On March 7th-9th, brothers of the North Carolina Chapter attended the National Agricultural Leadership Conference (NALC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Beginning the experience with an eight-hour van ride north, brothers had the opportunity to bond and do some site seeing along the way. We then got settled in and attended the Welcome Dinner; here we participated in the banner contest (congratulations to the Puerto Rico Chapter who won!) and everyone received a fun shirt from another chapter during the T-Shirt Exchange.
The next day, two different groups set out to tour different farms. Each group attended 4 farm tours, so there were 8 in total! Most of our brothers attended the Rural AgTour, but some attended the Urban AgTour. The Rural AgTour included Soergel Orchards, Blackberry Meadows, Goat Rodeo Farm and Dairy, and Frankferd Farms. The Urban AgTour visited Allegheny GoatScape, Hilltop Urban Farm, Braddock Farm, and 412 Food Rescue. These tours provided brothers with a new wealth of knowledge and contributed to this year’s NALC theme: “Bridging the Gap Between Urban and Rural Agriculture.” We are very excited to bring this knowledge back home and apply it in our studies and in our future careers!
On the last day of our trip, we participated in a service event for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. After being split up into many different groups, brothers split up across the surrounding area to clean public fixtures, cleaning or recycling littler, some landscaping, and removing graffiti. We were honored to contribute to the community and help this great organization promote a clean environment. After cleaning up a little bit, brothers got ready to attend workshops. There were many different workshops offered, with focuses on chapter, personal, and professional development. These workshops were very informative, and our brothers are eager to apply all that we learned to our chapter and our lives. Following these superb discussions, we then attended the Awards Banquet. We started off this event with Nick Lubecki of Braddock Farms as our keynote speaker. He gave a very informative talk on what urban agriculture is and how he sees it shaping agriculture in the future. After filling our stomach and listening to this amazing talk, we moved into the Awards section of the evening. Outstanding Chancellor of the Year was awarded to Reuben Wilson, Outstanding Censor of the Year was awarded to Savannah Clark, and Outstanding Scribe of the Year was awarded to Mikayla Graham. Scribe Mikayla Graham was awarded the Alpha Zeta Foundation Scholarship. Our Chapter was awarded the Middaugh Chapter Achievement Awards for the following: Promotion of Agriculture, Services to Community, and Fundraising. All these awards were huge honors both to the brothers and our chapter. Finally, we would like to congratulate the Cornell Chapter on receiving the Founders Cup this year!
This was an amazing experience, and all attending brothers are very thankful for the time to bond and network with Alpha Zeta Brothers from across the country. A huge thank you to the High Council and everyone else that was involved with planning this event. We are now excited to attend the next NALC two years from now!