Students work to promote, further agriculture


Photo: Whitney Sager/Iowa State Daily

The Iowa Corn Student Advisory Team consists of college students from across the state who are studying agriculture. Representatives from Iowa State include (from left): Charlie White, senior in agricultural business; Carly Cummings, junior in agricultural business; Traci Tiernan, junior in agricultural and life sciences education; and Andrew Lauver, junior in agricultural studies. The students provide a younger perspective at the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Corn Promotion Board’s meetings.

Whitney Sager

College agriculture students from around the state have been given the duty to be the eyes, ears and voices of agriculture.

Four ISU students have been named members of the first Iowa Corn Student Advisory Team. The group consists of student representatives from agriculture programs at colleges around the state. The Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board are the team’s sponsors.

The members are responsible for identifying areas of concern that the public has regarding agriculture.

“As team members, we have been tasked with listening around campus and in our communities to public opinion on agricultural issues and determine how we can influence them or bring truths to the matter,” said Charlie White, senior in agricultural business.

White said there are fallacies in today’s media that shed a negative light on the agricultural industry. The team will work to correct those fallacies.

The team will attend meetings with its sponsors, at which members will provide a student’s perspective about issues the organizations are discussing.

“We’re the future of agriculture and can provide a younger generation’s perspective,” said Traci Tiernan, junior in agricultural and life sciences education. “We’re going to be the ones who take over some day.”

Promoting agriculture in Iowa and attracting younger generations of farmers to the state are other tasks the team has been assigned. The members will work with their sponsors to accomplish those tasks.

One way the team will promote agriculture is through monetary support. Andrew Lauver, junior in agricultural studies, said the team has been given $2,000 from the association to distribute to agriculture programs at Iowa colleges.

“We will be distributing this money to the students for projects that they will be conducting on their campuses,” Lauver said.

The team is in the process of finalizing the application before making  it available to college agriculture organizations.

In addition to promoting agriculture, the team will also have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., this summer to attend the Corn Congress. Lauver said team members will be able to talk to government officials about issues facing corn growers.

“I am looking forward to networking with people involved in the grain industry here in Iowa, National Grains Council, and also lobbyists and congressional leaders in the State House as well as in Washington, D.C.,” White said. “I feel some of these contacts will be beneficial in my career as a commodity merchandiser.”

Aside from their responsibilities to the team, members hope to make connections with people in the agricultural industry and establish skills that will be beneficial to them in the future.

Lauver said he not only wants to be a leader in the company he works for after college, but he also wants to be a leader in the community he lives in. His experience as a team member will help prepare him for those positions.

“The things I will learn while being on the Iowa Corn Student Advisory Team will help me capitalize on the opportunities that will be available to me in my career,” Lauver said.

The ISU team members encourage others to become involved on the team next year.

“It’s a way to get involved with the agriculture industry outside campus,” said Carly Cummings, junior in agricultural business.