Jumping into College Aggies Online



love social media and I love agriculture. So, when I had the opportunity to learn about the Animal Agriculture Alliance's scholarship competition, College Aggies Online, I knew it was something I needed to be involved in.

If you followed my blog at all this summer, you should have noticed that I spent my time exploring Washington, D.C. It was definitely an incredible summer full of adventure, but I was actually there to further my professional experience by being a communications intern for the Alliance. During my time with the team, I was able to see firsthand what it takes to create accurate, eye-catching content that represents an organization and an industry. That opportunity definitely increased my enthusiasm for engaging with others through online media and confirmed that an agricultural communication degree is perfect for me.

I came back to campus with an even more confident stance that I want to make a difference. I want to create remarkable content that helps people understand something new, become more curious and have a new appreciation for the animal agriculture industry. And honestly, since the semester has started I've been caught up in a whirlwind of responsibilities. Classes, clubs, birthdays, and basically everything else that comes along with being a college student. That being said, my blog and other social media platforms haven't been my top priorities. (Yet I envision myself in a position where social media is actually my main responsibility. Ironic.) Let me tell ya folks, time management is hard.

If I'm sitting here making poor excuses about managing my time, why did I sign up to participate in a nine-week competition when I claim to have so many other obligations? Because the moment I decide to log off, someone on the other side of the argument will log on and try to tell my story. Participating in College Aggies might be another thing I am adding to the to-do list section in my Passion Planner, but it's a program that should be a priority for every college student who is passionate about telling the true story of agriculture.

Online media is huge. No, you will never be able to replace the strength of a personal, face-to-face connection, but I think that the ability we have to interact with individuals who live hundreds of miles away from you is remarkable. A blog post, graphic, meme, gif or short video can reach a massive audience in such a short amount of time -- and even if you don't reach a huge audience, you still have the ability to influence just one person who scrolls past your post online.

I know that some say we need to stop staring at our phones, but we have the means to be connected. We are capable of witnessing the compassion of ranchers in Texas, the first snow in Utah and a family member's graduation ceremony while being hundreds of miles away.

I am competing in the College Aggies Online program because I believe in the power of social media and the importance of agriculture. I believe they need to work together. This competition allows me to experiment with my creative skill set and expand my online connections. It is a perfect way for me to tell my story and prepare for (hopefully) a communications position in the animal health industry.

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