NORFOLK, Neb. – Several student agriculture clubs joined the Student Activities Council at Northeast Community College to come together to celebrate agriculture. “AGstravaganza” was held as part of National Agriculture Week recently in the College’s Union 73 to demonstrate the importance of agriculture in a global society.
“There's a lot of people who speak against it on social media and elsewhere. And a lot of people don't know much about it,” said Mariah Frevert, a member of the Ag Business Club. “So I think it's our job as students who are passionate about it to help educate about it as well.”
Union 73 was set up with club members conducting events such as a grain fed versus grass fed beef tasting test, grocery store challenge, nutrient retention in soil, and administering an injection in a model of a cow.
Horticulture/golf course management members featured mini golf, a table set up where students would classify different types of fruits and fleshy fruits by sorting them out and categorizing them, and another activity identifying common turf grass seeds.
Horticulture/golf course management student Hayden Larabee, Valentine, said one activity stood out to him.
“Honestly the fruit identifying is interesting because a lot of fruits that you think are one thing are really another. A lot of fruits are actually berries. It's kind of interesting to see how they get categorized. It goes back to DNA and stuff like that. So it can be eye opening.”
The Ag Business Club conducted a trivia game based on the popular game, Jeopardy. Questions focused on plants, tools and equipment used in agriculture, and statistics, that included questions such as, “What is the biggest ranch in the United States?”
Frevert said the club’s role was to explain the business side of agriculture to students.
“It can give students an idea of what they may want to do after college. And it also helps club members with our networking and get our name out there,” she said. “We’re working to educate students and show them that we're a little bit more than just driving tractors and things like that. I think it can help students get kind of intrigued and more interested in agriculture, when they actually understand it.”
Other ag clubs participating in AGstravaganza included Collegiate Farm Bureau, Diversified Ag, and Veterinary Technology.
Ag Instructor Robert Noonan said one of the main points organizers wanted students to get out of the event was that the quality of the food that farmers produce is extremely good.
“We also wanted to address some misinformation that's out there as far as GMOs, other food quality issues and issues on how, for example, livestock are raised,” Noonan said. “Nobody cares more about livestock than the farmers who raise them. The quality of care is really good 99.9% of the time.”
Northeast Precision Ag Trainer Courtney Nelson said the event also focused on farm safety and addressed other myths in agriculture.
“We want students to know that regardless of if they become a banker, or a nurse or whatever they're studying at Northeast, agriculture does have a big impact on them,” Nelson said. “It helps provide food, clothing and shelter and we're part of that story and we want them to be engaged in it as well. We put this on so they can engage with us, and they can know that agriculture is important to all of us.”
Frevert likes how Northeast Community College, and the Student Activities Council prioritizes events such as AGstravaganza. Frevert, who grew up on a family farm near Wayne, is passionate about teaching others the role agriculture plays in everyone’s life. She likes to take part in events such as AGstravaganza and belongs to clubs and organizations that make it a priority to educate others.
“I think that this is just an excellent way to show them how we vaccinate our cattle, and the difference between organic and non-organic and that organic is just a farming practice and not really a health label. It's important that we educate them on that, so they have an understanding of it,” Frevert said. “Students and people in general need to know where their food is coming from and know that farming isn't bad; farming is what produces the food that you're eating, and we need to be thankful for it.”
Members of the Northeast Community College Ag Business Club ask questions during a Jeopardy game during the College’s AGstravaganza recently. AGstravaganza, sponsored by several student agriculture clubs in coordination with the Student Activities Council, was held as part of National Agriculture Week in the College’s Union 73 to demonstrate the importance of agriculture in a global society to students and the general college community.