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Dec. 15, 2017
Northwest Missouri State University students recently won second place in a national scholarship competition aimed at building the next generation of agriculture advocates.
Students in Northwest’s agriculture advocacy class, under the instruction of Rod Barr, director of the School of Agricultural Sciences, earned the $1,000 prize in the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s national College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship competition.
Since CAO launched in 2009, nearly 6,000 students have participated. This year’s program kicked off in early September with 30 student organizations competing in the club division as well as students competing in an individual division. The participants represented 43 states and 89 universities.
“Every year we applaud the students for being the most engaged and enthusiastic group to compete, but it seems each group outdoes the last,” Kay Johnson Smith, the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s president and chief executive officer, said. “We are thrilled to see so many individuals passionate about agriculture.”
The nine-week program is filled with assignments for individuals such as blog posts, infographics and photo contests while club members received challenges ranging from hosting farm tours and school visits to guest speakers and food drives. Assignments and challenges are geared toward helping students boost their confidence when communicating with peers about agriculture issues.
Competitors shared more than 3,000 posts about agriculture on Instagram and Twitter, earning more than 4.4 million impressions, and nearly 400 posts were shared on Facebook. More than 16,000 students and faculty members attended farm tours, guest speaker presentations, booths and other events on college campuses.
Clubs and individuals who successfully finished the program also earned the CAO Completion Emblem, which demonstrates their commitment to advocating for agriculture.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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