Sheep, cows and 300 high school students.
The University of Idaho will bring all three to campus, plus much more with the upcoming Ag Days, an annual event scheduled for Oct. 4 and 5.
Ag Days is an annual event hosted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to celebrate agriculture in Idaho. The event is geared toward high school students to learn about agriculture and what the UI agriculture department has to offer.
Although it is an agriculture-focused event, any students interested in anything that falls under CALS — such as nutrition, soils and clothing — are welcome to come, said Travis Chase, CALS ambassador president.
The event will begin Friday afternoon with workshops such as aquaculture, DNA and genetics, and an animal science workshop where students will be dissecting experiments.
Alpha Gamma Rho, FarmHouse and Sigma Alpha will host a barbeque Friday night at the SprinTurf, Chase said.
The high school students will spend the night in the Student Recreation Center, watching a movie, climbing the rock wall and playing dodgeball and board games.
Ag Days participants begin their day early with livestock and dairy cow judging. Livestock genetics has been able to give Idaho the breeds it has today, Chase said.
“It’s still a good trait to have in the livestock industry, to be able to tell what a good animal is, to know the quality characteristics of an animal,” he said.
Although Idaho is No. 30 in the nation for dairy production, many people don’t understand how important dairy is to our whole state economy, Chase said.
Collegiate FCCLA and Idaho State FFA officers will be presenting workshops on time management and leadership before the barbeque. Club and Greek life representatives will be at the barbeque to inform students of different involvement opportunities at UI.
“It’s an opportunity for everyone to get to see the clubs that are involved with UI and College of Ag,” said Kaycee Royer, CALS ambassador vice president.
For the first time this year, the high school students will have a chance to go down to the football field and build the tunnel the football players go under when they come onto the field ahead of the Vandals’ game against Fresno State, Saturday.
Ag Days is sponsored by Cenex Harvest States, a prominent Pacific Northwest agriculture cooperative. CHS will send two buses from southern Idaho for the majority of Ag Days participants. In addition to those from Idaho, students from Oregon, Washington and Montana will be in attendance.
It’s important for UI students to be friendly toward the high school students, Royer said.
“When I came up for visits that was always the best part of coming to campus, how friendly everyone was, so I think that UI students should be excited to say hi to possible new students that could be here next year or the years after that,” she said.
Chase said he agreed and that UI students should reach out to the high school students while they are on campus. If there are young students on campus that look like they are lost, don’t be shy in helping them to find where they are going, in addition to telling them what they can experience on campus and why they should decide to attend UI, he said.
“That’s a big part of the event, letting the students know all the opportunities here and it’s kind of a chance for them to start thinking that college might be a good idea and UI has a lot of really great options,” Chase said.
Emily Aizawa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org