Last week I wrote about how students at the University of Nebraska had stepped up to the plate and persuaded their Student Senate not to pass a measure that would have used student fees to spread propaganda about Meatless Mondays.
Ashtyn Shrewsbury was one of the students that stood up at the Student Senate forum against the bill. Ashtyn was a past State FFA Officer and is also the Vice President of the Block and Bridle Club and Secretary of the Collegiate Cattleman (and obviously a future ag leader!). Ashtyn told me that before the open forum where the students were able to express their feelings about the Meatless Mondays measure, she made sure to check on some facts supplied by the Nebraska Beef Council and write down some notes on what she thought it was important to say. She explained:
We found it was incredibly important to step up and have this sizable showing because our universities heritage is agriculture, as I mentioned at the forum. This is a land grant university who’s purpose as set forth in the Morril Act of 1862 is to educate students on agriculture. Allowing a meatless Monday campaign funded by student fees to enter the university would be going against what our university is founded on, against the work that many of our students and students family’s are heavily involved with, and against our state’s number one industry.
Ashtyn said that 5 students were able to participate in the open forum and all of them gave personal testimony relating to their background in production agriculture.
Bryce Doeschot, Vice President of Communication and Public Relations for the Collegiate Farm Bureau, revealed that the students only found out about the proposal the morning it was set for a vote, so they did not have a ton of time to prepare. However, they were able to quickly and efficiently put a group together and definitely made their presence known. Bryce said:
By the time the meeting took place, at 6:30, we had secured five student leaders with great testimonies about their experience with livestock production. The students shared how they felt about the bill, their personal stories, and true facts about livestock production. Powerful messages were shared in the beginning of the meeting when open forum is allowed and the senators listened to our stories. Along with the student leaders who shared their stories, we packed the room with over 100 students who felt strong negativity towards the resolution. In the end, the resolution failed after many purposed amendments and heated discussion. The vote failed with an obvious majority.
Bryce recognized that it was the students’ passion for agriculture that allowed them to quickly put together a response. “It is crazy to think, but had we not came, the resolution would have easily passed and the campus of UNL would have educational material about meatless Monday,” he stated. “Thankfully, we are blessed to have students who care about agriculture and know the importance of sharing their stories!”
Once again, congratulations to the students for their success! It makes me worry a little less about the future to know that we have some very informed and professional young people involved with agriculture and that they’re ready and willing to stand up for the industry!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.