College of Agriculture Ambassadors: Students studying in the University of Wyoming’s college of Agriculture and Natural Resources can serve as an Ag ambassador by promoting the college and Ag industry in professional setting, while becoming the future workers of Wyoming.
According to the UW Ag Ambassador website five main areas focus on recruiting future freshman, remembering current student’s positions, communicating information from the organization to the public, participating with alumni and donor relations, and sharing an Ag student’s experiences with diverse audiences.
As a whole this group depends on its members to work individually and maintain ethic of hard work associated with the society of agriculture.
However, this organization goes beyond students serving for a resume recommendation or doing the right thing. They are becoming the future and promoting the spirit of agriculture.
Choosing the Chosen Ones:
Agricultural students ready for this opportunity fill out a 2-page application for review by the selection committee. Rob Ziegler, a Animal Science Prevet major, stated that he was called back for a face to face interview with 4 interviewees as a final step in the selection process.
Anne Leonard, the adviser, indicates that these students meet with legislators, trustees, and prospective students so the committee choose well-rounded representatives for the job.
“We try to make sure we have ambassadors who do not have a tradition farm and ranch background, that are from a larger urban area and have decided that the Agriculture college is where they fit,” said Leonard.
Not only is the personal background one consideration, but making sure that each degree program has an ambassador speaking on their behalf. Finally, the students must have the desire to serve.
Activities and Preparation:
Ziegler recently elected to serve on the fall 2016 to spring 2017 team, and explained his upcoming duties of biweekly meetings, student involvement activities, and dean advisory board meetings.
Tevyn Baldwin, a Farm and Ranch Business major, recounted from her previous year, that the Dean Advisory Board meetings were made up of members such as ag students like herself along with faculty, Wyoming producers, and people involved in agricultural industry.
“I would not have gotten to do that if it wasn’t for Ag ambassadors. It’s that kind of stuff that makes a difference and gives more meaning than something just on a piece of paper,” said Baldwin.
Having solid individuals speak their testimonials, helps highlight the college of Ag whether it be majors, faculty, and activities to all those interested to the goings on outside of the college. Using these ambassadors, provides a more aesthetic feel for students considering to be a part of the college of Ag and the inquisitive professionals.
Maintaining a qualified settings and the ambassadors conducting their behavior accordingly is major task of this job. Leonard explained that they are selected because she knows they will be the face others recognize and associate with University of Wyoming.
“They know going in that I will take them to the National Western Stock Show where every major business in Denver is and help support the stock show, and that I know they will represent the University of Wyoming and our program with class” said Leonard.
Leonard stated that one of the broader missions of the ambassador program is to educate and promote the agriculture industry to the extending public.
To expand, she told a story about this year’s girl ambassador, working as her office assistant this summer, who had a unique opportunity to promote agriculture. This young lady grew up in Nebraska on a traditional farm and ranch background, and is now working on a bachelor’s in Agriculture Education.
While they were on a trip to Sheridan, they started with breakfast at their hotel and then began conversing with a couple from Canada over coffee. These visitors beginning asking questions about this girl’s attraction to agriculture and were all ag lands corporately owned.
Hearing the perspective of a 21-year old, working on an Agriculture Education degree amazed this couple, that there are many young students bright, hardworking, and dedicated to agriculture.
Just like this upcoming girl’s experience, her fellow ambassador Ziegler expressed his hope about serving as an ambassador.
“It’s a good opportunity to meet future employers and when you are a small fish in a big bowl you try to put yourself out to be exposed and to be an ag ambassador is a good way to do that,” said Ziegler.
“Each class of ambassadors are slightly different, but there are some common threads in the 19 years I have been doing this, you know they all share a passion about the college.” said Leonard.
She continued explaining that it has been rewarding to see how far the students travel from their years in college to pursuing future dreams.
“We have past ambassadors who one is the deputy director for the Department of Agriculture for Wyoming, and I have one who is an Ag Policy for Senator Barrasso.” said Leonard.
Baldwin, is a senior and will soon being moving into the role of being Alumni and stated later interactions with these officials of the College of Agriculture.
“If I come across one of those people again and immediately they will think cream of the crop, top notch, because you were there, they don’t just let anybody go to that,” said Baldwin.
These students are called to be the connection for future students, as well as coordinate communication with the dean advisory about current college experiences, and interaction with alumni when they visit campus.
In addition, it is building up the future leaders in Wyoming to become skilled individuals. The gift that keeps on giving by these talented students that represent the agricultural world.