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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Growing Aggie Spirit

Photo by Photo by Melanie McBride

The Texas A&M Agronomy Society’s annual Aggie-themed corn maze provides a fun and challenging way for visitors to enjoy fall festivities throughout the month of October. 

This year’s Fightin’ Texas Aggie Corn Maze was anticipated to be the most challenging yet. 

The annual Aggie-themed maze is created and hosted by the Texas A&M Agronomy Society. The design of the maze was inspired by the yell “Farmers Fight” and featured a giant A&M emblem in the center of the winding paths spanning over a three-acre field. The money raised from ticket sales goes toward funding different professional and developmental events for this organization.

Plant and environmental soil sciences senior and Agronomy Society Vice President Ariana Lazo said the Texas A&M Agronomy Society is A&M’s chapter of the national organization Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Science, or SASES.

“This is my third year as a member and my second year as an officer,” Lazo said. “I’ve had the opportunity to attend a national conference, compete in competitions, participate in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Corn Maze and make the most incredible friends through this organization.”

Plant and environmental soil sciences senior and Agronomy Society President Grace Bodine said the Agronomy Society is a departmental organization housed in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. 

“Our mission is to not only provide professional opportunities for our students within our department, but also students who are interested in that topic,” Bodine said. “We have students from all different majors like horticulture and engineering. There’s a lot of people that know about agriculture that go to A&M, but there’s also a lot of people who don’t know about it.”

With approximately 85 percent of Texas’ population living in urban areas, Bodine said the organization is an opportunity for people to learn and disseminate agricultural knowledge to the public.

“That’s one of the reasons we do the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Corn Maze,” Bodine said. “Since [Oct. 16], we’ve had a little over 2,500 people come out between all five days that we have been open so far, and we expect to reach 3,000.”

Plant and environmental soil sciences junior and corn maze chair Trenton Sulak said in past years, the organization has designed the maze in various ways, though always A&M related.

“We’ve chosen to do the A&M logo with ‘Whoop,’ the A&M logo with ‘fearless’ and the older AMC logo,” Sulak said. “This year, we chose to have the A&M logo with the famous Aggie words ‘Farmers Fight.’”

Sulak said the beginning steps for creating the maze occur much earlier than one might anticipate.

“The corn for the maze was planted in the third week of July this year in order for it to stay green all the way into Halloween,” Sulak said. “We use drip tape irrigation in order to have efficient watering and keep the corn growing through the hot summer months.” 

After the corn tassels, Sulak said the team begins making the design in the corn.

“We take our design of the maze and use hoes to chop the corn down at the roots,” Sulak said. “We usually do the logo and words first to give the public an idea of what the maze will look like and then cut the paths out and try to make it as difficult as possible.”

Each year, Sulak said the team tries to make the maze complicated for the public, but not impossible.

“When taking every correct path, the time [to complete the maze] was five minutes.” Sulak said. “But for people making their first attempt, the quickest time was nine minutes, and the longest time was one hour and 15 minutes.”

Though the maze has traditionally been made out of corn stalks in the past, Sulak said next year will look a little different.

“We’re planning on planting sunflowers so people can take pictures,” Sulak said. “It will be our first year doing that, so we’ll see how it works out.”

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