The South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Prexy Council hosted its 11th annual campus-wide Ag Day on Thursday, April 22 in the SDSU Student Union.
With the theme “Ag Proud: Sustaining the Future,” the event’s main program included a sustainability panel featuring four individuals with strong backgrounds in conservation and sustainability. Panelists included Lyle Perman of Lowry, South Dakota, Brian and Jamie Johnson of Frankfort, South Dakota, and Jared Knock of Willow Lake, South Dakota.
“Sustainability has become a big topic of discussion in the agriculture industry, and we wanted to provide all SDSU students, regardless of their agricultural backgrounds, with a better understanding of what it means for the future of the industry,” said Cara Teigum, Prexy Council president. “We are incredibly thankful for our panelists and the breadth of knowledge and experiences they shared with our students.”
Additionally, the 2021 CAFES Club of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Advocate were announced at the event.
Organizations and students within CAFES have the opportunity to nominate a professor they feel has gone above and beyond in their duties as an educator. Dr. Kent (KC) Jensen, associate professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management, received the 2021 CAFES Teacher of the Year award. Other nominees included Dr. Carmen Paulson, instructor in the Department of Animal Science, Dr. Rosie Nold, professor in the Department of Animal Science, Nicholas Uilk, instructor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and Dr. Brent Turnipseed, professor in the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.
CAFES Prexy Council also selects an outstanding organization that provides members with meaningful experiences throughout the school year through their program of activities. Alpha Gamma Rho received the 2021 CAFES Club of the Year award, with the Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Club receiving honorable mention. Other club finalists for the award included Sigma Alpha, Alpha Zeta and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.
Serving as the student voice for CAFES students on the Prexy Council executive team, the Advocate position is voted on by CAFES students. The 2021-2022 CAFES Advocate is Sadie Vander Wal, a junior animal science and agricultural communications student from Brentford, South Dakota. Logan Tesch, a junior animal science and agricultural business student from Henderson, Minnesota, and Miguel Mena, a junior agronomy student from Harlan, Iowa, were also finalists for this position.
CAFES Prexy Council has organized campus-wide Ag Day since 2011. The council is made up of representatives from each of the 38 clubs within CAFES and is overseen by an executive board that organizes meetings and events for students.
“Celebrating our beloved Ag Day tradition in person this year provides a glimmer of hope and a sense of normalcy for our students,” said Lauralee Eaton, 2020-2021 CAFES Advocate. “Prexy Council is grateful to be able to provide this opportunity again this year.”
In February, Prexy Council raised $21,611 from 170 donors to help establish an endowment. The endowment will help support clubs and organizations in the college and promote agriculture on campus through programs and events such as Ag Day. The council has a goal to raise $50,000 over the next five years to put toward the endowment fund. Contributions to the endowment are still being accepted; donations can be sent to the SDSU Foundation with CAFES Prexy Council or Ag Day listed as the designation.