The Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2023 College Aggies Online program kicks off September 11, beginning with a dairy theme during week one.
Each year, CAO offers more than $20,000 in scholarship awards to student participants as they learn to become confident and effective communicators for agriculture.
Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, collegiate clubs, and classes are encouraged to sign up for the chance to win scholarship awards.
Emily Schaapman, known online as dairygirlfitness, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer, will kick off the initial week by mentoring students alongside Jessica Peters, an Ohio dairy farmer known online as seejessfarm.
CAO consists of an individual and club division. The individual division is an entirely virtual experience, with students receiving guidance from industry experts and farmer mentors on creating viral social media posts, editing TikToks and Instagram Reels, designing 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 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 for participating groups 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.
The program’s continued success would not be possible without the support of platinum sponsor Dairy Management Inc.
“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.”
Top individuals and one representative from each of the top clubs after 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.
Other 2023 Mentors for CAO
Also, joining the mentor team for CAO will be:
- Brandi Buzzard, Nebraska cattle rancher
- Laycee Gibson, National Turkey Federation
- Ryan Goodman, Certified Angus Beef
- Casey Kinley, Animal Agriculture Alliance
- Natalie Kovarik, Nebraska cattle rancher
- Paul Montgomery, United Egg Producers
- Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms
- Kristin Stawarz, Ketchum
»Related: College Aggies Online announces mentors Brandi Buzzard, Natalie Kovarik