North Dakota State University Students Win 1st Place in Advocacy Competition.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is excited to announce the results of its fourth annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition. The nationwide program was developed to help college students utilize social media to share agriculture’s story.

CAO is an online competition open to all college students with an interest in agriculture. Since its launch in 2009, more than 980 college students from more than 100 different colleges and universities have registered to participate in the program.
CAO participants earn points by writing weekly blogs, sharing photos and videos related to agriculture, and hosting events on their campuses. This season, CAO participants were challenged to engage the public utilizing Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn as well as traditional media.  Several participants’ work was published in newspapers including: the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Great Falls Tribune, the Montana Standard, Beef Magazine, Cattle Call, and numerous college and local papers.
Additionally, several club teams directed and produced video parodies promoting agriculture which are available to view on YouTube. The Alliance collaborated with video “agvocate” Greg Peterson, of the famed Peterson Farm Brothers parodies; to host a webinar to inspire the participants and provide them with tips and tricks on video production.

Members of the North Dakota State University PAS/CCFA in North Dakota formed the top-scoring club with 7,069 total points. The club will receive a $5,000 scholarship and one representative will be invited to receive a complimentary trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the Alliance’s 12th annual Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, Virginia on May 1-2, 2013.
Perdue University’s Collegiate Beef Cattle Association came in second place with 2,935 points and will receive $2,500. They were closely followed by the Montana State University’s Collegiate Montana Stockgrowers Club and Louisiana State University Les Voyageurs club.
With 4,798 points, the individual high score went to Tiffany Swanson of North Dakota State University. She will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Zachary Frazier of Perdue University came in second place and will be awarded $1,000. Karoline Rose, of Montana State University took third place and will received a scholarship in the amount of $500.00.

“Every day, thousands of conversations about food production take place online using social media. Agriculture needs to be a part of this dialogue – and that’s why College Aggies Online is so important,” said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith.  “We are so proud of all of our student participants for both expanding their knowledge of agriculture issues and sharing their personal stories using social media.”

Students are encouraged to continue utilizing the CAO forum and the CAO Facebook page to connect and learn after the conclusion of the competition. The Alliance wishes to thank the 2013 College Aggies Program sponsors who include the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, DRIVE Magazine, and the program’s newest sponsor, Lallemand Animal Nutrition.
All three individual winners will be formally presented with their scholarships at the Alliance’s 12th annual Stakeholders Summit, May 1-2, 2013 in Arlington Virginia. Don’t forget to register by April 15, 2013 to receive the early registration pricing! For more information about the CAO competition, or this year’s Stakeholders Summit, contact Emily Meredith.