hundreds of students came though the booth who were interested in attending Cal Poly. As Ag Ambassadors, we used an Instagram frame and hashtags for everyone to take pictures with to hopefully increase social media reach.

Speaking of social media, I was lucky to be Cal Poly’s guest Snap-chatter for Wednesday, February 15 of the Expo. Being able to share all of the fun with current, past, and future mustangs was exciting. I featured Ag Ambassadors, perspective students, and alumni. The audience ranges with the 2500 followers for the CalPolyStudents Snapchat.

The Cal Poly Alumni reception was really neat to attend. I could tell that all of the different alumni enjoyed reconnecting with one another. It was well attended. I had the opportunity to sit down and talked with a couple from Northern California. The gentlemen graduated Cal Poly in 1946. We exchanged stories about college, and he told me, “I wish I could go back to Cal Poly”!

It truly was a privilege to attend the World Ag Expo and represent Cal Poly!

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Successful State Ag Ambassador Conference

By Mary Allen
Senior, agricultural communication major

January 27-29 marked the date of the 2017 State Ag Ambassador Conference. It was the result of much planning, fundraising, meetings, and hard work. It was also my senior project. There is more than meets the eye for this event.


Let me take you on my conference journey…

In 1995, Cal Poly Ag Ambassadors hosted the State Ag Ambassador Conference and invited a number of college Ag Ambassadors clubs to come share knowledge and promote agriculture and higher education.  Dr. Joe Sabol, retired department head of the Agricultural Communication and Education Department, lead this process because he saw the tremendous value in bringing together Ag Ambassadors from all over California.

“There was a need to bring together the various Ag Ambassador Programs, to share ideas and improve the recruitment and public relations skills and knowledge of the individuals and the Ag Ambassador clubs,” Sabol said.

img_9916Sabol thought the time was right to sharpen the group’s ability to tell the positive story of agriculture to a wide variety of audiences. Students who came to the conference found themselves involved in a not-so-subtle leadership development program.

“Personal growth was a powerful component of every conference,”
Sabol said.

Over the years, the conference grew from a state to a national meeting with over 200 attendees. After 2005, different universities rotated hosting the national event including University of Florida, University of Arizona, North Carolina State University, Sam Houston State University, and UC Davis. The last conference was held in 2010.

“Kenny Goodman, one of our graduate students, shared with me his experience with the Ag Ambassador Conference and encouraged me to consider bringing back the long standing tradition to Cal Poly,” said Ms. Sherri Freeman, current advisor of the Cal Poly Ag Ambassador Club.

Freeman and the current Cal Poly officers met with Sabol and Kellogg to discuss the possibilities. “After that meeting, there was no turning back, we were all hooked,” Freeman said.

Following that meeting, myself, Kenny Goodman, and Ms. Freeman met with Richard Cavaletto, Associate Dean of CAFES, and got the green light to proceed with their full support.

The enthusiasm from past advisors and leadership from the current Cal Poly Ag Ambassadors brought to fruition the 2017 State Ag Ambassador Conference. Four student committees were formed to manage the promotion, scheduling, barn dance, and food. Students made critical decisions to make the event come to life.

img_0065-copyAs a senior agricultural communication major, and President of Cal Poly’s Ag Ambassadors, my role was larger than expected. However, I had a great experience and participated in everything from helping design the conference logo, to hand picking industry speakers, to designing the promotional material. My biggest takeaways over the last four months planning this conference are delegation, collaboration, and working hard. The conference was all student-run under the fearless leadership of our advisor, Ms. Freeman. Throughout the preparation process, she allowed the students opportunities to lead while giving us instruction. I am thoroughly impressed by her example.

More than 75 Ag Ambassadors participated in this three-day conference including students from Fresno State, Cal Poly Pomona, Modesto Junior College, College of Sequoias, Consumes River College, and Reedley College. Associate Dean Cavaletto and Dean Thulin kicked off the conference Friday with a formal welcome. Keynote speaker, Beau Williamson, founder of Greater Potential Leadership, inspired students to be more passionate about agriculture and shared tips about fostering greater leadership from within.

