The three major initiatives this past year have been the journal, sponsorship, and membership demographics. In the February Newsletter, I covered the successful rejuvenation of the sponsorship program. We have successfully renegotiated a new contract with Elsevier for co-publishing with FASS our journal, Applied Animal Science.
I highly recommend that you read Kenneth Cummings’ commentary to see all the other issues that ARPAS has encountered in a very much busier than normal but fruitful year. Likewise, read David Beede’s commentary about the journal. We have been blessed with the superb service of Brittany Morstatter and her colleagues at FASS in the operation of ARPAS.
We had planned a brief PowerPoint highlight for the 35th anniversary of ARPAS for presentation at the ADSA meeting. Instead, that will wait until the ARPAS Symposium can be held later this year.
Membership is the major source of ARPAS income. The first need of any organization is to know who their members are and what are they seeking. We have had no demographic information on our members until this year’s new or renewing membership process. Here are some key findings about our membership:
- By species, membership is about 50% for dairy, 25% for beef, 7% for horse, 6% for swine, 3% for poultry, and less than 1.5% for any other category. Data like these can be interpreted several ways, such as we are too heavy in some categories or we need to have more members in other categories.
- Members are located in 13 countries outside the United States, most notably with 15 members in Canada.
- Among the top 10 states, the order with number of members is
While some states may primarily have members in one category, others seem to have a mix of membership categories. These data could be further mined and aligned with number of members and categories by chapters.
- New York
- Although membership in associations specified was primarily in the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), the third ranked society was the Equine Science Society (ESS), followed by the Poultry Science Association (PSA) and Canadian Society of Animal Science (CSAS). However, this is skewed because two-thirds of respondents provided no association membership. And some are members of more than one association, as I am.
- Of those who responded, about 75% were men, but over 25% did not respond at all. In somewhat similar fashion, about one-half did not provide what 5-year category was their birth year. Of those who did respond, about one-half were born before 1970 and the same after 1970. Because of limited data in both of these categories, we are limited in answering questions such as are younger members mainly women, reflecting undergraduate and graduate student populations over the years since 1970?
- Description of who our employers are was revealed in this order: academic, nutrition consultant, corporate/company, consultant, extension, and feed company consultant, with seven other categories. However, only 35% responded to this question. A similar low response was in job function with the leading categories being nutritionist, research, consultant, teaching, marketing and sales, technical service, extension, and management, with 18 other categories. With such incomplete data, there also appears to be the need to more carefully define and identify who we work for and what we do.
These membership demographics are a snapshot. We need such data annually, more responses in a number of areas, and more specific identification of who we are and what we do. That will also provide us with information as to which potential members we are not reaching, what we need to do to recruit them, and what benefits they may be seeking or accrue by being ARPAS members.