We are hard working, God fearing, boot wearing individuals who yell at each other today and shake hands with each other tomorrow. We’re the gentleman of Alpha Gamma Sigma. Now, while we may not have all of these things in common, we do all have the same important thing to share. A love for agriculture. That is absolutely the easiest way to describe something like this organization. Joining an Ag fraternity greatly enhances the college experience for any Ag based student.
As a freshman, I was completely against joining a group like this. I had a poor amount of knowledge about fraternities and really cared less to be apart of one. My dorm roommate drug me along with him to an interest party and, on the contrary, I never left. There is a draw to people who share a similar lifestyle as you. It creates a family effect and a home away from home. Alpha Gamma Sigma created a purpose to college that I hadn’t seen before.
In 1923, Alpha Gamma Sigma was began at the University of Missouri with a mission to “Prepare men for life by: coming together as scholars, living as brothers, becoming leaders of tomorrow.” The colors that represent us are royal blue and silver. We exist on 8 different campuses nationwide. Our fraternity was founded here at Western Illinois University in 1971. We still connect regularly with our founding fathers and other alumni.
Our connection to the community begins with philanthropy. We host events such as the golf outing, which supports Farm Safety just for Kids. Also, we have an annual corn-hole tournament to support an organization for testicular cancer research. Together, we are able to do things bigger than just ourselves. Businesses within the community recognize this. We often have these businesses come to our house looking for good men to hire. This shows the quality that they believe our members have.
So what is our purpose? Over my four years of being a member, my opinion of our true purpose has changed many times. First, I thought we were all about raising money and philanthropy within the community. I later thought is was all about networking. Lately, I have realized that I wouldn’t have been friends with some of these people if it wasn’t for the fraternity. AGS is more than a house, some friends, or a party. It is a movement.
My advice to college students and especially incoming freshman is to give student organizations like this a try. Don’t join an organization that can’t even tell you its true purpose. Ask questions and make wise choices. If you ask any one of us at Alpha Gamma Sigma what our purpose is, we can tell you straight away. Our fraternity strives to further develop each other, making better men. That is why we are here.
My name is Joseph Ehrhardt. My hometown is Liberty, Illinois. I am a senior Ag Business student at Western Illinois University. My life completely revolves around agriculture. I eat, sleep, and dream the farming lifestyle. Alpha Gamma Sigma professional Ag fraternity, the Ag Mechanization Club, and my coursework all help me connect with people just like me.