Ag Facts Friday to be held on April 15
Ag Facts Friday is an event that will be held on college campuses across the country. Its aim it so improve the image of agriculture by educating college students about where their food and clothing come from, provide facts about the vital role agriculture plays in our daily lives, and expose students to the genuine values held by agriculturalists.
Originally called “Thank A Farmer Thursday,” the event was supposed to be held March 31, 2011, but copyright issues forced the board of directors, consisting entirely of college students, to move dates and change names.
As a result, Ag Facts Friday will be held on April 15, 2011. Participating colleges include: Texas A&M University, University of Florida, University of Missouri, College of the Ozarks, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska, Mississippi State, Kansas State University and Clemson University.
“We will spread out on campus, hand out donated items such as food, T-shirts, and brochures, and talk to students,” explained Gentrie Schafer, a beef reproductive physiology masters student at Texas A&M and one of the participating members on the board of directors. “Ag Facts Friday will tell students about who we are, what we really do, and how our industry benefits them. Participants will be sent informational material to print and hand out. Donators and participating universities may also be listed. Large poster boards for students to sign will be presented to local producers and associations in appreciation for all they do.”
The AgFACTS Web site can be found at http://www.agfactsusa.org. Visitors to the site will find T-shirts for sale celebrating the event, as well as promotional items and educational materials.
“At participating universities, you can expect to see students all over campus wearing our T-shirts with the slogan, ‘Tried-n-true from the farm to you,'” said Shafer. “The students will talk about agriculture with their peers and non-agricultural students. They will also hand out sheets that contain some basic facts about agriculture. Most universities will have large posters for students to sign in order to thank and show their support for the farmers and producers that provide for them. Different types of livestock will even be on campus at some schools that day for a little show-and-tell, along with an explanation of how efficiently we utilize almost all of the resources from these animals. Many university groups have received food, drinks, and brochures as donations from businesses and associations within the industry to pass out that day to remind students of the variety of products agricultural industries and farms provide.”
With a growing list of universities getting involved, Shafer said there is still time for other college campuses to get involved.
“We hope the number of colleges participating will continue to grow as time progresses, and we have already had a number of students from high schools and universities commit their involvement for next fall,” said Shafer. “We believe this will continue to be an event that educates students on campus about agriculture and provides a platform for discussion as non-agricultural students see that the people behind their food and clothing are people just like them. AgFACTS will continue to support this campaign.”
The group would like to see Ag Facts Friday make its way into high schools and the community, as well. They have had a great deal of support from people all over the nation and are excited about the future of this campaign.
“We never dreamed this would be such a big event, and we now know not to underestimate ourselves or the power of social media and word of mouth,” said Shafer, of the name and date change that needed to be made. “It’s not too late to get involved. Students, producers, and consumers can get involved by handing out the fact sheets on April 15 we provide by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are selling T-shirts, and people of all backgrounds and ages can also learn more about agriculture or get involved by going to our Web site, http://www.agfactsusa.org.”
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