The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition is returning this year on September 12. Now in its 14th year, the program is open to undergraduate, graduate students, collegiate clubs and classes who will learn how to engage about food and agriculture online and in their communities over the course of the nine-week program. Last year students were awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships.
CAO helps participants become confident and effective communicators for agriculture. The continued success of the program would not have been possible without the support of platinum sponsor Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). “It’s crucial to the dairy industry and our farmers that we help foster and develop the next generation’s communications skills so they can become effective ‘ag-vocates,’” said Don Schindler, senior vice president of digital innovations. “College Aggies Online is an effective tool to help students understand how to successfully communicate online with their peers who are disconnected from the farm. The dairy checkoff is proud to support this worthy program."
The program consists of an individual and club division. The individual competition is a completely virtual experience with students receiving guidance from industry experts and farmer mentors on how to write blog posts, create viral social media posts, design eye-catching infographics and so much more. During the first week, students will be coached by Jessica Peters, Pennsylvania dairy farmer and social media influencer, on how to engage about dairy online. They will also be encouraged to complete a video challenge using tips and tricks from Emily Shaw, known online as Dairy Girl Fitness.
The club competition 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.
Students interested in becoming confident and effective communicators for agriculture are invited to 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. In addition to Dairy Management Inc., this year’s sponsors include: National Pork Industry Foundation, Bayer, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.