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Feature   |  Spring 2005

Follow the leaders

Agriculture students leave their mark on campus and community

 

When Tristan Emery arrived on the Purdue campus in the fall of 2003, she wanted to add something to her schedule besides classes. The freshman was not only looking for a way to fill some free time but to get acclimated to a new community in the process. A volunteer opportunity with the Tobacco Control Partnership (TCP) of Tippecanoe County filled the bill.

The Lafayette, Ind.-based non-profit agency, which provides tobacco education and cessation programs and promotes smoke-free lifestyles, struck a chord with the agricultural communication major. In particular, she developed a rapport with youth. By her sophomore year, Emery was appointed a youth and team facilitator to advise teens in the program.

Image: Laurene Ammend

What started as a volunteer activity for Laurene Ammend evolved into a career. An animal sciences major, Ammend was drawn to the Museum at Prophetstown by the opportunity to care for the draft horses. She now works full time as an agriculture manager for the living history museum. (Photo by Tom Campbell)

Animal sciences major Laurene Ammend discovered her future was rooted in the past. Out of curiosity, Ammend signed up for a clinic on draft horses, which was offered to animal sciences students by RX Acres, a farm that leases work horses to the Museum at Prophetstown.

Located a few miles north of Purdue in Battle Ground, Ind., the 300-acre living history museum recreates a 1920s-era working farm. It includes a replica Sears catalog farmhouse, a prairie environmental complex, a Native American village, a blacksmith shop, and a Model A and Model T garage.

Intrigued by the experience of working with the horses that were at one time vital to agricultural production, Ammend began volunteering at the museum, caring for the Belgian horses, dairy cows, sheep, chickens and pigs.

Emery and Ammend are among a growing number of Purdue Agriculture students who are discovering that service learning experiences can be just as beneficial as classroom work when it comes to getting an education.

“At a public institution like Purdue, each Indiana student's education is supported, in part, by the citizens of the state,” says Dale Whittaker, associate dean of Purdue Agriculture and director of academic programs. “Supporting higher education is an investment in Indiana. I would like to think that our student enrichment programs reinforce a good Hoosier ethic of leaving the world a little bit better than you find it.”

 

© 2005 Purdue University College of Agriculture

 

 

 

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