Animal and Food Sciences | Senior & Graduate Picnic Article
The Rumenators - Kiersten Hartrim, Kirsten Mueller, William Alles
Let the 6th Annual Hungry Games Begin!
Imagine a sunny day in May, members of the Department of Animal and Food Science all corralled to Webb Farm, a secluded part of campus known to few outside the department. Students and faculty arrive, all somewhat unsure of what exactly to expect, to partake in the 6th Annual Hungry Games. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Students are not pit against faculty for our entertainment, nor is anything hunted apart from an occasionally oversized scoop of UDairy ice cream.
The “Hungry Games” was the theme for this year’s 6th annual Student and Graduate Picnic, organized by the students of Dr. Tanya Gressley’s dairy production class. This event was something looked forward to by the graduating class of 2013 and took quite a bit of effort to plan. The students of Dr. Gressley’s class were divided into teams of three or four and each group was held responsible for the completion of a specific task. From designing the t-shirts to collecting photos and quotes to creating thank you posters for the staff, nothing was left unattended.
Members of the class arrived to Webb Farm at 11:30 on May 10th to make all final preparations, laying out cow print tablecloths and balloons and tacking up festive posters, before all those invited turned up. Food was provided and everyone sat in a cafeteria style, students, faculty, and farm staff freely intermixed together. Dr. Marlene Emara chose a seat beside a group of rowdy seniors with the teasing excuse of “keeping them in line” and Dr. Carl Schmidt was seen sitting cross-legged on the ground chatting amiably with a group of graduate students while happily eating a cupful of ice cream. “It’s cool that we know the professors and they know us, so we can all sit and talk together and it not be weird,” one student commented.
There was a brief break in the buzz of conversation for a welcome by Dr. Gressley and a cheery follow up greeting by Dr. Jack Gelb, the chairman of the Department of Animal and Food Science. The farm staff was thanked by one of the organizing groups and another group put together a short skit to thank the dairy staff. This group of three took the words to the popular LMFAO song “I’m Sexy and I Know It” and changed them to “I’m Milking and I Know It.” They stood proudly in front of their peers and professors, cool sunglasses included, and belted out their clever parody for all to hear, which was met with loud, appreciative laughter and a hearty round of applause.
Everyone appeared to be enjoying the beautiful weather, the good food, and the unexpected sense of camaraderie. Anna Brewton told us that “it was a lot of fun. It was great to eat with everyone in the ag school and reminisce about the last four years” as she watched the slideshow that had been put together using photos taken over the past four years. Senior Chase Appleby said “it was nice getting to see professors and students we aren’t in class with anymore.” That sentiment was echoed by many others in attendance that afternoon. Another senior, Ashley Szczerba, admitted “it was really great to hang out with everyone from my year group one last time. It was funny to see which of us ‘made the cut’ by the end.”