The 48th annual Ag Arama is back January 28 at the University of Minnesota Crookston with traditional events along with some new additions. Specialty classes in 2023 include two new species – rabbit and llama, and this year’s event with theme “Where I Come From” is dedicated to Mandy Langlois Gudvangen 2009.
Ag Arama president Melissa Hammer said the addition of specialty classes give individuals a chance to show more of a variety of species and they hope to get more students involved. Their club also held nominations and voted on the event dedication which gives “extra thanks” to someone that has had a positive effect on students at UMN Crookston.
“As a club we decided that Mandy Gudvangen was very deserving of our dedication this year,” Hammer explained. “Mandy is the farm animal attendant here on campus and does so much to help the Ag & NatR department. She has always helped to ensure that the Ag Arama club has animals to utilize for the show and is always willing to work with the club.”
“Not only does she significantly help out for Ag Arama, but she also has shown a great dedication to the department,” she added. “She is always willing to work with students to make sure that they have the opportunity to get as much hands-on experience as possible. She is always willing to answer any and all questions that anyone might have. Overall, Mandy is pretty much the glue that holds the animal science department together as well as a huge part of our annual Ag Arama event.”
The schedule for Ag Arama 2023, which will be held at the University Teaching and Outreach Center in the Charles H. Casey Equine Arena, includes novice showmanship (beef, western, dairy, swine, sheep, goat, rabbit, llama) from 7:30-10 a.m., experienced showmanship (rabbit, llama, dairy goat, beef, western, sheep, swine) from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., a round robin at 1 p.m., alumni showmanship at 1:30 p.m., and national anthem, Ag Arama royalty coronation, and awards at 2 p.m. An alumni social will be held from 7-9 p.m. at I.C. Muggs and the Ag Arama dance will be held at 9 p.m. at the Crookston Eagles Club with music provided by band October Road. There is a $10 cover charge for the dance.
“I would encourage students, faculty, alumni, family, community members, and anyone else to attend Ag Arama,” Hammer continued. “We are super excited to get back to our regular Ag Arama after a few years of Covid-related limitations.”
Ag Arama originated in 1975 when former agriculture and natural resources division head Gary McVey proposed the program and Truman Tilleraas then served as its first advisor. The idea for Ag Arama was to provide a fun break for UMN Crookston students who had to endure the long Minnesota winters. Events included livestock showmanship, crops and horticulture competitions, agriculture business salesmanship, natural resources games, royalty coronation, and a dance.
Ag Arama also serves as a common place for agriculture and natural resources alumni to return and visit. Alumni showmanship began in Ag Arama’s later years and an alumni social is held prior to the student dance so alumni can visit and exchange memories.
Each year the Ag Arama committee dedicates the event to an individual, commonly a current or retired faculty member or a supportive community member. It is considered to be a great privilege to have Ag Arama dedicated to you as it is truly a student-run organization.