UF Cattlewomen take 2nd place in online scholarship program

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen took second place in the recent College Aggies Online scholarship competition that recognizes outstanding use of social media and community involvement to promote agriculture.

Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen is a group of 51 students in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. For their honor, the UF group won $2,500.

The awards, announced Dec. 2, culminated the nationwide initiative that helps college students share agriculture’s story.

“After nine long weeks of advocating, and help from all the club members, we were thrilled to find out that all of our hard work paid off,” said Samantha Dailey, vice president of the UF Cattlewomen. “The $2,500 will allow our club to take advantage of more educational opportunities and help our members to become leaders in the beef industry.”

In addition to the scholarship prizes, top individuals and representatives from the winning groups earn a trip to the alliance’s 2016 Stakeholders Summit in Washington, D.C. to be formally recognized.

“The Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen taking second place in a national completion is a testament to the enthusiasm that the women in this club have for educating themselves and sharing the highly positive message about agriculture and food production in the United States. These young professionals in this club take seriously their mission to share information about agriculture and beef production, specifically, and it is a pleasure to be one of their club advisors” said Matt Hersom, a UF/IFAS associate professor and UF/IFAS Extension beef cattle specialist.

While the individual participants were assigned tasks each week, participating clubs chose from a variety of challenges, including teaching at local schools, hosting an Agriculture Day event on their college campus or hosting a food drive before the holiday season.

CAO is an online competition open to all college students with an interest in agriculture. Since its launch in 2009, more than 4,000 college students from more than 175 colleges and universities have competed in the program.

To participate in the contest, the Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen hosted events that educated consumers about the agriculture industry, Dailey said. Their events ranged from movie nights, to guest speakers at meetings, ranch tours, the annual “What’s Your Beef” informational session on the UF main campus in Gainesville and the group’s first “Can Round-Up” food drive to benefit Field and Fork Food Pantry.

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By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Sources: Samantha Dailey, 352-846-4444, sjdailey@ufl.edu

Matt Hersom, 352-392-2390, hersom@ufl.edu