Below are brief descriptions of some of the annual events hosted by the Agricultural Student Council.
Hot Chocolate Social
This event is held in January, typically during the second week of school being back in session. The purpose of the Hot Chocolate Social is to give COA option clubs a chance to build club awareness amongst the college and potentially attract new members. Additionally the Hot Chocolate Social is, as the name implies, a great opportunity to socialize. The event promotes socializing among, fellow students, friends and faculty. Everyone at the university is invited to attend the social, particularly those wanting to be involved in the COA. Option Clubs pay the Agricultural Council to set up a booth at the designated location of the social. During the social, which usually runs from 5:30- 7 PM, guests are invited to have a free cup of hot chocolate, provided by the council, and peruse the different booths, where they can receive toppings for their drink. The social is one of a couple different fundraisers that the council does. The council is broken down into four committees for executing this event. Dress is polos or pullovers, name badges and jeans.
The Leaders Retreat is organized by the council and sponsored by Land O’ Lakes. It’s held in February at the Beck Center on 52. Option Club presidents and officers, LDCP participants and Ag Ambassadors are all invited to attend. The retreat is one evening only. It begins with dinner, which in the past has been catered by Shoups, then progresses into two different leadership breakout sessions, of which guests attend both in a rotation. One of the featured presentations is Land O’ Lakes and the other presentation varies from year to year. Regardless, all presentations focus on specific facets of leadership. We help organize this event as a way to promote leadership in the COA, as well as it is a good time to fellowship with others in the COA. Most years there are special guests including Dean Adkridge and other faculty members. We typically have +120 student leaders attend. Everyone is asked to dress business casual that night, council members typically wear polos or pullovers, name badges and khakis.
Each April Purdue hosts a weekend long festival called Spring Fest. It is open to the public and publicized as an event that showcases the lighter side of higher education. It is a great time for students of all ages to learn about animals, art, astronomy, and much more. As a council we reserve space in one of the tents on the AGAD lawn. This is a chance for us to work on our public relations. During the festival we interact with community members and get our name out there in a positive way. Additionally we can use this opportunity as a fundraiser event. We always use this event as an occasion to sell our COA t-shirts. Each year we try to have some activity as well. In the past we have sold walking tacos to make money, but last year we had a free tractor pull as a way to interact with the youth. We have a lot of freedom in what we do with this event. It is something that tends to vary from year to year based on what the council comes up with. Council members will work one or more shifts during this weekend event. Dress is polos or pullovers, name badges and jeans.
Spring Awards Banquet
During the Spring semester the council helps with conducting the COA awards banquet. This banquet is one way that we show our continued support for outstanding students in the college. Through careful planning with the Office of Academic Programs we are able to have a night where we recognize students for their achievements throughout the year. Council members run the whole banquet from start to finish, taking turns moderating and passing out awards. As with any of our other events this one takes quite a bit of preparation prior to the actual event. The banquet takes place in late spring. Dress for the evening is business professional.
Moonlight Pancake Breakfast
The event that Ag Council is notorious for, the Moonlight Pancake Breakfast. This event is part of the Grand Alternative Week. Grand Alternative week was created to give students a chance to engage in activities other than drinking. The breakfast takes place on Wednesday night of that week, running from late evening till after midnight! The event is open to the entire university, not just the COA. In the past we have served over 2,000 students, faculty, and community members. This is one of our biggest events of the year and is our chance to publicize who we are. We have a DJ come to entertain, while we serve FREE pancakes through the late hours. Thanks to the Grand Alternative Grant the breakfast has grown, and so has our opportunity to expand the event. As a council we have freedom to do what we want with this event, and hopefully can come up with some new ideas for the years to come. Dress is casual for the breakfast, polos or pullovers, name badges and jeans…oh and aprons for those who end of flipping the flap jacks in the back!
Ice Cream Social
What better way to start the school year than with free ice cream? At the beginning of each fall semester the council puts on the COA Ice Cream Social which attracts over 500 students and staff. The goal of this event is to promote awareness and fellowship for the COA. Option clubs are invited to set up a booth at the social so they can attract new members and publicize the opportunities available through their organization. Students are invited to come and get FREE ice cream, compliments of the council, then browse different booths where they can get toppings for their ice cream as well as learn a little bit more about the Option Clubs. Council members serve students with a smiling face and a warm “welcome back to school”. Guests can be seen mingling for quite some time with each other, option clubs and council members. We hold this event to exhibit what is available in the COA and encourage involvement. It also simply gives everyone a chance to get together and hang out in a positive atmosphere. In regards to the council this event is another good fundraiser for us, since the Option Clubs pay us for booth space. It also helps us make a good first impression on new students. Dress for the social is casual, polos, name badges and jeans.
When it comes to a fall festivity we have this one covered. Around October of each year the council hosts a hog roast for the COA on the Ag Mall. The hog roast is during the evening and consists of FREE BBQ and hot dogs, a DJ, bonfire, the newly established Farmer Olympics and the traditional Kiss-A-Pig contest. The Farmer Olympics gives Option Clubs a chance to compete against each other in physical activities, while entertaining the other bystanders. The Kiss-A-Pig is a widely known competition between departments in the COA. Departments battle to collect the highest amount of change, which is later donated to a charitable fund. Whichever department collects the most money then sends their selected delegate to the hog roast where they must then kiss a live pig! Between the activities taking place and the food being eaten this night is fun for all who attend. We created this event as a fun way to promote unity in the COA. We have been very successful with this event hosting a record breaking 500 students and faculty this past year. This event is free for everyone and promoted widely throughout the college. The council is the sole sponsor of the event and requires dedication and cooperation amongst all members. Dress for the evening is causal, polo or pullover, name badge and jeans.
Option Clubs/Points System
In Ag Council we refer to the student organizations recognized through the Agriculture Office of Academic Programs, OAP, as “Option Clubs”. As the Ag Council we act as a liaison for the clubs. We help to publicize what is going on in these different Option Clubs to the rest of the CoA and vice versa. One way we do this is by inviting one representative for each option club to our council meetings. At the meetings option club reps get a chance to say what is going on in their club as well as hear about what is going on in other clubs and in the CoA. It works well that we bridge this gap between different groups in the CoA. Clearly this is one way we are fulfilling our mission statement. “To unite and direct students and clubs in the College of Agriculture providing educational enrichment and social interaction for all agricultural students and Purdue staff.”
In addition we have a points system set up to encourage the clubs to stay involved. Clubs earn points by attending and participating in different events and activities. The winner with the most points at the end of each year is rewarded with free entry fees for the year to the Hot Chocolate and Ice Cream Social along with a traveling trophy. The points system runs through the calendar year. For any questions regarding the points system contact the secretary.
- CoA Tshirts: Each year we give Option Clubs a chance to design a new CoA tshirt. Based on those designs we then print tshirts that we sell as a fundraiser. We are the only club in the CoA that sells these tshirts, therefor we have the “official” CoA annual tshirts. We sell tshirts at nearly all events and are always looking for new opportunities for selling.
- Grants: A decent portion of our money comes from grants. It is important that we fill out grants well in advanced to guarantee funding for some of our events.
- Socials: At both the Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Social we charge an entry fee for booth space, typically $25, another small money maker for us.