Purdue University Ag Week Task Force leaders share why they think agriculture is important while handing out free goods at the annual Purdue Ag Week. Pictured (from left) are Micah Matlock, Michael Baird, Amanda Gee, Jackson Troxel, Brittany Haltom and Jared Baird.
Purdue University Ag Week Task Force leaders share why they think agriculture is important while handing out free goods at the annual Purdue Ag Week. Pictured (from left) are Micah Matlock, Michael Baird, Amanda Gee, Jackson Troxel, Brittany Haltom and Jared Baird.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Student leaders at Purdue University sported their version of agricultural swag at the second-annual weeklong “See What Ag Gives” event.

A line of students dawning bright green SWAG shirts, sunglasses and “swag bags” stood in the muddy grass on the Memorial Mall, where College of Agriculture clubs met to teach peers what agriculture is all about.

“The goal is to start conversations on campus about the agriculture industry,” said Amanda Gee, junior in agricultural communication and media team member of Ag Week Task Force “We’re all students. We all share that in common. But we all have different backgrounds that may or may not be in ag.”

Passersby interacted with the clubs to answer trivia questions and play games that sparked discussions about farms. A variety of food and prizes were given out, including free beef jerky samples from the Block and Bridle Club.

Long lines wrapping outside of the tents were proof that many college students were interested in hearing what the clubs had to say.

“I learned that a cow, in one day, provides a 100 glasses of milk. That’s a lot of milk,” said Janice Ringler, a political science student from Honolulu.

Outside of the tents, students played corn hole and ate pizza from the Farm Management Club booth. The club gave away free food on Thursday and discussed what a day without agriculture would look like.

“I honestly don’t think the world would go on or function without ag,” said Dakota Parent, secretary of the Farm Management Club. “It’s really important because it feeds people, and there are a lot of products that people don’t realize ag plays into.”

A Day Without Ag was one of several events held to promote agricultural awareness. Representation from many student organizations, including Collegiate Farm Bureau, National Beef Ambassadors, 4-H and FFA, made Ag Week complete.

According to Gee, the week was a success and had a large turn out.

“Milk Monday was the kick off event,” she said. “The Dairy Club gave away grilled cheese and milk cartons, so that always gets students interested. Also, this year we had the Hunger Knows No Bounds event in Mackey Arena. We had Jeff Simmons, the president of Elanco, talk about his personal experiences with world hunger.”

Before the Hunger Knows No Bounds event, 10 teams of students were given $100 each to gather nutritional meals for local families.

They shopped at Walmart and came back to campus to have their meals judged based on nutritional value.

Not only does Purdue Ag Week provide educational opportunities for everyone on campus, it also is a chance for students to gain event planning and leadership skills. Last semester, students were nominated to be on the Ag Week Task Force, and since then they have been working hard to make the event a reality.

“We developed a media plan at the beginning of last semester, and we’ve been working on implementing that,” Gee said.