KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Watauga County native Max Hagaman was recently selected as a member of the Agriculture Future of America Student Advisory Team — a a leader and professional development organization for collegiate leaders and young professionals.
AFA stated that Hagaman is a junior at North Carolina State University studying agribusiness management. From internships and work experiences to leadership and volunteer opportunities, Hagaman pursues experiences that set him apart from his peers and prepare him to pursue a career in agriculture and food, according to AFA.
Providing leader development, intern support and scholarships, AFA seeks to be a catalyst in the preparation of a new generation of agriculture leaders. Hagaman and his fellow team members serve as AFA’s student voice, providing direction to the organization and its programming.
“AFA is completely accessible. No matter where in the country you come from, or more importantly your financial ability to travel, AFA is completely open to anyone studying food, agriculture or a related science,” Hagaman said. “As long as students demonstrate an excitement for learning and a willingness to invest themselves in the opportunities then there are endless opportunities they can receive from AFA.”
Hagaman and the other ten team members were selected through a competitive application process to serve and represent their peers on a national level. Hagaman says he is looking forward to his experiences with the team.
“I’ve attended multiple AFA conferences and never once had to pay a dime. That’s thanks to incredible partners and the hard work of our staff members,” Hagaman said. “Serving on the Student Advisory Team is a small way to give back. Continuing with AFA in this capacity will help provide some of the same enriching experiences I’ve had to students around the country, and I’m excited to meet, network and befriend them as we do so.”
A major component of the Student Advisory Team’s responsibilities is the planning and delivery of the 2021 AFA Leader Development Program, specifically AFA Leaders Conference. Held Nov. 10-13 in Kansas City, Mo., this event is AFA’s core leader development program and over 1,000 delegates from across the nation will be selected to attend. The Student Advisory Team kicked off the planning of Conference in December and will continue it throughout the year.
Hagaman said AFA is the first organization that he has truly felt like helps him delve into the professional world.
“It is extremely unique from the multitude of other opportunities that can be found on campuses because it breaks away from the cookie cutter activities of ‘how to build a resume’ or ‘how to write a cover letter,’” Hagaman said. “AFA offers face to face experiences with real professionals who offer tangible and realistic advice that is extremely applicable to students entering the ag industry.”
Hagaman’s entrance into the AFA leader development programs began in 2019 when he was selected to participate in the AFA Leaders Conference. Since then, he has attended the AFA Leaders Conference, and the AFA Food Institute. In addition to his involvement with AFA, he has also been active in other organizations including the National FFA Organization, NCSU Student Senate and the NCSU Collegiate Farmers and Ranchers.