AU SIFE asks: What Can You Learn from a Chicken?

Wed, 2008-09-17 15:13 -- univcomm
September 17, 2008

The Anderson University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter recently discovered a whole new way to teach students about trading and operating in a free market—chickens. SIFE’s Global Chicken Challenge, conducted on the AU campus Sept. 4, gave students a chance to experience the world of bartering and trade first-hand, in a game as unique as the name suggests.

The Global Chicken Challenge began with more than 50 teams of students. Each team was given a live chicken. The students then traded their chicken back to the SIFE team for any one of various available items valued one dollar. The objective of the exercise was to continue trading items for objects of increasing value. Students were encouraged to barter with individuals throughout the Anderson community to find the most valuable items. After a day and a half of searching and trading, each team presented their final item to a panel of five judges. The team with the most valuable item was declared the winner and awarded a $300 cash prize. Local farm supplier Reynolds Farm Equipment provided financial support to the event.

Anderson University senior Andrew Murray completed the challenge with the winning item, an iPod, valued at $144 by the panel.

“It’s fairly easy to barter once you get out into the community and find people who are willing to work with you,” said Murray. “Other items included a freezer, rocking chair, printer, and video game. The SIFE team plans to auction off these items to support their work with communities in Africa. Teams completed a pretest and posttest that discussed ideas related to bartering in order to track their learning throughout this experience.

The event also signified the launch on SIFE’s online chicken sponsorship Web site where the team is encouraging others to help make the Mulunda Miaka Orphanage in Zambia, Africa a more sustainable community. For only $6, visitors to the website can participate in the Give-A-Chicken project and sponsor a chicken which will then be donated directly to the orphanage. Included with the donation are the chicken’s feed and medication, meaning that when the chicken or eggs are sold, all the profit goes directly to orphanage.

“Zambia is a land locked country located in central southern Africa,” says SIFE president Kyle Schroeder. “Chickens are a staple food and a main source of protein in the Zambian diet. They also serve as a viable revenue source.”

At Mulunda Miaka Orphanage, chickens and eggs will be used for meals and will also be sold to help the orphanage be self-sustainable.

“With the support of the university and other on-campus organizations,” says Schroeder, “this became a successful project to kick off the year for the Students in Free Enterprise.” The SIFE team’s mission for the year is to “Develop passionate leaders who are positively impacting the world.” Through a combination of global, entrepreneurial, environmental, and community impact projects, the team works to help improve the surrounding community. The SIFE team at Anderson has existed for 19 years and has a history of being one of the top programs in the United States.

Students in Free Enterprise is an international organization active in 48 countries across 1400 college campuses. Focusing on teaching others about success, market economic, and personal financial management skills, entrepreneurship, ethics, and environmental sustainability. A Business Advisory Board and team of faculty advisors provide oversight and guidance for the team. For more information about the Anderson University SIFE team, visit their website at To get involved with their Give-A-Chicken project, visit

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.