College students: Agriculture needs your voice!

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The Animal Agriculture Alliance has announced the re-launch of College Aggies Online, a program developed in partnership with the American National CattleWomen Inc. to help today's college students become confident advocates for the agriculture industry."

"Last year, 350 students representing 50 universities shared their stories on the College Aggies Online network," said Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith. "Students who participate in the program do more than just build their resume - they help ensure the future of American agriculture."

Students with a passion for agriculture are encouraged to sign up at http://aggiesonline.ning.com. After creating a personal profile on the network, members will gain access to a private forum where they can discuss current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers with other young agriculturists from across the country.

The online community will provide resources to help students better utilize social media tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to share agriculture's story with the public. Beginning Sept. 1, members of College Aggies Online will compete to win prizes for the school organization that they represent. Participants will earn points for each agriculture-related blog, photo and video that they post to the forum and for participating in other online outreach activities.

Students are encouraged to share the information that they learn on the College Aggies Online network with their communities. Competitors will receive points for authoring agriculture-focused articles for their local newspapers.

"College Aggies Online provides students with the tools that they need to share the facts about modern food production with the public," Johnson Smith said. "We encourage students to reach out to their peers who are not involved in agriculture."

After final point counts are tallied in April 2011, the winning club will receive a $750 scholarship, national recognition and a trip for one representative to Washington, D.C. for the Alliance's annual Stakeholders Summit. Additional recognition and scholarships will be awarded to the runner-up in the club competition and to the two top-placing individual competitors.

Western Kentucky University's Block and Bridle Club took home top honors in the inaugural competition. Team captain Celeste Laurent, who was also the top-scoring individual participant, actively promotes agriculture on her blog

Interested collegiate clubs or departments should contact Krissa Thom at KThom@animalagalliance.org or (703) 562-1410. Industry stakeholders interested in program sponsorship opportunities should visit the Alliance's Web site for more information. Agriculture advocates can also follow the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter for additional social media tips.

Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance

 



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