On Saturday, industry leaders from Mission Produce, Helena Chemical Company, Simonich Orchard Services, Sierra Foothill Conservancy, California Teach Ag Campaign, Ag in the Classroom, Wolff Vineyards, and Giumarra Vineyards presented talks. Visiting colleges also hosted workshops to improve Ag Ambassador programs with collaboration. Sunday morning closed out the event with Dr. Sabol reflecting on the weekend. He reminded us all that promoting higher education and agriculture are two uniting factors of the conference.

“I loved seeing the Ag Ambassadors from different colleges sharing information regarding agriculture in their areas and how they advocate for agriculture through their recruiting activities. The networking and friendships that were created this weekend will no doubt have a lasting effect on those who participated!” Freeman said.

A special thanks to Alpha Gamma Rho and the Agricultural Engineering Society who prepared lunch and dinners for the attendees over the weekend. Photos are curtesy of the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication. And a huge thank you to all the Cal Poly Ag Ambassadors who made this event possible.


We raised over $18,000 to make the event happen. Sponsors included Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Modesto Junior College, Harris Ranch Famers, Helena Chemical Company, Community College Deputy Sector Navigator Holly Nolan with the south coast region, and Dr. Bill Kellogg.

The journey continues with a bright future ahead. Bringing this annual tradition back to Cal Poly strengthens California agriculture and encourages student leadership within campus’ across the state.

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Reblog: Viral Content

Your Facebook post just went viral. Now what? Nothing makes me cringe more than a marketing team who sits down and says, “Ok, let’s create a viral Facebook video.” That’s not the point of social media. You can’t always plan viral content. And one and done doesn’t make for a social media expert. If your good […]

via What you do after is more important than creating viral content — Agriculture Proud

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Fall 2016 Graduating Seniors

Congratulations to our Fall 2016 Graduates! Best of luck in future careers and endeavors. Thank you for your contributions to CAFES. Come back and visit as Alumni!


hannaName: Hanna Meisinger   
Major: Agricultural Communication
Hometown: Los Osos, CA

Of all the classes you’ve taken at Cal Poly, which one was most beneficial or influential?
Business and Professional Communications (COMS 301) was probably the most beneficial and influential because although it was an incredibly tough class, it forced me to speak in very uncomfortable situations. I started the class as a very timid speaker and finished with the confidence to speak in any situation.

When did you just want to die in a class? Anytime it was over 90 degrees and I had class in the ag building.

Did you have any internships during your time at Cal Poly?
I had a summer internship at Big Red Marketing. They are a boutique marketing company in San Luis Obispo that specializes in the wine, lifestyle, and tourism industries.

What piece of advice can you share with students, especially those preparing to graduate?
 Enjoy your friends, take advantage of your time and don’t take yourself too seriously.

What was one of your bucket list at Cal Poly?
Hiking the Tri Tip Challenge (Bishops Peak, Madonna Mountain, and the “P”).  I did it with friends last spring and it was incredible. Plus, who doesn’t want a reason to treat yourself to a Firestone tri-tip sandwich?

What are your plans after graduation?
I am happy to say that I will be staying in San Luis Obispo. I will be working full time as an Account Coordinator at Big Red Marketing.

DSC_0306.jpgName: Corinne Madison         
Major: Agricultural Communication
Hometown: Galt, CA

Of all the classes you’ve taken at Cal Poly, which one was most beneficial or influential?
The most beneficial and influential class at Cal Poly was Ag 452: Issues Affecting California Agriculture. This class introduced a small group of us to some of the top influencers and leaders in agriculture and we were able to learn how to affect real change in the industry.

When did you just want to die in a class?
Anytime I was in BRAE 340 at 7am on Wednesdays and Fridays, which coincidentally were the mornings after pint night and two-for-ones…Dr. Gaudi still made it bearable though.

