Two Weeklong Celebrations at Purdue: Ag Week and the Final Four

[[{“value”:”Trey Kaufman-Renn, who is a forward for the Purdue University Men’s Basketball team, poses with a Purdue Ag Week T-shirt and fellow students as the campus in West Lafayette celebrates both Purdue Ag Week and the Boilermakers’ first Final Four appearance since 1980. Photo courtesy of the Purdue Ag Week Task Force.

 

It sure is a great week to be a Purdue fan! Not only is the men’s basketball team in the Final Four for the first time in 44 years, but it’s also Purdue Ag Week—a celebration of Purdue’s College of Agriculture.

“Purdue Ag Week doesn’t just stop when the week is over. We just want to light the spark underneath people so that way they try to explore on their own what agriculture means,” says Kayla Grennes, President of Purdue Ag Week, which is happening all this week on Memorial Mall at the campus in West Lafayette.

One of the big events throughout Purdue Ag Week is Burger Bash, which is Wednesday, April 3.

“We’ll give out over 2,000 burgers by the time it’s all said and done,” she says. “It’s our biggest day of the year and it’s crazy because we have lines that almost wrap around the entire Memorial Mall.”

Even though Purdue is home to thousands of ag students, many students who aren’t studying agriculture may not realize the importance of the ag industry—which is the main goal of Purdue Ag Week.

“A lot of people might not understand how much protein they could get from their meat, or the different types of cuts of different meat—whether it’s pork, beef, or poultry,” she says. “We want to help make students more aware of the nutritional aspect behind their food and where it comes from.”

Much like Coach Matt Painter and the Purdue Men’s Basketball team has done throughout the 2024 NCAA tournament, Grennes says Purdue Ag Week is also about bringing together the entire Purdue community.

“I love Purdue and it’s really nice that we can do things like this to bring people together,” she says. “We started a booth this year and made a couch out of bales of hay to welcome people in to sit down and have a little conversation. Even if students just want to hang out between their classes, that’s great. That’s what we’re here for and that’s what we want to be.

Members of the Purdue Ag Week Task Force. Photo: Eric Pfeiffer / Hoosier Ag Today.

The Purdue Ag Week Task Force, a team of 20 students, has planned the following events for the remainder of the week:

Burger Bash, Ag Expo and Cultivating Conversations (Wednesday, April 3): Partnering with the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, students will serve beef, turkey and plant-based burgers and share information about the production processes for each. Ag Expo will promote opportunities within the agriculture sector through educational booths sponsored by industry representatives. Following Burger Bash, the Ag Week Task Force will host Cultivating Conversations. This event is open to the public and will feature Jay Akridge, former Purdue University provost and dean of the College of Agriculture, and Gebisa Ejeta, presidential fellow and Distinguished Professor of Agronomy.
Hammer Down Hunger (Thursday, April 4): Hammer Down Hunger provides students with the opportunity to help combat local and international food insecurity by packing meals with the organization Pack Away Hunger. In 2023, students packed over 60,000 meals and dispersed them throughout Indiana food deserts and internationally to Ukraine. This year their goal is to pack over 65,000 meals.
Farm to Fork Friday (April 5): Ag Week concludes with Farm to Fork Friday, an opportunity for Indiana producers to educate students about their production process. This year, the event will showcase products grown in Indiana and abroad.

 

Each day during this week, College of Agriculture student organizations will also set up booths on Memorial Mall from 10 a.m-3 p.m. to promote their clubs and share information about their sector of the agriculture industry. The Ag Week Task Force will also be handing out free promotional items daily.

To cap off the week, the Purdue Men’s Basketball team will play North Carolina State in the Final Four at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, April 6. Tip-off is at 6:09 ET.

Photo: Eric Pfeiffer / Hoosier Ag Today.

 

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