(Left): Dr. Ivory W. Lyles, dean and director of land-grant programs, School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences, welcomes students to the Harvest Festival, November 9, 2015. (Right) The School of AREAS students moving to the beat.

On November 9, 2015 the School Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences held its first Harvest Festival in celebration of students who are matriculating in one of their many degree programs.

The theme, “Fall into the Beat; or Just Beat it,” was the brainchild of the Dr. Ivory W. Lyles, dean and director of land-grant programs. He believes that “our students are critically important to the sustainability of all that is done by the School of AREAS and the University as a whole.” In his view, everything ought to be done to ensure that students get the best possible academic and social experience during their tenure in the School of AREAS academic programs.

“This activity was held to celebrate our students. It was an excellent opportunity for our freshmen and sophomores to meet juniors and seniors as well as faculty and staff in the various programs that are offered by the School of AREAS,” said Dr. Wesley Whittaker, assistant dean of academics and professor of agricultural economics.“We wish to see that the students get the best possible social and other experiences during the four years that they serve in our academic programs. In addition, it lets the students know that they are appreciated by faculty and staff in the School of AREAS. This was an initiative inspired by the Dean to support our students.”

The event, attended by over 200 students, was organized by the School of AREAS Office of Academic Affairs and other staff members of the School. There were several games and activities for the night including apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, bean bag tosses, trivia questions, and costume contests. The organizations in the School competed among themselves in the various activities and created a lively and energized atmosphere. At the end of the competitive phase, the Agribusiness and Economics Club (ABEC) won first place, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANNRS), second, and Animal Science Club, third.

Presiding for the evening were Brittni Echols, senior, agriculture economics, and Jonathan Weir, senior, agribusiness major. Music was provided by Cameron Holt, sophomore, agriculture economics major and his assistants.

In various conversations, participants felt the event was a success and everyone enjoyed themselves.

“I was gratified to see that students turned out in good numbers and enjoyed the festival,” Dr. Lyles concluded.