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Published on Thursday, December 20, 2018

Update from the Midwest ARPAS Chapter

What’s NEW and EXCITING with the Midwest ARPAS Chapter in 2018-2019:

  • Midwest ARPAS leadership has designed a university student competition for graduate and undergraduate students that attend the Tri State Dairy Nutrition Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, each year. The university with the most students taking the ARPAS exam is awarded a rotating trophy (the trophy is a stainless milk can).
  • Midwest ARPAS is expanding its reach by having a booth presence at the Beef Improvement Conference for the first time in 2018. Check out our Midwest ARPAS Schedule for 2019! (see below)
  • Midwest ARPAS hosted many people taking the ARPAS exam in 2018: seven at Midwest animal science meetings, 19 at the Tri-State Dairy Conference, four at the Beef Improvement Conference, and three at the Professional Development Conference for Entrepreneurs/Minnesota Nutrition Conference, for a total of 33!

What’s going on with the Midwest ARPAS chapter:

  • Board elections coming up here in May (president, president-elect, and three ruminant directors).
  • Midwest ARPAS is active with creating value with its members by developing and hosting a Professional Development Conference for Entrepreneurs (PDCE). More than 30 people participated in the 2nd PCDE in 2018 held at the Minnesota Nutrition Conference.
  • Certification testing is available at several conferences (see below).

PDCE 2018Midwest ARPAS Schedule for 2019:

  • Midwest ASAS/ADSA – March 11–13, 2019
  • Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference – April 22–24, 2019
  • Equine Science Society – June 3–6, 2019
  • Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference – June 12–13, 2019
  • Beef Improvement Conference – June 18–21, 2019
  • PDCE/Minnesota Nutrition Conference– September 17–19, 2019
  • Certification testing is also available online when proctored by a PAS member.

Midwest Board Members:

President: Rick Bonander
President-Elect: Elizabeth Marvel
Secretary/Treasurer: Patti Cardoso
Past-President: Aaron Park
Monogastric Directors
Stephanie Wisdom
Robert Coleman
Lee Johnston
Ruminant Directors
Phil Kruger/Jim Edwards
Joesph Wolf/Patrick French
Angel Aguilar


Our Midwest Chapter Sponsors:

ARPAS – What’s that, where’s the value, and what advantages does membership have?

For many, contemplating joining a professional association spurs the questions of why and what will it do for me. With the information age that we all live in, the phrase “because it’s good for your career” really does not satisfy. Perhaps a story about what value being an ARPAS member gave me will get you to consider it. As an extension specialist in Alberta, Canada, I first heard about ARPAS at the 1995 Equine Nutrition and Physiology Symposium. Gary Potter informed all in attendance on the value of being part of a professional organization and being a recognized professional.

Gary Potter was convincing, so I took the test and joined ARPAS. When I got back to Canada and my job, did it make a difference? Yes, it did, as I had the confidence of being a professional as I went about my daily activities. Yet, the true value from membership did not reveal itself until years later.

After living in Canada for a long time, I moved to the United States. When it came time to go through the process of immigration I was asked, “Are you a certified professional?” Sweat started to bead upon my forehead because who likes to answer questions from an immigration official? Visions of being in the dark backroom for days on end with a bright light on me and two heavily armed immigration officials flashed through my mind. Somehow, the response, yes, came out of my mouth, “I belong to ARPAS and here is my membership card.” The reaction was wow, this is great—because not many people check that box on the application. I was relieved to stay out of the back room, check the box, and more importantly, I was proud to be an ARPAS member.

Why am I proud to be an ARPAS member? Membership has provided me with recognition in my chosen profession. As Gary Potter said, you may have a degree but that means you knew a tremendous amount in the chosen area of expertise when you earned your degree, but what about now or 10 years from now? Having a degree without a PAS membership is like being old enough to drive a car, having a car, but not having a license to drive a car. What accreditation do you have that shows you have maintained your level of expertise? I get more questions about what PAS stands for than the questions that I get about what I studied for my PhD. Certification is a valuable asset for all of us, seasoned and young professionals alike, and all are encouraged to support ARPAS.

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Categories: Issues, December 2018