We will have the opportunity to gather at our ARPAS Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of ADSA and ASAS in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July. The Governing Council and members will review activities of the past and discuss ARPAS programs and services that will enhance our professions. The organization was developed on the needs for certification, continued education, and commitment to a code of ethics. During the last 40 years since the formation of ARPAS, the organization has increased membership and programs to support animal scientists and is strong financially. We must continue to determine needs of members and identify new services to enhance professionalism. During the next six months you will receive a strategic planning survey to give input about ARPAS and programs to determine activities and areas to emphasize during the next five years.
The Examining Board maintains standards for certification, and the American College of Animal Sciences evaluates applicants for Board Certification. We must continue to engage new members to maintain the vital functions of ARPAS. Examination can be taken at many major educational meetings each year and also can be taken online and proctored by an ARPAS member. Continuing education is important and there is a long list of ARPAS-approved meetings on our Web page.
The Professional Animal Scientist (PAS) is growing in the number of manuscripts and international distribution. In February 2016, Volume 32 was the first issue with Elsevier as publisher. This new approach to PAS should increase the number of readers and citations, improve our publishing budget, but most importantly deliver the latest applied animal research for professionals. All issues of PAS back to volume 1 are online to assist with access to the earlier publications. It is anticipated that the greater numbers of readers and citations will increase submissions and recognition of applied research manuscripts, which will be beneficial to members.
The ARPAS Governing Council (July 19) and Annual Business Meeting (July 21) will meet at the JAM of ASAS and ADSA in Salt Lake City, Utah. Next year, there will be a change in the location of annual meetings of ARPAS. Beginning in 2017, ADSA and ASAS will not have joint meetings. A majority of ARPAS members are members of ADSA, ASAS, or both; thus JAM has been the location of choice to have ARPAS annual meetings and symposia in recent years. After much discussion it was decided that the annual meeting of ARPAS should rotate between annual meetings of ADSA and ASAS to have successful meetings because travel costs and time would prevent ARPAS members from attending a stand-alone meeting. (Based on the locations of meetings of ADSA and ASAS in next two years, it was determined that ARPAS would meet with ASAS in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2017 and with ADSA in Knoxville, Tennessee, for 2018.)
There are now eight ARPAS Chapters, which are important for continuing education and networking. Many of the chapters have meetings in conjunction with other professional societies and offer great opportunities to evaluate and discuss regional topics and animal production. Some chapters have programs and events for students to reward and stimulate their professional development. Please become involved with local chapters as they become an important part of the mission of ARPAS.
I encourage all ARPAS members to become involved in your organization. Attend meetings, volunteer for committees, submit and review manuscripts for PAS, and vote for officers. During the next month you will be notified about the opportunity to vote for President-Elect and Northeast Director. Please remember to pay your dues for 2016 if you have forgotten and invite new members to join ARPAS.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as President of ARPAS. I look forward to seeing you this summer in Salt Lake City.