Next Generation

Farm Foundation Cultivators

Nurturing and developing the next generation of industry leaders.

Congratulations to the June 2022 Cultivators!

The following students will participate in the Farm Foundation Round Table held June 8-14, 2022, in Boise, Idaho.

Rio Bonham Square Crop

Rio Bonham
Oklahoma State University

Nipuna Chamara Square Crop

Nipuna Chamara
University of Nebraska

Chloe Eggert Square Crop

Chloe Eggert
Auburn University

Payton Flower Square Crop

Payton Flower
University of Nebraska

Elizabeth Haymaker

Elizabeth Haymaker
Oklahoma State University

Hope Miller Square Crop

Hope Miller
University of Florida

About the Cultivators

Rio Bonham
Oklahoma State University

Rio is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biosystems engineering at Oklahoma State University. His research interest lies in the field of water resources and sustainable agriculture, and he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in agricultural and biological engineering or a related field, focusing on water resources and hydrology.

Nipuna Chamara
University of Nebraska

Nipuna Chamara is in the second year of his doctoral program in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he holds a master’s degree in agricultural and biological systems engineering. Prior to joining UNL, he was a lecturer in the Biosystems Engineering Department at the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. He is working on developing IoT edge computing devices for accurate field crop evapotranspiration estimation.

Chloe Eggert
Auburn University

Chloe is pursuing a master’s degree in crops, soils, and environmental science from Auburn University, where she is studying the biogeochemistry of geographically isolated wetlands with agricultural watersheds in Southwestern Georgia. During her undergraduate studies in environmental and ecological sciences at Elon University, she researched drought tolerance of wetland plants in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Payton Flower
University of Nebraska

In the fall, Payton will be attending The University of Arkansas School of Law. She recently received her Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics with a public policy option and a minor in leadership and communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her senior thesis focused on rural broadband in Nebraska.

Elizabeth Haymaker
Oklahoma State University

Elizabeth is pursuing a doctoral degree in rangeland ecology and management from Oklahoma State University. The objective of her dissertation research is to understand patterns and consequences of belowground plant attributes, linking drought resilience traits and microbial symbioses to management of rangelands and dryland agriculture. She is a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Hope Miller
University of Florida

Hope is pursuing her master’s degree in forest resources and conservation from the University of Florida, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. Her studies and research focus on natural resources outreach and communication in the southeastern U.S., with particular emphasis on increasing prescribed fire awareness.

About the Farm Foundation Cultivators Program

To help nurture the next generation of industry leaders, the Farm Foundation selects six university students to attend each Farm Foundation Round Table meeting. Cultivators, who may be undergraduate or graduate students, 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.

Each Cultivator is connected with a Farm Foundation Round Table Fellow who acts as a mentor for the meeting, letting students know what to expect and making sure they are interacting with other attendees. Cultivators are expected to participate in all aspects of the meeting and present a poster representing a key aspect of their studies.