Cattle ranchers and social media influencers, Natalie Kovarik and Brandi Buzzard, are two of the mentors set to advise participants in the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2023 College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program, which begins on September 11. Registration is now open for undergraduate, graduate and professional students studying in the U.S., as well as collegiate clubs and classes. Last year, nearly $20,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded to participants. Sign up for this year’s competition here: https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/.
CAO connects college students from across the country who are passionate about sharing positive, factual information about agriculture. Participants receive nine interactive and educational weeks of content to help them become confident and effective communicators for agriculture with guidance from farmers and industry mentors. During their scheduled week of the program, Kovarik and Buzzard will share valuable insights and helpful tips when it comes to engaging about agriculture.
“College Aggies Online equips college students with the tools needed to effectively bridge the gap between farm and table,” said Emily Ellis, manager, communications and content, Animal Agriculture Alliance. “In only nine weeks in 2022, more than 8.5 million people were reached through the program with the students’ social media content and on-campus events. This is thanks, in part, to the opportunities for students to network with and learn from mentors like Kovarik and Buzzard, two fan-favorites who are returning this year.”
Kovarik is a proud rancher’s daughter, wife, mother and rancher herself. She works alongside her husband, Luke, and her three sons, where they own and operate Kovarik Cattle Co, a cow calf business with a growing registered herd. Growing up, Kovarik was raised on her family’s registered Hereford operation in southwest Montana. She began sharing her ranching story online four years ago to foster a community that trusts and believes in agriculture as much as she does. Today, she is the co-host of the popular podcast, Discover Ag, as well as the co-founder of Elevate Ag, an online course and community providing farmers and ranchers with the tools needed to successfully advocate for agriculture online.
Buzzard is editor of the Red Angus Magazine and blogger and speaker under the title Buzzard’s Beat. She and her husband operate a small ranch in southeast Kansas where she spends a majority of her time rodeoing, ranching and engaging with her rural community. Buzzard started the blog, “Buzzard’s Beat,” in 2009 and focuses on opening the door to American agriculture, how our food is raised, and the people who raise it. She is an active speaker and has been featured on many platforms including CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC News and many more.
In addition to sharing tips for communicating about agriculture, Kovarik and Buzzard will also provide feedback on submitted social media posts and challenges and help in selecting weekly scholarship winners. The top participants at the conclusion of the program will be invited to attend the Alliance’s 2024 Stakeholders Summit, set for May 8-9 in Kansas City, Missouri, for national recognition.
Students interested in networking with industry professionals and learning from successful agriculture influencers while strengthening their communication skills are invited to sign up today at https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/.
About the Alliance:
The Alliance safeguards the future of animal agriculture and its value to society by bridging the communication gap between the farm and food communities. We connect key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation.