Breaking New Ground for Ag Week 2017

The College of Agriculture is “Breaking New Ground” next week as they kick off the 12th annual Ag Week on March 27.

Ellie Isbell enjoys the Ag Week Petting Zoo during Ag Week 2017. Photo Credit: Auburn University Ag Council
Ellie Isbell enjoys the Ag Week Petting Zoo during Ag Week 2017. Photo Credit: Auburn University Ag Council

Ag Week is held every year to give College of Agriculture students the opportunity to share the impact and importance of agriculture with the rest of Auburn University.

The theme is “Breaking New Ground” because the agriculture industry is changing and making big advances in technology said Will Howard Wendland, Ag Council president.

The week will begin with a petting zoo on the Green Space hosted by Block and Bridle and Auburn University Young Farmers from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Other College of Agriculture clubs will be on the Green Space answering questions about agriculture.

“As a land grant university, I think it’s important that Auburn University students know the impact our college and the industry have not only in this state but also throughout the world,” said Megan Ross, College of Agriculture student services coordinator.

Will Howard Wendland, Ag Council president, rides the mechanical bull during the Ag Week Carnival. Photo Credit: Auburn University Ag Council
Will Howard Wendland, Ag Council president, rides the mechanical bull during the Ag Week Carnival. Photo Credit: Auburn University Ag Council

The college will also be hosting the Ag Week Ag Carnival on Tuesday at Ag Heritage Park from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

“Personally, my favorite part is the Carnival at Ag Heritage Park,” Wendland. “It’s an event that allows people of all ages to get together and have a good time.”

This year there will be carnival games, a bounce house, an inflatable slide and a mechanical bull.

Ag Council will be hosting the Ag Week Picnic on Wednesday on the Comer Lawn. Fried catfish and chicken finger plates will be sold for $8 and Ag Week shirts will be sold for $20 on a first come, first serve basis.

The bloodmobile will also be on Comer Lawn from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for Block and Bridle’s annual Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Screening. Bone marrow screenings will take place in Comer Hall from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

There will be blood and bone marrow drives during the Ag Week Picnic. Photo Credit: Auburn University Ag Council
There will be blood and bone marrow drives during the Ag Week Picnic. Photo Credit: Auburn University Ag Council

Alabama Farmers Federation Communications Director Jeff Helms will be speaking on Thursday to College of Agriculture students on how to engage and lead conversations with the community about current issues in agriculture.

Ag Week is a tradition for the college, but there are some new events this year.

The Ag Ambassadors will be hosting karaoke night in the Alfa Pavilion following the carnival until 9 p.m., and all students are invited to participate.

Wednesday night beginning at 5:30, Collegiate Cattlemen and Cattlewomen will be hosting their annual Burger Brawl on Comer Lawn. Grills, meat and buns are provided by the club. There is a $20 entrance fee for each team, and they need to bring their own seasonings and be prepared to grill their own unique burger. The winning team will win $100 cash prize, donated by the Alabama Cattlewomen Association.

The Sigma Alpha Stud Auction has been added to Ag Week this year. Auburn men are auctioned off as part of a date night package from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. in the Alfa Pavilion. The money raised during the auction will go to Ag in the Classroom, an agriculture literacy program for Auburn schools. Tickets are $2 in advance and $3 at the door.

College of Agriculture students will also be giving back to the Auburn community by volunteering at New Water Farms, Storybook Farms and Campus Kitchens on Friday.

“The College of Agriculture may not have the largest presence on campus, but we must rise to the challenge of helping to feed a growing world,” said Wendland. “The events of the week will allow us to show others how valuable our work is and how important it is to adequately prepare the next generation of scientists, educators, consultants, business men and women, and last but not least, farmers.”

AgHill Communications

Quietly in the basement of Comer Hall there is an advertising and public relations agency. But AgHill Communications, AHC, isn’t your typical agency because it is run entirely by agricultural communications students.

What is AHC?

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AHC is a new student run advertising and public relations agency for agricultural communications students. Photo Credit AHC.

Agricultural communications senior, Emily Thompson, first got the idea for AHC after reading an article about student-run agencies. Thompson was also noticing that her peers were applying for internships with little to no real work experience.

Wanting to help her peers, Thompson drew up a proposal for AHC and met with Dr. Paul Patterson, dean of the College of Agriculture, who approved her proposal in April 2016.

AHC, a fully operating advertising and public relations firm, staffed entirely by agricultural communications students opened in April 2016.

AHC’s clients include any College of Agriculture clubs and organizations and The Alabama National Fair.

AHC staff provide social media management, graphic design, photography, videography, event planning and web management to their clients.

The Mission of AHC

The mission of AHC is to give students practical experiences in design, public relations, social media strategy, writing and photography said Paul Hollis, agricultural communications academic advisor.

“It offers a non-judgmental environment where students can complete ‘real world’ work assignments,” said Hollis.

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AHC staff work to build their resumes and portfolios by gaining real-world experience. Photo Credit AHC.

AHC operates like any advertising and public relations agency, giving staff the opportunity to experience working in an agency atmosphere.

Projects are overseen by a senior director, assistant director and account manager.

Helping Students Gain Real World Experience

Junior, Morgan Graham joined AHC when she came to Auburn this fall to take advantage of the many    opportunities AHC offers.

“I believe working with AHC will give me the hand on experience that any employer is looking for,” said Graham.

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AHC staff work at the Alabama National Fair by taking pictures of the event. Photo Credit AHC.

Working for AHC gives staff an opportunity to network and make contacts with people in the work force and to build a portfolio.

Thompson also hopes that the staff will have jobs lined up before they graduate.

Thompson graduates in December 2016 and will be leaving AHC. She will be taking a job as director of communications for the Ohio Cattleman’s Association.

“I firmly believe that working in this firm helped me stand out against other applicants when applying for that position,” said Thompson. “And the experience I have received by being the Senior Director will only benefit me in the long run while working in Ohio.”

Agricultural communications students gain real life experiences by working for AgHill Communications, the student-run and led public relations and advertising agency.

For more information about AHC, check out their Facebook page.