WT launches first collegiate farm bureau in Texas

Julie Tomascik

Farm Bureau history was made in Canyon this year. The Collegiate Farm Bureau of West Texas A&M University (WTAMU), the first student organization of its kind in the Lone Star State, was established.

“Once we started talking about advocacy, giving back to the community and ag education to youth, we really had a large group of students interested in being part of this club,” Dr. Nate Wolf, WTAMU professor and club advisor, said. “They are energized and passionate about agriculture and leaving their mark on the world.”

Students in the organization are members of a Farm Bureau family. Some are from out of state, and they represent diverse backgrounds and college majors, including agricultural business, animal science, agricultural education and agricultural communications, among others.

“I’m so proud of our group for pushing through all the requirements and COVID-19,” said Kaysi LaPoint, the first president of the collegiate organization and a native of Greeley, Colo. “We are a passionate group of students who want to promote agriculture and want to get involved in the community.”

The students learned more about establishing an organization, creating bylaws, adopting a Constitution and other real-world applications, LaPointe noted.

And their plans for the year could have more students interested in joining the collegiate group. They hope to have guest speakers and tour farms and businesses to learn more about the diversity of agriculture.

“We hope to utilize resources from Texas Farm Bureau and other organizations to network and learn all we can,” said LaPoint, who is a junior majoring in animal science with a minor in agricultural business and economics.

As part of the activities for the year, 14 students made the trip to Round Rock to attend the Young Farmer & Rancher Conference. They were able to network with young producers and other college students during the event, helping them grow confidence and an understanding of the legislative process.

“We want to help engage the youth and partner with not only Texas Farm Bureau, but the surrounding county Farm Bureaus. We want to get out in the community, in classrooms, around campus and share more about agriculture,” Wolf said. “We hope we continue to grow and become stronger, better advocates for agriculture.”

The Collegiate Farm Bureau of West Texas A&M University also received a $500 mini-grant from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The Collegiate Farm Bureau program is part of the Young Farmer & Rancher program and works to engage agricultural students from college campuses and introduce them to Farm Bureau.

TFB is working with five colleges and universities—WTAMU, Midwestern State University, Sam Houston State University, Tarleton State University and Vernon College—as part of a pilot program to establish a Collegiate Farm Bureau program.

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