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Eager Eagle Local Musician ‘Kickstarts’ New EP p. 3

Entourage Arrives in Auburn p. 5

Fall Tractor Safety Tips p. 9

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About the


Hi, I’m Katie Smith, author of The Eager Eagle. I was born in Arlington, Virginia, located less than10 minutes from the heart of the political powerhouse, Washington, D.C. I moved to Auburn, Alabama in 2013 when I started my freshman year at Auburn University. In December 2016, I graduated with a degree in public relations and a minor in business. I would not trade my short years at Auburn University for the world. Some say I am lucky to be graduating early, but I disagree. I will miss the views, the people and loving atmosphere Auburn has provided me the last three- and-a-half years. I hope you enjoy my writing! War Eagle, hey!

Table of

Contents Local Musician ‘Kickstarts’ New EP


Entourage Arrives In Auburn


What on Earth is a Campus Ambassador?


New State, New School


Fall Tractor Safety Tips


How to Avoid In-Home Poisoning


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Local Musician


production, mixing, good musicians and mastering, I’m shorting everyone, including you!” Pridgen wrote on his Kickstarter page. “Through work or personal travel, The EP is set to feature seven tracks. I’ve logged right at

New EP

Opelika native Trace Pridgen has

By Katie Smith

launched a Kickstarter campaign for his debut EP, “Songs from the Road.”

Extra money raised will go toward funding a full-length album in the future.

“My lowest goal is $3,000, but I’ll need about $5,000 to do everything I want to do,” Pridgen said.

100,000 miles over the past couple of years.”

The EP is expected to debut early 2017, according to his website.

Pridgen decided Kickstarter is a better option than other popular fundraising sites like GoFundMe.

A Video Bonus

“I’ve had a couple friends do their funding through Kickstarter,” Pridgen says. “Kickstarter is a little more mainstream as far as new ideas go.”

Pridgen also created a video to go along with his campaign, which is on the Kickstarter page.

at 100,000 miles over the past couple of years.” Lyrics to many of the songs featured on the EP were written in hotel rooms and while traveling. The video shows Pridgen in several states, including Arkansas, California and Texas.

In September, he became a finalist for “Nash Next,” a competition for “Nashville’s next country star” and was named “Best Local Musician” by The Corner News’ “The Besties.”

“I refuse to release anything that does not give the listener a first-hand view of the last 100,000 miles,” he said. “Being able to do this requires a team of extremely creative (but expensive) individuals to bring this vision to fruition.”

What’s Next? Catch Pridgen playing at “On the Tracks” in downtown Opelika, then right after opening for Humming House at John Emerald Distillery on Oct. 7.

Career Pridgen graduated from Auburn University in 2012. He used his guitar as a distraction from studying for finals his freshman year, which sparked the idea of a music career.

Money raised through the campaign will help produce hard (and possibly vinyl) copies of the EP and pay the studio team.

“It’s a compilation video from a bunch of different places that describes the album from start to finish,” Pridgen said.

At the Hudson Family Foundation’s annual concert series in the Auburn University Arena, Pridgen opened for Montgomery Gentry, Justin Moore and Frankie Ballard. He and his band are also nominated for the Atlanta Braves “Band of the Year.”

“By not going the extra mile for quality recording,

“Through work or personal travel, I’ve logged right at

Pridgen’s first single, “Annie Sue,” is now available on


He is also selected to submit “Annie Sue” to the UK’s Pop-Up Music, a service that helps match tracks to television, film, commercials, etc.

To donate to Pridgen’s Kickstarter campaign, click here. Visit Pridgen’s website for more information and future events.

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Entourage Arrives in Auburn

A new kind of ‘Entourage’ recently rolled

About Entourage

into downtown Auburn. Entourage Clothing and Gifts opens its ninth location at 152 N. College Street. Auburn’s opening included a party on Sept. 1.

Everything in the store and online is $42 or less. The clothing seems to mostly focus on game day wear and a night on the town. The boutique aims to sell to women ages 20-25, but looks to expand to ages 35-45 in the future.

Entourage History The first location opened in Athens, Georgia, in 2008. Entourage’s eight other locations, like Auburn, are in college towns. Other locations include Clemson, Columbia, South Carolina and Tuscaloosa.

Members of the Auburn community attended an opening event called “Rage at the ‘Rage” for complimentary cookies and champagne, photo ops and a live DJ.

