Iowa State University food science and culinary food science students, from left, Emma Lessman, Madeleine Kiepura, Heidi Jones, and Brian Klopf attended the AFA Food Institute in Chicago Jan. 29-31, 2017.
Iowa State University food science and culinary food science students, from left, Emma Lessman, Madeleine Kiepura, Heidi Jones, and Brian Klopf attended the AFA Food Institute in Chicago Jan. 29-31, 2017.

Food science, culinary food science students attend AFA Food Institute

A group of four Iowa State University students recently returned from their trip to the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Food Institute in Chicago.

Heidi Jones, culinary food science, Madeleine Kiepura, culinary food science, Brian Klopf, food science, and Emma Lessman, food science, were among the approximately 75 college-aged students selected to attend the three-day event.

All of the students chosen to attend the institute share an interest in the food sector. While in Chicago, the students had opportunities to interact with food sector leaders and take tours of various companies. They learned about what has happened in the food and agriculture industries in the past and what they can expect to happen in the future. In addition, they gained insight into current issues and challenges facing the industry.

“My favorite part of the experience was the industry tours,” Lessman said. “It was really interesting to be able to go behind the scenes of different companies and have the opportunity to ask the owner questions.”

Attendees represented a variety of majors, from food science to dietetics. Klopf said he enjoyed meeting students from all over the United States who share a passion for the food industry.

When the three-day event concluded, the students walked away with a better idea of what a career in the food industry entails.

“It was so nice to be able to learn about their past experiences and what the industry is actually like from a current professional,” Kiepura said. “It was a relaxed environment, much better than a career fair, so the conversations were casual, yet very informative.”

“This experience has given me insight on how a company atmosphere will be like at a food company in the future,” Klopf added. “The wide range of majors that were at the Food Institute broadened my perspective on certain agriculture topics as well as taught me how to explain certain topics to consumers who do not work in the food industry.”

Attending the AFA Food Institute also solidified the Iowa State students’ decisions to study food science or culinary food science.

“Before AFA, I had no idea what I wanted to do after college, but now, although I still am not completely sure, I know that food science is exactly what I want to pursue,” Lessman said. “I am so grateful that I was selected to participate in the AFA Food Institute and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the food industry.”

The AFA Food Institute takes place each year during the winter months. Watch the organization’s website for information on how to apply for next year’s institute.

CONTACTS:

Madeleine Kiepura, culinary food science, mkiepura@iastate.edu

Brian Klopf, food science, klopf@iastate.edu

Emma Lessman, food science, elessman@iastate.edu

Whitney Sager, communications coordinator, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-9166, wjsager@iastate.edu

  • “I am so grateful that I was selected to participate in the AFA Food Institute and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the food industry.”
    -Emma Lessman

  • Video

    Brian Klopf is one of the students featured in this video who shared about their experience at the AFA Food Institute: http://bit.ly/2llFoVX

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