Did you have any internships during your time at Cal Poly?

I was a public policy intern for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in Washington, D.C. I also interned for a lobbyist/cattle rancher in Sacramento whom I met through the AG 452 class.

Did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Adelaide, Australia and it was one of the best experiences of my college career!!!

What piece of advice can you share with students, especially those preparing to graduate?
Take advantage of every opportunity, which means saying yes to things and being okay if you don’t have an exact plan. Also, take as many fun classes as you can!

What was one of your bucket list items for Cal Poly?
My top bucket list items were to study abroad and to be on Cal Poly’s national winning NAMA team. I was fortunate to be able to check both of those items off my list!

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I am planning on taking time off to travel before beginning a career in agriculture marketing and policy.

natalie-gradName: Natalie Massa    
Major: Agribusiness (Water Policy Minor)
Hometown: Willows, CA

Of all the classes you’ve taken at Cal Poly, which one was most beneficial or influential?
I have two classes, first is AGB 260. Learning how to use Excel is quite beneficial in school, work, and everyday life. Before learning how to use it, I used to do work on a calculator and put numbers into a table on Word documents. It was very time consuming. Now I’m able to teach others how to insert functions and manipulate data. The ladies at work love me for it.

Another favorite, unrelated to my major, is AEPS 175, known as Beekeeping. I started off the class very timid and fearful of getting stung. After a few short weeks, I gained a passion for the niche industry and plan on having my own colony soon. Did I mention you get a jar of honey at the end?

When did you just want to die in a class?
After taking a midterm in Philosophy, I walked out of the classroom and felt pretty confident on how I did. A few days later, the teacher happily announced that the class average of scores was quite high. Mostly B’s with a few A’s, scattered C’s, and only one D. I happened to be that person who received a “D” on the midterm. It was that day I learned that arguing about hypothetical thoughts was not for me. I definitely dreaded that class.

Did you have any internships during your time at Cal Poly?
I was fortunate enough to have two internships during my college career. My first was at Sierra Nevada Cheese Company in Willows. I was a sales and marketing intern. My favorite part was definitely cheese tastings and promoting our products at our local supermarket and a Nascar race at Bristol Speedway.

My second internship was at Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit, also located in Willows. I spent my time as a credit intern, inputting financials, tax returns, property data, etc. My favorite part was going on crop inspections and all of the wonderful people I worked with.

Did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Adelaide, South Australia with the AGB program during Winter Quarter 2015. I never would have expected to study abroad in Australia, especially because I had my sights set on places such as Italy, but I am so glad that I did! During my stay, I learned that I hate wine, I love free food, their toilets flush the same way ours do, and gelato tastes just as good down under. I also made so many new friends along the way.

What piece of advice can you share with students, especially those preparing to graduate?
Go outside your comfort zone. Try something different. I chose to study abroad on a whim and ended up having the time of my life. I wouldn’t have traded experiences like that for anything. You can still study abroad your senior year. I always like to tell people that you never regret studying abroad, you only regret not going.

What is one of your bucket list items for Cal Poly?
I have a few items that I still need to get done, but my biggest one is to go to the hot springs in Avila.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be moving back home and mooching off my parents. In addition, I will be working as a Credit Analyst at Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit.

Any other comments you wish to share?
When looking for internships, don’t feel limited to the companies that come to the Ag Showcase. I got both my internships because I knew some people and I was able to talk to the CEOs and voiced my interest. Neither company had a formal internship program but I was able to mold my own and subsequently accomplished and learned about more aspects of each company than if I was positioned in a structured internship.

When looking for jobs, choose a company and career that makes you happy. So many times we see people who start out working for companies because they pay more but within a few months they just aren’t happy. Instead, pick a career that you’re passionate about. In the end, the additional money will just be a benefit.

