Local student to serve on national team

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – South Dakota State University Agronomy major, Michael Carlson has been selected as a 2013-2014 Agriculture Future of America Student Advisory Team member. Carlson and the other eight team members represent their peers on a national level and were selected through a competitive application process.

A native of Johnston, Iowa, Carlson recently met with the AFA Campus Ambassadors in Kansas City, Mo., to kick off their year of service and go through training and goal setting exercises. Carlson said he looks forward to contributing to AFA because he is grateful for the organization’s investment in his personal and professional growth.

“I cannot wait to serve AFA because this organization has given so much to me,” he said.

Throughout the year of service, Carlson and his fellow team members will serve as ambassadors between AFA and their college campuses and AFA’s corporate partners. AFA is a non-profit organization providing leader development, intern support and leader and academic scholarships to young men and women pursuing careers in the agriculture and food industry.

“Some of the most important takeaways from AFA are professional development skills one cannot get from another leadership opportunity and the network of other students,” Carlson said.

A major component of the Student Advisory Team’s responsibilities is the planning and delivery of the 2013 AFA Leaders Conference. Held Nov. 7-10 in Kansas City, Mo., this event is AFA’s core leader development program and will draw over 500 collegiate leaders from across the nation. More than 150 industry professionals will engage with Carlson and his peers throughout the Conference environment.

This summer, Carlson will participate in an internship with Land O’Lakes as a seed treatment research specialist. His experiences at SDSU as well as his internship and AFA service are integral in his preparation for the future.

“Serving AFA will greatly enhance my ability to lead and serve any organization. It will also enhance my public speaking and teamwork skills,” Carlson said.

Carlson’s entrance into the AFA leader development program began his sophomore year of college when he was selected as an AFA Leaders Conference Delegate. Since then, he has completed two years of Conference. In addition to his involvement with AFA, Carlson has also been active in other organizations, including Boy Scouts of America – achieving the honor of Eagle Scout, SDSU Agronomy and Conservation Club, SDSU Concert Band, SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Ag-Bio Ambassador program and is a member of the Honors College Students Organization.