Your ARPAS leadership team and support staff continue to provide excellent service for our members. Our normal scope of activities include certification of members, evaluation of programs for continuing education, tracking of continuing education credits, and monitoring adherence to our code of ethics. In addition, we continue to add those initiatives identified in our strategic plan to better serve our members and the animal science community.
Your Executive Committee, consisting of President Bob Wettemann, Past-President Jack Garrett, President-Elect Jeff DeFrain, Secretary Moe Bakke, Treasurer Dale Hill, Editor Wayne Kellogg, and Exam Chairperson Steve Schmidt, has met (by phone) several times in the past year. All have all done a great job in their respective roles to plan and direct the activities covered in this report. We are usually joined by our regional directors Randy Walker (Midwest), Ryon Walker (Southeast), Dwain Bunting (West), and Jud Heinrichs (Northeast). Minutes of these meeting have been recorded by secretary Bakke and assisted by Kelsey Grant, our FASS administrative assistant. The minutes are available to our membership via our website.
Our past presidents continue to provide institutional memory and guidance to the society. Dr. Mike Galyean agreed to review and update our bylaws. The Executive Committee members reviewed his draft document, and President Wettemann completed the process. The final document is now in the process of being adopted by the membership. We appreciate the continuing involvement of our past leadership. Dr. Marit Arana will again be heading up our strategic planning survey process, which will begin in the fall.
Our viable board certification system, the American College of Animal Sciences (ACAS), consisting of six discipline areas, is slowly growing. We again have almost 200 diplomates. Dr. John Bernard is serving as ACAS President and Dr. Andy Cole is President-Elect.
ARPAS is its second decade of supporting the Professional Animal Auditors Organization (PAACO). The organization has grown significantly in scope and stature and is recognized internationally for leadership in certification of animal welfare auditors and audit instruments. We are represented on the PAACO board by ARPAS members Drs. Paul Beck, Frank Owsley, and Ted Friend. PAACO is in a significant transition period as long-serving executive director Mike Simpson has retired and Dr. Collette Kaster has stepped into that role.
Our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) designates ARPAS to train and certify our members to become service providers for the Feed Management Component of Nutrient Management Plans. We have had little activity associated with this initiative in the past year.
The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science was assisted by ARPAS to establishment an ARPAS-type organization in that country. Hopefully we will be hosting a delegation from Nigeria during this meeting and hear a report on their activities. We have also had inquiries from ARPAS members in Brazil and Italy expressing interest in developing ARPAS-type organizations in their respective countries.
The ARPAS Foundation has a substantial asset base and a board of directors chaired by past-president Dr. Bill Sanchez. Its purpose is to grow the assets and use the earnings for education activities of our members and prospective members, especially graduate students. Thanks to the efforts of Past-President Bill Braman, the Foundation provides the examination fee for graduate students. Exams will again be offered during this meeting to qualified students at no cost to them. We welcome your monetary contributions and support for this foundation. The Foundation is now recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 entity, so all contributions are tax deductible.
The ARPAS symposium, an integral part of the joint annual meeting program, has grown in attendance and features world renowned speakers delivering relevant information for our members and guests. President-Elect Dr. Jeff DeFrain organized this year’s educational event scheduled for Wednesday, July 20 at 9:30 am. The symposium speakers will discuss how inflammation influences nutrient metabolism and animal performance.
We have now completed our ninth year of recognizing our “Distinguished Professional Animal Scientist”. This year’s recipients are Dr. Jerry Poley and Dr. Lee Shell. The award recognizes retired members of ARPAS who made a significant impact on our profession of animal science and served ARPAS in leadership positions at the national or chapter level. We have now accorded this honor to 23 of our past members in recognition of their service to ARPAS and to the profession of animal science. Past Treasurer Dr. Carl Hunt still sources the engraved paper weights given to our honorees.
Chapters have been vital parts of ARPAS for more than 20 years, some with more activities and members than others. We now have 3 chapters with more than 50 members and another almost reaching that level. Chapters are essential to providing local representation and activities for all ARPAS members. I encourage all of you to be active in chapter activities and to promote chapter membership to other ARPAS members.
Membership-related activities occupy a large amount of our membership coordinators time. Kelsey Grant became our Membership Services Coordinator in early 2015. Kelsey manages our membership database, oversees our examination and CEU tracking and reporting systems, and works on our newsletter and website. She works closely with Dr. Dwain Bunting, membership committee chairperson and his committee. We have had minimal membership issues in past year which would indicate that we have diligent members, a great FASS staff, and well-tuned systems.
Dr. Jud Heinrichs and his communications committee are responsible for the ARPAS newsletter, which is published three times a year. This is our main vehicle for keeping our membership informed. Kelsey is indispensable for editing and putting the finishing touches on this product
Jamie Ritter and the FASS staff members provide many valuable functions in addition to membership and examination functions. These include editorial, accounting/financial reporting, and website and database management. This group deserves special recognition for 15 years of service to ARPAS.
The Professional Animal Scientist (PAS) journal editor, Wayne Kellogg, and his associate editors Dr. Andy Cole and Dr. Stacey Gunter, along with the FASS editorial group are well into their first year of working with the publishing company Elsevier. Elsevier is charged with helping ARPAS promote and extend the influence and impact of PAS journal, especially to develop more international exposure.
Examination chair Steve Schmidt and his committee are responsible for our examination database and our examination process. We now are fully capable of offering exams online, although we still use a paper exam system for some situations where sufficient computers are not available. The database of questions is continually reviewed and updated to insure that exams are relevant. Dr. Schmidt is always receptive to member assistance when he is updating the examination question database.
The treasurer’s report, provided by Dr. Dale Hill and the FASS accounting staff, will verify that ARPAS continues to be in a sound financial condition with a reserve of almost 100% of annual expenditures. Along with our treasurer, I monitor the ARPAS budget and review ARPAS expenditures and investments. We continue to add to our reserves and to slowly grow our assets using the expertise of an investment advisor.
A vital part of our funding comes from our sponsor program managed by Dr. Ryon Walker, our Southern Director and his sponsorship committee. They are working to elevate the level of contact and scope of our sponsorship program. We are dependent on our members to identify prospective sponsors for special activities, such as the ARPAS symposium and various chapter activities.
Ethics is one of the critical three legs in the ARPAS stool. The ethics committee is chaired by Dr. Randy Walker. His committee remains very active although our ethic issues are minimal. The committee has placed articles on ethics specific to our profession in several publications in the past year.
My activities involve serving as a liaison between the ARPAS membership, the executive committee, and our FASS service group; 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.
Meetings attended on behalf of ARPAS in 2015–2016 were Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, Tri-State Dairy Nutrition, Penn State Dairy Nutrition Workshop, PAACO Board Meeting, and the Joint ADSA–ASAS Annual Meeting. ARPAS exams were given at some of these meetings, and sponsors were cultivated.
Thanks to all ARPAS and ACAS members who have given their time to work on behalf of this organization. Thank you for allowing me to work with Dr. Wettemann and the officers and governing council members of ARPAS and to be the representative for ARPAS to the world-at-large.
Kenneth R. Cummings, PAS, Dipl. ACAN
Exec. VP, ARPAS