ISU senior elected president of international association, prepares to bring 2014 World Congress to Iowa State

Caitlin Deaver

Genna Tesdall has been elected president of the International Association of students in Agricultural and related Sciences, an international association of 100,000 students from around the globe who study agriculture and related sciences.

“It’s a cool feeling to help create opportunities for people my age and have access to so many of my peers across the world,” Tesdall said, senior in global resource systems. “It is a really empowering feeling. [Being president] is more of a dialogue than leadership.”

Tesdall was elected back in August for the position at the 2013 World Congress in Santiago, Chile.

Some of the responsibilities Tesdall has being president include: making sure protocol is being followed, giving members various career-oriented opportunities, helping plan different congresses and making sure all IAAS members are on the same page as the executive committee.

“It’s a learning experience every day,” Tesdall said. “There’s always a new perspective of a problem that I’ve never thought of in that way. It’s such an amazing learning opportunity and it really makes me passionate about what I do and what I study.”

Along with being IAAS president, Tesdall is a community adviser in Oak-Elm. Her coursework also helps supplement her leadership roles as they offer more of a real-world education, like proposal writing, that meshes with her activities.

Being involved with Iowa State’s IAAS chapter, Tesdall, with the help of Rebecca Clay, sophomore in agronomy and an ISU IAAS member, helped guarantee the World Congress to be hosted by Iowa State this summer.

After attending a meeting in Sweden, Tesdall and Clay wrote a proposal for the event to take place in Ames, which Tesdall successfully pitched.

“We wanted to show our friends and community at home what this is all about,” Tesdall said.

The World Congress is a three-weeklong annual meeting for the governing body of IAAS, which includes a weeklong General Assembly of all 37 countries involved with IAAS. The 2014 World Congress will be at Iowa State from July 13 to Aug. 3.

While at Iowa State, IAAS members will participate in farm and industry tours, as well as communicate with company professionals. Cultural activities unique to the United States and Iowa will be available, as well, along with professional development training.

“I am extremely excited for this summer’s World Congress,” said Brian Castro, senior in nutritional science and a World Congress coordinator. “The planning [for the 2014 World Congress] has been great and we have an amazing executive team working toward one, communal effort.”

At the World Congress, Tesdall will meet with the rest of the executive committee, which includes members from Greece, Belarus, Indonesia and Canada. Other IAAS members from chapters across six continents will be in attendance as well.

Overall, Tesdall expects 80 to 100 people to attend the event.

“It is a great link for ISU and the College of Agriculture to the rest of the world,” Tesdall said. “The World Congress really helps showcase the great education Iowa State is giving students and how it prepares students to be professional on the global unit. This is a huge chance for ISU to meet with more international people interested in agriculture.”

The 2014 World Congress is also a new opportunity for Iowa State.

ISU will be launching its first-ever crowd-funding project next summer to help fund the World Congress to. Students are encouraged to get involved by giving donations, as IAAS will be looking for corporate donations to help funding on another level.

“We all have traveled through IAAS and have seen the benefits of exchanging ideas and learning through agriculture,” said Dylan Clark, senior in global resource systems and ISU IAAS chapter president. “We are driven and motivated to provide an arena [during the World Congress] for discussion on agriculture.”