Alliance Awards Fifth College Aggies Online Program Scholarships

November 25th, 2013 – Today, 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. The Alliance wishes to thank the 2013 College Aggies Program sponsors who include Lallemand Animal Nutrition, Tyson Foods, Inc., and the National Pork Board.

“We are committed to the future of agriculture and recognize the importance of sharing its story,” says Jeff Ast, Commercial Director, Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America. “The College Aggies Online program has a substantial impact on college students and beyond as they engage people in conversations about agriculture and we are proud to sponsor the scholarships these winners receive.”

Each week, individual participants received assignments, called “Aggies Homework”. 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. “The National Pork Board is proud to be a sponsor of College Aggies Online,” said Sherrie Niekamp, director of animal welfare for the Pork Checkoff. “Participating in this program allows us to provide tools and information to students so that they can expand the positive conversation around modern food production.”

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 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.

“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 is 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 platforms.”

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

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

About the Alliance:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual farmers and ranchers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, suppliers, packer-processors, private industry and retailers. The Alliance’s mission is to communicate the important role of animal agriculture to our nation’s economy, productivity, vitality, security and that animal well-being is central to producing safe, high-quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives. Find the Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

About Lallemand Animal Nutrition:
Lallemand Animal Nutrition is dedicated to the development, production, and marketing of profitable, natural and differentiated solutions for animal nutrition. Core products are live bacteria for direct fed microbials and silage inoculants, specific yeast for probiotics, and high value yeast derivatives. Find more information about Lallemand Animal Nutrition at

About Tyson Foods:
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family
has continued to be involved with son Don Tyson leading the company for many years and grandson John H. Tyson serving as the current Chairman of the Board of Directors. Tyson Foods produces a wide variety of protein- based and prepared food products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and
foodservice markets it serves. The company provides products and services to customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 115,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its
shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.

About National Pork Board
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and food service marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at

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