The Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, along with the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program hosted the Texas 4-H Weekend in Aggieland, allowing 4-H members access to the Texas A&M campus to network with future peers, professors, coaches and advisers.
The room was vibrating with excitement as Texas 4-H members were welcomed into the Thomas G. Hildebrand DVM ’56 Equine Complex, where they mingled and networked with their peers, family members, current students, 4-H program specialists and a few from the College’s leadership team.
An introduction to Aggieland
“This weekend is the opportunity to get kids to a college campus and create access to both the college and the people,” said Montza Williams, Ed.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H program director, Bryan-College Station.
Numerous families that travel to College Station for the Texas 4-H Weekend in Aggieland are from rural communities across the state.
“We hope these kids will get to meet peers, professors, coaches and advisers to get familiar and comfortable with the university while exploring more about what pursuing higher education can offer,” Williams said.
The event has evolved since its beginnings in 2018.
“The first year, we were able to connect families with football tickets offered at a discounted price, and we invited them to attend the annual College tailgate,” said Callie Cline, AgriLife Extension program specialist, “However, since we have grown each year, we can now offer a greater immersion on campus.”
The event is now a two-day program.
The first day’s activities included presentations from College of Agriculture and Life Sciences leadership and C.O.A.L.S. council members, a virtual tour of Texas A&M University with the HOWDY Crew, an introduction to Texas A&M admissions and a networking mixer with people from the 15 departments within the College.
On the second day, Texas 4-H members attended a tailgate and educational workshops at the Shirley and Joe Swinbank ’74 AgriLife Center on the Texas A&M campus.
“We are so thankful we had the opportunity to collaborate with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for this event,” Cline said.
Providing success for students
Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, opened the weekend with a warm welcome to the Texas 4-H members and their families attending.
“We’re in the people business, and a part of that includes connecting with the best and brightest Texas has to offer,” Savell said. “We believe in the strength of Texas 4-H and our future, current and former students, and we know how important it is for them to have an opportunity to explore Texas A&M.”
Chris Skaggs, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for stakeholder relations and associate dean for student development, gave a presentation about the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Skaggs started his presentation with an introduction to the 15 departments and the courses students can take depending on their studies. He ended his presentation with scholarship opportunities for incoming and current students.
“There’s an amazing transformation between a student’s freshman and senior year,” Skaggs said. “Texas A&M is proud to help that change occur. We hope the 4-H’ers we met see Texas A&M as a place where they can grow and learn as they prepare to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Rounding out the event
To complete the first day, Texas 4-H members took part in team-building activities while parents were given the opportunity to ask questions about the College and university.
The questions and team-building activities concluded as David Tofel, director of recruitment at Texas A&M University, shared tips and tricks with the attendees on submitting applications.
During the second day, Texas 4-H members attended the tailgate, where they mingled with current students and college leadership.
“My favorite part of this weekend was the virtual tour and learning about Texas A&M,” said Nathaniel Hughes from McLellan County. “Everyone was so welcoming, and this weekend made me want to attend Texas A&M someday.”