New program prepares young agriculture advocates

News
Oct 2, 2009
by WLJ
New program prepares young agriculture advocates

The American National CattleWomen, Inc. (AN- CW) is excited to announce the launch of “College Aggies Online,” a new program aimed at helping today’s college students become confident advocates for the agriculture industry.

“We are very fortunate to be working with Animal Agriculture Alliance on this project,” said Bonnie Bargstedt, ANCW committee co-chair. “They have the most accurate information and available expertise on today’s commercial animal agriculture practices.”

“Other youth programs in place at ANCW tell us today’s college students that are ag oriented will be tremendous spokespersons for our animal industries. And not just beef—for all animal agriculture because we need to disseminate accurate information about modern farming and ranching practices,” added Barbara Jackson, ANCW committee co-chair.

College Aggies Online, a joint venture of the Animal Agriculture Alliance and ANCW, Inc., will connect college students from across the country who are interested in promoting agriculture by sharing their story. Participants will receive training and instructions from industry professionals and will enjoy access to a private forum (accessible at http:// aggiesonline.ning.com) to post information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers.

The online community will provide resources to students on key issues to help them better utilize tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to share agriculture’s story with the public. “Social networking Web sites offer an effective platform for reaching large audiences of people who do not have farm backgrounds,” said Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith.

Agriculture-related clubs from all universities with an agricultural academic program are invited to sign up for the program. Each member will receive an individual account where they can customize their homepage and upload information. Student groups will earn points by posting blogs, photos and videos to the forum and by participating in online outreach activities.

College Aggies Online will officially launch on Oct. 15, 2009, and the first year’s competition will conclude in April 2010. After final point counts are tallied, the winning club will receive a $750 scholarship, national recognition, and a trip for one representative to Washington, D.C., for the Animal Ag Alliance’s annual Stakeholders Summit. Additional recognition and prizes will be awarded to the runnerup in the club competition and to the two top-placing individual competitors.

Interested collegiate clubs or departments should contact Krissa Thom at KThom@animalagalliance. org or 703/562-1410 for more information. — WLJ

“Other youth programs in place at ANCW tell us today´s college students that are ag oriented will be tremendous spokespersons for our animal industries.”

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