STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Chandler Mulvaney
BY Marlee moore, junior/AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS
As long as Chandler Mulvaney can remember, he has wandered through Upchurch Hall and around Ag Hill with his father Don, a much-loved animal sciences professor. But it wasn’t until last year that Chandler could call himself an official Auburn student.
Before transferring to Auburn in fall 2014, Chandler spent two years at Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) where he was a presidential scholar, was involved in concert choir and served as SGA president. Outside of CVCC, Chandler was a National Beef Ambassador for the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) and served on the Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Student Advisory Team (SAT).
“I had a great two years [at CVCC], and now that I am attending Auburn and can call myself an official Auburn student, it feels quite rewarding,” says the native of Beauregard, a community 12 miles south of Auburn.
Chandler, who began involvement with AFA in 2012, was one of nine students selected from across the U.S. to plan and facilitate the 2014 AFA Leaders Conference, held November 7-9 in Kansas City, Missouri.
“This past year has been such an amazing experience,” he says. “There have been many learning experiences I am grateful to have been a part of while serving with my teammates and AFA family.”
AFA was founded in 1996 with the vision of preparing the next generation of agricultural leaders.
“Our mission at AFA is to identify, encourage and support outstanding college men and women who are preparing for careers in the agricultural and food communities,” he says.
One of Chandler’s responsibilities was to grow AFA involvement in southeastern agricultural schools, a task he took to heart. After meeting with Auburn leadership and finalizing a campus partnership, Chandler and four other Auburn agriculture students were sponsored to attend the 2014 conference.
Chandler, a junior studying agricultural communications, took three agricultural communications students with him to Kansas City – freshman Chuck Tatum, sophomore Rebecca Oliver and junior Michelle Bufkin. Animal sciences senior Brandon Pate also accompanied the group.
During the conference, the students were separated by college year, were engaged in leadership development and learned how to communicate, manage change and create lifelong learning situations.
AFA also holds the Food Institute in Chicago in February, the Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. each March and the Crop Science Institute in Iowa in July.
“Anytime someone takes effort to put themselves in a situation that isn’t comfortable, such as a conference, they are opening up opportunities for more personal growth,” Chandler says.
Chandler encourages students from all majors to take part in leadership training so they can gain connections, build on existing skills and cultivate self-confidence.
Agriculture is a diverse field, and Chandler’s major of agricultural communications has diverse employment options after graduation, a characteristic leading to better job security.
“I can be confident knowing that I am not limiting myself to a job within communications,” he says, “but that I am also qualified to work in marketing, youth leadership, market outlooks in an agribusiness, etc. The list goes on.”
Chandler grew up on a purebred Hereford cattle farm and has always pictured himself working for a state Cattlemen’s Association, the NCBA or an animal protein company such as JBS, Tyson or Cargill. He has also considered working with a non-profit organization in youth leadership development, a task for which AFA and agricultural communications have prepared him.
“I’m still hesitant and am balancing my options of attending graduate school, but I have tried my best to be prepared for whatever the Lord has planned for my future,” he says.
For more information regarding AFA, check out www.agfuture.org or contact Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org.