August Flurry

August Flurry

Aug 23
Richard Vogen, Director, Planning and Research Development

Every year, come mid-August, things really start to pick up steam in ACES and all over campus.  A couple of weeks ago, the campus was quiet and idyllic, with nary a student to be seen and lots of folks taking those last vacation days before the start of the new academic year.  This year is no exception, and the campus is now abuzz with activity.

The run-up to the new year in ACES is ushered in with annual rituals, like the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and Agronomy Day on the South Farms. Both events concluded the week before classes began. The rain-soaked fairgrounds hosted lots of the annual competitions and activities for 4-H and FFA youth. A highlight is always the Sale of Champions where the proceeds support not only the owners of the champion animals and commodities, but also provide generous support to the 4-H and FFA programs that benefit young leaders across the state of Illinois. This year for example, our own Illini Miller family was represented with the Land of Lincoln Champion Steer, shown by Adam Miller and purchased by our long-time benefactor, Evelyn Brandt. Dean Hauser and other leaders in the College of ACES, who turned out in force for Agriculture Day at the fair, also came away from the Sale of Champions as the winning bidders for the champion Colby cheese. Ag Day is a celebration of agriculture in Illinois, drawing together leaders from the organizations and businesses that make the industry the true gem that it is in Illinois. Being an election year also, the day also attracts the interest of our legislative leaders, especially the members of Congress who serve on the agriculture committees and represent districts with significant agricultural interests. Already, the members are keen to interact with constituents in preparation for another round of federal agricultural policy legislation, aka the “Farm Bill”.

Two days later, the Department of Crop Sciences held their annual Agronomy Day on the South Farms. The rains held off for a glorious day at the new location on South First Street.  By all accounts, the field tours and other talks were well attended. The day was capped by a rousing talk from our new Illini Athletic Director, Josh Whitman.  His motto – “We will win!”  That was also move-in day for the residence halls on campus, so needless to say traffic was organized chaos.

So the flurry of activity continues – new and returning students were welcomed, Quad Day was a big draw, and instructors have introduced their classes to the expectations of a new semester, as the tail end of August is the advent of a new and exciting academic year.

Adam Miller
Adam Miller showed the Illinois State Fair Land of Lincoln Champion Steer purchased by our long-time benefactor, Evelyn Brandt.