#CAO17 Kicks Off with a Twitter Chat

Graphic by Abby Marion

Every year, the Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA) out of Washington, D.C.(@animalag), sponsors the College Aggies Online (@CollegeAggies) program for college students around the country to encourage students to “agvocate” for animal agriculture on social media to their followers using various #SMM techniques, platforms and tools, with prizes awarded for outstanding content and to the overall winners of the challenge determined through a point system.

The College Aggies Online (“CAO”) program has three main goals:

  • Increasing agriculture student engagement in advocating for animal agriculture.
  • Offer a chance to give college students a chance to increase their social media skills through an interactive activity.
  • Increase knowledge of animal agriculture’s products, processes and practices among the followers of participants and in turn, the public.

The program is conducted over a nine week period, with each week focusing on a specific commodity such as beef or poultry and “assignments” to complete online or on social media, like making an infographic or meme over the week’s topic. Other activities are included, too, such as subscribing to newsletters, attending webinars and Twitter chats like the one I participated in. Mentors also join in each week from an industry partner to give feedback on student submissions and to offer tips and knowledge over agvocating and their industry.

I participated in the kickoff Twitter chat for #CAO17 last week as a student taking part in the program this year. The purpose of this chat was to kick off CAO for this year, to introduce some of the participants to the AAA staff and vice versa, for students to meet some of their fellow participants and to introduce a basic social media practice.

There were eight questions asked from the AAA, the organizer of the chat, to participants. They included:

  • “Q1: Introduce yourself! Are you competing as an individual and/or club? What school do you go to? What’s your major? #CAO17”
  • “Q2: Is this your first time competing or are you a returning participant? What are you looking forward to most about the program? #CAO17”
  • “Q3: Who are some of your favorite agriculture advocates you follow on social media? Tag them!! #CAO17”
  • “Q4: What are your career goals?? #CAO17”
  • “Q5: What are some skills you hope to learn or improve upon during this year’s program? #CAO17”
  • “Q6: What are some skills you hope to learn or improve upon during this year’s program?”
  • “Q7: Have a friend or know of a collegiate club that should sign up for College Aggies Online? Tag them now! #CAO17”
  • “To wrap up this chat, if you have a blog or are active on another social media platform, share so we can all follow! #CAO17”

I really enjoyed participating in this chat, as someone who is training to be social media savvy and who is an avid agriculture enthusiast. The AAA’s College Aggies Online program is such an amazing program. Through it, I had a chance to meet and learn more about agriculture students like me around the country, and had the chance to use my brand to represent me through my Twitter account and other social platforms.

One may not think that agriculture is up-to-date on its use of social media, but we are. Thankfully there are amazing people out there like those at the AAA who care enough to help us learn and grow with us through experiences such as this!

I look forward to being a part of #CAO17!

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