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Ag Live Tailgate - Student Perspective

Posted: February 2, 2013

One question that I ask quite often to Ag Alumni is to share their favorite Penn State memory. They usually respond by saying a club or organization they were involved with or a favorite place on or off campus. If someone were to ask me that same exact question, my response would be the Ag Live Tailgate event during my junior year in college.

Ag Live Tailgate

By Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern

As the ag alumni intern I was able to attend Ag Live and be behind the scenes making the event successful. From preparing the silent and live auctions, and encouraging students to attend Ag Live, everything we put into it was exactly what we got out of it--a great event. As a student, I had no idea how large the event was until I helped make it happen.

So what is Ag Live Tailgate? Ag Live Tailgate is a great event inviting Penn State ag alumni and friends back to campus for food, fun and fellowship. It's a fundraiser for the Ag Alumni Society with proceeds supporting student scholarships, internship awards, and student and alumni programs through a live auction, silent auction and sponsorships. Donations come from ag alumni and friends, as well as industry partners.

The first activity that I was responsible for was show the Wisconsin Ag Alumni around campus via a bus tour. As they asked questions, I realized how truly proud I was to be a Nittany Lion. I could have chosen to go to another college, but this one is home. As an Ag Advocate, I knew I was to give facts and figures of our campus, but what I feel the most effective information to give during tours is to tell my personal story. The Wisconsin crew thanked me for the tour and I knew that even though they weren't Penn State ag alumni, I knew they were still alumni with great accomplishments alike.

This year, the Ag Alumni Society raised $35,000 at Ag Live Tailgate which goes to support students through mentoring workshops, events, scholarships, and internship awards. Without our ag alumni, a lot of students like myself could not afford to go to college. College is an expensive investment and without those contributions a lot of students would not be able to attend. A big part of my responsibility as a student leader for Ag Live  was to encourage our students to attend and say "thank you" to our alumni base. This goes hand-in-hand for support and for the contributions.

A scholarship is such a positive impact on a student's undergraduate education, but what I found that makes it worth it is attending the mentoring workshop and many other alumni events. All of these allow for networking opportunities with our ag alumni base. This event was like coming home to me, but with an even bigger family feel. With ag alumni, the members are individuals in the industry with a lifetime of experience. They are excellent resources to connect students to great futures in any industry. I will always remember, and I hope you will too: No matter where you are or where you go, you are always a part of an alumni base and family who will support you through anything. We are Penn State, and you are too!

 See photos from Ag Live here.