The Animal Agriculture Alliance announces the results of its first College Aggies Online program.

The nationwide competition was developed in partnership with the American National CattleWomen to help college students utilize social media tools to share agriculture's story.

Students with an interest in agriculture were invited to join the CAO network in October 2009. Members then earned points for their school group and individually by posting blogs, photos and videos related to agriculture and by participating in online outreach activities via Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail. Over the past six months, 350 college students from nearly 50 universities have participated in the competition.

"College Aggies Online has helped young people share their enthusiasm for agriculture and become confident spokespeople online," said Animal Ag Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith. "It is critical that the next generation of agriculturists utilize these new tools to share agriculture's story."

Western Kentucky University Block and Bridle Club members formed the top-scoring club with 5,376 points. The group will receive a $750 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C. for one representative to attend the Alliance's Stakeholders Summit in April. Casper College Ag Club placed second with 2,794 points and will receive $300.

With 617 total points, the individual high score went to Celeste Laurent of the Western Kentucky University Block and Bridle Club. She will receive a $250 scholarship.  Danielle Hammer of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls came in second place with 554 points and will be awarded $100.

CAO participants shared more than 3,000 photos on the network and authored 100 blog posts. Members also advocated for agriculture in their communities by writing letters to the editor of local news outlets and by participating in other outreach activities.

Students are encouraged to continue utilizing the CAO forum to connect and share information even after the conclusion of the competition. The Alliance plans to re-launch CAO in the fall and hopes to expand the program to reach an even larger student base. To learn more, contact the Alliance at

Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance