Iowa State Students Win Top 2020 College Aggies Online Scholarships

West Texas A&M University Agronomy Club’s “Scary Food Truths” campus event.
West Texas A&M University Agronomy Club’s “Scary Food Truths” campus event.
(Animal Agriculture Alliance)

The end of 2020 is a little brighter for students from Iowa State University, St. George’s University, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, Oklahoma State University, and South Central College as they take home scholarships for being named winners of the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s College Aggies Online competition. The Alliance awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships to students and clubs this year. 
College Aggies Online is an initiative of the Alliance that connects college students from across the country who are interested in promoting agriculture. In the individual division, participants receive training from industry experts and social media-savvy farmers to engage on social media about current and emerging issues facing farmers and ranchers and telling personal stories. The club division, which is typically focused on reaching campus peers in-person, was updated to include virtual engagement opportunities such as hosting virtual farm tours, food drives, and more.
“This year we had more than 275 individuals and 16 collegiate clubs enroll in the competition, representing 87 colleges and 39 states,” said Casey Kinler, Alliance director of membership and marketing. “Given the virtual nature of the pandemic, the competition was held almost solely online. Students' posts reached 879,000 people on Facebook and Twitter throughout the nine weeks, demonstrating their success in sharing positive, factual information about animal agriculture with the general public.”
The individual winners are:
•    First place, $2,500 scholarship: Brynnen Gardner, Iowa State University and Jessica Schmitt, Iowa State University
•    Second place, $1,000 scholarship: Kathryn Bosley, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill and Margaret Pratt, St. George’s University
•    Third place, $500 scholarship: Sydney Mitchell, South Central College and Madalyn Neuschwander, Oklahoma State University
The club winners are:
•    First place, $2,750 scholarship: Northwest Missouri State University Agriculture Advocacy Class
•    Second place, $1,250 scholarship: West Texas A&M University Agronomy Club
The winners are invited to attend the Alliance’s 2021 Virtual Stakeholders Summit, set for May 5-6, for national recognition.  The Alliance also named Kathyrn Bosley the “Social Media Rock Star” for entering the best social media post of the competition. Throughout the nine weeks, mentors selected students to win mini scholarships for having the best social media posts, videos, blog posts and infographics. Clubs received awards for hosting the best events on their campuses or online. 
In addition to the scholarship winners, 19 students earned the College Aggies Online Excellence Award for rising to the top of a very competitive field this fall:
•    Sydni Akey, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Alexis Canen, Bob Jones University
•    Francesca Carrillo, Colorado State University
•    Alexis Carroll, Lincoln Land Community College
•    Lane Conderman, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Kayla Cornett, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Jennifer Davis, University of Illinois at Springfield
•    Kathryn Helmink, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
•    Emily Hiller, State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill
•    Awnnalynn Hughes, Iowa State University
•    Chelsea Kuntz, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Emily Limback, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Baylee Lovewell, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Russell Neeley, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Taylor Riley, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Courtney Scholting, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Taylor Shuck, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Brooke Vogelsmeier, Northwest Missouri State University
•    Mackenzie Wille, Oregon State University
CAO would not be possible without the generous support of its 2020 sponsors: Dairy Management Inc., CHS Foundation, National Pork Industry Foundation, Seaboard Foods, Bayer, Institute for Feed Education and Research, National Corn Growers Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Culvers Franchising System, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Ohio Poultry Association, and Pennsylvania Beef Council.

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