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2015 - Vol 2, Issue 1
In This Issue
From the Director's Corner
The AGI's 55th Anniversary Reunion
Building their Repertoire
Article Headline
Major Updates: Agribusiness Management
Major Updates: Field Crops Technology
Major Updates: General Agriculture
Advisory Board Meeting Report
Donations Lead to New Precision Agriculture Course
How You Can Help
Keep in Touch!
Join Our Mailing List!



From the Director's Corner
Being a gardener, I love this time of year. I have purchased my new hybrid and heirloom seeds and my garden is laid out-ready for a new year. It is the time of year for me to dig in the ground while reflecting on the past. I have been so blessed to have been surrounded by so many people who care about and protect the Agricultural Institute since I was hired in May 2013! To read the rest of Dr. Wilson's letter, click here.
Greetings from the AGI!
Happy Spring! It looks like the weather is finally warming up, and there are even some spring flowers peeking out of the ground. Hooray! 

It's been an exciting spring semester so far! As you can read about below, we held the 55th Anniversary Reunion in February, and our students have been busy learning how to be professionals and participating in some great club events. Continuing our series that started in the last issue, we have prepared some updates on our majors. There is also information on a new course available to our students, and there is a write-up of the latest Advisory Board meeting.

And be sure to check out some of the announcements at the end of this issue -- we are working to build some new internship opportunities for our students, and we would love to have your help!
The AGI's 55th Anniversary Reunion

Laughter, smiles, and even tears

were abundant during the 55th Agricultural Institute Alumni Reunion. Over 110 people registered for the event and we had even more attend! Alumni and their families, current students, faculty, staff, Richard Linton, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Steve Troxler, Agriculture Commissioner were all present. To read more about the event, click here.
Building their Repertoire: Teaching Students to be Professionals
Over 100 Agricultural Institute students and about 20 industry representatives attended our first business luncheon on Friday November 21st, 2015. This event gave students the opportunity to practice the  networking and soft skills they had worked on and learned throughout the semester. It marked the end of the AGI 101 introductory course, which is required of all AGI students. The event allowed students and industry representatives to make professional connections. To read more about the lunch, click here.
The AGI Club

The AGI Club, chaired by faculty members Emily Erickson and Gary Gregory, kicked off the school year last fall with a cook out at Pullen Park. Since then, they have had many different social activities: bowling, game night, a holiday party, basketball games, and even an outing to the NCSU Ag Awareness Day baseball game against UNC-Greensboro, where they got to see Dean Linton throw the first pitch. But the AGI Club isn't all fun and games. Click here to read about all the wonderful things this club is doing.

Agribusiness Management
The Agribusiness Management program (AGB), the largest major in the Agricultural Institute, has a long and strong economic, political, and agricultural heritage.  Its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the agribusinesses who employ AGB graduates value its contributions and praise its outstanding quality.  In their ten-year external review conducted late last year, the AGB major received excellent reviews and was "strongly recommended" for continuation as a program.  As one reviewer said, "Don't mess with the Agricultural Institute!"  The AGB major is offered by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE). To read more about what's going on in this major, click here.
Field Crops Technology: Reflections from Dr. Bob Patterson
Most, if not all, alumni will recall the wonderful professor, Dr. Bob Patterson. Dr. Patterson has been teaching at North Carolina State University for 47 years. Click here for some of Dr. Patterson's memories, and for his request to you, the alumni, for help!
General Agriculture

The General Agriculture (GNA) degree provides students with the opportunity

 to get a degree in agriculture without having to focus on one specific area like horticulture or animal science. The GNA degree prepares them for a job in any area of agriculture. To read more about this major, click here. 

Advisory Board Meeting Report
The latest AGI Advisory Board Meeting was held on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 from 11:30-2:00 at the Clubhouse at Lonnie Poole. To read more about what was discussed at the meeting, click here.
Donations Lead to New Precision Agriculture Course

EXCITING NEWS! Thanks to the generosity and advocacy of NC State CALS alumnus Ronnie Jackson, we are able to create and launch a new Precision Agricultural Applications course for the AGI curriculum in Spring 2016. Jackson's Clinton Truck and Tractor Company, Inc. is providing half of the operating cash needed to teach the course. He recruited the remaining 50% from AGI alumnus Brian Jennings' B&S Enterprises, Inc. (co-owned with his cousin Stuart Jennings), headquartered in Elizabeth City, with two other locations in Wilson, NC, and Sunbury, NC. Clinton Truck and Tractor and B&S Enterprises are two CASE IH dealers here in North Carolina. Jackson brought CASE IH into the conversation about the course, and the heavy equipment manufacturer will supply equipment and technology for the course, keeping our hands-on instruction on the cutting edge of advancements in precision ag. Biological and Agricultural Engineering Associate Professor Gary Roberson is developing and teaching the new course, which will offer practical experiential learning that can be transferred immediately and successfully to farming operations. The new course will complement an existing course offered to baccalaureate and graduate students.


Please join us in thanking Ronnie Jackson/Clinton Truck and Tractor and Brian and Stuart Jennings/B&S Enterprises, Inc., and CASE IH for making it all possible.

Internships: An Excellent Way for Students to Get Ahead

Internships are an invaluable experience for students. This summer, the Ag. Institute office will be working to create a statewide database of available internships for AGI students. If you would like to provide a paid internship to an AGI student, we would love to work with you to make that possible. Please email Alyssa Degreenia at [email protected]

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can help us further the educational goals of our students: volunteer to speak at AGI Club meetings or one of our classes; offer an on-site tour of your farm or agribusiness; work with us to create an internship at your company or family farm; support the Institute through charitable contributions and sponsor our events and reunions.

We have many funds that accept donations, but our Agricultural Institute Enhancement Fund, which supports student activities, is our main source of program support. The new Herman A. Sampson, III and Allen M. Beals, Jr. Endowment for Agribusiness Management Students is another fundraising focus at this time. Or, if you are interested in your own named endowment, please contact Chris Wessel in the CALS Advancement Office via email or at 919-515-7678. To see the other ways in which you can donate, visit this website, click "Find a Fund", and scroll down to see the options for the Agricultural Institute.


Additionally, there are three study-abroad programs that our students are eligible to participate in: the International Agribusiness, Law & Culture trip to Croatia and Italy; the International Agricultural Economics, Policy, and Culture trip to London and Edinburgh; and the Exploring Food Security trip to Costa Rica. If you would be interested in helping a student participate, perhaps someone from your home county, please contact us here.

Keep in Touch!

In addition to this newsletter, one way to keep up with what we are doing is to follow us online. We have a website, and if you are on Facebook, please 'like' our page to get updates and announcements. We also have a Twitter account.


Richard Linton, Dean

Samuel Pardue, Associate Dean & Director of Academic Programs

Beth Wilson, Assistant Director of Academic Programs & Director of Agricultural Institute

Ashley Burns, Editor

Erin Meachum, Editor