Your ARPAS leadership team and support staff continue to provide excellent service for our members. Our normal scope of activities includes 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.
The executive committee consisting of President Jeff DeFrain, Past President Bob Wettemann, President Elect John Bernard, 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 done an excellent job in their respective roles to plan and direct the activities covered in this report. We are frequently joined on the call by regional directors Randy Walker (Midwest), Ryon Walker (Southeast), Dwain Bunting (West), and Mark Wagner (Northeast). Minutes of these meeting are recorded by Secretary Bakke and Cornicha Henderson, our FASS administrative assistant. The minutes are available on our website.
Past President Wettemann chaired the committee to develop our 2017–2022 strategic plan. This plan was completed earlier this year and will be reviewed by the governing council at this meeting. We appreciate the continuing involvement of past officers and governing council members in the affairs of ARPAS.
The American College of Animal Sciences (ACAS), consisting of six discipline areas, is slowly growing. We again have almost 200 board-certified diplomates. President Andy Cole and the executive committee updated the ACAS bylaws to reflect changes in the appointment of discipline chairs. President Elect Randy Walker assumed leadership of ACAS, and Patrick French was installed as president elect at the ACAS annual meeting on July 10.
ARPAS is in the second decade of membership in 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. With the dissolution of FASS, the American Dairy Science Association, American Society of Animal Science, and Poultry Science Association have all become individual members of PAACO. The American Meat Science Association also joined as a member. Since we now have eight member organizations, the number of representatives from each has been reduced from three to two. Our representatives on the PAACO board are Paul Beck and Frank Owsley. Collette Kaster is the executive director of PAACO.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) designates ARPAS for training and certification of 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 and the ball is in the NRCS court. ARPAS is also an institutional member of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST).
The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science was assisted by ARPAS in establishment of an ARPAS-type organization in that country. We do not expect a delegation from Nigeria during this meeting due to the continuing turmoil in Nigeria. We have also had inquiries from ARPAS members in Brazil and Italy, expressing interest in developing an ARPAS-type organization in their respective countries, but we have no firm commitments.
The ARPAS Foundation has a substantial asset base (about $180,000) and a board of directors chaired by Past President Jack Garrett. Its purpose is to grow its assets and use the earnings for education activities and to encourage membership in ARPAS. 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 ARPAS Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, so all contributions are tax deductible.
The ARPAS symposium, an integral part of our annual meeting activities, has grown in attendance and features world-renowned speakers delivering relevant information for our members and guests. President Elect John Bernard organized this year’s educational event during the ASAS meeting in Baltimore. The topic of the symposium was Understanding Both Animal Needs and Consumer Demands in Animal Agriculture Transparency.
We have now completed our 10th year in recognizing our distinguished professional animal scientist. This year’s recipients are Sharon Benz, retired from the Food and Drug Administration (Washington, DC, chapter officer) and Keith Lusby, past president and treasurer of ARPAS. 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 presented this award to 25 past leaders of ARPAS. Past treasurer Carl Hunt still sources the engraved paperweights 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 three chapters with greater than 50 members and another almost reaching that level. Chapters are essential to providing local representation and activities for all ARPAS members. I encourage 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 coordinator’s time. Cornicha Henderson became our membership services coordinator in 2016. She manages our membership database, oversees examination and CEU tracking and reporting systems, produces our newsletter, and updates our website. Cornicha works closely with Dwain Bunting, membership committee chairperson, and Steve Schmidt, chairperson of the examination committee on membership and exam components of ARPAS membership. We have had minimal membership issues in past year, which would indicate that we have dedicated members, a great FASS staff, and well-tuned systems.
Mark Wagner and his publications committee provide guidance for the ARPAS newsletter, which is published three times per year. This is our main vehicle for keeping our membership informed. Cornicha Henderson is indispensable for editing and administering the finishing touches to this essential membership communications product.
Jeremy Holzner and his FASS staff provide many other valuable functions in addition to those associated with membership and the examination process. These include editorial, accounting/financial reporting, website, and database management. This group deserves special recognition for providing 16 years of outstanding service to ARPAS.
The Professional Animal Scientist journal Editor-in-Chief Wayne Kellogg and his associate editors Andy Cole and Stacey Gunter, along with Susan Pollock and the FASS editorial group, are well into their second year of working with the publishing company Elsevier. Elsevier is charged with helping ARPAS promote and extend the brand and impact of The Professional Animal Scientist, especially to international animal scientists. Emma Bruun has done an outstanding job in her role as Elsevier's representative to ARPAS.
As most of you know Editor-in-Chief Kellogg has asked us to begin the search for his replacement as editor of The Professional Animal Scientist journal. After his 10+ years of outstanding service in this role (and many more in other leadership roles with ARPAS), we reluctantly agreed. The search committee is now soliciting input and nominations for this essential position.
Examination Chairman Steve Schmidt and his committee are responsible for our exam database and overseeing the 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 ensure that exams are relevant. Schmidt is always receptive to member assistance when he is updating the examination question database.
The treasurer’s report, provided by 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 slowly grow our asset base with the expert guidance provided by Bill Gleason with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
A vital part of our funding comes from our sponsor program managed by 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 Randy Walker. His committee remains very active although our ethics issues are minimal. The committee has placed articles on ethics specific to our profession in several publications in the past year.
My major responsibilities are serving as a liaison between the ARPAS membership, the executive committee, and our FASS service group. Activities include communicating with members and prospective members (including international), orchestrating and participating in conference calls, reviewing the website, writing newsletter articles, updating copy for brochures, preparing for meetings, administering exams, and evaluating conference and meeting agendas for CEUs.
Meetings attended on behalf of ARPAS in 2016–2017 were the Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, Tri-State Dairy Nutrition, Penn State Dairy Nutrition Workshop, PAACO meetings, and the Joint ADSA/ASAS Meeting in Utah. ARPAS exams were given at most of these meetings and sponsors were cultivated.
Thanks to all ARPAS and ACAS members who have given of their time to work on behalf of this organization. Thank you for allowing me to work with Jeff DeFrain and the officers and governing council members of ARPAS and to represent ARPAS to the world at large.