This report provides a brief accounting of my activities on behalf of ARPAS since our meeting with ADSA in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 2018. Without a doubt, this past 12-month period has seen the most events, conference calls, emails, meetings, and other activities in the 35-year existence of ARPAS.
I want to acknowledge and thank our 2018–2019 president, Andy Cole, for the many hours that he devoted to activities and decisions required to manage this organization. He skillfully handled two major issues of lasting importance to ARPAS by appointing and leading two committees, one to address development of a “Value Proposition” for ARPAS members and the other for continuing publication of our newly renamed journal. Details on the actions of these committees will be covered in this report. In addition, he represented ARPAS at the ASAS meeting in Vancouver, BC, and the California Chapter meeting at Harris Ranch.
The additional members of the 2018–2019 Executive Committee (Past President John Bernard, President-Elect Al Kertz, Secretary Moe Bakke, and Treasurer Dana Tomlinson) provided exceptional support for Andy.
The other important segment of support for Andy was Brittany Morstatter. Brittany is employed by FASS as an Executive Assistant and Event Coordinator and provides our administrative support. Although she is new to FASS, she is very experienced in her role. She is a very proactive person and has quickly gotten up-to-speed in this role; we have already experienced the positive impact she is having on this organization.
Jeremy Holzner and his team at FASS have provided outstanding support and guidance for us this year. In addition to administrative support, they provide accounting and finance, publications, IT, event coordination, and website hosting. They serve as a key resource for our journal publication, which will be noted in the journal editor’s report.
I am especially appreciative of AAS journal Editor-in-Chief Dave Beede and his associate editors for managing and editing our journal. We have concluded that renaming a journal is not an easy task. Dave’s perseverance was admirable. He not only accomplished it once, but twice. He is also very involved in the committee to review the future publication of the Applied Animal Science journal. The committee, consisting of 2019–2020 President Al Kertz; Susan Pollock and Jeremy Holzner at FASS; and some members of the present and past Executive Committees, will be making recommendations as to future publication.
Our financial position for ARPAS is very sound but we are reaching the limit of annual income to cover annual expenses. We have invested reserves to operate for one year with no income. This is being addressed by Treasurer Dana Tomlinson and the ARPAS Executive Committee.
The ARPAS Foundation continues to grow slowly with current assets in excess of $200,000. The Foundation can only use the annual earnings from these assets for educational and development activities for our members. One example of Foundation support is a travel stipend for our first graduate student member to the Governing Council to attend the annual ARPAS Governing Council meeting.
Membership has not grown in recent years. Lack of an elevator speech and a “value proposition” is frequently mentioned as the missing tools needed to convince individuals to make application, take an exam, and become certified. The “Value Proposition” Committee, appointed by Past President Cole, drafted a statement for approval by the Governing Council. Hopefully, a video and elevator speech will follow shortly.
You can help by becoming a champion for ARPAS within your company or university. Students, especially graduate students close to entering a professional career in animal science, are our best source of new members. The ARPAS Foundation has been paying the exam fee for graduate students. In the past three years, we have had 75 to 100 per year take an ARPAS exam. We do not encourage undergraduates to take the exam until they are in their final year of study.
Leadership is key to the success of any organization, and ARPAS has been fortunate to have a continuing supply of very capable leaders. Although we have over 1,300 professional members, not all are willing to serve on a committee, support the activities of a chapter, or be appointed or elected to the Governing Council or Executive Committee. I challenge you to get involved in chapter activities or volunteer for service on one of our many committees.
Chapter membership and activities continue to grow. With the revitalization of the Pacific NW Chapter, we now have seven active chapters. Each is worthy of recognition, and I encourage you to review their individual reports. Leadership in a chapter provides the best training ground for future leaders of the ARPAS Executive Committee and Governing Council.
Steve Schmidt, examination chairperson with help from ARPAS members, makes sure our exam database is current and appropriate for testing the professional skills required of our new members. Our exam database software allows us to select questions needed to balance exam content and to weed out ambiguous questions. Schmidt and his committee previously prepared and posted study guides to assist prospective members in the exam process.
The ARPAS Symposium at a national meeting (alternating between ADSA and ASAS) has proven to be a challenge for each new President-Elect. 2018–2019 President Cole (beef specialization) organized the program for our 2018 meeting with ADSA, and 2019–2020 President Kertz (dairy specialization) organized the program for the 2019 meeting with ASAS. This is indicative of the versatility and managerial ability of our leaders.
Bill Price, our long-standing historian, continually updates the record of ARPAS history. Please visit the History section of our website for a trip through the ARPAS past.
Meetings attended on behalf of ARPAS included the ADSA meeting in Ohio, the ASAS meeting in Austin, the Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference in Maryland, and the Pennsylvania State Dairy Nutrition Workshop in Harrisburg.
I want to thank Past President Cole for attending the California Chapter Symposium at Harris Ranch. ARPAS exams were given at all these meetings, and sponsors were cultivated. I also want to thank members of the MW Chapter for working the ARPAS booth and giving exams at the MW Dairy and Animal Science meeting in Omaha and the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference in Ft. Wayne, along with other meetings throughout the year.
Thanks to all ARPAS and ACAS members who gave of their time to work on behalf of this organization in the past year. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to continue my work for ARPAS and for the continuing support of our members.
Kenneth Cummings, PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAN
ARPAS Vice President