Seven Innovation Grants awarded by WALSAA

WALSAA awarded seven Innovation Grants during the 2014-2015 academic year. Pictured here are representatives from the Badger Turf and Grounds club who used their grant to attend the Gulf Industry Show in San Antonio, TX.

The Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) awarded Innovation Grants to student organizations in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) to fund new and innovative programs during the 2014-2015 academic year. The seven Innovation Grant recipients are registered student organizations in CALS on the UW-Madison campus. WALSAA Innovation Grants were matched by CALS this year to extend their reach and impact to more students. Here’s a list of this past academic year’s Innovation Grant recipients and their award amounts:

Agriculture Future of America (AFA). $500 was awarded to a group of students who travelled to the AFA Leaders conference in Kansas City, MO. This event provides support for college men and women who are preparing for careers in agriculture-related fields, while at the same time supporting the development of human capital for the agriculture and food industry.

Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA).  $850 was awarded to AWA to launch a new etiquette dinner focused on “Women in the Workplace.”  The new event focused on improving women’s confidence, honing professional skills, leadership development, teaching personal communication with emphasis on body language in the workplace.

Badger Turf and Grounds. $1,500 was awarded to assist members in participating in the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, TX. At the event, student members study career-related material, explore new research from universities around the country, learn mechanical innovations and technical advances in the turf industry, then bring these new ideas back to the local chapter and their own studies.

CALS Ambassadors. $900 was awarded to the CALS Ambassador team to fund a new event for prospective CALS Students. In March, roughly 50 admitted CALS students came to campus to explore what the college has to offer with hopes of encouraging them to accept their admittance to CALS.

Collegiate Farm Bureau. $800 was awarded to expand a program piloted last year seeking to promote agriculture in Wisconsin and the Madison community by touring unique agriculture businesses. This year’s trip included Clock Shadow Creamery and Growing Power – both in Milwaukee. Ag tours allow students to become better educated on the diversity of the local agricultural industry.

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). $1,750 was awarded to fund student travel to the 2015 national MANRRS conference held in Houston, TX. At this event students expand their career skills, network with professionals from around the country and build camaraderie with students in agriculture and life science programs on a national level.

National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). $2000 was awarded to allow students to develop a full marketing plan for an agricultural product and then present their plan at the national student marketing competition. Students also had the opportunity to participate in the professional NAMA conference to help prepare for their own careers while retooling their local student chapter with new ideas for next year’s club leaders. This year’s UW-Madison NAMA team won second place in the national student NAMA marketing competition with their product “CoTrio – Flavor-infused Cottonseed Baking Oil.”