I am honored to serve ARPAS as president for the coming year and look forward to working with the governing council. I would like to thank Jeff DeFrain for his service as ARPAS president and Dale Hill for his service as ARPAS treasurer. I am happy to welcome Dana Tomlinson who has agreed to serve as ARPAS treasurer, along with Andy Cole who was elected as president elect and Moe Bakke who serves as the secretary.
The governing council met in Baltimore prior to the annual meeting in July. Both ARPAS and the foundation are in very good financial standing. The Professional Animal Scientist journal had a banner year with a total of 873 pages published, which greatly exceeds the 10-year average of 677 pages. The relationship with Elsevier is working well and has resulted in a significant increase in the number of publications being downloaded! Wayne Kellogg has asked to step down as editor-in-chief of the journal and the executive committee is actively interviewing candidates for this position. Many of the chapters have initiated activities to provide educational and development opportunities as well as recruit new members. While some of the chapters cover large areas, they are finding ways to provide opportunities for members to interact.
Bob Wettemann chaired a strategic planning committee this last year. Five strategic directions and goals were identified based on feedback from the survey of membership. The strategic plan was approved by the governing council and provides the framework to continue to improve and grow ARPAS. Each president is charged with identifying priorities that they will address during their term. We greatly appreciate the work that Wettemann and his committee did to develop this strategic plan.
The ARPAS annual meeting was held in conjunction with the ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Baltimore. The ARPAS symposium titled “Understanding Both Animal Needs and Consumer Demands in Animal Agriculture Transparency” was well attended and stimulated very good discussions during the question and answer time. We appreciate the information provided by each of the speakers at the symposium: Janeen Salak-Johnson, University of Illinois; Collette Schultz Kaster, Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization Inc.; and Daniel Thomson, Kansas State University. The 2018 Annual ARPAS Meeting will be held in conjunction with the ADSA Annual Meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee, June 24 through 27. Andy Cole is already working on the ARPAS symposium for 2018.
Prospective members frequently ask what is the value of membership in ARPAS. As part of the strategic survey, members were asked what value ARPAS membership and board certification provide. A variety of responses were provided by the membership. One of the goals outlined in the strategic plan is to better define the value and communicate that to members, and I would like to address this within the next six months. I would encourage you to send a one-minute video or concise written statement on the value you feel ARPAS membership and/or board certification provides you; please send it to Cornicha Henderson at CornichaH@assochq.org.