Starting college is an exciting but overwhelming time. Classes start, hundreds of new faces appear on campus and every college organization wants you to join their club. I experienced this while walking through the involvement fair on campus, but there was one organization that cut through the clutter: the University of Wisconsin River Falls Collegiate Farm Bureau.
Collegiate Farm Bureau was an organization that I knew I wanted to be a part of as soon as I became a UWRF student. My parents have always been very involved in my county Farm Bureau and I have seen the many benefits of being involved in this wonderful organization. Collegiate Farm Bureau chapters allow students to catch a glimpse into the Farm Bureau organization. Some events, such as the Annual Meeting, offer an experience for both collegiate and county members. It’s a great way for collegiate members to network with experienced individuals and explore opportunities beyond college. After graduation, many collegiate members return home to their county Farm Bureau to continue their involvement and contribute their skills.
There are three Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapters in Wisconsin: UW-River Falls, UW-Platteville and UW-Madison. All chapters host their own unique events but share one common activity: Ag Day on Campus. These events been hosted on each campus for many years and are filled with activities for community members, students, and faculty to enjoy.
Ag Day on Campus focuses on connecting people with all sides of agriculture and features the agriculture department at each school. At UW-River Falls, all campus agricultural organizations are welcome to set up a booth that’s informational and interactive. Throughout the day, guests such as Alice in Dairyland, Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair and Wisconsin State FFA Officers speak about their agricultural experiences. At night, a free meal is provided to all students, faculty and community members. Over half of the meal features food products grown in Wisconsin – even some grown on the UWRF campus!
After the meal has been served, a special guest speaker presents to the crowd. This past year’s speaker was Greg Peterson from the Peterson Farm Brothers! Not only did he share his story of his family farm and how they advocate for agriculture but sang some of his farming song parodies.
This year’s Ag Day on Campus was a success across all collegiate chapters, and it’s a tradition that will carry on for years to come.
I am so thankful for my time in the Collegiate Farm Bureau. The experiences I’ve had for the past few years have been unforgettable. This organization has brought me so many new friendships, opportunities and unforgettable memories. Even though I will be graduating college next year, I can’t wait to get involved in my county Farm Bureau and grow upon the experiences I have had from my collegiate chapter.