Campus prepares for Aggie Day

JoJo Brinkhoff
Managing Editor

This year, Aggie Day will be held on Mar. 27 with an evening for public speaking on Mar. 17.

According to Karen Fink, administrative assistant in the agriculture department, the reason public speaking is on a different day than the judging is the dress code. High school students who are participating in public speaking must dress professional while the judging requires clothing the students don’t mind wearing while walking in dirt.

“Students who comes on the public speaking side have to come in official FFA [Future Farmers of America] dress, which is their jackets, their black pant or skirt,” said Fink. “You can’t hardly ask them to wear that on the day of the livestock judging contest when they might be out in the middle of the mud.”

For the public speaking, high school students will choose a topic like a new production or a bill being passed as long as it’s agricultural related. The public speaking also includes sale products and mock-up interviews.

As for the judging, students are given different items like soil, livestock, certain plants and so forth. The students will look at each item and place it according to the best to the worse of the bunch. When done, the students turn in their grading to the judges to see if they were right.

The idea behind this is to help FFA students prepare for the state competition. This way when the high school students compete at state and national level, they know what to expect in both judging and public speaking.

“It [Aggie Day] was established for us to have a contest to help the area high schools to prepare their students for their district and state contest,” said Fink.

Along with Aggie Day, Mar. 27 also marks the 45th anniversary of both Aggie Day and the agriculture department. According to Fink, Aggie day started in 1969 when the agriculture department was established; however, the public speaking was not part of Aggie Day until a few years later.

Throughout the years, the participation for Aggie Day has grown. In 2013, according to Fink, 2,340 high school students attended Aggie Day. Although Fink believes the numbers will remain the same for this year, the agricultural department will be depending on volunteers and Alumni.

According to Kylie Ehlers, pre-veterinary medicine and treasurer of Aggie club, agriculture students can sign up to help with judging and the concession stands. Although some agriculture instructors will give extra credit for the students who volunteer, most of the students volunteer because they enjoy it.

“Most of us do it because we get to help out with the contest that we like,” said Ehlers. “I know a lot of students sign up with livestock or dairy cattle because that’s just what they know and love to do.”