January 30, 2006

Auction will support activities of 'Agbassadors'

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A herd of two-legged livestock will go on the auction block at noon Thursday, Feb. 16, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Auctioneer Lucas D. Maxwell, the college point man for recruitment, retention and placement, will take bids on 12 "Agbassadors, "students who represent Agricultural Sciences during information fairs, career days, open houses and the like. The Agbassadors each have agreed to perform five hours of labor in Carbondale or nearby towns for their purchasers. The winning bids will become their hourly pay rates. Work must be completed by May 5.

For those not big on livestock, Maxwell also will auction off some antiques, a couple of rounds of golf at Stone Creek, a savings bond, some free eats and other items.

"The money will be used to support the activities of the Agbassadors — offsetting the costs of the shirts they wear, for instance," Maxwell said.

"We would like to become a self-sufficient group so we don't have to depend on the dean's office and the college for funds."

An auction program will picture each Agbassador and will include a brief description, written by each, of what work he or she will do.

Tiffany D. Ochs, a senior in agribusiness economics from Olney (3811 N. Stringtown Road), took the poetic approach in describing her skills. Her entry reads,

"Cooking and cleaning…I'll give it a shot. Messing with manure, I think not! Office work is a breeze; I can handle kids with ease. Bid on me, I'll even say please."

With similar skills, C. Matthew "Matt" Payne, a Fairmount (302 N. State Road) senior in Agribusiness Economics minoring in speech communication, took a different tack.

"My name is Matt and I am able to do most housework that you have been putting off," he wrote.

"I will even watch your children so you can get peace and I promise they will be alive when you get back!"

In addition to Ochs and Payne, other Agbassadors on sale are (by hometown):

Brighton: Robert C. Owens (34005 Mustang Dr.), a senior in agribusiness economics with a minor in business and administration.

Bushnell: Nicholas A. Martin (16650 state Route 9), a senior in plant and soil science, specializing in landscape design, with a minor in business and administration.

Charleston: Megan A. McCallister (2249 Cortland Dr.), a senior in food and nutrition, specializing in dietetics with a minor in business and administration.

DuBois: Amanda L. Barczewski (32 N. Front St.), a junior in agribusiness economics with a minor in plant and soil science with an emphasis on horticulture.

Forrest: Michael C. Froelich (P.O. box listing), a junior in forestry, specializing in forest resource management.

Gillespie: Tyler L. Brown (7971 Red School Road), a sophomore in agricultural systems, specializing in technology.

Greenville: Ashley L. Stockamp (836 Plant School Ave.), a junior in agricultural systems, specializing in agricultural education.

Pinckneyville: Fahran K.J. Robb (4590 Wren Road), a senior majoring in both agricultural systems with a specialization in agricultural information and in political science and minoring in both environmental studies and speech communication.

Rinard: Curtis J. Fry (R.R. 1), a senior in agricultural systems, specializing in agricultural education, with a minor in agribusiness economics.

Strasburg: Kara S. Ballinger (R.R. 1), a junior in agricultural systems, specializing in agricultural education, with a minor in equine science.

Enhancing and supporting student involvement in activities that provide opportunities to build leadership and interpersonal skills is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.