“I wanted a place where every girl could shop in an elegant space without the expensive price tag”

“It was the first time the company had ever done it,” says Kim Buttke, store manager. “We even called it a circus at one point because it was so much fun. It just brought so much energy into the building and hype to the business and what we’re about.”

“I wanted a place where every girl could shop in an elegant space without the expensive price tag,” Katie Nichols, founder of Entourage, said on her company’s website. “My goal was the same as it is now: to make a place that is welcoming to everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from, and to make you feel like a million dollars without having to break the bank.”

Visit Entourage Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

The Entourage website says more than 10 percent of all profits are given to various charities and organizations.


What on Earth is a

Campus Ambassador? By Katie Smith


“You network with anyone and everyone on campus, so you meet a ton of people you wouldn’t have without this experience. I learned more about marketing as a whole during this ambassadorship than I have in any of my classes.”

The person behind the table is likely a campus ambassador, eager to tell you about the company they represent. You may be thinking, “Campus Ambassador? What’s that?” Well, here’s the lowdown...

The work that goes into event planning and marketing does not go unnoticed. Sometimes, companies offer ambassadors jobs in the future, depending on performance.

ave you ever seen a table covered in brand logos and freebies on campus?

“Numerous companies have reached out to me with other ambassador positions! I also have great talking points during interviews,” Mavrakos said.

Who are campus ambassadors? Companies hire students to represent their company on college campuses across the country. These students are “campus ambassadors.”

Tips for future campus ambassadors?

Campus representative (rep) is another name for a campus ambassador. Ambassadors are usually pursuing a degree in public relations, communication, marketing or advertising.

• Take planning seriously! “Booking venues for events, especially large events, cannot be put off until the last minute,” says Mavrakos. Big sites on campus can book in the blink of an eye, so don’t wait to pick the perfect venue. Planning ahead is essential to time management and lowering your stress levels.

In the last year, students represented brands including Jessica Simpson, HBO, Pocket Points, Southern Tide, Tilt and Victoria’s Secret PINK on Auburn’s campus, just to name a few. What do campus ambassadors do? Campus ambassadors have a tough job. They plan events to promote their company and the company’s products. For example, Auburn ambassadors hold fashion shows, scavenger hunts, social media campaigns and more.

“You network with anyone and everyone on campus, so you meet a ton of people you wouldn’t have without this experience.”

• Utilize social media to the fullest. Everyone (almost) is active on social media, so this is the best way to reach a large audience with one post. Ambassadorships teach you to use social media as a tool rather than just for fun. “Being on the PINK team taught me a lot about social media marketing,” says Addie Smith, junior studying Communication. “As reps, a lot of our job was posting on social media so our friends would know about upcoming events.”

These events raise awareness of and promote a brand’s product or service. Ambassadors also market the events to spread the word and encourage people to attend. Along with planning events, ambassadors distribute company logo merchandise and give away free clothing and/or product samples. Some ambassadors even earn money as payment, while others receive free products.

Check online for future ambassadorships available in Auburn!

Is being a campus ambassador worth it? “It’s an easy way to get paid, get class credit, depending on your major, and to learn a lot about the work opportunities within the industry,” says Eva Mavrakos, a senior in Marketing and a former HBO campus ambassador.


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The transition to college can be hard, especially if ou’re

organizations, Auburn has something for everyone. You can even discover new things about yourself!


moving several hours away from your hometown. Some people have trouble deciding between colleges within their home state and out-of-state dream schools. Well, undecided folks, Auburn is great for out-of-state students! Here’s why...

“While it can be nerve racking leaving your home, being somewhere new helps you really discover who you are as a person rather than who you are with your family or people you’ve always grown up with,” Miller said.

1. There are more than 10,000 out-of-state students at Auburn

“It’s a new adventure and you can be whoever you want to be. Heck, you can go by a different name if you want to!”

You are not alone.

What about homesickness?

According to the university website, 26,606 students enrolled at Auburn during the Fall 2015 semester. Of those students, 10,439 were from other states.

It’s a whole new world living without your parents, but Auburn makes the transition a piece of cake.

Because Auburn hosts such a large number of out-of-state students, it’s easy to connect with people all over the country with two simple words.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and try something new, meet new friends and experience a different part of the country. Everyone misses home every once in a while, but there are many people here to help you through it.

