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K-State Today

May 19, 2014



National awards to Alpha Zeta members, alumni recognize leadership, contribution to agriculture

By Yuda Ou

Two officers and one alumna of Kansas State University's chapter of Alpha Zeta have been nationally recognized for their leadership and contribution to agriculture for 2014.

Brock Burnick, senior in agricultural economics and pre-law and chapter chancellor, Girard, has been awarded Alpha Zeta's 2014 McClure Outstanding Chancellor of the Year.

Laurel Pierson, senior in animal sciences and industry and chapter scribe, Watertown, Minnesota, has been awarded Alpha Zeta's 2014 McClure Outstanding Scribe of the Year.

Bobbi Ann Shanks, first-year veterinary medicine student, 2013 bachelor's degree recipient in animal sciences and industry, and chapter alumna and immediate past president, Columbus, has been awarded Alpha Zeta's 2014 Steve Drake Outstanding Alumni of the Year.

Awards were announced at the 2014 National Agricultural Leadership Conference in Ames, Iowa.

The McClure Outstanding Officers of the Year and Steve Drake Outstanding Alumni of the Year awards recognize outstanding achievements in chapter leadership and dedication to agriculture.

Each year, one candidate from each officer position and one alumnus are nominated from the 70 chapters of Alpha Zeta across the nation. National winners are selected based on the candidates' accomplishments for their chapter and fraternity, as well as contributions to campus, community and agriculture.

Each year, one chapter of Alpha Zeta works with its college and university to host the National Agricultural Leadership Conference on its campus and bring members from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico together, to promote education and local agriculture. Yuda Ou, senior in food science and chapter treasurer, Guangzhou, China, and Caitlin Buelt, senior in agribusiness, Oskaloosa, have attended the conference representing Kansas chapter this year. Hillary Breene, senior in agribusiness and chapter membership chair, West Greenwich, Rhode Island, has helped make a banner to present at the conference to advertise Kansas agriculture.

Delegates from 13 chapters have attended the educational workshops, speakers, agricultural tours and service project this year.

Alpha Zeta, a professional organization of men and women whose educational and career objectives fall within the broadly defined field of agriculture and natural resources, is the nation's oldest fraternal society in agriculture. Since its founding in 1897, Alpha Zeta has been dedicated to the highest levels of scholarship, leadership, integrity and service through its members. The Kansas State chapter is a member of national Alpha Zeta and is comprised of distinguished juniors and seniors within the College of Agriculture who want to promote agriculture across campus as well as into the surrounding community.

Under the excellent leadership and contribution of the three awarded individuals and many other officers, members and advisers, the K-State chapter is actively involved and continuously serves the College of Agriculture and the university through such activities as the College of Agriculture Watermelon Feed, Ag Fest, George Stephens Distinguished Fall Speakers, and SWIPE Out Hunger and Hunger AID food packaging events. Hunger AID, a newly developed chapter project in 2013, is partnering with organization Outreach to send out meals domestically and internationally. In the past three years, the Kansas State chapter has raised more than $40,000, recruited more than 600 volunteers, and packed more than 185,000 meals in total to address global hunger issues and extended community awareness of service and agriculture.

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