Tyson Foods joins as sponsor of aggies scholarship competition

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The Animal Agriculture Alliance welcomes Tyson Foods, Inc. as the newest sponsor of its fifth annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program. CAO, an agriculture advocacy scholarship competition, will launch September 9, 2013.

"We are thrilled that Tyson Foods has come aboard as the newest supporter of one of the Alliance's most positive and proactive initiatives," said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. "There's nothing more crucial than helping the next generation of farmers, ranchers and agriculture professionals understand the importance of sharing agriculture's story."

Tyson Foods has had a long history of generously contributing to programs that focus on five main areas: hunger relief, health and human services, education, community development and the military. The CAO program, which began in 2009, is designed to enable college students with an interest in agriculture to become confident, proactive and creative communicators using social media tools.

"Tyson Foods is proud to provide this sponsorship of the College Aggies Online program and to support students across the country as they share the importance of agriculture in feeding the world and give back to their communities," said Annetta Young, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Tyson Foods.

This fall's competition will include new, creative assignments, increased participant interaction with issue experts, and a more comprehensive internship and career database. Both individuals and collegiate agriculture clubs can compete in CAO, and challenges range from writing blogs and engaging with stakeholders using social media, to hosting a campus-wide "Meet your Meat" event.

Participants will also be encouraged to actively participate in their communities at large by completing assignments focused on giving back, like hosting food and clothing drives and volunteering at soup kitchens.

"When evaluating our goals for the CAO program, we really wanted to encourage participants not only to communicate with their peers about agriculture, but also to get involved in their local communities and focus on issues of greater significance, like hunger," said Johnson Smith. "We can't wait to see the impact the clubs and students, who are already passionate about agriculture, will have in discussing agriculture with their communities at large."

This week, Alliance staff member Morgan Hawley will complete a three week, 31-college tour promoting the CAO program nationwide. Last spring, approximately 980 students from more than 75 universities participated in CAO.

The final points will be tallied in November 2013 and the club with the most points will receive a $5,000.00 scholarship, national recognition and a trip for two representatives to Washington, D.C. for the Alliance's annual Stakeholders Summit. The first place individual will win a $2,500.00 scholarship and a trip to D.C.

Scholarships and recognition will also be awarded to the runner-up in the club and the second and third placing individuals. Additionally, club and individual winners will also be invited to tour the Tyson Foods headquarters and processing facilities in Springdale, Arkansas.

Other 2013 sponsors include Lallemand Animal Nutrition and the National Pork Board. Additional stakeholders are invited to join as CAO sponsors; for more information contact Emily Meredith, at emeredith@animalagalliance.org.

To learn more about the competition and how to sign up, please visit the Alliance website at: http://www.animalagalliance.org/collegeaggies/



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