The Business Student Advisory Council hosted the 2021 annual Farmer Week, celebrating the Farmer School of Business (FSB) from April 5-8. This year, the event focused on community, identity, relationships and mental wellness.
Each day of the event had a different focus and activities for FSB students, including social media interaction, uplifting notes in the FSB building and lawn games.
On Thursday, April 8, the focus was community, and a small farmer’s market was set up in the lobby of the FSB building. Three local businesses had tables set up to interact with students: Kofenya, Enjoy Oxford and the Animal Care Clinic.
Alongside the day-to-day events, student business organizations competed to collect canned goods for the Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services, and an asynchronous walkathon was also hosted with proceeds going towards the Oxford Family Resource Center (FRC).
Sam Graziano, executive vice president of the Business Student Advisory Council, said the event was successful.
“[It's] been really cool,” Graziano said. “Everyone was super excited to be out there and around other people, having fun, embracing the idea of community in this time. I feel like everything has been really static and boring, so that was really cool.”
Graziano said many students participated in putting up positive notes in the building for their first event on Monday, April 5, which focused on mental wellness.
“[They’re] just a reminder that the [FSB] community, although we’re a little spread out in the building, and [we’re] not [there] as often, we’re still there,” Graziano said.
Jennifer Marston, the representative for the Oxford Animal Care Clinic, said she was excited to be a part of Farmer Week.
“I know the students have been really excited about trying to help the businesses in Oxford try to come back from COVID,” Marston said. “We've had a little bit of a downturn, and so we're trying to encourage more students to get into the businesses and so I was really happy to be part of this particular week.”
Brad Hoblitzell, executive director of the FRC, said the center is fortunate to partner with the Business Student Advisory Council.
“We're kind of at an unprecedented time in our community with COVID and the academic shutdown,” Hoblitzell said. “We've had lots of needs for assistance.”
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Hoblitzell said it’s also good to engage with Miami students so that they see sides of the Oxford community they might not otherwise.
“I think it's very important for Miami students to engage with the Oxford community in a different way,” Hoblitzell said, “and see the opportunity to serve the community and to maybe enlighten some issues that the majority of students don't really know in our community or don't even have the opportunity to see, so we're thankful for the support but also for the opportunity to educate.”
Hannah Newball, vice president of finance for the Business Student Advisory Council, said the biggest pay off of the event was seeing FSB students come together after a year of virtual events.
“I was really excited to see everyone kind of come together and enjoy something in Farmer, and kind of see students get a chance to have a little distraction from studying,” Newball said. “Normally in a non-COVID semester, there's always something going on … I think it was great being able to see the students enjoy pizza, or playing cornhole outside and things like that.”
Jenny Darroch, dean of FSB, wrote in an email to The Miami Student that when the Business Student Advisory Council came to her about the proposal for the event, she was thrilled.
“Above all, we want all of our students to feel they belong here on campus, and are a valued part of a vibrant community, which has been challenging when so much activity has been remote,” Darroch wrote. “Finally, seeing students out and about engaging in Farmer Week has provided me with a sense of normalcy after the unusual year we have all experienced.”