The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition kicks off Sept. 13. The program is open to undergraduate, graduate students, collegiate clubs and classes who will receive nine weeks of interactive and educational content to learn how to engage about food and agriculture online and in their communities. Last year students were awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships.
The continued success of the CAO program would not have been possible without the support of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).
“Being involved with College Aggies Online gives us the opportunity to work with Gen Z agriculture experts, who can be effective at delivering our story of responsible food production to their peers,” said Don Schindler, senior vice president of digital innovations. “The students involved with this program are the leaders and advocates of tomorrow, so it’s important to the dairy industry and our farmers that we help foster and develop their communications skills to help make sure this next generation of consumers understands where their food comes from and who produced it.”
College Aggies Online helps students become confident and effective communicators on behalf of agriculture and has been doing so since 2009, featuring an individual and club competition. The individual competition is a completely virtual experience. Students receive 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. The club competition provides both in-person and virtual engagement opportunities for college clubs and classes to engage with peers on campus about agriculture.
Collegiate clubs and classes have 10 challenge categories available to choose from to earn points for the club competition. In the “Undeniably Dairy” challenge sponsored by DMI, clubs 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, collaborating with the campus dining community and much more. All club challenges can be adapted to in-person or virtual formats.
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 2021 sponsors. In addition to Dairy Management Inc., this year’s sponsors include CHS Foundation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Institute for Feed Education and Research, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Ohio Poultry Association, and Culver’s Franchising System.