Students found new agriculture club


Photo: William Deaton/Iowa State

Joe Sweeney, senior in agriculture business and economics and co-founder of the Student Federation for Agriculture, explains his views about the newly organized club. The club’s goal is to make a voice in agriculture respected by consumers all over and someday become a speaker for this cause.

Lindsay Hostert

A new club has emerged on campus with one primary goal in mind: to promote awareness of agricultural issues.

The Student Federation for Agriculture is a new club developing a voice on campus.

The idea for the club began back in August of this year when Joe Sweeney, senior in agricultural business and co-president and co-founder of the Student Federation for Agriculture, and Zach Boss, senior in agricultural business and co-president and co-founder of the Student Federation for Agriculture, did not agree with some of the negative information surrounding agriculture.

Sweeney explained the main goals of the Student Federation for Agriculture as “being able to respond to these negative things and enabling students to advocate for agriculture.”

With these goals in mind, Sweeney and Boss began developing a constitution for the Student Federation for Agriculture and beginning the process of becoming a club.

“We started this club, and it’s about spreading accurate information,” Sweeney said.

Within two or three weeks, they were ready to begin recruiting new members. The first meeting of the club was in October, and by the second meeting they had more than 50 members in attendance.

“We wanted to create a response team, and there is a lot of student enthusiasm on campus,” Sweeney said.

There are three sub-committees that students can join once they are a part of the club that include public relations, industry relations and legislative affairs. These groups work to keep up on current agriculture news and changes in the industry.

Molly Foley, junior in agricultural and life sciences education, as well as public relations sub-committee member explained how she became a member of the club by using something simple.

 “I found it through social media,” Foley said. “It was a club all about advocacy, promoting and supporting agriculture as college students.”

The Student Federation for Agriculture wants to continue to spread the word about their new club and recruit members any way they can.

“We really want to use the boom we have seen in social media to our advantage and spread our message that way,” Foley said.

The group is always looking for fresh minds to add to their discussion and it is very easy to join, Sweeney said.

“Just show up,” Sweeney said.

Members of the club are mostly from the College of Agriculture but current members are hoping to branch out to get a diverse group of students involved.

“We are more than happy with the response we’ve had from the College of Agriculture, but we are really interested in people from other colleges as well,” Foley said.

Sweeney said the club is looking to get input from people who are not necessarily from a farming background. 

“We would like to hear from people who have no connection to a farm, and we want discussion from our members,” Sweeney said. “Everyone can have input, but we first have to teach ourselves, and then we can advocate for those issues in agriculture.”

The founders and members of the club said they are ecstatic to see where this club has gone thus far, but they are still looking to the future and creating goals to work towards for the club.

“We want to be able to have a respected voice by those in agriculture and consumers in Iowa,” Sweeney said.

A few more of those goals include being able to speak at schools in Iowa to teach the younger generation about these issues and being able to send members of the club to Washington, D.C. where they can really exercise their voice.