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From Loda Michael Curry is motivated and determined to make a positive impact on the world. As a junior at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying crop and soil sciences, he is off to a good start.

From internships and work experiences to leadership and volunteer opportunities, Curry pursues experiences that set him apart from his peers and prepare him to pursue a career in agriculture and food. Most recently, he was selected as an Agriculture Future of America Student Advisory Team member.

AFA is a leader and professional development organization for collegiate leaders and young professionals. Providing leader development, intern support and scholarships, AFA seeks to be a catalyst in the preparation of a new generation of agriculture leaders. Curry and his fellow team members serve as AFA’s student voice, providing direction to the organization and its programming.

“AFA Leader Development Programs have helped me identify areas of professionalism that I need to constantly work on, and they provide me the tools and guidance necessary to pursue growth and accomplish hefty goals,” he said.

Curry and the other nine team members were selected through a competitive application process to serve as AFA’s student voice and represent their peers on a national level. Curry says he is looking forward to his experiences with the team.

“There is an abundance of reasons why I am excited but the main one is being able to serve and interact with all the wonderful peers, industry professionals and staff. It is such a diverse group of individuals, and I cannot wait to learn from them and serve in many facets,” Curry said.

A major component of the Student Advisory Team’s responsibilities is the planning and delivery of the 2020 AFA Leader Development Program, specifically AFA Leaders Conference. Held Nov. 5-8 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 kicked off the planning of Conference in January and continued it during a meeting with AFA’s Board of Directors at the end of February.

Curry said, “AFA has allowed me to broaden my network and connect with so many incredible people, but AFA has also presented me with a variety of tools and opportunities that have helped mold me into the leader I am today.”

Curry’s entrance into the AFA leader development programs began in 2017 when he was selected for AFA Leaders Conference. Since then he’s also attended the AFA Crop Science Institute and AFA Technology Institute and served as an AFA Ambassador. In addition to his involvement with AFA, he has also been active in other organizations including National FFA, Nabor House Fraternity, Field and Furrow Agronomy Club and Transitions Hospice.