Young Alum of the Month: Matt Bornhorst

Matt Bornhorst
Title and Company: 
Director of Development at Agriculture Future of America (AFA)
Wall Lake, Iowa
Major and Graduation Date: 
Agricultural Studies with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies, May 2004
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

AFA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with a mission to create partnerships that identify, encourage, and support outstanding men and women preparing for careers in the agriculture and food industry. As Director of Development, I oversee AFA's fundraising efforts. I work with industry leaders, human resource representatives, foundation representatives and individuals who support the organization through charitable giving. I spend a great deal of time with the fundraising process which includes creation and execution of funding proposals. I also spend a great deal of time educating the agriculture community and the general public about AFA and the need for investing in youth development for agriculture. Lastly, I work closely with other staff members in the delivery of AFA programs ensuring that students receive high quality training programs that prepare them to be leaders in agriculture once they complete their academic studies.

What you like most about your job/position: 

As I often share with others, "I feel as though I have one of the best jobs in the world!" I get the opportunity to work with some of our industry's top leaders while I also get to work with some of our nation's top student leaders. It is a great feeling to "connect the dots" between those who give resources to support the AFA mission and those who receive these resources through AFA programs. It is hard to go anywhere in agriculture and not find someone who has either supported AFA or has been an AFA student and hear their stories.

What advice would you give to current students: 

Take advantage of every opportunity! You should always seek out ways to improve yourself and others around you. If you take advantage of the opportunities you are presented you can achieve more than you ever thought possible. However, remember it is not the number of people in your network; it is the quality of people in your network that makes the difference. Lastly, seek out to be a part of organizations that can support you and your development such as AFA and you will be amazed at the doors that open for you.

Favorite ISU Class:
Economics 330 with Dr. Kliebenstein