The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced the opening of its 2024 enrollment for the Animal Ag Allies program, an initiative aimed at empowering those in the front lines of animal agriculture, including farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians, to become effective advocates for the industry.
Launched in 2020, the Animal Ag Allies program has quickly become a cornerstone for professional development in the agricultural community. With a focus on enhancing communication skills and issue expertise, the program aims to equip participants with the tools necessary to address emerging issues in animal agriculture and to share positive insights about the industry both online and in person. As of 2024, over 150 participants have successfully completed the program, rating its overall value at 4.7 out of 5.
The program is structured in two phases: an initial series of five self-paced, online training modules followed by access to a private forum for continuous engagement and strategy discussions. The curriculum covers a comprehensive range of topics, including sector-specific overviews, handling contentious issues, and strategies for expanding social media reach and public outreach.
Abby Kornegay, Manager of Issues and Engagement at the Animal Agriculture Alliance, emphasized the critical role of direct industry participants in shaping public perception. "Farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians are our most effective ambassadors. The Animal Ag Allies program is designed to ensure they have the confidence and skills to effectively communicate their stories and the realities of animal agriculture to the public," she stated.
Applications for the program will be accepted in four rounds throughout 2024, with the first deadline on February 2. The program is open to various professionals within the animal agriculture sector who are interested in playing a pivotal role in enhancing public understanding and perception of the industry.
The success and continuity of the Animal Ag Allies program have been made possible through the support of several sponsors, including founding sponsor Zoetis, and others like United Soybean Board, National Pork Board, and the California Milk Advisory Board. These sponsors not only contribute financially but also actively participate in the program’s development, offering participants a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from industry leaders.