Thanks to the generous support of Fair Oaks Pig Adventure and Belstra Milling—the Animal Agriculture Alliance announced recently that it would be increasing the scholarship awards for its 6th annual College Aggies Online Competition, which began last Monday. CAO helps college students, with an interest in agriculture, become confident, positive and proactive communicators for the entire industry.
The Alliance will be doubling individual scholarship amounts with the first prize award increasing from $2,500.00 to a $5,000.00 scholarship this year. Similarly, the second and third prizes for the individual competition will increase to $2,500.00 and $1,000.00, respectively. Additionally, the Alliance will be adding a scholarship award in the amount of $1,000.00 for the third place club.
“With nearly 200 individual students and more than 35 ag clubs signed up to compete—totaling more than 1000 CAO participants collectively–we feel it’s even more important to reward these ambitious students with larger scholarships,” said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. “Given the cost of a college tuition nowadays, we know these scholarship amounts are nothing to scoff at and are so grateful that the program’s sponsors have made these increases possible.”
This year, the Alliance staff has collaborated intimately with the program’s sponsors, the newest of which is Fair Oaks Farms/Belstra Milling Inc., to devise challenges and ensure that student participants remain engaged, motivated and dedicated to becoming proactive communicators and #agvocates on behalf of the industry.
“At Fair Oaks Farms we work hard to provide consumers with a fun-filled, first-hand look at modern agriculture,” said Leah Lentini, Corporate Liaison, Belstra Milling Company. “We are excited to partner with the CAO program as they train the next generation of industry professionals and help them understand the critical importance of engaging with consumers in an honest, transparent, and meaningful way.”
For the next eleven weeks, college students will compete individually and/or as part of collegiate agriculture clubs by completing a variety of tasks and assignments meant to help them interact on-campus, online (using social media) and in their communities. After week one, six students are tied for first place from the following colleges: Penn State, University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, Montana State University, Auburn University, the University of Georgia and the George Washington University. In second place is a student from Oklahoma State University.
The final points will be tallied in late November and the winners announced December 2nd. To learn more about the competition and to see a complete list of all the 2014 program sponsors, please visit the Alliance website.