The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program will kick off on Monday, September 19th. CAO is designed to help college students with an interest in agriculture become confident, positive and proactive communicators while competing for scholarship funds. Competitors can register for the individual or student organization divisions.
“The CAO program continues to grow and thrive, and we’re particularly excited about this year’s edition of the competition,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “In addition to offering intriguing challenges and unique development opportunities, we have also once again assembled an all-star lineup of industry mentors who will provide guidance and feedback to the students.”
2016 program mentors include:
Andy Vance, agricultural journalist, speaker and commentator, Feedstuffs
Rebecca Shaw, content development specialist, Cargill
Kourtney Determan, communications associate, National Chicken Council
Heather McClurg, social media manager, Monsanto
Casey Hushon, account supervisor, Charleston|Orwig
Al Eidson, president, Eidson & Partners
Don Schindler, senior vice president, digital innovations, Dairy Management, Inc.
Kristina Butts, director, strategic initiatives, Texas Tech University System
Anna Leigh Peek, communications specialist, US Poultry and Egg Association
Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs, North American Meat Institute
Krissa Welshans, staff editor, Feedstuffs
Lara Durben, communications director, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association
During the program, students receive weekly assignments ranging from writing a blog post to creating an infographic, giving a public presentation about a hot topic in agriculture and more. Participants earn points by posting content promoting and explaining agriculture on social media.
Student organizations can also participate as a group and complete club challenges. These challenges include holding an “Ag Day” on campus, teaching at local elementary schools, handing out candy wrapped with meat myths and facts, and many more. The clubs receive points for each challenge they complete.
The final points from the weekly challenges will be tallied in early December 2016 and the following prizes will be awarded in both the individual and student organization divisions:
First: $2,500 scholarship and a trip to the Alliance’s Stakeholders Summit
Second: $1,000 scholarship
Third: $500 scholarship