Alpha Zeta, the agricultural honors fraternity at NC State, is hosting its annual Agricultural Awareness Week this week through Thursday, where animals will be in Brickyard for students to enjoy as they walk to classes.
This year’s Agriculture Awareness Week features many different animals, including cows, pigs, alpacas and sheep. Last year the alpacas were a new attraction, and this year’s new attraction is a new breed of black-faced sheep — the Suffolk.
Money raised from the events goes to Alpha Zeta and future events like this, as well as to charity. In the “Kiss the Pig” contest, students donate money to vote for who ever they want to kiss a pig, with funds benefiting the Jimmy V Foundation.*
Each day of the week will host a different event. Monday’s event was the Agricultural Olympics, during which four members of Alpha Zeta partnered up to compete against each other in different games. The event started off with the Hay Bale Toss where the members threw a bale of hay as far as they could. The next competition was a seed-spitting contest, where the competitors would take a sunflower seed and see how far it could be spit out.*
The next part of the event included a water jug relay race where the competitors carried the water jugs across the Brickyard. The last game was the hog-calling contest, in which the competitors tried to call the piglets over to them.
The event also featured an area where students could purchase items and learn more about the animals featured in Agricultural Awareness Week. Items such as T-shirts were available for purchase, and the money raised helps Alpha Zeta continue to function and host Ag Week in coming years.
Paola Rodriguez, a senior studying animal science, works with Alpha Zeta to help sell items and manage the event.
“Our purpose is to encourage people to learn more about agriculture, and we’re bringing that to the campus,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a field that is very misunderstood, a lot of people don’t know where their food comes from, and this is our way to bring the animals from the barnyard to the Brickyard.”
The event is meant to teach more students about agriculture and the work that those who work in the area must do. Sammi Majors worked with Alpha Zeta to set up Agricultural Awareness Week.
“A lot of people don’t get a chance to learn about agriculture,” Majors said. “Here they can see the animals, ask questions and learn about it.”
The event features more than just the animals, with tractors and plants also on display for students to learn about. Posters and boards were on display to teach students about the plants that were featured and provide information on the different animals presented.
Serene Ahmad, a senior studying human biology, attended the event to see the animals.
“This is totally awesome, I just love looking at the little alpacas every year … this would be a great opportunity for someone to come up and just learn,” Ahmad said.
Tomorrow’s event will be the Agricultural Forum, where students can learn more about the plants and animals that are featured. Wednesday’s event is the cow milking contest and Elizabeth Gardner from WRAL will be attending to give a weather report from the Brickyard. The “Kiss the Pig” contest will take place Thursday.
*The Technician originally incorrectly reported that the funds raised would be donated to the WNB Foundation.
*The Technician originally incorrectly reported that there was a competition where people would eat a slice of watermelon and see who could spit out the most seeds.