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Student Life

Illinois State Department of Agriculture offers students many opportunities outside the classroom. Students participate in nationally ranked registered student organizations, obtain real-world experience through internship opportunities, and interact with students from all over campus.

Registered Student Organizations

  • Agronomy Club

    Agricultural Science Club has a focus on agricultural sciences, agronomy, and other subjects in the ag industry. All majors are welcome to join. Members participate in various community service events including ag and non-ag related event, fundraising, and educational events. Each year, members have the opportunity to join the American Society of Agronomy and attend the annual meeting in the fall. Members that attend the annual meeting can compete in various events from crops judging to speech contest against other students in SASES.  Students also prepare for competing in the NACTA Student Juding Conference.

    Advisors: Dr. Nicholas Heller, Dr. Rob Rhykerd
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  • Agriculture Ambassadors

    The Agriculture Ambassadors are a prestigious registered student organization through the Department of Agriculture. An Agriculture Ambassador must meet the following requirements each semester to remain active as an Agriculture Ambassador: maintain a 3.0 GPA, attend three recruiting/advising events per semester, recruit at your hometown community college or high school once per year, and attend two of four monthly meetings. Agriculture Ambassadors will also attend leadership activities/seminars, do fundraising, and promote the department outside of their outlined duties.

    Advisor: Corinne Malone

  • Ag Ed Club / Alpha Tau Alpha / PAS

    Illinois State University’s Agricultural Education Club/ Alpha Tau Alpha / PAS has many activities and events for its members. Active membership is open to all undergraduate and graduate students with majors in Agricultural Education and Agricultural Communications & Leadership. Associate membership is open to those in other agriculture majors. The events of the organization revolve around professional development, fundraising, community service, and fellowship. Some activities our RSO does throughout the year include monthly meetings, fellowship activities, community service projects, activities of the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) Student Branch, competitive contests at the ATA and PAS conferences, and attending the State and National FFA Conventions.

    Meetings: Once a month

    Advisor: Dr. Jay Solomonson, Dr. Lucas Maxwell
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  • Collegiate Farm Bureau

    Illinois State University Collegiate Farm Bureau is one of the Illinois Farm Bureau’s collegiate chapters in Illinois. Collegiate Farm Bureau engages students in educational, leadership, professional development, and networking opportunities while connecting students with the Illinois Farm Bureau. With connections to Illinois Farm Bureau, students keep up to date with the latest in the agriculture industry, from technology to policy updates. Students are invited to numerous professional development conferences including the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago, the Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders Conference in Peoria, and the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference, which moves each year.

    Advisors: Dr. Robert Rhykerd, Dr. Justin Rickard
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  • Hoof'N'Horn

    The Hoof N’ Horn Club at Illinois State is open to students of any major with an interest in animal agriculture. Members will be involved in all aspects of livestock production through various club activities. Membership in the Hoof N’ Horn Club will also provide students with the opportunity to network with livestock industry professionals and students that may have similar interests.

    Advisor: Corinne Malone.
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  • Horticulture Club

    The Horticulture Club is dedicated to expanding student’s horticultural knowledge beyond the classroom. Through conferences, national competitions, and guest speakers from the Bloomington-Normal community, the Horticulture Club is able to allow each student to grow professionally while also gaining lasting friendships within the Department of Agriculture.

    Meetings: Every other Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Ropp 106.

    Advisors: Dr. Dave Kopsel
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  • Indy-pendence Service Dog Organization

    The Indy-pendence Service Dog Organization provide opportunities for our members to train and work with service dogs from early initial training through placement with the individuals with disabilities. Additionally, we educate the student body as well as the community at large on the training, use, and rights of service dogs.

    Advisor: Dr. Drew Lugar, Rebecca Brown
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  • ISU Trap & Skeet Club

    The Trap and Skeet Club educates Illinois State students, faculty, and staff of the fundamentals of trap and skeet and participate in state and national contests.

    Advisor: Dr. Rob Rhykerd
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  • MANNRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences)

    MANRRS promotes the agricultural sciences and related fields in a positive manner among ethnic minorities and pledges to work for the inclusion, achievement, and advancement of all people in the agricultural sciences. Benefits include networking for internships and employment, leadership and community service opportunities, participation in conferences and workshops, and exclusive scholarships.

    Meetings: Twice a month on Thursdays at 5 p.m. in Ropp 111.

    Advisors: Dr. Maria Boerngen and Dr. Lucas Maxwell

  • National Agri-Marketing Association - Illinois State Student Chapter

    ISU NAMA provides members opportunities to network with a wide range of agribusiness professionals. Each year student members are involved in a marketing plan competition at the National Agri- Marketing Conference. ISU NAMA has been award the National Outstanding Chapter Award six times! Contact Dr. Aslihan Spaulding for more information.

    Advisors: Dr. Aslihan Spaulding and Dr. Michael Barrowclough.
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  • SPVA (Pre-Vet)

    SPVA is composed of students who love animals and share a passion to help and gain experience with various animal specialties.

    Advisor: Dr. Drew Lugar
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Fraternities and Sororities

  • Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority

    Sigma Alpha is a professional agricultural sorority dedicated to the four pillars of scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship. We are an associate member of the Panhellenic Greek Council, where we work with the other Greek organizations on campus with various philanthropic and leadership activities. Sigma Alpha’s philanthropy is Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), which is an organization that provides the materials to teach K-6 students with knowledge of basic agriculture. To support AITC, we put on a basket auction every spring to raise money. Our sorority rushes in the fall semester, and you don’t have to be an agriculture major to join. You only have to have a passion for agriculture.

    Advisors: Dr. Iuliia Tetteh
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  • Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity

    We are an honorary agricultural fraternity. You have to be selected, based on your GPA, to be able to join Alpha Zeta. Throughout the year we have many service projects that we do. All of our members are required to do at least one service projects each semester. Some examples of service projects that we have done are picking up trash at the University Farm, Adopting a Soldier, helping with landscape at Ewing Manor, Center for Hope Food Pantry, and handing out hot dogs to the farmers at the grain elevator. We also host the Mr. Ag pageant in the spring, when each club in the ag department nominates one student to represent them on stage. We also do an appreciation breakfast for staff at the end of spring semester.

    Advisor: Dr. Maria Boerngen and Michelle Kibler

  • FarmHouse Fraternity

    We are a social fraternity, but we are not strictly agriculturally based. We select members through recruitment events. You must be a student enrolled at Illinois State at least part- time, with an accumulative GPA of 2.5. (If you are a freshman, this does not apply.) We look for members who would like to build their professional skills along with a desire for leadership in the community. FarmHouse looks to support the community through philanthropy towards To Be a Match Foundation and community service.

    Advisor: Dr. Michael Barrowclough.
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