Alliance Awards CAO Program scholarships

The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced the results of its fifth annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition.  The nationwide program aims to help college students utilize social media and advocacy 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 1500 college students from more than 100 different colleges and universities have registered to participate in the program. 

Each week, individual participants received assignments, called “Aggies Homework”. This year's Aggies Homework focused on a specific social media platform or a segment of the agriculture community. This fall, CAO participants engaged with the public by utilizing Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram as well as by writing blog posts. Additionally, industry experts, including agriculture journalists, food bloggers, and representatives from several of the protein trade associations hosted webinars or tweet-ups to help educate participants about the pertinent issues facing the industry and how to communicate those to the public.

 While the individual participants were assigned tasks week by week, participating clubs were able to pick and choose from a variety of challenges including visiting their state legislators, hosting a “Meet your Meat” event on their college campus, or hosting a food drive in advance of the holiday season.

Members of the University of Wisconsin, Madison Association of Women in Agriculture formed the top-scoring club with 244,387 total points.  The club will receive a $5,000 prize and a trip for two club representatives to Washington, D.C. where they will attend the Alliance’s annual Stakeholders Summit and be formally recognized.

Louisiana State University Les Voyageurs came in second place with 182,103 points and will receive $2,500.  They were closely followed by clubs at both Oklahoma State University and Montana State University.

With 43,220 points, the individual high score went to Nikki Little of Auburn University.  She will receive a $2,500 scholarship.  Katherine E. Griswold, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison came in second place with 38,944 points and was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.  Jessy Eggerling a student at South Dakota State University, took third place and will receive a scholarship in the amount of $500.00.

Students are encouraged to continue utilizing the CAO Facebook page to connect and learn after the conclusion of the competition.  Other program partners include: American National CattleWomen, the AgChat Foundation, and AgCareers.com.

For more information about the contest, or to become a sponsor of next year’s competition, contact Emily Meredith.