TAMU Horticulture Club
The TAMU Horticulture Club is an affiliate of the American Society for Horticultural Science and its Association of Collegiate Branches. The club has one business meeting and one social meeting or activity night per month. Members of the horticulture industry regularly make presentations at the meetings. The club travels to regional and national meetings every year, and sponsors a team in the judging competition. The club has been rated the number 1 club in the nation for most of the last decade. Several fundraising events are held throughout the year, and the Spring Plant Fair sponsored by the club is entering it’s 30th year.
SAIFD – Student American Institute of Floral Designers
The Texas A&M University SAIFD chapter is the Forsythe Chapter of AIFD. Students increase their floral design skills through experiential learning. Working closely with Bill McKinley, Director of the Benz School of Floral Design and Benz Endowed Chair, the students coordinate floral design work for various functions on campus. They also attend the annual AIFD Symposium and participate in the floral design competitions there.
Pi Alpha Xi
Pi Alpha Xi (PAX) is the national honor society for floriculture, landscape horticulture and ornamental horticulture. The society has grown to 39 chapters and over 14,000 members. These chapters are located in the United States at four-year institutions with programs in horticulture. The mission of PAX is to promote scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership and the enrichment of human life through plants. The Psi chapter of PAX is the Texas A&M chapter. Only the top students in the junior and senior classes with a demonstrated interest in horticulture are invited to join PAX. Graduate students and faculty with an emphasis in these fields are also eligible. Students must have an academic average of at least a “B” (3.25 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 system). Once a year, in conjunction with the TAMU Horticulture Department’s Spring Awards Banquet, new members are initiated in the PAX Psi chapter at an initiation ceremony. New members receive a certificate to frame and a recognition pin and become lifetime members of PAX.
SASA – Sustainable Agriculture Student Association
The Howdy Farm initiated a student organization, the Sustainable Agriculture Student Associate (SASA), in 2011 in order to form a unified body of volunteers and foster an experiential learning community to expose students to aspects of local and organic agriculture. The association accomplishes this goal by creating educational opportunities for those individuals interested in sustainable agriculture. The Howdy Farm currently sees around 350 students a semester from a combination of volunteer students and courses offering credit for service. Students involved with the farm come from various colleges and backgrounds. The farm was introduced to the campus as a source of local, organic produce for students dining on campus. The interest in the farm has grown in the past several years, and the farm has grown with it earning grants from Aggie Green Fund in 2011 and 2012. The Howdy Farm’s area has grown from several raised beds to a five-acre farm located on the west campus of Texas A&M University.