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Ag student group creates social media plan

April Allen 01/16/2013 @ 10:55am Successful Farming intern

Social media once again is taking center stage as an effective way to communicate for an agricultural group. Animal Agriculture Alliance’s advocacy scholarship program, College Aggies Online (CAO), is going to not only share their stories within their organization, but to the entire nation as well.

The program has been established for the main reason of communicating how important the role of animal agriculture as a food supply. Along with that is the reality that majorities of people rely on supermarkets and restaurants as a main food source, and understanding animal agriculture, whether directly involoved or not, can better the quality of life.

“We are very excited about taking the CAO program to the next level this year,” said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. “The goal is that after the competition ends, students will be comfortable communicating—through social media—with the American public about agriculture, and will continue to do so.”

The system is based on points, and these points are accrued over the 3-4 month time period. Points will be given for the social media aspect as well as other aspects of the program.

“We can’t wait to see how the students respond to the new challenges throughout the competition. All of these students are already passionate about agriculture, and it’s time that they shared that passion with the community at large,” says Johnson Smith.

There will be a social media webinar within the first week of the program hosted by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance as a sponsor. Other social media aspects will include integrating a Pinterest account and LinkedIn profile into weekly “Aggies Homework." These social media tools give students access to show their valuable knowledge as well as receive and integrate others knowledge who may not be part of CAO.

There are nearly 900 students in this year’s program, which is an increase from last year’s 750 participants representing over 50 universities. Out of these members one of the clubs will receive $5,000 for having the most tallied points. Along with the scholarship comes a trip for one member to the Alliance’s annual Stakeholders Summit and national recognition.

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