KANSAS CITY, Mo./CHAMPAIGN (Heartland Newsfeed) — Kara Brockamp has been described as being a motivated and determined individual seeking to make a positive impact on the world. A Morrisonville native who’s in her junior year of study in agricultural engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she’s off to a good start.
Brockamp has pursued experiences from internships and work experiences to leadership and volunteer opportunities, which has set her apart from her peers in preparation for a career in agriculture, even as she’s been appointed as UIUC campus ambassador for the Agriculture Future of America organization.
AFA provides personal and professional development experiences for college students and young professionals in food and agriculture. Providing leader development, intern support and scholarships, AFA seeks to be a catalyst in the preparation of a new generation of agriculture leaders. Brockamp and her fellow team members serve as ambassadors between AFA, their college campuses and AFA’s corporate partners.
“Through AFA, I have learned how to be more self-aware. I am able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, both professionally and personally. AFA has given me the tools to improve my shortfalls and highlight my best skills,” she said.
Brockamp and the other fifteen Campus Ambassadors were selected through a competitive application process to serve as AFA’s student voice and represent their peers on a national level. Brockamp says she is looking forward to her experiences with the team.
“I am excited to grow my network of college-aged peers and industry professionals. I also want to help others get involved in AFA because I know how much of a positive impact it has had on me,” Brockamp said.
In addition to serving as a liaison between AFA and their respective campuses, the Ambassadors will assist the Student Advisory Team in delivering the 2018 AFA Leaders Conference. Held Nov. 1-4 in Kansas City, Missouri, this event is AFA’s core leader development program and over 800 delegates from across the nation will be selected to attend. The Student Advisory Team and 16 AFA Campus Ambassadors met April 12-14 to kick off this planning process with team training and theme setting exercises.
Brockamp said, “I like how AFA Leaders Conference gets us away from our college campuses. Aside from school, it’s the only place I have been with 800 other young people. It is an awesome opportunity to better myself outside the context of school, and I appreciate the focus on future careers.”
Brockamp’s entrance into the AFA leader development program began in 2016 when she was selected for the AFA Food Institute. Since then, she has attended AFA Leaders Conference twice, the AFA Technology Institute and AFA Policy Institute. In addition to her involvement with AFA, Brockamp has also been active in other organizations including 4-H House, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and Women Changing the Face of Agriculture.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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