Over 40-year tradition of National Ag Day continues

Students gain new knowledge about agriculture throught activities like shearing sheep and tasting cheeses


The University of Wisconsin-Platteville hosted its annual Ag Day celebration on April 20 on the West lawn. The purpose of the event was to educate attendees on the importance of agriculture in our world, to promote appreciation of agriculture and to showcase several local agriculture focused clubs and organizations. National Ag Day has been recognized since 1973 and is celebrated annually at UW-Platteville. The date of the event changes yearly.

“The purpose is to both appreciate and inform about agriculture,” UW-Platteville alumni and member of the Grant County Farm Bureau Becca Hilby said.

The event also served to broaden perspectives about what agriculture really is and the different ways in which it affects the daily lives of each and every person walking the earth. The event also featured farm animals, a tractor and cheese; the three things most people think of when they hear the word “agriculture” in Wisconsin but there were also conservation and reclamation clubs present at the event.

“It’s great for outreach. A lot of people don’t even know about reclamation club until they see us here at Ag Day,” junior reclamation major Cody Zink said.

It was a cloudy, windy, 50-degree morning, but attendance at the event was high. Some quickly passed through to pet the animals and some stayed to learn about a few of the many agriculture clubs on campus and around the Platteville community.

“The turnout has been great, especially considering the cooler weather,” senior reclamation major Terisa Phillips said.

There was a man giving a demonstration of sheep shearing and collecting wool from a sheep. For many, it seemed like this was something they had never seen in real life and a large crowd gathered around the event taking videos and pictures. Another popular part of the event was the “guess the cheese” table where attendees were encouraged to try several different cheeses and guess the type. The organization hosting the culinary-quiz was the Grant County Farm Bureau and according to Jacky Seelo, a member of the bureau, the most mysterious cheese on the table was swiss, which stumped participants for hours.

Ag Day was the perfect place to learn about anything and everything agriculture from farming techniques to waste management. Aside from the educational side of things, the event was a great place to appreciate agriculture and the land that we live on. By bringing all corners of the agriculture industry to a point in the middle of the UW-Platteville campus, students had a chance to see every aspect of life that agriculture effects.