Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Students work to build a campus community with event centered on agriculture

Lauren Fritzler
Students and community members from across the Panhandle joined together to celebrate the culture of agriculture at Fall Gather.

Students from the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences had a goal of pulling off an event for the community of agriculture and ultimately accomplished their goal by hosting hundreds of community members. Fall Gather was held on Sept. 30 and brought together the world of agriculture and the West Texas A&M University campus.

Fall Gather started as an event to celebrate the spirit of Panhandle agriculture, however the event ended up doing more than that for students on the WT campus. It raised funds to support student organizations and promote campus involvement.

“When a few of us had the idea of a community wide barbeque, we took the idea to Dr. Pond and he was instantly on board,” Kyli Kraft, one of the student founders, said. “His big priority was making it student-led and that is exactly what happened.”

The event was student led, student run. It started with a group of seven students working together to plan and market the event and ended up with over 100 students from various student organizations within the college.

“Fall Gather was an easy way that student organizations could fundraise,” Jayci Mekelburg, marketing committee chair for Fall Gather, said. “It was close, it was on campus, all they had to do was show up and serve and put some time in and it was a great fundraiser. There were a lot of student organizations involved and a lot of students from these organizations involved.” 

Students volunteered man-hours and in return their student organization received a certain percentage of the funds raised for the hours they served.

“Making time for Fall Gather was really important to me just to give back to this University,” Mekelburg said. “WT has given so much to me and has provided so many opportunities for me and I want to continue that and give back to the University.”

The inaugural Fall Gather hosted over 600 people at the tailgate, each of which received a 100 percent cotton t-shirt, a ticket to the home WT football game and Panhandle-raised food products.

The over 100 students who participated and served at this year’s event are looking forward to the opportunities provided by Fall Gather, whether it be networking at the event or having funds to travel in the future. They look forward to continuing and expanding the event in the future, Kraft said.

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