Tyson Foods has become the newest sponsor of the Animal Agriculture Alliance's fifth annual College Aggies Online scholarship program. College Aggies Online, an agriculture advocacy scholarship competition, will launch on September 9.
"We are thrilled that Tyson Foods has come aboard as the newest supporter of one of the Alliance's most positive and proactive initiatives," said Animal Agriculture Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. "There's nothing more crucial than helping the next generation of farmers, ranchers and agriculture professionals understand the importance of sharing agriculture's story."
The College Aggies Online program, which began in 2009, is designed to enable college students with an interest in agriculture to become confident, proactive and creative communicators using social media tools.
"Tyson Foods is proud to provide this sponsorship of the College Aggies Online program and to support students across the country as they share the importance of agriculture in feeding the world and give back to their communities," said Annetta Young, director of corporate social responsibility for Tyson Foods.
The fall 2013 competition will include new, creative assignments, increased participant interaction with issue experts, and a more comprehensive internship and career database. Both individuals and collegiate agriculture clubs can compete, and challenges range from writing blogs and engaging with stakeholders using social media, to hosting a campus-wide "Meet your Meat" event. Participants will also be encouraged to actively participate in their communities at large by completing assignments focused on giving back, like hosting food and clothing drives and volunteering at soup kitchens.
The final points will be tallied in November and the club with the most points will receive a $5,000 scholarship, national recognition and a trip for two representatives to Washington, D.C. for the alliance's annual Stakeholders Summit. The first place individual will win a $2,500.00 scholarship and a trip to D.C. Scholarships and recognition will also be awarded to the runner-up in the club and the second and third placing individuals. Additionally, club and individual winners will also be invited to tour the Tyson Foods headquarters and processing facilities in Springdale, Ark.
Other 2013 sponsors include Lallemand Animal Nutrition and the National Pork Board.
About 980 students from more than 75 universities participated in College Aggies Online in 2012.