Front row left to right: English Ratliff, Addie Stone, Amelia Ahles, Elizabeth Jane Daniel Second row: Bailee Hawkins, Emily Wilson, Katherine Helms, Ericka Freeman, Michael Vassalos Third row: Tanner Donahoo, Hunter Carson, Andrew Hall, Cody White

Front row left to right: English Ratliff, Addie Stone, Amelia Ahles, Elizabeth Jane Daniel; Second row: Bailee Hawkins, Emily Wilson, Katherine Helms, Ericka Freeman, Michael Vassalos; Third row: Tanner Donahoo, Hunter Carson, Andrew Hall, Cody White

Students from Clemson University’s Agribusiness Club left their mark on the nation’s capital when they placed fourth in the Student Section of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s (SS-AAEA) national academic bowl Aug. 5-7.

SS-AAEA, founded in 1987, comprises of undergraduate students from across the United States and Canada to promote student leadership and professional development. Every year SS-AAEA holds elections along with an academic bowl competition.

Students Amelia Ahles, Hunter Carson, Elizabeth Jane Daniel, Tanner Donahoo, Ericka Freeman, Bailee Hawkins, Katherine Helms, English Ratliff, Addie Stone, Andrew Hall, Cody White and Emily Wilson traveled to D.C. to represent Clemson University in the competition and elections.

Out of 38 teams from 18 schools, Clemson students Tanner Donahoo, Andrew Hall, and Addie Stone were a part of the team that won fourth in the competition, placing them ahead of students from larger agricultural programs such as Purdue and Iowa State.

Michael Vassalos, assistant professor of agribusiness at Clemson University, advises Clemson’s agribusiness club and traveled with his team to D.C.

“Competing at AAEA’s Academic Bowl event is by itself a great opportunity for the students to network and to improve the visibility of Clemson’s Agribusiness program,” Vassalos said. “The competition is challenging since it requires students to have a very good knowledge in a wide range of topics. Our students were up for that challenge. Despite their busy schedule they had weekly meetings to practice during summer. Their hard work paid off with their success, finishing fourth among 38 teams. I am extremely proud for all of them and feel blessed to be their advisor.”

At this year’s SS-AAEA elections, two Clemson students also won prominent officer seats within the association. Addie Stone, president of Clemson’s agribusiness club, was elected as the Public Relations chair. Emily Wilson, junior agribusiness major, was elected as secretary for SS-AAEA. The last time a Clemson student was elected as an officer was in 2012.

Vassalos praised Stone and Wilson, saying, “Being elected as an officer for SS-AAEA is a great honor for our students. It will provide them the opportunity to learn more about the association and as well as the ability to voice their ideas and suggestions. It is also a great indication how far Clemson’s Agribusiness Association has progressed in just 5 years. I am extremely confident that Addie and Emily will do a great job and look forward to seeing their ideas being implemented.”

The trip to D.C. to partake in SS-AAEA’s competition and elections was funded by Clemson’s undergraduate student government and alumni. Dr. Vassalos and the club members would like to thank former College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences interim dean Tim Boosinger, Clemson Public Service and Agrilculture Vice President George Askew and Joni Jordan for helping the club finance the trip, through the Buddy Lewis Endowment, and Dave Lamie for his financial support.