Florida A&M University (FAMU) first-year agribusiness student Isa K. Salaam has been selected to attend the online 2021 Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Food Institute May 16 through May 18.
The Tallahassee native and 1890 USDA David A. Scott Scholar credits his experience and motivation from his involvement the FAMU Food Science Club, FAMU Chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau, and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) that have allowed him to be in the position to take on new opportunities.
“I am hoping that this event helps me gain knowledge within the field of agribusiness by allowing me to network with peers that share the passion for agribusiness that I do and showing me information that I can apply to further my studies,” said Salaam. “I am especially looking forward to meeting other participants so that I can get a feel for where I stand and how I can improve. I am also hoping to gain more knowledge about the production of crops, processing of food, and how it is marketed to consumers. These aspects of agriculture are important and need improvement to ensure food security for the underprivileged.”
The AFA provides personal and professional development programs to college students and young professionals in agriculture. Held annually in the winter months, the AFA Food Institute brings around 75 talented college students to the Chicago area to take part in a three-day program. According to the AFA, current COVID-19 restrictions and trends will not allow participants to gather in person for this year’s Institute, therefor the event will be held virtually.
The AFA Food Institute program includes:
• Discussions on hot topics in the food industry
• Networking with your peers and industry
• Career exploration in the food industry
After completing his undergraduate studies, Salaam plans to pursue graduate studies in agricultural economics.
“In the future I hope to be a farm manager, assisting with the production, cultivation, and harvesting of various crops,” said Salaam.
Salaam also credits Verian D. Thomas, Ph.D., College of Agriculture and Food Sciences professor and associate dean for Recruitment, Student Support and Alumni Affairs, for informing him about the AFA and many other opportunities for professional development.
“This event is wonderful for Isa to experience, and we are very proud of his scholarly and professional achievements,” Thomas said.
Students interested in attending the AFA Food Institute are selected through an application process based on industry and leadership involvement, career goal and articulation of the benefit of the program to their career development.
To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria: recommended 3.0 GPA or higher; undergraduate student status, age 17-25, attending a four-year institution or articulate plans to obtain four-year degree; possess a passion for food and agriculture; and plan to pursue a career in the food and agriculture industry.
AFA also provides an online forum for networking through AFA ONTAP as well as scholarship opportunities. For more information visit the AFA online at: www.agfuture.org