Annual Ag Roundup event is underway

By Justin Richter

The department of agriculture has kicked off its biggest week of the year.

Ag Roundup started Wednesday morning and is packed with events through Saturday, before the home football game.

“The purpose of Roundup is to highlight the College of Ag and the programs we’re doing,” Billy Toombs, the alumni coordinator for the College of Agriculture, said. “We want to showcase that to everyone in the state; we are here to serve the state, the Commonwealth.”

Each day of events includes meals and programs, all filled with many alumni and staff.

Roundup originally started 38 years ago as a Saturday morning event before a football game, Toombs said.

The Ag Roundup events show what the department does throughout the year, said Pam Poe Biddle, the special projects and event coordinator.

“It’s a showcase Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and a reunion for the college,” she said.

People not in the College of Agriculture can also attend.

State legislators come to view the events, along with city council members and sponsors.

Close to 4,000 people are expected to be at the roundup this year, Toombs said.

The College came together for a picnic Thursday outside the E. S. Good Barn.

Thursday provides interaction between incoming students, staff, alumni and the community of agriculture who come in to the events.

“Thursday is a Lexington community day,” Toombs said. “We are in the middle of an urban environment and the College of Agriculture is still relevant here as well.”

Hannah Shear, an animal science and agricultural economics senior, said the picnic is mostly for students to visit with alumni.

“It helps with networking with alumni because some of them are business owners,” she said. “Kids come and talk to alumni and sometimes receive internships with just going and talking to them.”

The week comes to a close Saturday morning for the final reunions and appreciations payed toward the alumni.

UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto will be in attendance Saturday, visiting with alumni under the tents.

The final meal of the week will provide this year’s sponsor of meat, Kentucky Poultry Chicken, Toombs said.

Student participation is a large part of the week.

“Students help cook and serve the alumni,” Shear said.

“Some of us are up at 6:30 in the morning everyday this week cooking for 2,000 people.”

Many people contribute to the success of Roundup, Biddle said. The department works together throughout the week to make it all possible.

“We’re proud of what we are and what we have accomplished,” Toombs said. “It’s not like Pam [Poe Biddle] and I just came in — it’s been 40 years of roundup organization.”

The Roundup is more than just an event, Biddle said.

“It goes back to being a family, whether you’re a student or an employee, it’s a family here. It’s like a big family reunion,” she said.