Ag Business Club tops ratings

President Leath talks at the Ag Business meeting on Sept. 6 in Lush Auditorium.

Jared Raney

Outside the agricultural business office in Heady Hall sits a plaque, one of seven, which reads “Outstanding Chapter Award.” This plaque was awarded to the Agricultural Business Club in early August for their outstanding achievements, as recognized by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, a national organization.

The Iowa State’s Agricultural Business Club is a nationally renowned club, recognized for seven straight years as the best chapter in the nation by the association. They are a point of pride for agriculturally driven Iowa State, a group that has drawn students and provided growth for the ISU agricultural community for years.

At the recent annual conference of the association, hosted in Seattle, the group brought home the gold. At the conference, which was from Aug. 12 to 14, they were awarded the National Outstanding Chapter Award, taking on schools like Texas A&M, University of Georgia and University of Florida, only to come out on top once again.

Locally, the club plays a huge part in the success of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State. Last year both the club and college had record enrollment numbers, and things are only looking up.

As Agricultural Business Club president Andy Chamra, senior in agricultural business, said: “[The club’s] long run of success has really drawn students.”

The Ag Business Club offers a lot of opportunities for students, as Ag Council Representative Tory Mogler, junior in agricultural business, attested.

One of the main reasons Mogler joined the club was because it “had a lot to offer and opportunities to get involved.”

Mogler has achieved two internships through connections he made during club events. Mogler also came away from the conference with honors — he was chosen as Vice President of the Student Section of the  Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, for the second year in a row.

The Ag Business Club won the award both this year and in past year, because of their local involvement. High membership numbers are just one factor that led to their win over several larger universities. The other big factor that put the ISU chapter on the mantel is their plethora of events and activities they sponsor.

Among their famed exploits are Veishea food stands featuring one-of-a-kind pork-on-a-stick, roadside cleanups around campus and one of the largest agricultural job fairs in the nation. Their high membership, outstanding activities and recent national successes have also attracted some very important attention.

Lush Auditorium was nearly packed Thursday, Sept. 6, as country music played through the speakers, while students wearing everything from a suit and tie to jeans and cowboy boots filed in. Pork sandwiches were provided for the 200-plus students, who had come for the Ag Business Club’s September meeting.

At the meeting were the club officers, club advisers Ronald Deiter and William Edwards, both professors in agricultural economics, as well as an industry representative speaker and ISU President Steven Leath.

“Agriculture is going to be increasingly more important in the coming years,” Leath said in the opening remarks of his presentation to the club.

Chamra said he is excited about the possibilities that will be brought by having a president with an agricultural background.

“[Leath] sees the potential this club has for the university,” Chamra said after Leath’s presentation at the meeting.

As a president with a background in agriculture, Leath realizes what a huge part this club plays in the success of the agriculture program here on campus.

In reference to the Ag Business Club, “opportunities are unlimited,” Leath said.