While in California, the nine-member Team visited several area agribusinesses. The Team's visits were coordinated by Bank of the West, whose executives hosted the group. While the students represented 8 different states, many of them are from the Midwest region where farming looks different than it does in California.
To give the students a first-hand account of West Coast agriculture, managers of Terranova Ranch, Dipersloot Ranch, Porterville Citrus, Horizon Nut and Kingsburg Orchards explained their business structure and practices to the group. By touring a broad spectrum of farms, the students expanded their understanding of agriculture in the United States.
After visiting these farms, the students also visited California State University – Fresno to see the Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center. While there, students explored innovations in water use efficiency. The Team recognized responsible water use is an important factor in agriculture throughout the world. Learning from leading researchers and entrepreneurs added value to the students' understanding of these issues.
The students' exchanges at the farms and water lab broadened the Team's view of agriculture, which will benefit all students who participate in AFA programing. What the Team learned during their visit will assist them in planning and facilitating the annual AFA Leaders Conference. The Team expects to host nearly 550 of the nation's top agriculture students at Conference in Kansas City, Mo., November 7-10. Learning from leaders in the agriculture industry allows the Team to plan relevant programming experiences for all students.