The grand challenges ahead in agriculture continue to squeeze an already fragile food system—food security, climate change, safe and reliable water, sustainable agriculture, and safer food supply chains are just a few of these wicked problems. Within this backdrop, we cannot forget that globally, 2.3 billion youth are between the ages of 15 and 34, and agriculture is still the largest employer of the global workforce.

IFAMA provides them ongoing opportunities to network, further their understanding of the food system, develop critical thinking skills, and get noticed by industry and ag professionals.
Young professionals
For 30 years, the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) has convened the world’s top scholars, leaders from industry, NGO’s, and government to improve the strategic focus, transparency, sustainability, and responsiveness of the food and agribusiness system. Early career professionals and students are vital to our organization. IFAMA provides them ongoing opportunities to network, further their understanding of the food system, develop critical thinking skills, and get noticed by industry and ag professionals.

Thanks to the generosity and support of BAYER, and the leadership of IFAMA members, Woody Maijers and Gerry Kouwenhoven from Inholland University; and support from Amber Akerboom; and Xander Beks, of I4NATURE, IFAMA is launching a new cooperative initiative—The IFAMA Young Board.

This team of passionate individuals was carefully selected to help drive the overall objective of IFAMA. Their plan is ambitious, as it must be. Here are a few of their goals:

  • Develop the next generation of thought leaders to challenge traditional ways of thinking and expand the conventional repertoire of solutions.
  • Be a voice for the younger generation’s needs for career development and growth.
  • Attract young professionals to be more involved within the association while developing their skills, networks, and creating career pathways through mentorship that will enable them to support their 2050 mission of food security.
  • Reach across industry borders to engage professionals in other disciplines to work on interdisciplinary solutions to multifaceted challenges.
  • Leave a legacy of excellence for the generations to come that they are proud of and passionate to carry forward.
  • Promote discussions toward the conversion of education globally in agribusiness and agriculture to integrate technology and market dynamics and match the industry requirements of young professionals for the future.

  • It takes many committed individuals to solve the challenges that lie ahead. We know that by reaching across continents and working through cultural differences, we can find the innovative strategies needed to disentangle these challenges and create a sustainable future.

    I am pleased to introduce you to the IFAMA Young Board. This team is igniting new fires of unimagined possibilities. We invite you to support them through the gift of your time, internships, networking, coaching, and future sponsorships.

    The Young Board members:
  • Edeoba William Edobor, Purdue University, Indiana, Chairman
  • Melissa van der Merwe, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Secretary
  • Juan José Bolaños Herrera, CEO of Piñalbo, Costa Rica, Treasurer
  • Richard C. Agetu, University of Adeliaide, Australia, Member
  • Anathi Makamane, University of the Free State, South Africa, Member
  • Melanie Vogel, Bayer, Germany, Member
  • Justin McNally, Lallemand, Canada, Member
  • Akhilesh Prajapati, Agribusiness Professional, India, Member
  • Tássia Gerbasi, Markestrat, Brazil, Member
  • Jack Keeys, KPMG New Zealand, New Zealand, Member
  • Yunyi Zhou, Zhejiang University, China, Member
  • Xander Beks,, The Netherlands, Support
  • Amber Akerboom, University of Applied Science, The Netherlands, Support