ISU International Association of Students in Agriculture chosen to host annual World Congress

Kelsey Litterer

Students from 50 different countries will be on Iowa State’s campus this summer for an event called the World Congress.

At this event, attendees will participate in agriculture workshops and share ideas. This event is hosted by the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences, and is scheduled for

July 17 through Aug. 3, 2014.

“IAAS is an international organization that brings students together from all over the world to learn about agriculture,” said Nathan Sage, senior in agronomy and the fundraising coordinator for the World Congress.

The international association’s chapters can submit a proposal or request for proposals, to host the annual World Congress. Sage said proposals usually go over what kind of events could happen in the area and how student housing and dining would be arranged.

The event will bring students within the association together from all over the world to take tours, participate in workshops and listen to seminars pertaining to agriculture.

“The goal is for students to get a better understanding of agriculture and agriculture students. Also the students from other countries are bringing in agricultural related ideas from their countries so we just kind of share all of our ideas,” said Haleigh Summers, freshman in agronomy. “It’s a really good experience for everybody.”

This year’s theme for World Congress will be “Farming for the Future.” Sage said all of the events and seminars will focus around that main theme, as well as learning about the culture of Iowa and Ames.

In order to host this event, Iowa State’s chapter will need to raise $84,000. This was estimated through the number of students attending, housing and dining costs and event costs, among other costs.

“This is big and definitely bold,” Sage said. “No one’s done this before.”

Most of the fundraising will be done through a website called Indiegogo. Sage said Indiegogo is used to post different ideas online. If people like a certain project, they can back it with a donation. This process is called crowd funding, and people from all over the world can participate.

Sage said that this will be the first time a university has ever used Indiegogo to fund a project this big.

“This is arguably the biggest student project being done [on campus],”

Sage said.

Summers said the project will be open for donations in either December 2013 or January 2014. They are planning to have prizes awarded for donations.

“We’re trying to focus on getting people on board at the same time,” Summers said, explaining why the project would only be open on Indiegogo for donations for a month.

The reasoning behind using Indiegogo for donations over December or January is because of the fact that people tend to give more during the holiday season, Summers said. The international association is also trying to do the fundraising early in so that the members will have more time to plan the event without the stress of trying to find extra money.

The association is also looking into different ways of publicizing the kickoff of their idea on Indiegogo, including contacting local media stations and newspapers, talking to alumni and other people involved with the university.

“We’re getting the department heads on board, slowly and surely,” Sage said.

The registration fee for the event is yet to be determined, Sage said. The fee will cover all the costs involved with the event, like housing and dining. The club is also aiming to keep fees down in order to make the event more affordable.

If the International Association does not make enough money through Indiegogo, it plans to look into other fundraising venues.