To support the Ambassador Scholars Program, access the DONATE button at the upper right.


Growing Talent for Agriculture!

Ambassador Scholars are young adults—18 to 25—who are passionate about agriculture and food. Whether in college or newly employed, they are eager to engage with supply chain decision-makers, dive into priority issues, and build hard business skills and a professional network. Competitively selected, Ambassadors participate in the NYS Agricultural Society’s Annual Forum in January – arguably the oldest and largest event of its kind in the US and participate in a Summer Leadership Experience (SLE) within the diverse NYS ag and food industry. Participants can choose to re-apply for a Year 2 experience.

To date, the Foundation has supported over 112 Ambassadors. This leadership program has shaped their academic and career paths in numerous ways. Apply below by October 15.

Year 1 Ambassador 

Year 2 Ambassador

Damian Hill - Ambassador 2019

From Harpersfield, NY, Damian Hill is a full-time maple producer. At Shaver-Hill Maple, a third generation family business, they just increased to 6,000 taps with a purchase of a neighboring farm. As a Cornell University Junior, active in the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and majoring in Applied Economics & Management, Damian participated in the 2019 NYS Agricultural Society as an Ambassador. “My favorite part of the program was having the opportunity to bond with other young adults in the agricultural community,” said Damian. He and his roommate, a WNY apple producer, enjoyed talking about their common experience growing up on a family-run business, as well as ambitions returning to the farm after college and outside work experience.  Damian is now working shoulder to shoulder with a wide range of agriculturalists on the NYS Ag Society Board of Directors. “Young or more established, we all have our own specialties from across the ag industry. In the informal time we have it’s been great to dive-in deep to issues like labor that impact us all. It’s been neat to compare and contrast with the maple business.”


Hauk Boyes - Ambassador 2018

"As a youth interested in agriculture, being an Ambassador gave me the opportunity to ask questions and put a name to a face. It helped me get outside of my college bubble to see what’s going on in the industry without a filter.” 
Hauk is a Production Supervisor and Grower at Burpee Seeds.


Ambassadors at NYS Fair

Lucy Shephard was one of 10 SLE participants who toured the NYS Fair. “What struck me was how the fair captures such a wide range of players that all contribute to NY’s ag industry. Each sector, ranging from equine to beef, is working aggressively to tell their story and to promote their products.” After working in state government after college, Lucy attended the University at Buffalo Law School and has accepted a position at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.


Ambassador Advantage

“Perhaps the greatest advantage of the Ambassador Program is the mentorship component. What a great resource to provide someone new to the industry.” Pictured: Veronique Krohn 2015-16 Ambassador with Todd Lighthall Executive Director New York FFA Foundation & Oswegatchie Educational Center. 
Veronique is the Agriculture Educator at Perry CSD

Ambassador Guiding Ambassadors

“My involvement in the Ambassador program has been essential to my professional development, leadership and career,” said Megan Clancy. “My experience goes beyond the NYS Ag Society Annual Forum and Summer Leadership Experiences as I am now serving on the Foundation Board and utilizing key skills I developed throughout my time in the program. The Ambassador program is the foundation for young professionals looking to grow their network and leadership opportunities within the agriculture and food industry.” Megan is Livestock Insurance Specialist at CropGrowers LLP.