With a passion for agriculture and natural leadership qualities, Kylie Farmer found a role within Agriculture Future of America that gave her the opportunity to grow and succeed within the agriculture industry.
Growing up on an almond farm in Chowchilla, California, Farmer knew agriculture was an important part of her life. When it came time to apply for college, she knew she wanted to explore universities outside of California. Her high school agricultural education teacher was a Texas Tech alum and suggested she visit.
“I truly felt like this is where I needed to be,” Farmer said. “I just loved every aspect of my tour, the people and the environment.”
Coming to Texas Tech from out of state, Farmer said she yearned to find her place in an organization that offered leadership developmental skills.
“I think that the relevance and tangibility of what is being taught is really what kind of hooked me and really got me excited to apply for certain leadership positions,” Farmer said.
Recently, Farmer was one of 10 students from 70 universities selected to serve on the AFA student advisory team. Selections were made after a series of interviews, submission of a resume and situational essay questions. Previous involvement in AFA such as being a delegate and a student ambassador assisted her in being selected for this role.
Elizabeth Galbreath was a member of the selection committee for the student advisory team and is Farmer’s advisor within AFA. When selecting students for the advisory team, Galbreath said they focused on students with great communication skills, their ability to be approachable, their authenticity, how flexible they are in different situations, and their ability to be an inclusive leader.
“I am not looking for a team of all-stars,” Galbreath said. “I’m looking for a balanced team that can be complimentary, but also help each other grow.”
Compared to others, Galbreath said Farmer’s poise, self-awareness, situational confidence, and her ability to gracefully communicate while being professional yet approachable made Farmer stand out.
Farmer said she was so excited to do what she loves with the opportunity to grow and serve people.
As a member of the advisory team, Galbreath said Farmer will assist AFA staff in program development, ensure programs are relevant and exciting for participants, and be a representative and student voice on the board of directors.
The mission of AFA, Galbreath said, is to build bridges between student peers, professionals, and the agriculture industry to create opportunities.
Through her involvement in AFA, Farmer said she has learned professional skills such as writing a resume, how to approach industry leaders, maintaining meaningful yet professional conversations and being open minded.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and make those opportunities happen for yourself
On campus, it’s not surprise Farmer is heavily engaged. She is an AgriTechsan, a Chancellor’s Ambassador, and an undergraduate researcher within the Department of Agriculture Education and Communications.
Farmer is an agricultural communications major with a minor in human resource development. Her undergraduate research is under Laura Fisher, Ph.D., and focuses on how agricultural organizations communicate their organizational values. This research project helps her to combines the interests of her major and minor while allowing her to dig deeper into those subjects.
Farmer said getting involved in organizations on campus and the agricultural industry is essential to the college experience and can create a chance to get out of comfort zones.
“Don’t be afraid to try new things and make those opportunities happen for yourself,” Farmer said. “There’s always going to be a time when you’re new to something and those are great times to just kind of take advantage of that newness, and really find where you’re going to excel.”
After obtaining her bachelors, Farmer plans to attend graduate school at Texas Tech to receive her masters in agricultural communications. With these degrees and plans to stay in West Texas, Farmer hopes to work in human resources in talent development for a corporate company.
“I’m really passionate about strengthening and building the relationships and communities in agriculture,” Farmer said. “I think, especially in agriculture communications, we have a lot of great people doing external communications and I really want to focus on how we build those lines of communications in the industry.”