CAHNRS alumna awarded for creating agriculture opportunities for students

CAHNRS alumna Jenica Nickels was awarded the Bridge Builder Award through Agriculture Future of America (AFA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional development, scholarships, and experiential opportunities to future leaders in the agriculture industry.

Nickels was initially selected as one of four finalists, then Bridge Builder Award at the AFA National Conference in November. She was recognized for her service in giving back to the organization and “building bridges” for students and community members throughout the northwest.

A group of people hold up a crimson WSU glad
CAHNRS Cougs Celebrating Jenica’s Win at the AFA Conference in November, 2021.

“I was very fortunate to be involved in this organization as a student, and now I have the opportunity to attend as an industry partner, AFA Alliance member, and AFA alumni member. It is an honor to be able to give back,” she said.

Nickels assists with application reviews for AFA Leader Conferences, serves as a guest speaker at AFA events, and partners with students to connect them to opportunities in the agriculture industry like career advice and mentoring.

“Our office nominated Jenica for this award because she has always been a person who builds bridges for our students to be connected to agriculture and AFA,” said Herbert William Lengel III, student services coordinator and advisor for CAHNRS Academic Programs.

Nickels and her husband, CAHNRS alumnus Brandon Nickels, created the Student Legacy Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Scholarship, which they continue to support each year.

“It is a goal of mine to try to give back to all of the organizations and individuals who invested in me as a student, and pay it forward to future leaders in the agricultural industry,” she said.