This time of year brings about the USDA Prospective Plantings report. This report describes how many acres of each crop will be planted and, pending no major weather events, harvested. This report is among the likes of our organization as members work together not only to develop ways to support existing members but to strategically devise plans to plant seeds of organizational growth of ARPAS. We are all set to gather at our ARPAS annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, at the ASAS–CSAS annual meeting, where we will review activities of the past year and discuss avenues of change that will allow us to further enhance our professions through ARPAS membership.
Thanks to the work of the Strategic Planning Committee (chaired by Bob Wettemann), we are excited to release the strategic plan and have a renewed focus that will move ARPAS from a good to great organization! This strategic plan, developed based on feedback from the member survey, gives us clear direction going forward for the next five years. It outlines five key goals for the organization, with clearly stated objectives for each goal. This will allow the Executive Committee to dedicate their efforts each year to a particular goal and objectives, which will provide the continued success of ARPAS for years to come.
The Professional Animal Scientist continues to grow into one of the most widely accepted journals for the latest applied animal research for professionals. Our recent move to Elsevier as publisher improves our efficiencies of publishing and, perhaps more importantly, grants us access to the electronic visibility needed to grow both readership and submissions. We again thank Wayne Kellogg for serving as editor in chief for the past 11 years and helping to fill this position as he retires.
All ARPAS chapters have been active in creating regional opportunities for education and networking. Some of our most successful growth efforts among several chapters have been associated with graduate student activities. An additional platform for growth and networking has been our long-standing ARPAS symposium at national meetings. This year’s symposium is titled “Understanding Both Animal Needs and Consumer Demands in Animal Agriculture Transparency” and is slated for Monday, July 10, at 9:30 am at the ASAS–CSAS meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.
One of my favorite quotes has always been “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe” – Abe Lincoln. I consider our new strategic plan, growing journal, and strong chapters and members as a very sharp axe setting a course for continued organizational success. There are countless opportunities to help keep our organization strong by serving on committees or as an officer at any level. I challenge you to take the time to serve because it is truly rewarding and exactly what we need for continued success! Please remember to pay your 2017 dues and encourage folks to join the premier organization in the animal science industry!
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as president of ARPAS! I hope to see you this summer in Baltimore!