The Agricultural Education Graduate Student Association held the first Student Organization Leadership Academy (SOLA) April 6. The Academy was open to all students in CAFNR, whether you belong to an organization or not. Twenty-four students attended. The Ag Alumni Association provided funding for the event, and intends to do so for the next two years.
The goal of the SOLA is to give current and future leaders within CAFNR organizations
the tools to help their organizations realize goals and reach their potential.
The day began with keynote speaker, David Pearce, a Missouri State Senator and MU alumnus.
“Sen. Pearce was a great speaker,” said Dennis Wolf, junior agribusiness management student. “He talked about his career timeline and stressed the importance of perseverance.”
After Sen. Pearce spoke, students broke into small groups to work on missions and purpose statements to take back to their organizations.
“This exercise has helped me think beyond just attending the meetings,” Wolf said. “I plan on taking what I have learned back to Student Council and Swine Club. Swine Club needs some restructuring, and today has given me many ideas and ways to do that.”
During lunch, a panel of six alumni spoke to students about what alumni do and how involvement has helped them succeed.
“The students have been very interactive,” said Amber Rice, agricultural education and leadership graduate assistant. “They are full of questions and ideas. The day is going great.”
After lunch, each student attended three sessions of their choice. They included recruitment and retention, professional development, public relations and marketing, event planning and running an effective meeting.
“Our goal today is for the students to take back what they’ve gained to their clubs and organizations,” said Adam Marx, agricultural education and leadership graduate assistant. “This is not just another conference. We want the students to process personal examples and really gain from this event.”