Ag Unlimited 2013

Annual CAFNR event supports scholarships

Dean Thomas Payne and wife, Alice, stand on stage during the auctioning of a dinner made by the couple. Dean Thomas Payne and wife, Alice, stand on stage during the auctioning of a dinner made by the couple.

“Not only does Ag Unlimited bring everyone together, it also brings everyone together for a common purpose,” said Kody Raines, senior in agribusiness management. “We are all part of the same family. Even though some of us are leaving CAFNR, some are entering, and some have been gone for a long time, we all share a common passion and interest of education and agriculture.”

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources held the annual Ag Unlimited Banquet and Fundraising Auction Feb. 16 at the Holiday Inn Select Expo Center in Columbia, Mo. The night included a social hour, silent and live auctions, dinner and after-party. Approximately 680 guests attended. The theme was “Mardi Gras.”

The night began with a social hour and silent auction. Guests caught up with old friends, observed items up for bid, and caught the end of the MU vs. Arkansas men’s basketball game on a screen in the expo center. Students ran the registration table and raffle ticket sales. The live auction followed dinner.

The Expo Center was filled with items to be auctioned off, a Missouri Wine display, Mardi Gras décor, beautiful banquet tables and hundreds of alumni decked out in black and gold. Entertainment included a live jazz band and photo booth. OsbornBarr sponsored the decorations, entertainment and after-party.

The proceeds from the banquet support student scholarships, activities and educational enhancements in CAFNR. The banquet raised $75,000 last year, and had a goal of $80,000 this year.

“Ag Unlimited is important because I owe my career to CAFNR and Mizzou,” said Sue King, B.S. AgEcon ’79.  “My favorite part is the camaraderie with the people in agriculture from all across the state of Missouri, and the common interest and passion we share for agriculture. I try to make it back for the banquet every year.”

Guests enjoy catching up over dinner. Guests enjoy catching up over dinner.

Many raffle drawings were held throughout the night. Rex Ricketts of Columbia, Mo., won the drawing for the Case IH Scout XL UTV donated by Case IH and affiliated dealers.

“This is my first time attending Ag Unlimited,” said Rusty Black, Chillicothe agriculture teacher and CAFNR alum.  “My wife and I really enjoyed seeing people we haven’t seen in several years. CAFNR has had quite an impact on my family. All three of my children attended MU. It is important for our children to see us showing support so they will continue to support CAFNR when they come back.”

See the photo set on Flickr