“No matter where in the country you go, people know of Auburn,” said Josh Carroll, a Maryland-native senior studying Industrial Engineering. “Wherever I am, if I am wearing an Auburn shirt, I will hear a “War Eagle!” 2. Auburn is a unique city with a lot to offer Auburn quickly feels like a new home after moving here. It does not take long to navigate busy streets like Magnolia and Samford Avenue or remember where the best restaurants are.

“It’s a new adventure and you can be whoever you want to be. Heck, you can go by a different name if you want to!”

“I didn’t really feel homesick as a freshman because I loved the campus and the environment I was around so much that I didn’t really feel like home was all that far away,” said Travis Brandt, a senior Missouri-native said. “The only times I get homesick are when I miss my friends from back home or good cooking because I am not that great of a chef.”

Luckily, social media and technology are here to help!

Auburn residents are welcoming and kind and always make you feel at home.

“I am able to stay close with my family by calling them a couple times a week and constantly communicating through text message,” Carroll said.

“My favorite thing Auburn offers is a sense of community and family even when you’re so far away from your actual family,” said Sarah Grace Miller, a Virginia-native senior studying Biosystems Engineering.

“I didn’t get homesick often freshman year because I was having so much fun. When I did, it was nice to know that my parents had a visit planned for the middle of the semester,” Brandt said.

“It’s really diverse and has a lot of people from a lot of places,” Miller said. “The university has a lot of choices for majors, the weather is really warm, and it’s a new start to be whoever you want to be.”

“After that, it was only a short time before I would be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would say I look forward to going home sometimes but I never feel that it’s too far away.” No matter where you are from, Auburn will be your home away from home!

3. You can let your true colors shine Auburn is stacked with opportunities to meet people and get involved. Whether it be on or off-campus



School New State

Fall Tractor Safety Tips By Katie Smith

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Fall has arrived in the lovely state of Alabama, and a tractor

safety refresher never hurt anyone. Jimmy Jones, Alabama Cooperative Extension System coordinator in Henry Co., offers a few important reminders for all tractor operators and farm families during harvest season. Farmers have likely heard these safety tips before, but they are important to remember. 1. “One Seat, One Driver” This rule is important to remember for both children and adults. Children want to get out there with mom and dad, but sometimes it is not safe for them to do so.

safely secured. “It’s a very important time of year for farmers, but we want to be sure we’re looking out for those young folk on the farm.” 2. Safety Guards Save Lives Always check to make sure your safety guards are on. “We have accidents each year where someone has taken off a piece of covering off a PTO,” Jones said. Clothing can get wrapped in the drive shafts of the tractor, which could cause injury, so make sure all safety guards are in tact before use.

“We urge farmers to shut [the tractors] off, go home and get up the next morning and try to move in daylight because most accidents happen in the dark,” Jones explained.

“If it has one seat, there’s only one rider,” Jones said. Riding children, or other passengers, with you on a one seat tractor can result in serious injury. Fields are not flat; there are many holes, ditches and bumps. “[Kids] could easily be bounced off, and next thing you know they could end up under the tire, and we don’t want to go there as far as how much damage that could do.” time of year for farmers, but we want to be sure we’re looking out for those young folk on the farm.”

It is important to have reflective pieces on all of your equipment so other drivers can see you on the road. “Pay particular attention to the slow-moving vehicle triangles that you are driving, as well as the equipment you are pulling behind your tractor,” Jones said.

“I’ve been a farmer for years, I already know this!” Even experienced farmers can make mistakes. To put the importance of tractor safety into perspective, Auburn resident and owner-operator of Deer Park Farms in Street, Maryland, Nathan Barringer shares a story of a close call.

Jones suggests not to drive family members on the tractors unless there are two seats, with seat belts, for a passenger to be

Also, try not to move equipment after dark. It is a hazard to you

“As a grower, I always keep it in the back of my mind that today could be the day something bad happens,” Barringer said.

“But there will always be that clear and present danger that we must acknowledge and respect.”

“One of our farm’s most seasoned employees forgot about the pinch point that occurs at the linking pin this summer and lost her entire fingernail, and almost her finger. The baler had lurched backward while she was hooking up a wagon. This could have easily been avoided if she had kept her hands clear of the pinch point.”

4. Do Not Push Yourself Too Far Working long hours on a 95-98-degree day is tough. In a normal harvest season, it is not uncommon for farmers to miss meals and work non-stop. Taking care of your health is important and cannot be ignored.

