Invitation to University Deans and Department Chairs
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Dear Dean or Agriculture Department Faculty Chairperson:
We are excited to invite your students to participate in the third annual College Aggies Online (CAO) competition, an initiative of the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
As you know, it is important that stakeholders involved in production agriculture take proactive steps to tell the industry's true story. Today's farmers and ranchers make it possible for Americans to enjoy the safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the world.
Too often, activists are the ones telling the story a misleading story about how farm animals are raised and food is produced. These radical groups are well-organized, well-funded, and dedicated to eliminating the entire animal agriculture industry. The threats are real and the potential impact is enormous.
The next generation of farmers and ranchers must speak out! CAO will equip your students with the tools to be a confident agriculture advocate and will connect them with other young people who are active in agricultural organizations around the country. Participants will be provided science-based resources to more effectively utilize social media tools to provide accurate information about food production. CAO represents a valuable opportunity that will help your students better understand the challenges facing agriculture.
Students who participate in CAO will compete to earn points for themselves and for their respective organizations by taking part in activities on CAO's private online forum, accessible at http://aggiesonline.ning.com. Participants will be able to create personalized member profiles and will receive points for uploading agriculture-related photos and videos or by participating in discussion forums. Scores will be automatically tallied to determine the winner at the end of the competition.
The winning student group will receive a $1000 grant, national recognition, and a trip for one representative to Washington, D.C. for the Animal Agriculture Alliance's annual Stakeholders Summit. Additional recognition and prizes will be awarded to the runner-up in the club competition and to the two top-placing individual competitors.
Last year, 600 CAO participants from more than 50 universities across the U.S. promoted agriculture's true story by sharing more than 4,500 photos on the network and authoring 250 blog posts. Members also advocated for agriculture in their communities by writing letters to the editor of local news outlets and by participating in other online outreach activities.
We need your help!
The competition is set to begin on October 3, 2011. We need your help in identifying student leaders with a keen interest in communicating about agriculture to the public. Please pass along information about CAO to faculty who are active in student activities within the college to help promote this new agricultural education and advocacy opportunity.
Please contact Krissa Welshans at email@example.com or by calling (703) 562-1410 for additional information about CAO.
We are very excited about continuing this program to get young agriculturalists more involved in promoting and educating the public about animal agriculture and its importance. We hope your university will join us in this exciting venture!
Thank you and feel free to contact me.
Kay Johnson Smith
Executive Vice President
Animal Agriculture Alliance
2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 916-B
Arlington, VA 22201