If I had to pick one word to describe this past year it would be “transition.” We have gone through several transitions during this past year but that is indicative of a growing organization. I would like to point out several changes that have occurred during the last year.
- Executive Vice-President – We were saddened last summer when Dr. Frahm announced his intention to retire at the end of the year. We began an extensive search and were well pleased with the quantity and quality of applicants we received. Dr. Kenneth Cummings agreed to take over and it was a smooth transition as Dick handed the ball off to Kenneth. My personal thanks to both for helping keep me straight during the last year and all the work they do for ARPAS.
- Executive Assistant – Susie Rahn is just completing her first year as the executive assistant for ARPAS. Having to learn a new position, dealing with two different executive vice-presidents, and a greenhorn president had to be a tremendous challenge. She has handled everything very professionally and is a true asset to our society. Again, my personal thanks to Susie for all she does.
- Historian – Dr. Radloff retired as our historian last year,and Dr. Bill Price has assumed this position. We are glad he will be staying on our board and is actively pursuing his new position. One change you will notice is that ARPAS history is now a separate tab on our Web page. If you haven’t done so, I would encourage you to click on this tab and review our history. I am truly proud of how this organization has turned around and grown over the last several years.
- Membership – Our directory currently shows a membership of 1,568. This is a great achievement but I would hope we can reach 2000 in the near future. Dr. Frahm’s work with Southern States Cooperative and the County Agents association has helped grow this number. Kenneth continues with this work and hopefully we will continue to search for more organizations with members who would like to join ARPAS.
- PAACO – PAACO has become a much more viable entity on it’s own during the last few years. ARPAS felt the need for our presidents to be part of their board for several years since we had a financial involvement. Now that they are firmly on their feet, our presidents have the option of appointing someone to the board with a stronger background in animal welfare if they choose.
- ACAS – This group has officially reorganized but I think it is safe to say is still in transition. Hopefully the viability of this organization will continue in the coming years.
- Examination Board- Dr. Steve Schmidt will soon be completing his first year as chairman of the Examining Board. He had a lot put on his plate but is doing a great job of reorganizing this group and moving forward. Hopefully, we will soon have study guides available to help reduce test anxiety which should increase those willing to join ARPAS. This group continues to examine the possibility of providing evaluation exams that can be used for graduating seniors and possibly for companies evaluating current or potential employees. We have also modified our dues structure in the last year to prorate dues based on when a potential member takes the exam.
- PAS JOURNAL – The Professional Animal Scientist continues to grow and will soon be published under a new format that should improve our image and credibility. This was not an inexpensive decision but should be a good investment in our future. Thanks to Dr. Kellogg and his board for all their work.
- ARPAS Foundation - We voted at our mid-year conference call to form an ARPAS foundation. Donations to the foundation will go to a core fund. This money will not be spent but interest on this money may be used for sponsorship of educational opportunities. This is another great step to help our organization move forward.
- ARPAS Newsletter – This continues to be a valuable link with our membership and thanks to Dr. Bill Price, Susie Rahn, Dr. Emanuele, and the entire Publications Committee for keeping this viable and continually improving. We have voted to change the format of the newsletter to make it more professional looking and user friendly like those of some of our affiliated societies.
- Feed Management Certification – Dr. Shaver and others have this program up and running in a strong manner. Hopefully, this program will continue to be a valuable service that we provide as well as a source of new members.
- Logo Committee – At the suggestion of one of our members, we decided to investigate finding a new logo with a slick look and one that could be reproduced easily on caps and jackets. Dr. Price and the four regional directors agreed to serve as the Logo Committee. I was very pleased with the number of entries we received and we should have a new logo at the conclusion of this meeting.
As you can see, ARPAS has been busy during the last year and I know I have left some activities off this list. It has been a true pleasure to serve as your President, and this year flew by in a hurry. Thanks to all of the executive committee for their work during the last year and all of those members who provided input and suggestions. I belong to a large number of organizations and can honestly say there is no group I am prouder to be affiliated with than this one. Dr. Arana will make a great president and I look forward to serving with her one more year as past-president. We are not done and I look forward to a productive meeting here in Indianapolis.