3. Wrangle the Triangles The red reflective triangle is a universal sign for a slow-moving vehicle. This time of year, peanut and cotton farmers are moving large, wide equipment down the road. It is important to have reflective pieces on all of your equipment so other drivers can see you on the road.


“As a manager of my family’s operation, I often find myself orientating new workers and monitoring the safety of my employees.”

and other drivers to be pulling wide equipment at night, especially without proper flashers and reflective triangles.

“Taking short breaks to refresh yourself and get hydrated can stop many accidents,” Jones said. “This is heavy equipment that takes a lot of concentration to operate.” A lapse in concentration can cause harm to you, someone else, or your machine.

Understanding the equipment and knowing all safety hazards is important for anyone operating it. “Most days we wake up and do a job we absolutely love to do,” Barringer said, “But there will always be that clear and present danger that we must acknowledge and respect.” Take a few minutes to review the safety guidelines of your equipment to ensure proper use. For more information, click here to read other farm safety tips from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System website.


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and lips, administer a cool damp cloth on the lips, do not induce vomiting and call 911.”

Always read labels before consuming or using. This is the best way to differentiate between a non-poisonous and poisonous item. Hooker suggests reading labels for your children, or elderly family members who have vision issues.

What about Carbon Monoxide? Carbon monoxide is also known as the “Invisible Killer.” “Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless very toxic gas that can be fatal if undetected,” Hooker said. “It is formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon in a gas flame.”

Safely Stored “Store harmful products out of reach or use safety closures on cabinets,” Hooker said. “Keep products in original containers. Essential information about a product will be available in case of an accident. If a product is changed to a different container, label the container correctly.”

In-Home Poison:

What You Should Know By Katie Smith

Have you ever called one twin by the other twin’s name?

Or accidentally used baking powder instead of flour?

poisonings, followed by household products, cosmetics and plants,” Hooker said. “Paints and petroleum products also rank high.”

These are simple mistakes that are easy to fix. Some mix-ups, however, are not as easily reversed.

Medications can be confused with candy to a child.

Several common items in the home look strikingly similar to poisonous items and can easily be accidentally used or consumed. It is important to know how to identify look-alikes, store them safely and how to handle accidental contact to keep you and your family safe. Sallie L. Hooker, MA, FDC, Certified Family Life Educator, Regional Extension Agent, provides some insight on in-home poisons and how to stay safe.

Another common mix-up because of similar appearance is mistaking Ex-lax for Hershey’s chocolate. This mix up is not poisonous but can yield unwanted results. Colored cleaners and washing products also stand as potential dangers. “One parent shared with me that her son had mistaken Windex for a power drink,” Hooker said. “Items frequently in the news are dishwashing packets and clothes detergent packets that are mistaken for candy. There have been fatalities connected to this error.”

The Most Common “Look-Alikes”

Below is a list of tips Hooker suggests for storing potentially dangerous items: • Keep labels on harmful items. • Properly destroy and discard used containers, making sure that they are empty. • Store medications separately from other products. • NEVER give or take medication prescribed for someone else. • Request childproof containers. • Consult your physician or druggist before combining medications. • Teach children the universal symbol for poison - the skull and crossbones. • Store household cleaners etc. out of reach of children – not under kitchen cabinets or bathroom sinks. • Lock the storage cabinets or use childproof devices to secure the cabinets. • Never leave medicines within children’s reach. • Do not take medicines in front of children – they are imitators. • Store medications in a locked suitcase. • Keep purses out of reach of children. • Never call medications candy. • Never give, or take, medications in the dark.


According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental non-fire related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators.” “Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.”

The CPSC reports that initial carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include: • Headache • Fatigue • Shortness of breath • Nausea • Dizziness To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, Hooker suggests that all gas appliances, or any appliance with a pilot light, be inspected by a certified technician on an annual basis. “Install carbon monoxide detectors, and never use an outside gas grill inside the home,” Hooker said.

Accidental Contact: What To Do

What Else Do I Need to Know?

“Read the label and follow the directions for treating accidental poisoning,” Hooker said. “Call the Poison HELP line at 1-800-222-122.”

Hooker and Margaret Odom, EDS, FDC, Certified Extension Educator and Regional Extension Agent, created an excellent Extension publication explaining in-home look-alikes and potential poisons. To read the publication, click here.

“If a poison has caused a burn to the individual’s mouth

“Medications account for 50 percent of all childhood

“Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless very toxic gas that can be fatal if undetected”


The Eager Eagle  

Magazine by Katherine Smith