The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2017 College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program will kick off Sept. 10. The program, now in its ninth year, connects college students from across the country who have a passion for agriculture and allows them to become confident, positive and proactive communicators. Both individuals and student organizations can participate in the weekly assignments and challenges that prepare students to become life-long advocates for agriculture.
Since the program’s launch in 2009, more than 5,500 college students have completed the program. In 2016, 344 students participated along with 35 clubs, and together they reached 15,000 people with 2.3 million online impressions, 1,800 social media posts and participating clubs together held 56 activities on campus.
In the individual division, weekly assignments range from writing a blog post, creating an infographic or watching a webinar hosted by an industry professional. Participants create weekly social media posts about agriculture on multiple platforms bridging the communication gap between farm and fork. In the club division, students will choose from a list of challenges to complete that will engage those on their campus or in their communities about agriculture. Club challenges include hosting an event on campus, teaching students at local elementary schools and handing out candy with stickers debunking myths about milk, meat, poultry and eggs.
Participants will earn points for each assignment they complete for a chance to win money and prizes. In addition, the top competitors will win a trip to attend the 2018 Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, Virginia, for a chance to network with industry professionals and attend sessions. Additionally, this year’s program will feature the chance to earn the new CAO Completion Emblem, which recognizes the achievement of completing CAO. Students that complete the 9-week program can list the emblem on their resume and LinkedIn profiles to impress future employers and signify their devotion to advocating for agriculture.
Throughout the program, participants have the opportunity to interact with industry experts who serve as mentors. Industry mentors will offer advice while serving as a resource for students to develop their own personal brand and produce effective and engaging content.
“We’re excited to offer this opportunity for students to connect with industry experts, engage with their peers on campus and protect the future of our industry,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance President and CEO. “We are especially excited about the addition of the CAO Program Emblem as a way for program participants to catch the attention of prospective employers and demonstrate their commitment to advocating for agriculture.”
To learn more about the competition and to sign up – either individually or as a club – please visit the CAO website.
CAO would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. 2017 sponsors include: Dairy Management, Inc., the National Pork Industry Foundation and the Ohio Poultry Association.