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ifama YOUNG Board of Directors

The IFAMA Young Board is a team of twelve young, passionate individuals in the food and agribusiness management profession. The Board was born to help drive the overall objective of IFAMA: to bring together the world's leading scholars and students, industry and NGO professionals, and policymakers to improve the strategic focus, transparency, sustainability and responsiveness of the food and agribusiness system.

As a team, we are honored to be entrusted with the responsibility to share in the legacy of IFAMA. We are poised to represent and engage with the next generation of thought leaders in food and agribusiness management, to ensure that the world’s growing population is both fed and clothed sustainably.


Jack Keeys

Managing Director, J Keeys Consulting & Zoffee Ltd |  France

Chikomborero Chiobvu

University of Pretoria   |  South Africa

Deputy Chair
Verena Otter
Wageningen University |  Germany

Anathi Makamane
University of the Free State  |  South Africa

Treasurer Deputy
Tatevik Avetisyan Artoonian
California State, University - Chico  |  United States

Deputy Secretary
Rebecca Bennett
Australian Country Choice  |  Australia

Farmer Engagement Officer
Mateusz Ciasnocha
Ciasnocha Family Farms  |  Poland 

2024 World Conference Lead
Jorge Bittner Burgos
UNITEC  |  Chile

Membership Development Officer
Ebenezer Bold
University of Energy and Natural Resources |  Ghana

Project Lead Two
Vinícius Cambaúva
Harven Agribusiness School  |  Brazil

Director of Projects and Sponsorship
Jessica Souto

CRC Rideau-Rockcliffe  |  Canada

Project Lead One (International Mentoring)

Addison Spolyar

Bayer  |  United States


The Young Board is highly motivated and prepared to play an integral role in shaping the thoughts of the next generation in driving the global agrifood system forward. It is on this premise that we want to contribute the following as roles and responsibilities to accomplish this noble goal:

  • Expand our membership base of young professionals and youth in the IFAMA organization by reaching out to young professionals in various networks of the Young Board and the larger organization.
  • Establish frequent contact with our current members for insights to develop our product offering to suit their changing needs. We will also evaluate and develop our current offering during the annual conference to ensure that we remain relevant.
  • Establish a hub of opportunities for young professionals through training, mentorship and connections to develop the next generation of leaders in the food system.
  • Develop a recognition system for the young professionals that are seen as 'Rising Stars'.
  • Intensify the activities outside conference season by organizing and developing year-round activities such as webinars, deep-dive meetings, networking and mentorship events to connect the industry and students to discuss possible career opportunities.
  • Expand our reach beyond Universities to also include other tertiary institutions such as polytechnics, colleges and technical institutions.
  • Float funding instruments for youths through competitive activities. These instruments can be floated through essay and thesis competitions, and competitions around entrepreneurship and innovation. The funds can then be used by the winners to attend the annual conference.
  • Intensify and scale the social media discourse activity and reach to increase our visibility.
  • Grow the interest and reach of IFAMR among food and agribusiness scholars by creating a presence for the journal and the published papers on the social media platforms.

In all our endeavors, we see it as our responsibility as the IFAMA Young Board to leave a legacy of excellence for the generations that come after us. To continue building an IFAMA that we are all proud of and that the next generation is keen to successfully carry forward.

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