Ag Week is one of the highlights of the year for Ag Science students and is a significant contributor to AgSoc fundraising efforts, writes Conor Sampson.
As per tradition, the Agricultural Society (AgSoc) held their annual “Ag Week” during week three of semester two. The society, which was founded in 1923, is one of the largest and most active in UCD with over 1000 members, made up not only of Agricultural Science students, but also a significant number of students from the Nursing and Engineering faculties. The society runs a series of events throughout the college year with the aim of raising money for worthy causes. The sum of money raised over the years has grown significantly, with over €65,000 being donated last year. This is testament to the hard work being put in on a voluntary basis by the 28 strong committee, headed up this year by Auditor Aoife Bergin.
Undoubtedly, the society’s annual Ag Week is one of the highlights of the year for Ag Science students and is a significant contributor to their fundraising efforts. The society organised a very diverse and inclusive itinerary of events which Bergin described as a “balance of social seminars and non-profit events such as the milk race”, in order to raise money for AgSoc’s two chosen charities for this year. The two deserving charities receiving the donations for 2019/2020 are Teac Tom and St. Johns Ward Crumlin. Teac Tom is a counselling and support service based in Kilkenny and Laois which helps individuals and families who have been affected by suicide or are contemplating suicide. St. Johns Ward Crumlin is the children’s cancer ward in Crumlin Hospital, which aims to save young lives through research and providing top priority care. Auditor Bergin expressed her gratitude to the two charities, for all the support and help they have provided to the society during the course of the year so far.
Ag week kicked off on Monday February 03 with the “Welly Walk”. Ag Soc members braved the cold in the early morning to collect donations from generous commuters at various junctions around the Belfield campus. Speaking on the event, Bergin said “we did much better than expected, bringing in €3000 in total”, which made for a very positive start to the weeks’ events. This was followed by the much anticipated “Milk Race” which saw competitors line up outside the Agriculture and Food Science building and attempt to quickly drink as many pints of milk as they could. Monday night saw the annual and ever popular “County Colours” night. The event was well attended, with over 600 people present on the night, and brought in another €3000.
Tuesday started off with those who had recovered from the night before taking part in a 5 a side soccer tournament. This was followed by the wax auction in the Clubhouse bar, where a number of brave souls got up on stage to be waxed by the highest bidders on the night. The wax auction raised a sum of €1000 this year. To finish off the night, Ag Soc organised a Trad night in Ryan’s of Camden Street in association with UCD Trad Soc. Bergin expressed her thanks and appreciation to Trad Soc for their contribution.
Events resumed on Wednesday afternoon on the UCD astro pitches with a tag rugby tournament, which was a very popular and well supported event, with over 120 people participating. Wednesday night was undoubtedly a highlight of the week, with DJ John Gibbons performing in Opium nightclub, an event which raised another €6000 for Ag Socs charities.
Thursday was the final day of ag week and featured a panel discussion with representatives from the Irish Farmers Journal. Topics covered ranged from climate change, to the Beef Plan movement, to the future of the EUs Common Agricultural Policy. The week culminated with the “Ag’s Got Talent” competition in the Clubhouse bar, where contestants got to showcase their singing and dancing abilities.
Once again, Ag Week was a resounding success this year with the considerable sum of €13,000 being raised in four days, bringing the total raised so far to over €50,000, according to Auditor Bergin. On behalf of the committee, Bergin expressed her thanks to all the lecturers who were understanding and helpful during the week, along with all those who took part in events and who donated so generously on multiple occasions. The organisation of the week’s events requires a huge effort from the committee. “We have had this mainly organised since Christmas, and thankfully it all ran smoothly” Bergin concluded.