719a9543Name: Michelle Burns   
Major: Agricultural Communication
Hometown: Morro Bay

Of all the classes you’ve taken at Cal Poly, which one was most beneficial or influential?
I would have to say (AGC 426) Presentation Methods with Dr. De Lay was the most influential class I took because it taught me the skills needed to have a successful interview. This class helped build my confidence in public speaking and thinking quick on my feet, which are two very important skills I will take with me after graduation.

Did you have any internships during your time at Cal Poly?
I worked in Sacramento this past summer for the company Ag. Association Management Services, Inc. I was able to work with an amazing team who helped me learn more about the agriculture industry in California.

What piece of advice can you share with students, especially those preparing to graduate?
Be prepared for a TON of rejection when applying for jobs, but never give up hope. If one opportunity doesn’t work out it just means that a better one is around the corner! Also, don’t be afraid to pack up your bags and move someplace you’ve always wanted to go. This is one of the only times in our lives where you can actually move anywhere, so don’t miss out on that opportunity.

What is one of your bucket list items for Cal Poly?
I really want to visit the architecture graveyard on campus, but have yet to make the trip!

What are your plans after graduation?
I have accepted a job offer to work for a digital bartering company in Seattle. I will be working as an account manager for small to medium sized businesses.

Any other comments you wish to share?
Even though the job offer I have accepted isn’t in ag communications, I have a feeling that I will end up working with agriculture in the future! For now, however, I will keep sharing my passion and love for all things related to the agriculture industry – even in Washington state!


Photo Credit: Megan Stone Photography

Name: Monica Castillo
Major: Agricultural Science Hometown: Stockton, CA

Of all the classes you’ve taken at Cal Poly, which one was most beneficial or influential? 

The most influential and beneficial class I have taken at Cal Poly would be a tie between AGED 303 and ASCI 232. These classes helped me to further expand my skills in agriculture and to solidify my future goal to teach.

When did you just want to die in a class?
Usually whenever I had plans at the end of the week or when I was hungry.

Did you have any internships during your time at Cal Poly?
I had an internship as a Food Safety Intern during this summer at Bee Sweet Citrus, Inc.

What piece of advice can you share with students, especially those preparing to graduate?
Don’t stress about the little things.

What is one of your bucket list items for Cal Poly?
One of my bucket list items for Cal Poly is to go to Serenity Swing in Poly Canyon.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be working as a Food Safety Officer/ Assistant Manager at Bee Sweet Citrus, Inc.

Any other comments you wish to share?
Something that helped me get through college was having a great group of people that shared common interests as me. For me, that group was the Sigma Alpha sorority.

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Poinsettia Season

By Hannah Fortin
Senior, agricultural communication major

Deck the halls with…pots of poinsettias! Here at Cal Poly, we are fortunate enough to have beautiful gifts grown by our very own students and ready for you to take home during the  holiday season.

sale-flyerThe Poly Plant Shop is hosting its incredible annual Holiday Sale Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4. Poinsettias, centerpieces, succulents, ornaments, gifts and more will be available for purchase. Fridays, the shop will be open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays, the shop will be open from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Fortunately, the shop will remain open if customers continue to come in, so don’t be discouraged. It’s conveniently located next to the Horticulture Unit (Building 48) on the Cal Poly campus at the top of Via Carta Road. If you can’t make it during the sale, you can still buy these items throughout the month of December.

The Plant Shop opens into a festively adorned room full of gorgeous plants, flowers, and other holiday decorations just for the occasion. Most of these plants are grown by students who take part in the Poinsettia Enterprise Project, an annual tradition.

Starting in May, a few students gain hands-on experience planting and caring for the poinsettias, preparing them for their future home. Each year, multiple varieties of poinsettias are cultivated in the greenhouses near the Poly Plant Shop. Varieties range everywhere from “Christmas Feeling Red” to “Winter Rose White” and (as seen below)  a peachy-tan “Autumn Leaf.” Prices start at $5 for a 4-inch pot. The plants make wonderful gifts for friends and family.


On-campus organizations even participate! Cindi Jenkins with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT), orders poinsettias every year for their winter faculty breakfast.

