April 4, 2011- The Animal Agriculture Alliance is excited to announce the results of its second College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition. The nationwide program was developed in partnership with the American National CattleWomen, Inc. to help college students utilize social media tools to share agriculture's story.
Students with an interest in agriculture were invited to join the CAO network in September 2010. Over the past seven months, 600 college students from more than 50 universities have participated in the competition. Members have earned points by posting blogs, photos and videos related to agriculture and by participating in “Aggie Homework” agriculture advocacy challenges via Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail.
With 765 total points, the individual high score went to Jessie McClellan of the Casper College Ag Club in Wyoming. She will receive a $250 scholarship. Jacob Nyguis of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Georgia came in second place with 655 points and will be awarded $100.
Members of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Cattlemen’s Club formed the top-scoring club with 3,030 points. The group will receive a $750 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C. for one representative to attend the Alliance’s Stakeholders Summit in April. Casper College’s Ag Club came in second place with 2,525 points and will receive $300.
Other high-scoring schools included Pennsylvania State University, Western Kentucky University, and the University of Missouri. CAO members were also eligible to earn other prizes during agriculture advocacy challenges throughout the year. All members will receive a certificate of participation.
“The Internet offers a new way for farmers and ranchers to connect with consumers,” Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith said. “CAO members are learning to master these online tools to share the importance of agriculture with their peers.”
CAO participants shared 4,500 photos on the network and authored almost 250 blog posts. Members also advocated for agriculture in their communities by writing letters to the editor of local news outlets and by participating in other outreach activities.
Students are encouraged to continue utilizing the CAO forum to connect and share information even after the conclusion of the competition. The Alliance plans to re-launch CAO in the fall and hopes to expand the program to reach an even larger student base. To become a sponsor of the program or learn other ways to get involved, contact the Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Alliance and ANCW:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual farmers, ranchers, producer organizations, suppliers, packer-processors, scientists, veterinarians and retailers. The Alliance's mission is to communicate the importance of animal agriculture to our nation's economy, vitality and security.
The American National CattleWomen, Inc. is a national non-profit organization providing a voice for women who share a passion for the U.S. beef industry. ANCW offers leadership development, education, volunteer opportunities, national programs, and participates in the strategic planning process of the cattle industry.