Helping the program grow: Sauk student spearheads revival of agriculture club

October 10, 2018

DIXON – It’s one thing to go to class, take notes and do homework. That’s what’s expected of agriculture students at Sauk Valley Community College.

But Katie Smith, a 19-year-old sophomore from Walnut, wanted more out of her experience – and she wanted that for others, too.

“I was involved in FFA and 4H club in high school, but there wasn’t a club for agriculture students at Sauk,” Smith said. That’s because Sauk’s agriculture program was phased out in the 1980s.

Tuesday, with the support of ag professor Ryan Anderson, Smith and nine other students met to cultivate ideas for a new agriculture club – one that would support the school’s new ag program by helping recruit students and contributing financially to its activities.

“I want to go into animal science and promote the industry as a whole, but this is a great way to institute hands-on-learning and open connections for students,” Smith said.

“Katie has really spearheaded this whole thing,” Anderson added. “I wanted this to happen organically, I didn’t want to force it on anyone, but I think that this could be great for the program.”

Tuesday, the new group hammered out the details of governance, and talked about the club’s purpose. How to pay for their activities, social events, and facilitating professional development was a big topic.

“Right now there’s a zero in our bank account,” Anderson said. “At previous institutions, we held agriculture expos that on a bad day would raise $10,000. We could easily add another zero to that number if done right.”

A big part of their mission will be to help Sauk’s program grow, Smith said.

“I think we can help better promote the agriculture program to high school students through the club.”

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