Alumni and students celebrate CAFNR at annual bonfire

facepaintingSmoke filled the crisp fall air on Sunday, Sept. 21, as College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources students and alumni gathered at Bradford Research Center for the CAFNR Week bonfire.

CAFNR alumni helped run the event and could easily be found in their traditional MU black and gold polos. MU Ag Alumni Board of Directors President, Colleen Abott said more than 340 individuals RSVP’d and she anticipated more to show up that evening.

This marks the third year the Ag Alumni Association has sponsored this event.

“The event attracted more students then I thought it would,” said Michelle Dalbey, Ag Alumni Association student involvement committee chair. “Student groups played an integral role in the success of the event as they helped to park cars and paint faces.”

The event had a multitude of activities such as roasting marshmallows, a washers tournament and a hayride for CAFNR students and alumni to enjoy.

This year, the bonfire served as a kick-off event for the 2014 CAFNR Week. CAFNR Week is an annual event that allows CAFNR students to network and celebrate all the college has to offer.

“The alumni bonfire is a great kick-off event for CAFNR Week because it allows students to collaborate with each other as well as alumni and lets students see the CAFNR pride transmitted among alumni,” said Amanda Smith, CAFNR Week Steering Committee tri-director.

In addition to the networking opportunities, Smith sees great value in bringing students to Bradford Research Center to see the research aspect of CAFNR.

Kala McKenzie, a sophomore at MU majoring in pre-vet through CAFNR, said she enjoyed the chance to attend the bonfire.

“I enjoyed the hay ride that took me to the corn maze the most,” McKenzie said. She stated she would be attending other CAFNR Week events as well, such as the Corey Smith concert and Déjà Vu comedy club evening.

Wayne Yokely, CAFNR alum, said this was the largest crowd he had seen since coming to the bonfire when it started three years ago. He said that it’s always nice to see the students being active by coming to CAFNR events. Among alum mingling around throughout the evening, royalty could also be seen in the form of CAFNR week king and queen candidates.

Dana Rogge, Ag Alumni Association first vice president, also believes the bonfire is a great networking opportunity.

“This event is a good opportunity for students to network with alumni, Rogge said. “Events like this also allow students to see the family connections that alumni have with the college and motivates students to get involved with the Ag Alumni Association after graduation.”

The Ag Alumni Association gives back to CAFNR students, faculty and student groups through scholarships and the MU Ag 100 Endowment Fund.

> Kellianne Mitchell and Courtney Spencer contributed to this story.
> Photo by Courtney Spencer.