AMES, Iowa -- For some students in the Iowa State University College of Agriculture, visiting an Iowa farm for the first time is a big deal.

Fifteen college students will learn what life is really like on an Iowa farm during the second Agricultural Weekend Experience (AWE) April 7-9.

Some of the students have homes halfway across the globe, while others are Iowa natives looking to discover what their state's agriculture industry has to offer. Participants range from a freshman to a graduate student and from pre-veterinary majors to an entomology major.

The one thing all of the students have in common is their limited farm experience.

"More than half of all ISU College of Agriculture students did not grow up on a farm," said Alicia Clancy, Agricultural Weekend Experience coordinator. "This weekend experience is an opportunity to learn about farm management, livestock care, spring planting and more.

"AWE offers students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge to real operations and to be more knowledgeable as they enter the ag industry after graduation," she added.

Half of the students will spend April 8 and 9 with farm family hosts in the northern Iowa communities of Osage, Nashua and Shell Rock. The other half will travel to Crawford County April 7, 8 and 9 to stay with farm families in Vail, Westside and Denison.

Both student groups will tour local agriculture businesses, such as ethanol plants and dairies, as well as becoming knowledgeable about the day-to-day operations of a farm.

AWE is co-sponsored by the College of Agriculture and the Iowa State University Agricultural Endowment with the cooperation of several Iowa Farm Bureau county offices.

Founded in 1937, the Iowa State University Agricultural Endowment provides opportunities for the College of Agriculture to support the people and infrastructure vital to the future of Iowa agriculture. The ISU Agriculture Endowment provides scholarships to Iowa State students; support for student activities and internships; grants for ISU research and demonstration projects; and support for other College of Agriculture programs that advance agriculture in Iowa.

More information about the 2006 Agricultural Weekend Experience student participants is available online.

SOURCE: Iowa State University news release.