Emily Harrison, Truman State University junior and agriculture business major, invited Richard Fordyce, Missouri Department of Agriculture director, to the University Farm Sept. 26 to give the director first-hand experience with various student projects in Truman’s agriculture program.
Fordyce first toured the Farm’s facilities to see the projects, then he gave a speech in the University Farm Multipurpose Room about Missouri’s current agricultural agenda to an audience of Truman students, staff, local residents and members of the Adair-Schuyler County Farm Bureau. State Senator Brian Munzlinger and State Representative Nate Walker also participated in the event and talked with Fordyce and members of the audience following the speech.
Harrison says she thinks Truman’s agriculture department has been working on a lot of important projects that not many people outside of Truman’s community know about. She says she was a communications intern for Fordyce during the summer and talked with him about Truman’s agriculture program. She says she invited him to see some of their projects so he could find ways for Missouri’s agricultural department to potentially work closer with Truman’s agriculture department. Harrison says Fordyce seemed particularly interested in a student project involving probiotics research for cattle — as well as an equine-assisted therapy project which she says was a joint effort between Truman’s agriculture department and Truman’s University Counseling Services. Harrison says she was impressed with how many people showed up to her event, and says she was grateful for the support from Truman’s agriculture department, the Public Relations Office, the President’s Office and Fordyce.
“I think it helped people learn a little bit more about us,” says Harrison. “Fordyce knew we existed, but I think this was a way for him to get to know us and for us to get to know him. Whenever I had this crazy idea, I didn’t think it would get this big, and I’m thankful that it did, and thankful for all the support around Truman.