Celebrate Agriculture Week concludes

Peyton Coleman hands Austin McNorton a hamburger fresh off the grill. Coleman and other members of Rodney Barr’s agriculture advocacy class grilled and handed out free hamburgers outside the J.W. Jones Student Union Oct. 31 as part of Celebrate Agriculture Week.

Northwest School of Agriculture hosted its fourth annual Celebrate Agriculture Week.

Director of the School of Agriculture Rod Barr said his department holds this week to celebrate the impact agriculture has on the community.

“With the school of ag sciences, it gives us an opportunity to connect to not only our students, but alumni and community members that are engaged in the agriculture industry,” Barr said.

Barr said the agriculture industry has an $88 billion impact on Missouri every year. He said it is money like that which shows how much of an effect agriculture has in routine life.

“It impacts everybody everyday,” Barr said. “People eat everyday, and the impact that agriculture plays in that you know, and that’s what we’re trying to do is to build that bridge between consumers and producers. Farmers are important to everybody, and it’s important to recognize that, and it’s fun to celebrate agriculture the way we do at Northwest.”

Throughout the week, Barr and the agriculture department held many events. The highlights including Agriculture advocacy events, a canned food drive held by Sigma Alpha and Alpha Gamma Rho at Hy-Vee and an open house with a luncheon. The agriculture department also had some of its equipment on display around Bearcat Stadium.

Barr said the community is always very responsive to this event.

“The community is great,” Barr said. “When you start looking at it and you start looking at sponsorships, we got several community business to help sponsor this event. We have support from the community. The support for the food drive comes from the community, and just the support in general from the community of ag sciences.”

The activities from the week were photographed and submitted to an event called College Aggies Online.

“College Aggies Online is an initiative of the alliance that connects college students from across the country who are interested in promoting agriculture,” Barr said. “Participants receive training and instructions from industry experts and engage on social media by posting information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and telling personal stories.”

Junior Alyana Meadows said students can also earn scholarships from what they submit, including submissions from Celebrate Agriculture Week events. Meadows said that she enjoys working on Celebrate Agriculture Week and participating in College Aggies Online.

“I really enjoyed working during Celebrate Ag Week,” Meadows said. “It gave me the opportunity to talk with alumni in the ag department as well as students who may want to come to Northwest. I truly believe in the program given here at Northwest, and I think any person who comes to study here in agriculture will leave with a family and a positive outlook on their future position in agriculture.”

Sophomore Hailee Beemer also participated in Celebrate Agriculture week. Beemer said she enjoyed being able to show and each other people about agriculture.

“I absolutely enjoy helping with Celebrate Ag week,” Beemer said. “ I love this industry and am so passionate about. I want others to see what we are able to do and see that we are advancing just like other industries. Nothing compares to the feeling you get when you teach people about agriculture and they see just how important it is to their everyday life.”

One of the people in the agriculture industry that attended the event was Nachure Fertilizer. Northwest alumnus and District Sales Manager Brian Stride attended the open house and luncheon Nov. 3. Stride said he remembers a lot of positive experiences at Northwest.

“My brother and I graduated from here. Northwest has been very good to us, and we wanted to come and see all good improvements that they’re doing and putting forth back into the ag industry,” Strider said.

Strider was able to attend the open house for the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation.

“I noticed improvements of the new (CIE), you know we were in the Valk building,” Strider said. “All the new classrooms, all the new technology really looks good and will help education.”

Strider also talked about how Northwest has very positive impact on agriculture in the community and state.

“I can tell you specifically Northwest Missouri State embraces agriculture, it embraces community and it embraces the state,” Strider said. “It actually gives back a lot to the community as far as to the students to agriculture.”

Strider said his company has begun working with Northwest as the University continues to do research in the agriculture industry.

“With the labs and what they have going on in the plant science department, as well as in the agriculture department as far as production from top to bottom, through crop production, through animal science, we are able to work with them,” Strider said.

Strider said Nachure Fertilizer working with Northwest is beneficial to both sides.

“It benefits both sides by this: we have liquid fertilizer that actually works with hay production and will actually increase tounage which will increase feed value,” Strider said. “It gets the students to work with people in the industry such as myself to learn how to communicate well, to learn how to do research and to take that and use it at a pracial level.”

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