By Amanda Gee
Spring brings new growth, especially to lawns that have been dormant during the winter. Purdue students in the Agricultural Systems Management Club are ready to help local residents get their lawn mowers in tiptop shape to trim those newly green lawns.
Directions to ADM Agricultural Innovation Center
A map of the area is available at http://goo.gl/maps/B3R7r.
From intersection of State Street (state Route 26) and Russell Street on campus:
Go south on Russell Street. At first stop sign (Harrison Street) continue straight and cross the railroad tracks. The center is around the bend on the left side of the road. The building is by itself, with a sign out front.
From South River Road (U.S. 231, east of campus):
Turn onto Ahlers Drive one block south of Williams Street/Tapawingo Drive. Continue to the first stop sign. Turn right onto Russell Street. From the intersection, the center is one-tenth of a mile on the right side of the road. The building is by itself, with a sign out front.
The club members are hosting their annual Spring Lawn Mower Revitalization for the community to sharpen their skills and raise money for club activities.
“The event is a great opportunity for local residents and visitors of Lafayette to get their mowers serviced,” said Austin Guckien, a sophomore in agricultural systems management and president-elect of the club.
For $30, club members will change the engine oil, sharpen blades, service the air filter, clean the mower deck and power-wash the exterior of push lawn mowers. The same service for riding lawn mowers costs $50.
Mowers can be dropped off 4-7 p.m. March 18-22 at the ADM Agricultural Innovation Center on Russell Street, south of Harrison Street on the far south side of campus. Mowers can be picked up the following week (March 25-29) during the same times. The club also offers pickup and delivery of mowers for $20 more.
Guckien said club members use the money raised from the event for club meetings, apparel and trips for networking and professional development opportunities.
Last semester, about 50 club members toured John Deere equipment plants in East Moline, Ill., and Waterloo, Iowa. In January 2012, the club went to New Orleans to tour Archer Daniels Midland Co. grain facilities on the Gulf Coast.
“The trips provided good experience for the club members to bond together, like going to dinner with a big group of 50 friends,” Guckien said. “And we had the chance to meet and familiarize ourselves with industry representatives for future internship and employment opportunities.”
He said the trip south also gave club members an opportunity to experience culture in another part of the country.
“The culture of New Orleans was quite the experience – from the accent that people talk with and the gestures they make to how they act and the food they eat,” Guckien said.
In addition to taking trips, the club has biweekly meetings to discuss innovations in agriculture and to meet with representatives from the machinery, grain, seed and precision agriculture industries.
The club was formed in 1968 as the Ag Mechanization Club, and the name was changed in 1988 to reflect an academic major change and trends in the industry. But club members have always enjoyed gaining practical experience, including at their annual spring mower event.
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Club members usually service about 100 push mowers and 6-7 riding lawn mowers during the fundraiser, but Guckien said they would be happy to have more to work on.
“Every year, we as a club hope to exceed the previous year’s total,” he said. “Due to increased involvement and more space in the ADM Agricultural Innovation Center, the club is expecting to service a record number of mowers this year.”
The ADM Agricultural Innovation Center, which opened in January 2012, has classrooms and work spaces for students to learn and practice their skills.