About 150 supporters of the Ag 100 fund came to cheer the first 20 years of generosity to the endowment – as well as a Tiger victory – Sept. 6 at CAFNR’s Bradford Research Center.
The fund was created by the Mizzou Ag Alumni Association with the vision that “small gifts matter – that $100 at a time can make a difference,” said Alan Weber, co-chair of the event, along with Tony Francis.
“It was individuals in my same position 20 years ago that had the foresight to start the Ag 100 endowment,” he said. “Twenty years later, primarily through small gifts of $150 or less, that fund is more than $1 million. It was important to recognize both the individuals that helped start Ag 100 and also those individuals who have annually supported Ag 100 through gifts.”
The fund supports students and educational programs within the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. The committee gives out funding in a manner that will impact the greatest number of students for the dollars invested. A call for funding proposals is sent out each fall to the CAFNR family.
Ag 100 is the largest endowment of any school or college alumni board at MU. Last year, through the Ag 100 endowment and other Ag Alumni board events, the association supported students with $50,000 in scholarships and $18,000 to CAFNR student groups to help them grow professionally, Weber said.
Ag 100 has been used to support the Mizzou Agricultural Economics Club with a Chicago-area agribusiness tour; CAFNR students officers through a leadership, team-building and organizational skills workshop; Preview Mizzou student recruitment days; a senior workshop series through CAFNR Career Services; CAFNR Summer Welcome for incoming freshmen; and a regional meeting and workshop for Minorities in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, to enhance work ethic, leadership skills, public speaking, writing and presenting skills, among much more.
“We hope we are providing programs to students they would not experience otherwise,” Francis said.
And after a successful 20-year celebration – and a a few more donations pledged that day – “this is where the fun begins,” Weber said.
“As the Ag 100 Endowment has grown, so has our ability to do more for students and to support the CAFNR mission,” he said. “The Ag Alumni Board has set their sights on ensuring we impact all of CAFNR’s students; through professional development programs, supporting student groups, ensuring CAFNR has the latest technology, and providing scholarship support.”