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Sources: Brian Friedman, 816-472-4232,;
Jared Unrau,; and Shawna Cikanek,
Web site:
Photos available. Contact or 785-532-6415.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Two Kansas State University students have been selected as members of the 2009 Agriculture Future of America Student Advisory Team.

Jared Unrau, senior in agricultural technology management, Goessel, and Shawna Cikanek, sophomore in pre-veterinary medicine, Hutchinson, are among the nine college students from six states serving as ambassadors to the organization and will plan its 2009 Leaders Conference.

Unrau, Cikanek and the other members of the Student Advisory Team were selected based on their academic and leadership activities. The team has been working with Agriculture Future of America staff and volunteers since May to plan the Leaders Conference, which will be Nov. 5-8 in Kansas City, Mo. The conference is expected to draw more than 500 collegians from across the nation.

"Agriculture Future of America is an organization designed to train passionate and committed students in agriculture to become better leaders who are ready to create a brighter future for the industry," Unrau said. "During my time on the advisory team, I want to encourage more student participation from parts of the United States that don't have as much representation within AFA. Increasing our student membership will allow greater diversity within our group and teach us about agricultural practices outside the areas that are familiar to us."

"Agriculture Future of America allowed me to realize my passion for the industry, and now I feel nothing but excitement when I think about my future in agriculture," Cikanek said. "As a member of the Student Advisory Team, I want to be the spark that ignites a long-lasting interest within students for an industry that, thanks to AFA, has become my own passion."

In addition to planning the Leaders Conference, the Student Advisory Team members have the chance to interact with corporate and association leaders, be exposed to career opportunities, take on leadership roles and receive media and communications training. The students also receive the organization's Student Advisory Team academic scholarship.

The mission of Agriculture Future of America is to create partnerships that identify, encourage and support outstanding college men and women who are preparing for careers in the agriculture and food industry. The organization has provided leader and career development training since 1996 to more than 5,500 college students and young professionals in agriculture. More information is available online at