Every year, Agriculture Futures of America (AFA) invites students ages 17-25 to participate in their Annual Food Institute. This program allows students to learn more about the food industry and what happens to food after it leaves the farm. Students are introduced to a variety of fields within the food industry, including those in marketing, research and development, packaging and more.
This year, Laine Barth, a student at Purdue University participated in the AFA Food institute and described her participation as "a sweet time." Learn more about her experience in the AFA Food Institute in the blog excerpt below:
One of the ways the AFA Food Institute gives college students an inside look into the food industry is through company tours. My experience as part of Tour Group 5 took us to James Calvetti Meats, Inc., Ferrara Candy Company and McDonald’s Innovation Center with Cargill, Inc.
Our first stop was in the meatpacking district of Chicago at a small ready-to-cook shop that opened in 1974. As the livestock industry has changed in Chicago, James Calvetti Meats has too. One example of this is they buy some meat from Mexico, where the culture doesn't use the mid-section of the carcass. They hand cut, spice and ship their delicious meat products all over the world, where they are prepared by restaurants and resorts with high-dollar clientele from all over the world.
After a quick 45-minute commute, we came to our second location, Ferrara Candy Company. This company started as a small bakery that grew and now makes many of the sweet treats we have all tried. Boston Baked Beans, Lemonheads, Red Hots, Now and Later and Trolli gummies are just a few. As we walked from room to room, we smelled the tangy fragrances, got to taste test the fresh gummies and see how they are brewed, poured and let set overnight.
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Interested in learning more about how you can apply to next year's AFA Food Institute? Check out the application requirements here.