Ag Business Club brings home awards from AAEA Annual Awards

Natalie Ott, ag business sophomore, receives the Outstanding Chapter Club Award

The Iowa State University Agricultural Business Club brought home two awards and a top placing in the annual quiz bowl from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Awards and Fellows Ceremony.

The club, established at Iowa State in 1954, is open to all agricultural business majors and hosts over 200 members.

Amani Elobeid, one of the club’s advisors and economics teaching professor, said the club is entirely student-run with guidance from dedicated advisors. The committees determine what awards to apply for and arrange events, industry meetings and club educational sessions.

At the annual AAEA ceremony held in San Diego, July 31st to August 2nd, the Ag Business Club was awarded the Outstanding Chapter Club and Creative Club awards. The club has won the Outstanding Chapter Club award in 14 of the last 20 years.

Outstanding Chapter Clubs are recognized for their hard work throughout the school year based on the goals and objectives of the chapter, the club’s membership recruitment and the chapter's activities.

Creative Awards are given to clubs that organize a special event during the school year. They are judged based on their written account of the idea or project, its implementation, and its result. This year, the Ag Business Club received the award for adding two industry advisor positions to strengthen how the club connects with agribusinesses. Elizabeth Burns-Thompson from Navigator CO2 Ventures and Izak Christensen from Summit Agricultural Group were selected as the advisors.

“Our current industry advisors were elected to provide members with an opportunity to access the wealth of knowledge that our advisors possess,” the club wrote in their award application. “Additionally, the advisors can give students advice for preparing for the career fair, interviews, and connect students with other industry representatives who can offer additional advice and insight.”

This year, some club members decided to restart the AAEA Quiz Bowl contest team a couple of months before the competition. In the past, the Ag Business Club had sent a team to compete, but for the past few years, Iowa State had not participated.

“I went to some of the executive committee members and said, ‘Why don't we just test it out and see if it's something that we want to revive?’” Elobeid said. “It's a time commitment, and we didn’t get to practice very much. We weren’t even able to get the answering software they use at the competition.”

The team elected to go, despite the short turnaround given the late decision to enter. The quiz bowl team consisted of:

  • Jordan Balderston, junior in agricultural business   
  • Colton Moore, senior in agricultural business   
  • Natalie Ott, sophomore in agricultural business   
  • Jacob Samuelson, sophomore in agricultural business

“We are fortunate to have amazing professors here at Iowa State,” Ott said. “The topics for the quiz bowl cover microeconomics, macroeconomics, ag policy, finance and a miscellaneous category. I had taken many accounting classes, and the guys had taken more of the policy or the ag finance classes, so it all just tied together.” 

The other schools had a full year to prepare, but Iowa State’s club had just a few weeks. Elobeid said they went into the competition intending to try their best but not be disappointed if they didn’t do well. The team placed third out of 14 teams. 

"This is a testament to the strength of the Agricultural Business program and the caliber of students in the major," Elobeid said.

Learn more about the Agricultural Business Club by visiting their website.