When Abraham Lincoln signed the Land Grant Act in 1862, establishing institutions of higher learning for agriculture and mechanical sciences in each state, it was instrumental in bringing together a group of young men who were interested in furthering their careers in agriculture through a college education. While these students knew the value of hard work, they also knew the value of brotherhood, and with the merging of the original Alpha Gamma Rho at The Ohio State University, founded as a local fraternity on October 10, 1904, and Delta Rho Sigma at University of Illinois, the National Fraternity of Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) became a reality on April 4, 1908.
Since its beginnings over 100 years ago, AGR has expanded to include chapters at 70 campuses across the United States. As a social/professional organization, career guidance and development is of the highest importance, and many members of AGR have gone on to great achievements, and not just in agriculture, such as Rick Perry (Governor of Texas), James Cash Penney (founder of JC Penney Department Stores), Mike Jackson (founder of Agribusiness Group), Peter Oppenheimer (CFO of Apple Inc.), Garth Brooks (Country-Western singer), and Orville Redenbacher (popcorn magnate). With Brothers like these, it is easy to see the appeal of the AGR dark green and gold!
The motto of AGR is, “To Make Better Men,” and they take this charge seriously. AGR understands that each member has come to college in order to prepare themselves for a career, and to get them ready for the real world, each Brother is offered the opportunity of regional career seminars, internships through alumni contacts, and alumni associations with informative agricultural programming. They are also interested in making a better world, and so each chapter of AGR gives back to its community through philanthropic projects with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the American Cancer Society.
With its roots in American agriculture, the Brothers of AGR understand that the nurturing and care that goes into raising crops or livestock is also required to develop members who are best prepared to give back to their communities. In words taken from the Alpha Gamma Rho Golden Crescent, “The finest testimony to the success of Alpha Gamma Rho cannot be told; it must be demonstrated because it lies in the hearts and minds of our Brothers; men who share together the intensity of learning, friendship, leadership, and fellowship that is Alpha Gamma Rho.”