The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced that its annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program will return this fall, kicking off September 14. The nine-week program brings together college students from across the country to develop life-long advocates for agriculture. Undergraduates, graduate students and collegiate clubs are invited to sign up.
Students will have the opportunity to network with social media-savvy farmers and industry leaders while enhancing their communication skills. Each week participants receive training from these communications experts about current and emerging issues in agriculture. Students earn points by completing weekly challenges, including writing blog posts, designing infographics, creating social media content and submitting letters to the editor.
Collegiate clubs usually host events on their campus to engage with peers about agriculture, but to ensure students are able to adhere to social distancing guidelines to protect their health and the health of others, the Alliance is updating the club division to include virtual engagement opportunities and events suited for small groups. Events include hosting a campus event, food drive, guest speaker, farm tour and more.
“The College Aggies Online program is cultivating the next generation of leaders in agriculture who are skilled at engaging consumers and influencers,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “We’re impressed and inspired by the passion, creativity, and dedication each year’s crop of students presents in bridging the communication gap between farm and fork, and we’re honored to provide the tools and resources to do just that.”
Last year 300 individuals and 20 collegiate clubs participated, representing 35 states and 95 universities. Students reached 7.2 million people online with their social media posts and more than 5,000 people in person at campus events.
Students interested in becoming confident and effective communicators for agriculture are invited to sign up at https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/.
CAO would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. 2020 sponsors include: Dairy Management, Inc., Seaboard Foods, Bayer, Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), Domino’s Pizza Inc., and Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).
To become a sponsor of this year’s program, contact Casey Kinler, director of membership and marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.