Ag Advocates share their pride virtually, despite social distancing

Amy Duke
March 23, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Every April, the Ag Advocates in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences host Penn State Ag Day, an event that brings people together to learn about the diversity of agriculture through hands-on activities and demonstrations.

With the cancellation of their annual celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic, the advocates faced a problem — how could they laud the achievements of the college, its 40 student organizations and the agricultural industry and keep with social distancing?

Their solution — Penn State Virtual Ag Week 2020 — begins today and continues through Friday. The social media celebration serves as a complement to National Ag Week, an awareness campaign sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America.

“In this challenging time, it was important to us, as a student organization, to be willing to adapt and to press forward with a positive message,” said Jana Russell, a graduate student in the College of Agricultural Sciences who is co-adviser of the Ag Advocates, a group of undergraduates that works to enhance the image of agriculture, helps in recruiting, welcomes new students and represents the college at major events.

“We hope that this media series allows our students to highlight their areas of passion and pride, while also showcasing the many different and unique roles that agriculture can have,” she said. “And, we want to show current and future students that the College of Agricultural Sciences is proud and appreciative of their hard work and dedication to agriculture.”

Russell said the advocates are asking students, faculty, staff and all agricultural enthusiasts to create a short video or post a photo on their social media accounts based on a daily theme. They should tag @psuagadvocates and @agsciences and include the hashtag #psuAgWeek2020 in all posts so that the club members can share.

Themes include:

  • "What does agriculture mean to you?”
  • “Why is it important to celebrate agriculture?”
  • “How have you been involved with the College of Agricultural Sciences?”
  • “Global Agriculture: Where has agriculture taken you?”
  • “Flashback Friday: Share your favorite photos from past Ag Days”

Ag Advocate Tess McNamara is glad that the group found a creative way to honor agriculture and to stay connected.

Virtual Ag Week social post

Ag Advocate Tess McNamara plans to post this photo to social media in celebration of Penn State Virtual Ag Week 2020. 

IMAGE: Tess McNamara

“Virtual Ag Week is important because it represents how agriculture brings people together and supports the food system, and that is incredibly important, especially now,” said the senior agricultural science major. “Agriculture creates a huge community and is the foundation for everyone's livelihoods.”

Marra Baker, director of student recruitment and activities and club adviser, said she is proud of how the Ag Advocates — and all students — are rising to the current challenges.

“I am proud of the students’ perseverance, resilience and spirit,” Baker said. “More than ever, we all need to support each other and be connected.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 23, 2020