Each person has approximately 40 Chances – or 40 years – in his or her adult life to make a positive impact on the world. In partnership with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and its 40 Chances awareness campaign, Agriculture Future of America has selected 40 freshmen students to take part in the 40 Chances Fellows program.

The 40 Chances Fellows program was created last November when the Foundation presented AFA with a grant sponsoring 40 of the 2012 freshman delegates to attend the next three years of AFA Leaders Conference. Students applied and were interviewed as part of a competitive selection process. The 40 Fellows were chosen based on their desire and potential to impact global food security issues.

Inspired by this grant, AFA has expanded the program to provide additional opportunities, based on AFA’s four primary programmatic pillars: self-assessment, communication, managing change and life-long learning. Components of the 40 Chances Fellows program include a leader development portfolio, value-added internships, interaction with the Foundation and the option of an international capstone experience. Over the course of the four years, students will be closely mentored by AFA staff as well as other industry professionals.

The 40 Chances Fellows will spend extensive time exploring agriculture and food related issues, especially related to addressing world hunger. As the agriculture industry is faced with feeding more people with fewer resources, this next generation of agriculture leaders has many challenges and opportunities. The program’s objective is to give this group of student leaders an edge when it comes time to graduate, equipping them to make significant contributions to agriculture and food related issues.


Selected 40 Chances Fellows
Jared Baird, Purdue University
Morgan Beach, University of Missouri
Meghan Bennett, The Ohio State University
Jessica Blosberg, University of Minnesota
Jordan Bonham, The Ohio State University
Adam Chesser, University of Missouri
Emma Christensen, South Dakota State University
Danielle Cooney, University of Illinois
Shelby Cooper, University of Illinois
Wesley Davis, West Virginia University
Bradley Dillner, Missouri State University
Luke Drachenberg, University of Wisconsin
Kate Griswold, University of Wisconsin
Jenica Hagler, Washington State University
Ryan Hanousek, University of Nebraska
Kevin Hanson, University of Minnesota
Jessica Harsh, Purdue University
John Holland, Clemson University
Lindsay King, Oklahoma State University
Tate Klocke, Iowa State University
Austin Liepold, University of Minnesota
Sara Linn, Oklahoma State University
Michael Long, University of Wisconsin
Sarah Maurer, University of Illinois
Scott McDermott, The Ohio State University
Chandler Mulvaney, Chattahoochee Valley
Nicholas Neumann, University of Missouri
Corey Petersen, University of Minnesota
Nolan Sampson, Purdue University
Rachel Schroeder, North Dakota State University
Brice Schulte, The Ohio State University
Kayla Seidler, North Dakota State University
Daryl Simmons, Butler Community College
Colleen Smith, Cornell University
Amber Sparenberg, Purdue University
Adam Striegel, Iowa State University
Haley Thompson, University of Missouri
Rebecca Travis, Missouri State University
David Van Klompenburg, South Dakota State University
Matthew Welter, Iowa State University