Annual All-AG Banquet Held February 28, 2014

Southern Illinois University



Annual All-AG Banquet Held February 28, 2014

March 14, 2014


The 62nd Annual All-Ag Banquet was held on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Carbondale Civic Center. The event was hosted by the Agricultural Student Advisory Council to recognize individuals and clubs for their outstanding work, encourage students to network with alumni, and raise money for a good cause.

Several individuals and clubs were honored during the event. Mr. Bill Raben, Farmer and Chairman of The Illinois Soybean Association, received the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus Award. Raben majored in Plants and Soil Science as an undergraduate at SIU Carbondale. After graduation, he taught for four years at Enfield High School before returning full time to the family farm. He served on St. Joseph’s Parish Council for twelve years, and presently serves on the church financial committee. He also serves on the Gallatin County Farm Bureau Board, the Gallatin County Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Growmark Board of Directors, the Illinois Soybean Association Board, and has been on the Wabash Valley Board of Directors for many years.

Ms. Fahran Robb, Senior Scientific and Policy Advisory for Biofuels, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Office of Global Analysis, received the 2014 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Fahran is a 2007 SIU Carbondale graduate with a B.S. in Agricultural Systems, a B.A. in Political Science, and three minors in Agribusiness Economics, Environmental Studies, and Speech Communication. She attended graduate school at Cornell University where she graduated with a M.S. degree in Applied Economics and Management with a concentration in Public Policy Analysis and Agricultural Finance. Fahran participates in various inter-, intra-, and non-governmental agency working groups including the Bioeconomy Council Coordination Committee, Farm-to-Fleet (U.S. Military), Farm-to-Fly 2.0 (commercial aviation), and the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative. She is also the White House National Security Staff Point of Contact for international energy security at USDA/FAS and a key member on USDA/FAS’s Sustainable Agriculture Messaging Task Force.

Other award winners included:

  • Peter Dirks, Donald M. Elkins Excellence in Education Award
  • Nicole Davis, Gary L. Minish Outstanding Advisor Award
  • Student Nutrition Academic Council, Outstanding Club
  • Collegiate FFA, Outstanding Club
  • The Equestrian Team, Outstanding Club Runner-Up
  • Cecily Hasse, Herb Oetjen Outstanding Junior
  • Morgan Schulte, Outstanding Junior Runner-Up
  • Lauren Arteman, Outstanding Senior
  • Kara Cox, Outstanding Senior Runner-Up

In addition to the honorees, Dean Mickey Latour introduced and presented awards to the first group of i2i Scholars at the college. The nine students received plaques and personalized lab coats for their contribution to the newly developed program.  Last fall, the students enrolled in the program and completed research proposals, and then began conducting their research this spring semester. Latour “developed the program to provide students the tools to investigate problems hands-on.”  Brett Wilson, a junior studying Animal Science Production, is one of the 2014 i2i scholars. His research project consists of shredding paper for horse bedding and evaluating the moisture holding capacity and ammonia production. In constructing this project analysis, he hopes to reduce the respiratory problems of, both, humans and horses by using shredded paper rather than only saw dust as bedding and decrease costs of paying for recycling, as well as the input costs of the farms here at SIU.

Nearly $800 was raised by student organizations through a silent auction. The money will be donated to the Heifer Project, where the Foundation's mission is "To work with communities to end hunger and poverty, and to care for the Earth." Each year, the money raised by the Agriculture Council goes towards supplying resources to villages across the world for things such as animals (sheep, water buffalo, etc.), supplies for irrigation pumps, and stoves. These are just a few of the life-changing gifts made possible by the council to help people around the world become more self-sufficient!

The College thanks everyone who attended and contributed in order to make this event possible!  Remember to mark your calendars for next year’s banquet, which will be held in the Student Center Ballrooms on February 27, 2015.