Women Excelling in Agriculture

Are you a woman who loves agriculture? Do you want to meet other women with the same interests and values as yourself? If so, Sigma Alpha is the sorority for you! Sigma Alpha is a professional agriculture sorority that promotes women who are passionate about the agriculture industry.  The WIU Sigma Chapter currently has 24 active members and 16 membership candidates.  To become an active member of Sigma Alpha, you must first complete the membership candidate process.  This is a six week process that consists of two interviews, four quizzes, and a final test. The quizzes and final test are given as a way of teaching the incoming members about what Sigma Alpha stands for and the history of the sorority.

Sand volleyball during recruitment week.
Sand volleyball during recruitment week.
After initiating 16 membership candidates.
After initiating 16 membership candidates.

As a professional sorority, we do several service projects throughout the year that often relate to agriculture.  Our main service project is to help the McDonough County Farm Bureau with activities such as Ag in the Classroom and Farm Safety Day.  All members must complete a certain amount of service hours to help prepare for these events.

Although service and professional development are our main focus, we do still enjoy some occasional fun activities.  We often have sisterhoods as a way to develop bonds with our fellow sisters.  We also have socials with different groups on campus.  We currently have a Barn Dance with Alpha Gamma Rho and Alpha Gamma Sigma in the works.  Our two most exciting events each semester are the MC’s Mom’s Night and Dad’s Night. On these two nights, each MC gets to find out who their sorority “mom” and fraternity “dad” are. During our recent Mom’s Night, the MC’s had to run and find a balloon with their name on it, and then sit on the balloon to reveal a paper with their mom’s name.  Dad’s night is soon to follow within the next few weeks.

I was chosen as the Sigma Alpha member to kiss the pig.
Sigma Alpha’s Kiss the Pig

Another event that we do is our annual fundraiser, Kiss the Pig.  During the fall semester, the Ag Department holds a picnic for all the students to eat and mingle.  During this picnic, our sorority has jars set up with names of one AGR, AGS, Sigma Alpha, and faculty member.  Throughout the evening everyone has the opportunity to donate money, and whoever has the most money at the end gets to kiss a pig.  This year we raised $113.54.

The second fundraiser the sorority is doing this semester is called That’s My Pan.  It is a collection of pans in which you can personalize with your name.  These pans would make excellent gifts with the holiday’s quickly approaching!  If you’d like to see a catalog or make a purchase, find any Sigma Alpha member to order.

Sigma Alpha is an excellent way for women of many backgrounds to meet others who share a passion for agriculture.  We are all striving to show that women can be successful within this industry and become advocates for agriculture.  I am forever thankful for the networking that Sigma Alpha has given me and the friendships that I have gained with my fellow sisters.

To stay up to date on WIU’s chapter of Sigma Alpha, you can like us on Facebook!

Sigma Alpha
WIU Sigma Alpha Actives

LivingstonEmilyHello and thank you for reading the WIU School of Ag’s blog! My name is Emily
Livingston and I am a senior at Western Illinois University. I am majoring in Agriculture Science with an emphasis in animal science and a minor in Communication. I try to stay involved in the Agriculture Department by being a member of Sigma Alpha, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Hoof n Horn, Ag Mech Club, Ag Council, and Ag Vocators.


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