About the Round Table

A program of Farm Foundation, the Round Table is an invitational discussion forum comprised of leaders from across the food chain and across North America. The Farm Foundation® Round Table meets twice yearly to provide a forum for discussion and interaction among members and invited government, academic, agribusiness and other interest group leaders. Attendance at Round Table events is limited to members and invited guests.


Programs are designed to explore ideas, analyses and insights that participants may use in their own work. The exchange of ideas fosters understanding of different approaches to issues and challenges facing agriculture, the food system and rural regions. Topics for Round Table meetings are determined by Program Committee of the Board of Directors. Programs often build on other Farm Foundation projects. Round Table discussions also generate new ideas for Farm Foundation project work.


The Cultivator program is an opportunity for students in food and agriculture to interact with the diversity of agricultural and food system leaders who are participants of the Round Table. 

To help nurture the next generation of industry leaders, the Round Table hosts approximately six university students at each Round Table meeting. Cultivators are selected from a competitive pool of applicants from accredited North American colleges or universities. Students are nominated by their college dean or department head.

Meet the June 2020 Class of Cultivators

Michael Fioretto
University of Florida
Becky Hawkins
Auburn University
Matthias Kunerth
South Dakota State University
Abigail Cox
Cornell University
Kevin Zhang
University of Illinois
Heidi Borg
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Show More

Click on the photo to see each student's bio information. 

Previous Cultivators


Each Cultivator is assigned a Round Table host, who serves as a mentor during the meeting. Cultivators are expected to participate in all aspects of the meeting, and traditionally present a key aspect of their studies. 

Pictured: Cultivator Class of January 2020

Cultivator Group Picture 3.jpg

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being a Cultivator at the Round Table meeting and learning from leaders with so much knowledge and experience.

Heather Yoder, University of Florida

The Round Table Cultivator experience was such a wonderful, eye-opening opportunity for a PhD student such as myself, and I feel really lucky to have participated. It's extraordinary that the Farm Foundation is willing to support the professional development of future leaders in agriculture, and I'm so grateful. 

Dani Gelardi, University of California, Davis

I wanted to express my gratitude for taking time to make the Farm Foundation Round Table event a great experience for the Cultivators; it truly was a valuable opportunity to network and learn! 

Tony W. Rice, Pennsylvania State University

©2020 by Farm Foundation