The 2017 Stakeholders Summit themed "Connect to Protect Animal Ag" will be held May 3-4 at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza. The conference will focus on how all the diverse facets of animal agriculture can connect and come together to engage with key influencers and protect the future of our industry.
Early registration open
Early bird Summit registration is open through April 3, 2017! Register today at the discount rate!
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Book your room at the InterContinental in Kansas City today!
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Support animal agriculture, receive recognition and visibility for your organization at our premier event! See sponsorship opportunities here.
The Alliance closely monitors all legislation impacting animal agriculture at the state and federal level. State legislative measures dictating animal care are often lobbied for by activist organizations and have the potential to impact farmers' and ranchers' ability to provide safe, nutritious, and affordable animal products for all. The interactive legislative map below is updated every Friday.
College Aggies Online (CAO) is an initiative of the Alliance that connects college students from across the country who are interested in promoting agriculture. Participants receive training and instructions from industry experts and engage on social media by posting information about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and telling personal stories. College Aggies Online was created to help train the next generation of "Agvocates"!
College Aggies Individual Competitor Resources
College Aggies Club Resources and Information
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Alliance announces winners of 2016 College Aggies Online scholarship competition
In early December, the Animal Agriculture Alliance announced the winners of its annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program, which is designed to help college students with an interest in agriculture become confident, positive and proactive communicators while competing for scholarship funds.
Since its inception in 2009, more than 5,500 students have participated in CAO. This fall, nearly 350 students competed in the individual division (the biggest competition yet) while 31 student organizations were involved. The participants represent 70 different universities and 36 states.
In the individual competition, the winners were:
First place, $2500 scholarship: Topanga McBride, junior in agricultural communications and agricultural economics, Kansas State University
Second place, $1000 scholarship: Brianna Gwirtz, junior in agricultural communications, The Ohio State University
Third place, $500 scholarship: Erica Ballmer, masters student in youth development and agricultural education, Purdue University
In the student organization division, top competitors were:
First place, $2500 award: Agriculture Club, Western Illinois University
Second place, $1000 award: Agriculture Advocacy Class, Northwest Missouri State University
Third place, $500 award: Gator Collegiate CattleWomen, University of Florida
In addition to scholarship funds, the top three individuals and one representative from each top club receives an expenses-paid trip to the Alliance’s 2017 Stakeholders Summit, set for May 3-4 in Kansas City, Mo. The Alliance also awarded a “Social Media Rockstar” prize of $500 to Kylie Philipps from University of Florida, who entered the best overall social media post of the competition.
“The 2016 CAO competitors were undoubtedly among the most impressive we’ve seen,” said Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO. “We hope all CAO participants will continue to utilize the most valuable prize of all – the skills they’ve gained in talking with their peers about hot topics in agriculture. Thank you to our sponsors, mentors and webinar hosts for helping us continue to expand and improve CAO year after year.”
During the nine-week program, which kicked off September 19th, students received weekly assignments ranging from writing a blog post to creating an infographic, giving a public presentation about a hot topic in agriculture and more. Participants earned points by posting content promoting and explaining agriculture on social media. Student organizations completed club challenges. These challenges included holding an “Ag Day” on campus, teaching at local elementary schools, handing out candy wrapped with meat myths and facts, and many more. The clubs received points for each challenge they complete.
The 2016 CAO competitors published a total of 2,000 posts on social media throughout the competition. More than 15,000 students and faculty members attended the various movie screenings, guest speakers, booths, farm tours and other events held on campuses across the country.
Thank You College Aggies Online Sponsors!
CAO would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. 2016 sponsors included: Dairy Management, Inc., National Pork Industry Foundation, National Turkey Federation’s 20 by 2020 project, Diamond V, Ohio Poultry Association, Florida Dairy Farmers, AgriBank, Belstra Milling Company and National Chicken Council.
College Aggies Sign-Up
Individuals or clubs, use the below forms to sign-up for College Aggies.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance has long served as a liaison to USDA relative to farm animal care and well-being issues. Alliance leadership engages frequently with USDA officials to ensure their understanding of the agricultural community’s proactive initiatives to protect animal health and well-being. Recognizing that farm animal care at all stages – on the farm, during transportation and at processing facilities – is of utmost importance, the Alliance works closely with USDA to provide a voice on behalf of all animal agriculture stakeholders in international discussions. For more information on the Alliance's international efforts, please contact Kay Johnson Smith.
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
Since 2004, the Alliance has coordinated stakeholder input nationally to USDA for the OIE’s development of international farm animal care guidelines. With input from our national advisory team, consisting of over 150 individuals from more than 50 organizations, the Alliance builds and provides consensus comments and recommendations on behalf of the total animal agriculture community. The Alliance has also participated in two of three OIE International Conferences on Animal Welfare, and represented the USA as a speaker at a regional OIE Americas conference in 2008 in Panama.
The OIE will develop international animal care guidelines for every major farm animal species. So far, OIE reports have been produced as listed below, and the Alliance has submitted comments on each. Additionally, the Alliance has provided USDA and the OIE a list of USA experts to be considered for each ad hoc committee.
OIE Reports Completed:
- Definition of Animal Welfare
- Transportation (air, land, sea)
- Slaughter (food, disease control)
- Beef Cattle Welfare
- Broiler Welfare
- Dairy Cattle Welfare
USDA’s comments to the OIE, on behalf of the USA, can be found here.
For more information about the OIE’s process of developing international animal welfare guidelines, click here. To read drafts of the comments submitted by the Alliance to USDA, please contact Alliance President and CEO, Kay Johnson Smith.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. International Standards give state of the art specifications for products, services and good practice, helping to make industry more efficient and effective. According to ISO, since these standards are developed through global consensus, they help to break down barriers to international trade.
Founded in 1947, ISO has published more than 19 500 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business - from food safety to computers, and agriculture to healthcare.
In 2011, the ISO entered into an agreement with the OIE to develop standards for the implementation of animal welfare guidelines. A working group of representatives from member countries will be formed and the Technical Specifications will be developed.
This is the first ISO has delved into animal welfare, and the process is still in the early phase of development. The Alliance is actively engaged and regularly coordinates with other industry stakeholders to ensure the U.S. agriculture voice is strongly represented. For more information about ISO, this process and the Alliance’s involvement, contact Kay Johnson Smith.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
FAO’s mandate is to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to global economic growth.
While FAO does not develop animal care guidelines or standards, it does weigh in on policies surrounding this issue. In September 2012, FAO conducted a study on private voluntary standards, codes of conduct, and guidelines in the livestock sector, as a follow-up to an exploratory survey undertaken last year. The Alliance, at the request of USDA, coordinated stakeholders to respond to ensure the U.S. was actively engaged. The Alliance continues to monitor, and respond as appropriate, to all FAO farm animal welfare activities.
FAO also maintains an international online resource specific to farm animal welfare called the Gateway to Farm Animal Welfare. The Alliance actively monitors this site and contributes information as appropriate to ensure the U.S. advancements in farm animal care are posted and recognized globally.