Armed with a passion for agriculture and a commitment to the community, the Sigma Alpha professional sorority hosts a variety of local events while molding young women into professional and leaders. Their most recent event, the annual 5K Duck Race, took place at the Michigan State University campus and made quite the splash.
The Sigma Alpha- Gamma chapter at MSU takes pride in instilling character in young women pursuing careers in the agriculture industry. The sorority focuses on developing women through community engagement, leadership and fellowship among sisters. Lauren Voelker, Sigma Alpha E-board recruiter and GreenStone credit intern, is a junior at MSU majoring in agribusiness management and minoring in agronomy and international agriculture. She has been involved in the sorority since her freshman year and acknowledges the sorority for giving her opportunities to gain confidence in a professional setting.
“Being a member of Sigma Alpha sorority has helped me grow professionally by preparing me for situations where I speak to groups about agriculture, learning how to network and providing opportunities to develop into a strong leader,” Lauren says. “We participate in many events where we inform the public on current topics in agriculture and offer the community hands-on experiences, like the 5K Duck Race.”
The 5K Duck Race raises scholarship funds for future MSU agriculture majors while also offering a fun learning experience for the public. The event was originally a rubber duck race along the Red Cedar river, but after the disappearance of too many plastic ducks, it is now a 5K run complete with mini farm animal exhibits along the route. The race was held on March 30 and although the cold temperatures prevented the farm animals from making an appearance this year, there were over 70 attendees who persevered through the weather.
“We typically have baby goats, calves, sheep and other farm animals set up by MSU’s rock so that people can see the animals as they run by,” Lauren explains. “We have a small educational exhibit for people walking around campus so they can pet the animals and learn more about them.”
It’s important that GreenStone supports opportunities for the community to learn more about farming commodities and the agriculture industry at events like this. GreenStone was excited to sponsor the 5K Duck Race and contribute to the Michigan 4-H endowment Foundation for students interested in careers in agriculture and give the community a chance to interact with farm animals directly.
“We had a good turnout despite the weather,” Lauren says. “This year we were able to raise approximately $3,500 in scholarships for future agriculture students, bringing the total proceeds to $9,000.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Sigma Alpha- Gamma chapter and their upcoming events, please click here.