ARPAS has just completed 25 years as a certification organization for professional animal scientists. We (a collective we) have passed the birth, childhood and adolescent stages of our existence and are now in the adult working years. We no longer just confine our activities to certification of members, evaluation of programs for continuing education, tracking of continuing education credits and monitoring adherence to our code of ethics. The following paragraphs will elaborate on these endeavors.
We have developed a viable college system; now call the American College of Animal Sciences (ACAS) with six discipline areas that are growing. We again have over 200 diplomates. Dr. Benjy Mickel is currently serving as ACAS President and Dr. Jack Garrett is President-Elect.
ARPAS is now about to enter its second decade with the Professional Animal Auditors Organization (PAACO). As one of the founders, we are represented on the PAACO board by ARPAS members Drs. Terry Mader, Frank Owsley and Ted Friend.
We have just signed the third renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) that provides for training and certification of our members to become service providers for the Feed Management Component of Nutrient Management Plans. Several of our members (Drs. Joe Harrison, Randy Shaver and others) have devoted time and talents to this program and a number of ARPAS members are now certified.
We have just entered into an MOU with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science to help them establish an ARPAS-type organization in that country. We will be hosting a delegation from that country during the annual meeting.
Three years ago, ARPAS established a defined ARPAS Foundation which now has a substantial asset base and a board of directors. Its purpose is to grow the assets and utilize the earnings for education activities of members and prospective members. We welcome contributions and input for this foundation.
The annual ARPAS symposium, an integral part of the joint meeting program, has grown in attendance and features world renowned speakers delivering relevant information for our members and guests. Leadership for organizing this annual event is the responsibility of the President-Elect. Dr. John Wagner has put together a great ARPAS Symposium for 2011 on Meta-Analyses at our annual meeting.
We are entering out fourth year of recognizing “Distinguished Professional Animal Scientist”. This year’s recipients are Dr. Dean Hodge, Dr. Robert Totusek and Lee Boyd. All previously served as ARPAS President as well as in other leadership positions. We have now accorded this honor to 12 of our past members in recognition of their service to ARPAS and to the profession of Animal Science Chapters have been a vital part of ARPAS for almost 20 years, some with more activities and members that others. In the past year, we chartered the Northeast Chapter and the Midwest chapter. Both have the potential to grow and gain bragging rights in size and scope. Chapters provide local representation and development activities for all ARPAS members.
Past-President Marit Arana and her strategic planning committee are well on the way to completing our third (at least) version of our Strategic Plan. Although we can’t accurately predict the future, this plan will help determine our organization’s direction for the next several years.
Membership-related issues dominate the activities of the ARPAS staff. Yvona Vlach, our Membership Services Coordinator, has completed her second year on our behalf. She does an outstanding job of managing our membership database, website, examination and CEU tracking and reporting systems. We had minimal membership issues in past year which would indicate that we have great personnel and well-tuned systems. Other FASS staff members provide valuable editorial, accounting and financial reporting, website and database management assistance of which we are grateful. Dr. Joe Harrison, NW Director, heads up our membership committee and works closely with Yvona on membership tracking.
Our newsletter initiated by past Exec. VP Bill Baumgardt, has grown in importance, scope, length and appearance. Dr. Pete Erickson (NE Director) and his communications committee are responsible for developing this outstanding vehicle that helps our membership stay informed. Yvona Vlach is indispensible in putting the finishing touches on this product.
Some of my daily activities involved communicating with members and prospective members (including international), orchestrating and participating in conference calls, reviewing the website, writing newsletter articles, updating brochures, preparing for meetings, administering exams and evaluating conference and meeting agendas for CEU’s. We also conducted a survey of the insurance needs of our members. The results of this survey were reported to the GC at the January 2010 conference call and an insurance service provider is preparing information to be send out to our members for affordable professional liability and other insurance products.
Frequent communication with members of the Executive Committee and the leadership of ACAS is necessary to insure that our organization is headed in the intended direction and accomplishing its goals. Other key staff members work diligently on your behalf. I work closely with Dr. Wayne Kellogg, Editor of PAS and Dr. Steve Schmidt, our Examination Coordinator and try to keep them informed of ARPAS activities that may impact their respective areas of responsibility.
The Treasurer’s report by our Treasurer Dr. Carl Hunt, will verify that ARPAS continues to be in a sound financial condition with a reserve of almost 100% of annual expenditures. Along with Carl, I monitor the ARPAS budget and review ARPAS expenditures and investments. A vital part of our funding is our Sponsor program. Dr. Dana Tomlinson (SE Director) and his Sponsorship committee have raised the level of contact and developed new rewards for our sponsors. As a result, we are seeing an increase in revenue, of which we are very appreciative.
Meetings that I attended on behalf of ARPAS in 2010-11 were Mid-Atlantic Nutrition, Tri-State Dairy Nutrition, Cornell and Penn. State Dairy Nutrition Conferences, Midwest Animal Science Meeting, National Young Farmer Education Program in Washington DC, the Joint ADSA/ASAS Meetings and the PAACO Board Meeting. ARPAS exams were given at most of these meetings and sponsors were cultivated.
Thanks to all ARPAS and ACAS members who give of their time to work on behalf of this organization. Thank you for allowing me to work with Dr. Braman and the officers and GC members of ARPAS and to be your representative for ARPAS to the world-at-large. A special thanks to Dr. Andy Cole for his service as secretary for the past three years.