Auburn’s Annual Ag Roundup Featured in the Opelika/Auburn News

Annual Ag Roundup features farming and fun



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Saturday morning, Miss Lulu the cow cooled off in a special demonstration trailer as crowds gathered to see how Alabama’s milk goes from farm to table. In the booths beside her, little girls in Auburn cheerleading uniforms lassoed hay bales and two baby cows teetered around the petting zoo at the Auburn University College of Agriculture’s annual Ag Roundup.

The Roundup, which took place at the Ag Heritage Park on the university’s campus Saturday, welcomed about 1,500 guests before the Tigers’ homecoming football game.

“The Ag Roundup is put on by the Auburn Agriculture Alumni Association,” explained Sutton Moore Gibbs, the association’s president and a class of ’87 agricultural economics graduate. “This is our big fundraiser for the year.”

For a $5 admission fee, a donation to the college’s scholarship fund, farmers and football fans alike participated in live and silent auctions and enjoyed “all you care to eat” treats from across the state.

“All of [the vendors] have to bring food from Alabama,” Gibbs said. “It’s called ‘A Taste of Alabama.’”

From Conecuh sausage to pecans to applesauce, guests sampled some of the best foods Alabama has to offer, including ice cream.

Representatives at the yellow Blue Bell trailer handed out cups of vanilla ice cream to a constant flow of guests throughout the morning. By 10:30 a.m., just an hour and a half into the event, half of Blue Bell’s 2,500 cups were gone.

“You can’t run out of ice cream on a hot day,” Robert Wood, territory operations manager for Blue Bell, said.

Across the park, junior landscape horticulture major Christopher Combs presented guests with boutonnieres crafted from orange and blue flowers. The Alabama Nursery Landscape Association donated funds and materials for the 400 boutonnieres, and Auburn’s Horticulture Club spent two days making them.

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“A lot of people seem to be wanting to get them to bring them back to their glory days,” Combs said. “A lot of little girls have been getting them, too.”

Pretty flowers and a petting zoo weren’t the only draw for the Roundup’s younger guests. The event also featured a children’s area, complete with an Agriculture in Action demonstration trailer and a painting activity using rubber replicas of different types of Alabama fish.

“We decided to try a children’s area this year,” said Ag Ambassador President and senior in animal sciences Christa Ray. “So far, it’s been really good.” 

 In the children’s area, Manina Harrison, of Hatton, and Maranda Berryman, of Chelsea, watched some of their youngest family members cast fishing lines into a field of plastic fish.

“We come pretty much every year,” Harrison said. “It’s kind of a tradition.”

For Ariton resident Cyndi Barefoot and her son Quincy, an Auburn University freshman majoring in political science, this year’s Ag Roundup was a first.

“I love it,” Barefoot said as she and her son waited in a long line in front of a tent. “I’m not really sure (what we’re waiting for)… We think it’s fish.”

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All morning, vendors dished out food, clubs and organizations hosted demonstrations and country music played over the loudspeaker, interrupted occasionally by a fast-talking, smooth-selling auctioneer.

But one demonstration required a little quiet.

Baxter, a three-and-a-half-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, needed to focus.

“He’s going to go out and look for boxes,” said Animal Health and Performance Program instructor and handler Bart Rogers. “It’s a real-world scenario.”

Baxter quickly sniffed out the hidden explosive powder, sitting proudly by the correct wooden box. Rogers rewarded him with a tennis ball.

Back in the cool of the Ham Wilson Livestock Arena, Gibbs surveyed the silent auction items up for grabs. She said she was excited about how the event has grown over the years.

“Agriculture is very innovative. There’s a lot of technology,” Gibbs added. “Agriculture is not just putting plants in the ground.”

Original article posted by Opelika/Auburn News

Ag roundup




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