“I love them,” Jenkins said. “Every year we order some for the last day of finals week, and people love to take them home after the event!”

In addition to poinsettias, the shop is selling more than 2,000 plants, gorgeous centerpiece accessories, and even succulent wreaths. They also have hot beverages and goodies, so don’t miss out on this amazing sale and support student learning!
Happy Holidays!


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Building Leaders at AFA Leaders Conference 2016

By Sarah Dreyer
Sophomore, Animal Science major

November 3-6 found 23 Cal Poly students from the College of Agriculture Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) traveling to Kansas City, MO, for the annual Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Leaders Conference. The selected students represented eight majors within CAFES. Identified as leaders with a strong passion and commitment to agriculture, all the conference students were sponsored by industry representatives, their respective university or received an AFA National Scholarship.


Cal Poly AFA Attendees

The AFA Leader’s Conference is an experience seeking to bridge the gap between academic, leadership and work experience while helping students understand the impact of their decisions. AFA is committed to human capital development meaning they want students to cultivate skills such as professional, entrepreneurialism, and intellectualism in agriculture leaders to enter the industry and help develop the organizations of employment.

Together, the 730 delegates from over 200 universities participated in a four-day conference focused on improving personal and professional skills. Leaders Conference delegates networked with other outstanding college students who share the same passions for agriculture, as well as more than 400 industry executives and representatives.

Students heard from many astonishing speakers including Dr. Ramaswamy, John O’Leary, Orian Samuelson, and many more during breakout sessions, track meetings and industry panel discussions.

AFA Track Recap:
During Leaders Conference, students are separated in four different tracks ranging from one through four based on past AFA involvement and year in school. Each track heard from different speakers and hosted discussions to interact on topics specifically designed for their track.

Track 1 is designed for freshmen and focuses on assessment and the development of fundamental skills crucial for success in college and career. Delegates complete personal assessment tools and receive training in resume development, time management, goal setting and personal skill development while assessing the opportunities available to them within their chosen career path.

Track 2 is designed for sophomores or juniors and focuses on communication skills and preparing for employment. Communication skills – verbal and nonverbal, first impressions, critical thinking, team leadership roles and personal ethics are addressed as a part of this program. Track 2 heard from speakers Adam Carrol, the Money Game, Terri Thompson, Dressing for Success and Rhett Laubach, How to be a Good Presenter.

The Track 3 program prepares juniors and seniors to live and work in a global market. Sessions include managing personal change, stress management and preparing for employment. Delegates participated in discussions focused on rural policy, personal financial management and international agriculture business. Track 3 partook in an Executive Forum on Stewarding Change and learning to be servant leaders.


Cal Poly Track 3 participants

The Track 4 program is a capstone experience for Seniors who have previously participated in multiple tracks of AFA. Track 4 is the smallest track and is highly interactive and a participant directed program. Sessions focus on making the transition from college to career and discussing individual and collective impacts to global agricultural issues. Track 4 students are able to network with industry representatives and AFA Alliance members.


Cal Poly Track 4 participants and friends

All delegates attending AFA leaders Conference had the opportunity to engage with a myriad of agricultural and food based food companies at the 2016 Opportunity Fair. Many students spoke with companies about future employment opportunities, and internship opportunities.

Cal Poly Involvement:

This year, Cal Poly fortunately had delegates in every track.

Mark Borges participated in Track 1 and said, “Attending AFA Leaders Conference was a tremendous opportunity to grow professionally. Track 1 gave students the foundation to grow as a young professional in the industry. Through workshops and guest speakers we learned that History Starts Now. The conference gave me the determination to continue building my professional career network and I look forward to being involved in AFA in the future.”

