Seven brothers from the North Carolina chapter attended NALC at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma this year. For the nights leading up to the time to leave for NALC, various brothers gathered to decorate our banner with the “Timeless Traditions, Endless Opportunities” theme. We spent many late nights working hard to make a banner that both symbolized the theme, but also symbolized our passion for Alpha Zeta and our university.
Everyone from the NC chapter flew into either Oklahoma City or Stillwater and arrived Thursday afternoon. After getting settled into our hotel rooms and freshening up it was time to kick off the conference with the welcome dinner, banner contest, and a tour of campus. For the welcome dinner we had the wonderful opportunity to share a meal with other members from various chapters and learn more about them and the activities of their chapters. After everyone was finished eating we held our annual banner contest where each chapter in attendance described their banner and paraded it in front of everyone. Everyone then voted on their favorite banner and the lucky winners for this years contest was the Puerto Rico Chapter (I believe this was their 6th year in a row winning the contest). Then all the brothers who brought a t-shirt with them participated in the annual t-shirt exchange where you can go home with an awesome t-shirt from another chapter. Finally we finished the night by getting our very own tour of OSU’s campus from one of the members of the Oklahoma Chapter who is also a campus tour guide. All of the buildings on campus were beautiful and everyone was amazed (and jealous) that OSU students didn’t have to pay a dime to be able to print things on campus.
Friday was a very long day full of various farm tours from 7am to 9pm. There were two farm tour options, but all of the members from the NC chapter that attended decided to go with the Livestock Farm Tour. We went to various places including the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center and Purebred Beef Center at OSU, the National Cowboy Museum, the Oklahoma National Stockyards, Express Ranch and Express Clydesdales, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. All of the places we visited were very interesting and we learned so much about Oklahoma’s agriculture and history. After we got back to the hotel everyone was exhausted and just hung out together in our hotel rooms.
The last day of the conference was also a very busy day chocked-full of activities. We started off the morning bright and early with a service project for a nearby food pantry. This food pantry was currently in the process of moving to a new facility that was under renovation. Basically, we spent our morning getting a work out tearing apart a building. It was a lot of fun and felt great to be able to help out where we could. After the service project we returned to the hotel and had just enough time to clean ourselves up before the workshops began. There were six total workshops offered and all were very informative and helpful with improving our chapter and individual leadership skills. Finally, we finished off the night and the conference with our banquet. The dinner was delicious and our keynote speaker was both entertaining and uplifting. The North Carolina Chapter received a few awards at this year’s NALC including the Middaugh award for Promotion of Agriculture, current brother Reuben Wilson received the Member-at-Large of the Year award, and alumnus Hunter Kornegay won the Steven Drake Alumni of the Year award. The biggest honor of all that the North Carolina chapter received this year was the 2017 Founder’s Cup (which was awarded to the Cal Epsilon Chapter last year)!
It was so much fun bonding with brothers from other chapters during and outside the scheduled events. Between the farm tours, the dinners, and everything else the NC Chapter learned a lot and the friends that we made are certainly going to last a lifetime. We appreciate the hard work of the Oklahoma Chapter for organizing the conference and cannot wait to see where NALC will be held in two years!