When people think of Farm Bureau they typically think of farmers and ranchers out in the field, but that is not the case for one Dickinson State University club.
"Our goals are to meet as agriculture students and talk about issues that directly affect us and bring them to the awareness of the whole campus," said Carlie Bowditch, president of DSU's Collegiate Farm Bureau Club and a senior at DSU.
Collegiate Farm Bureau (CFB) is an organization that is a step under Farm Bureau, trying to educate college students about agriculture issues and topics.
Bowditch said their main goal is to advocate for agriculture on campus. This year they had a significant increase in membership, particularly freshmen and transfer students, which resulted in doubling their last year's members of nine to 18.
"I see it filling the gap between 4-H and FFA to being an ag producer and agribusiness man and wanting to be part of an organization like Farm Bureau," Bowditch said.
They typically get their name out by doing membership drives, for example a dunk tank during the ag picnic, at the beginning of the school year.
The club attends conferences throughout the year at state and national destinations, with the National Young Farmer and Rancher Conference in Reno, Nev., being one of their latest.
"Conferences are just different things that the state or national Farm Bureau puts on," Aspen Lenning, the club's vice president and a freshman at DSU, said. "Events that we can go to that we don't have to plan, so we love going to them."
The CFB also can attend these conferences and compete at a discussion meet. There are typically five to eight participants debating at the same time. At the beginning of each year there are five different questions that are given to each CFB club to focus on and debate at their own meetings and prepare for these discussion meets.
"Our club level has a discussion meet, so everyone competes in it. So you'll get one of those questions - you can compare it to a debate - but you don't have to pick a side," Bowditch said.
Their goals while in the discussion are to come up with a solution. Collegiate members have the opportunity to compete at the club level and whoever wins at the club level competes at nationals that year.
By being a part of this organization, Bowditch said that "the members stay up to date on agriculture issues while still in college."
"When we were at nationals, there was one session that was about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the scientific facts and research that has proven different things to be true and others false," Lenning said. "We are going to show a video on March 27 for DSU students that strictly shows the information given from scientists."
The CFB meets every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. To become a member of this club, DSU students pay a fee of $10 and receive a shirt.
"We are really thankful for ND Farm Bureau because they give us funds once a year to have supper, go ice skating and they want us to use it build relationships," added both of the girls.
Both of the girls also said that CFB has helped them build great relationships with the members and are happy to be a part of a "family."
Hailey Sabe oversees the DSU CFB and is hired by ND Farm Bureau to come to their meetings and make sure they are up to date on agricultural happenings.
People can keep up to date with the DSU CFB through their Facebook page, DSU Collegiate Farm Bureau.