Approximately 1,300 high school FFA and 4-H members from across North Carolina flocked to the University of Mount Olive (UMO) for the 5th annual AgFest event to promote and celebrate awareness of agriculture and other academic opportunities at UMO. The students represented 56 high schools from 28 of the 100 counties in North Carolina, traveling from as far away as Pasquotank in the northeastern part of the state and Randolph County in the Piedmont. This year’s festivities included ag demonstrations by the NC Cattleman’s Association, Soybean Associations, and a drone demo; Got to Be NC food; music and photo activities; and UMO admissions presentations. The highlight of the event was a country music concert featuring opening act, Johnny McGuire, and featured performer, Joe Nichols.
Director of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center Dr. Sandy Maddox said, “It is an amazing opportunity to be able to host so many high school students on our campus for this event. These young people are well-behaved and eager to learn. For some of them, it is their first time on a college campus. It is our goal to expose them to campus life, share some information about the ag industry, and treat them to a good time.”
According to Maddox, this year’s event was rescheduled from the fall due to Hurricane Florence. “We are delighted that the weather cleared for us today,” she said. Maddox noted that the university is planning to keep on track and have their 2019 Ag Fest this fall.
“We are looking forward to hosting the event again in the fall and anticipate a little bit different opportunity for learning and fun,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to expose high school students to the opportunities that avail them in careers in agriculture. We appreciate the partnerships that make this event possible and could not do it without our sponsors.”