Animal Agriculture Alliance prepares students to be advocates for agriculture

College Aggies Online offers agriculture students $21,000 in scholarships 

College students are gearing up for the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online (CAO) Scholarship Competition which kicks off September 16. This year’s students and collegiate clubs are competing for more than $21,000 in scholarships and a chance to win a trip to the Alliance’s 2020 Stakeholders Summit. For more information or to sign up, visit

CAO connects college students from across the country who are interested in promoting agriculture. Individual division participants receive training from experts and engage with their peers on social media by posting information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and telling personal stories. In the club competition, students are challenged to host events on their campus to talk about modern agriculture with their peers. Events include “Scary Food Myths” where students hand out candy with myths and facts about food and agriculture; “Undeniably Dairy” where students host a booth on their concourse about dairy farming; and “Newbies on the Farm” where students invite their peers who have never visited a farm to tour a local operation. Last year, students reached 2 million people on social media and more than 13,000 people at club events.

“College Aggies Online is an opportunity for college students who are passionate about agriculture to learn how to communicate about the industry from some of the best agriculture advocates out there,” said Casey Kinler, Alliance communications manager. “This year we doubled the number of mentors available to the students and made sure to include farmers and ranchers who are active on social media.”

Mentors for the 2019 competition include:

Chloe Carson, Manager of Digital Communications, National Pork Producers Council
Lukas Fricke, Hog Farmer, ChorChek Inc.
Don Schindler, Senior Vice President of Digital Innovations, Dairy Management Inc.
Rebecca Hilby, Dairy Farmer, Hilby Family Farm
Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, Street Smart Nutrition
Marissa Hake, DVM, Veterinarian, Midwest Veal, LLC/Strauss Feeds
Beth Breeding, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, National Turkey Federation
Jennifer Osterholt, Strategic Marketing Consultant and Farmer, Osterholt Marketing & Communications, LLC
Virginia Beckett, Director of Issues Response and Monitoring, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Elizabeth Barber, Vice President of Corporate Development, The F.L. Emmert Company
Lauren Arbogast, Chicken Farmer, Paint The Town Ag
Karoline Rose, Leader, KRose Company
Michelle Jones, Grain Farmer, Big Sky Farmher
Allison Devitre, Regulatory Scientific Affairs, Bayer Crop Science
Jessica Peters, Dairy Farmer, Spruce Row Farm
Michelle Miller, Sheep and Cattle Farmer, Farm Babe, LLC

CAO would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. 2019 sponsors include: Dairy Management Inc., Seaboard Foods, National Pork Industry Foundation, CHS Foundation, National Turkey Federation, Bayer, Cooper Family Foundation, National Corn Growers Association, Vivayic, Alltech, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Ohio Poultry Association, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Culver's Franchising System, Pennsylvania Beef Council and National Chicken Council.