Xavier Morgan is the definition of goal orientated. From being a chapter officer of the 3rd largest FFA chapter in the nation to being in just about every club or organization that his college has to offer, and lastly hoping to one day open up his own business he is one determined guy. Coming from a non-traditional background of Chicago he has set high standards for the agriculture community with his leadership, ideas, and morals. I was able to talk with Xavier about his passions on food sustainability, growing leaders of tomorrow, and being a young person in agriculture.
- What was your high school experience like as well as your involvement there?
I attended Chicago High School for Agricultural Science (CHSAS) during my high school career. CHSAS has about 650 students. It is unique in that students during their junior year can pick between six pathways. Animal science, food science, and agriculture business and finance just to name a few. I was in the Agriculture business and finance pathway. During my time at CHSAS I was the chapter FFA Vice-President as well as the Section 8 President.
- What college do you currently attend and your involvement there?
I’m in my second semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after attending two years at Joliet Junior College. My major is Agriculture Communications with an emphasis in Advertising as well as a minor in Food and Environmental Systems. I currently serve on the National Agriculture Future of America Student Board. We are currently planning the AFA Leaders Conference that will take place in November. I am also one of three student representatives for the College of ACES on the Illinois Student Government. I recently co-founded a new club called UNIFY which promotes food sustainability, food systems, and we are hoping to get our message out to more people! Those are just a couple of the highlights of things I am involved in on campus. I also was just nominated for Homecoming Court for The U of I!
- Since you’re an Agriculture Communications major, how do you stay up on your agriculture news?
I think social media is a powerful tool when used correctly and with reliable sources. I really like Twitter and Facebook. I also get many resources from the College of ACES Library on campus as well as my professors.
- What is your dream job and how did you get to that point?
Before going to CHSAS I wanted to work in Computer Science. However, I soon learned that a lot of math and that sort of thing was not my thing. I soon found that agriculture business and communication was really my passion. My dream job would probably be a career that interacts with people. Through my internship with Elanco last summer helping sell product in their companion animal sales department and working with customers and veterinarians I started to really enjoy working with people. Eventually, I would want to open my own advertising firm with a focus in agriculture.
- Do you ever remember anything that has changed in agriculture and where do you see agriculture going in the next 5-10 years?
I definitely have seen a change in the consumer’s misconception on GMO’s and how they generally see agriculture. This has thankfully gotten better because of people trying to educate consumers on the agriculture industry. In the next 5-10 years, I see consumer’s perceptions get better along with advancements in technology. I think there will be a lot more automation and less labor intensive careers and fields of work.
- Do you have any advice for younger people in agriculture or thinking about agriculture as a career?
I tell most people I talk to that agriculture isn’t going anywhere. People want to be fed and clothed. Coming from a rather non-traditional background-the south side of Chicago-my goals within the agriculture industry could be different than others. Don’t be afraid to try new things, ask questions, get involved, take advantage of every opportunity that is given to you, and find a mentor. For me it was one of my FFA Advisors, William Collins, who helped me grow personally and professionally.
Lake Land College