Welcome to the inaugural newsletter of the “new” South Central ARPAS. The chapter was formed in 2014, and the current roster of officers is as follows:
President—Daniel Rivera, Mississippi State University
President Elect—Brandi Karisch, Mississippi State University
Past-President—Shane Gadberry, University of Arkansas
Secretary–Treasurer—Buck Pendergraft, Purina Land O’Lakes
We are excited to announce changes to our chapter, which we feel will make a stronger chapter and offer opportunities to grow and showcase what ARPAS is all about.
New Geographic Area. During our yearly business meeting, it was discussed that in order for the chapter to grow and provide more opportunities for graduate students, we should expand the geographic reach of the group. The chapter started with the states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, but soon encompassed Mississippi. Since most of the membership was affiliated with the Southern Section American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), and our business meeting was held in conjunction with Southern Section ASAS, we felt that we should extend chapter membership and participation to any ARPAS member or potential member in the Southeastern United States. The question was put to the membership, and the votes tallied indicated that we would open up the membership to other states within the Southeast. We highly encourage any South Central Chapter member who has colleagues in other Southeastern states that are members of ARPAS to consider joining our chapter.
New Name. This has been one of our toughest items to finalize; possible names include Southeastern Chapter ARPAS, or Southern Chapter ARPAS; if anyone has thoughts or ideas, we welcome those. We are confident that before the next business meeting in Oklahoma City, we will have a name accepted by the members.
New Symposium/Meeting. Instead of our traditional breakfast business meeting, we decided to have a symposium dedicated to issues faced by Southeastern livestock producers. This year’s symposium will be held Sunday morning, January 27, before the SERA 41 symposium, and in conjunction with the ASAS Southern Section meeting. The symposium will examine the costs of mismanagement from a production and economic standpoint through all areas of production (cow-calf/stocker/feedlot). Invited speakers are Dan Thomson (Kansas State), John Riley (Oklahoma State), and Dave Smith (Mississippi State).
State Directors. Due to the changes in our organization, we have discontinued the state director role until we see how the chapter breaks down geographically. We may use the area director concept but are not certain yet.
Graduate Student Competition. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the Four-State Conference it was difficult to get good participation (the conference occurred right on the cusp or during finals week for most universities). We have opted to postpone a graduate student competition until we get a breakdown of our new membership geography and how we might better provide competitive opportunities for students across a large region.