The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2023 College Aggies Online (CAO) program kicks off on September 11, beginning with a dairy theme during week one. Emily Schaapman, known online as @DairyGirlFitness, and Pennsylvania dairy farmer and social media influencer Jessica Peters (@seejessfarm) will mentor students through the initial week. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, collegiate clubs and classes are encouraged to sign up for the chance to win scholarship awards: https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/.
CAO helps participants become confident and effective communicators for agriculture. The continued success of the program would not be possible without the support of platinum sponsor Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). “As the average American gets further and further removed from the farm, programs like College Aggies Online are even more important as they cultivate the next generation of agriculture communicators and advocates,” said Don Schindler, senior vice president of digital innovations. “Dairy Management Inc. is proud to be a continued sponsor because of how these students develop and expand their skills throughout the nine-week program.”
CAO consists of an individual and club division. The individual division is a completely virtual experience with students receiving guidance from industry experts and farmer mentors on how to create viral social media posts, edit TikTok and Instagram Reels, design eye-catching infographics, and so much more. Peters will share recommendations on how to engage about dairy online, and Schaapman will provide tips and tricks for creating short-form videos for social media.
The club division provides both in-person and virtual engagement opportunities for collegiate clubs and classes to connect with peers about agriculture. The “Undeniably Dairy” challenge sponsored by DMI is one of several challenges available for participating groups to choose from to earn points toward scholarship awards. In the “Undeniably Dairy” challenge, groups are encouraged to partner with local dairy farmers and checkoffs to share the nutritional benefits of dairy and how its produced with students on campus who may not be familiar with agriculture. Additional examples of club challenges include a farm tour, hosting an “Ask a Farmer” panel, bringing agriculture to a local K-12 class, and collaborating with the campus dining community.
Top individuals and one representative from each of the top clubs 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. More than $20,000 in scholarship awards are available to participating students and clubs.
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/.
Show your support for CAO participants by becoming an official CAO sponsor. For sponsorship opportunities, go to https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/ or email Casey Kinler at email@example.com.
In addition to DMI, the Alliance also thanks 2023 CAO sponsors: CHS Foundation, National Pork Industry Foundation, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, National Pork Board, Institute for Feed Education and Research, Culver Franchising System, Domino’s Pizza, Ohio Poultry Association, National Chicken Council, and Pennsylvania Beef Council.
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.