Hannah Brady, an agribusiness sophomore returned to Cal Poly and explained, “At AFA Leaders Conference I enjoyed meeting new people from all over the United States and connecting with new industry leaders. I absorbed all the new information and I am excited to implement all the new experiences in my life.”

img_1311-jpg-haley-w-at-mocktailsHaley Warner, agricultural communications junior, reflected on her experiences at Leaders Conference and said, “AFA allowed me to grow personally and professionally in ways I never have. I learned to apply the skills I have gained from previous experiences at Cal Poly in a more relevant way. AFA is high caliber- it was an honor to be amongst those that will be leading and progressing our industry.”

A senior agribusiness student, Shane Gillard said, “I learned the most about the next steps as an agriculture student after graduation. As a senior looking for jobs, internships or even graduate programs at other universities can be intimidating. AFA Leaders Conference gave me the skills and experience necessary to be successful when connecting with industry leaders, and higher educational outlets. Throughout the four days I was constantly moved by guest speakers that really wanted to see all AFA attendees’ success. I’d recommend any Cal Poly agriculture student to apply.”

Natalie Massa, a senior year agribusiness student, explained, “I attended Track 4 at the AFA Leaders Conference. I collaborated with 70+ other seniors from all across the nation. Since we were in such a small group, I was able to form friendships and bonds that could help me network in the future. In addition, we spent 4 days learning about how to become servant-leaders, facilitators, and I gained a better knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses in group work. The best part was being able to ask current executives and employees the tough questions that every senior is wondering: Should I negotiate salary right out of college? How do I tell a potential employer that I need more time to decide where I want to work?”

img_1313-jpg-christine-c-at-mocktailsChristine Curtis, a senior agribusiness student attended all four tracks of AFA Leaders Conferences since her freshman year. She was campus ambassador for Cal Poly least year and promoted more Leaders Conference attendees. When reflecting Christine said, ”My journey through AFA has been a life changing experience. Through the many one on one professional training opportunities, empowerment, and the people I have met through AFA. I am inspired to go forth and be a catalyst in the agriculture industry. As I think back to my time as a freshmen I would have never guessed I would be where I am today. It’s because AFA invested in me in believing that I am and will continue to refine myself as a leader in agriculture. The community of people that have poured into me through my time at AFA have made a significant impact on my life and my purpose. I am forever thankful for my experiences with AFA because now I know my way, and I will go fourth in confidence in my career. I will continue to choose a purpose driven life.”


Past and Current AFA Campus Ambassador

As I write this blog, myself, Sarah Dreyer, an animal science student has this to share about AFA, “This year I was honored to be the campus ambassador for Cal Poly and serve as a liaison between the AFA Organization and Cal Poly students. Being a part of the AFA Organization and AFA Leadership Team has allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and experience that reach outside the classroom. I have been able to create connections with industry leaders and students from all around the nation. The connections made have helped me in finding my own passions and determining which career path I wish to pursue. In addition, I have been able to learn about new techniques and leadership methods that I can strive to implement here on the Cal Poly Campus.”


Leaving Conference and Applying the Skills Learned
This year, Leaders Conference ended with a keynote speaker, Jon Petz. Petz is a motivational speaker, stand up magician and comedian. Petz left all AFA delegates reflecting that now is the time to act and each day the actions matters. You might not be expecting the spotlight, but when it hits – we must perform at our best. That’s SHOWTIME!

The theme for Leaders Conference was History Starts Now! Chosen by the AFA Student Leadership Team, it challenged all delegates to understand the decisions one makes on a daily basis impact the future in all aspects whether you expect it or not. The theme paid tribute to the past achievements in agriculture and the importance of their place in the future of the industry. The present is a bridge between the future and the past. Its strength is important. While we look towards the future and reflect upon the past, we must not lose sight of how important our daily choices are, because History Starts Now!


AFA Student Leadership Team

img_1309-jpg-afa-logoIf you are interested in participating in any future AFA Programs or learning about the opportunities for AFA on the Cal Poly campus, please contact Cal Poly AFA Campus Ambassador, Sarah Dreyer, Future opportunities include applying Leaders Conference 2017, Policy Institute, Food Institute, Animal Institute, Crop Institute, Technology Institute.


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