AGR makes record contribution to AgrAbility

MSU's Alpha Gamma Rho Tau Chapter's record-breaking $34,000 donation to Michigan AgrAbility represented the proceeds of their annual Beef Preview Show, marking the fraternity's continued commitment to supporting farmers with disabilities.

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A check presentation took place at the AGR house on April 11, 2024.

On April 11, 2024, members of the Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) Tau Chapter at Michigan State University presented a check for $34,000 to Michigan AgrAbility from the proceeds of the annual Beef Preview Show, a charity event held in February to raise funds for AgrAbility. The Beef Preview Show is the largest philanthropic event among MSU’s Greek fraternity/sorority system, and this donation represents the largest sum ever raised by the fraternity to benefit AgrAbility.

“The Beef preview show means everything to the chapter,” Matt Ostrander, show chairman and MSU senior said. “Our motto is to make better men, and through them a broader and better agriculture. Doing this show allows us to be better men by raising money to help allow farmers with disabilities to keep on doing what they love. It’s a great way to pay it forward to the generations of farmers before us.” 

At the Beef Preview Show, Ostrander was joined by co-chairs, Blain Wheeler of Sand Creek, Adam Baker of Clayton, Jaylen Baker of Kentwood and Mitchell Karg of Harbor Beach. All fraternity members work during the event in some capacity such as ring attendants, clerking and announcing classes.

In 2013 AGR adopted AgrAbility as its charitable project, and AGR’s contributions now exceed $150,000. Michigan AgrAbility is a USDA-funded program that operates as a partnership of Michigan State University Extension  and EastersealsMORC. The mission of AgrAbility is to improve the quality of life for farmers with a disability, injury or illness through direct technical assistance and implementation of assistive technology on the farm to simplify tasks and keep people farming. The program works with farmers and farmworkers across the state to make farm chores and processes safer and more comfortable.

The record donation to AgrAbility comes as the beef show continues to grow and become a premier youth livestock event in Michigan since its inception in 2012. More than 500 animals were shown by 350 youth during the February event.

These funds are used to purchase and install items that will help farmers continue their work across the state. Additional steps to easily enter a tractor, back up cameras in equipment, voice response scales and measuring tools and hearing aids are a few examples of adaptations that can make the difference in mitigating challenges of farming with a disability, injury or illness.

“Giving is an obvious trait of a good man and AGR is dedicated to making better men,” Ali Ramzan, Chapter Philanthropy Chair, said. “The ability to give back through the beef show and our other events in a major way, and knowing it is used locally is comforting and a testament of intent that AGR has for its local community.”

Adapted and amended from a news release originally created by EastersealsMORC.

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