Since 1949, Purdue University agriculture alumni have gathered for an annual meeting and fish fry. The fish fry has become a major event held the first weekend in February at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, attracting a crowd of more than 1,500 alumni and friends.
This year, as the nation continues to address challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual fish fry has Gone Fishin’ with a series of virtual events.
Danica Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association, says that while it will look different this year, they’re still excited to be bringing people together.
“I’ve called it the unofficial homecoming of Indiana agriculture and especially when we’ve all been so isolated, I think it’s important that we do continue to try to do these events even if they don’t look exactly the same as they did. So, with respect to the fish fry, we decided that we’re going to bring people together, but it definitely isn’t going to be the same as being in person. So, that’s why we actually changed the name this year. We decided to go with ‘Gone Fishin’’”
There will be some things that will be the same as in years past, just delivered and executed in a different manner.
“President Daniels is going to give us a nice welcome,” says Kirkpatrick. “You’ll hear a college update from the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture Karen Plaut, and you’ll hear the annual report from me. You’ll also be able to vote for your officers and for your new alumni directors just as you would at the fish fry. We have a couple places for people to cast those votes. So, if they’re registering for one of our live events or if they just want to get on to the ‘Gone Fishin’’ website and vote for those officers, they can do that as well. So, there are bits and pieces that look very similar, but it’s kind of served a la carte so you can choose which videos you want to watch and which activities you want to participate in.”
Kirkpatrick adds that they will present the 2021 class of Certificate of Distinction winners with their awards during the program. This year’s list includes Congressman Jim Baird from Greencastle. You can leave congratulatory remarks for the recipients at the Gone Fishin’ website.
There are other events happening at this year’s virtual fish fry. Hear more about them in the full interview with Kirkpatrick here: