Penn State Ag Advocates celebrates 30 years of promoting agriculture

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Ag Advocates, an organization of undergraduate students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, celebrated 30 years of successfully promoting agricultural awareness during a banquet on April 20 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Current Ag Advocates, alumni of the program and members of the College of Agricultural Sciences' leadership group celebrated the milestone. Attending as special guests were Lamartine Hood, dean emeritus of the college, and Marianne Fivek, who served as assistant to the dean for undergraduate student recruitment and activities and as the club's adviser prior to her retirement.

"Ag Advocates are champions of the college and agriculture," said Jean Lonie, director of student recruitment and activities. "The contributions that they make — during their college years and beyond — have great importance and impact. We are thrilled to celebrate the organization's proud past and its bright future."

Lonie explained that the Ag Advocates are a team of dedicated students who work to educate the University and prospective students and their families on what being a part of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State means.

They represent the college at major events, including Penn State's Ag Progress Days and the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and at special college functions. Ag Advocates also support the college's efforts to raise awareness of educational and career opportunities in the food, agricultural and natural resource sciences, and to recruit students.

The Ag Advocates also have many opportunities to further develop leadership and professional skills, network with industry leaders across all sectors of the agricultural sciences, and establish working relationships with college and university faculty, students, staff, administration and alumni.

Perhaps most important, the Ag Advocates build a connection between the college and prospective students by sharing information about the various majors and minors, providing advice, guiding tours, promoting inclusion and diversity, and helping new students acclimate to college life.

"A big misconception people have about our college is that we're all farmers, and while some of our majors do focus on production agriculture, we cover a wide array of studies ranging from community environmental development to plant sciences to toxicology," said Ag Advocate Amy King, a food science major at Penn State.

Ag Advocates are there to help others, but they benefit from the program themselves as well. They serve their college and community while also building their professional profiles and gaining experience in their chosen field.

"Through this organization, I've had the opportunity to represent my university and college at numerous events such as the Pennsylvania Farm Show, in addition to educating those in and out of the Penn State community about the importance of agriculture in our day-to-day lives," said King.

In addition, King noted that being part of such a diverse group of students has better prepared her for what it will be like to work on teams in her professional career.

From promoting diversity to helping new students adapt to the college lifestyle, the Ag Advocates benefit many people in many ways. They are an asset not only to the College of Agricultural Sciences but to the Penn State community as a whole, Lonie said.

Last Updated May 07, 2018