The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition kicks off in less than two weeks on September 12. Participants will have the opportunity to network and learn from a variety of industry professionals and farm influencers. Undergraduates, graduate students and collegiate clubs and classes are invited to sign up.

CAO connects college students who are interested in promoting agriculture and gives them the skills they need to effectively engage with key audiences online and on campus. Individual participants engage with their peers on social media by posting information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and telling personal stories. Club participants are challenged to host events virtually or on their campus to talk about modern agriculture with their peers. Last year, students reached four million people on social media and over 5,200 people at club events.

“College Aggies Online has provided me with unique opportunities to strengthen my agricultural communications skills through weekly challenges that pushed me in my professional writing, social media outreach and graphic design,” said Kylie Scott, 2021 recipient of the second-place overall scholarship prize in the graduate student division. “The weekly mentors are an invaluable resource to participants who offer advice from their personal experiences and teach how to best utilize the social media space to advocate for agriculture. This scholarship program has been invaluable in not only financially aiding my academic career but also facilitating the expansion of my professional network and development of employable skills.”

Mentors for the 2022 competition include:

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  • Jessica Peters, Pennsylvania Dairy Farmer
  • Emily Shaw, Founder, Dairy Girl Fitness
  • Lauren Arbogast, Virginia Chicken Farmer
  • Allison Fitzgerald, Regulatory and Scientific Engagement Manager, Bayer
  • Natalie Kovarik, Nebraska Cattle Rancher
  • Katie Hayes, RDN, Director, Nutrition Communications, Egg Nutrition Center
  • Joe Proudman, Associate Director for Communications, CLEAR Center at University of California, Davis
  • Lacie Dotterweich, Manager, Communications and Social Media, American Feed Industry Association
  • Brandi Buzzard Frobose, Kansas Cattle Rancher, Red Angus Association of America

Students interested in becoming confident and effective communicators for agriculture are can learn more and sign up at https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/.

The CAO program would not be possible without the generous support of our 2022 sponsors: Dairy Management Inc., National Pork Industry Foundation, CHS Foundation, Bayer, National Corn Growers Association, U.S, Poultry & Egg Association, Institute for Feed Education and Research, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Ohio Poultry Association, Culvers Franchising System, National Chicken Council and Pennsylvania Beef Council. To become a sponsor of this year’s program, see our sponsorship opportunities and contact Casey Kinler, director, membership and marketing, at ckinler@animalagalliance.org.