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ARPAS Summer 2021 Newsletter

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Published on Thursday, August 26, 2021

Executive Vice President’s Report

Kenneth Cummings, PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAS

“What motivates retired people to want to take on part-time work? They need some place to go, they want to be needed, they need the money, they have a cause they care about------or retirement is really just a figment of one’s imagination.

I can eliminate most of these very quickly and say if I did not believe in the mission of ARPAS, the business of agriculture and the continuance of my long-term association with friends and associates, I would not be a very happy person. I can also add that my wife would be very unhappy also. Thanks for rescuing me.”

These words were the beginning of my first executive vice president (EVP) report to the Governing Council on July 7, 2008.

These past 13 years have passed very quickly. I would like to acknowledge and thank some of the wonderful people that have contributed to this period of my life and to relate some experiences and observations as ARPAS EVP.

Bill Baumgardt and Dick Frahm were first executive vice presidents of ARPAS. They provided the standards for this position and assisted in my orientation and continuing education program.

The FASS organization has provided many excellent administrative supporters for ARPAS during my tenure. The first was Susie Rahn, followed by Yvonna Vlach, Kelsey Grant, Cornicha Henderson, and Brittany Morstatter. Debi Seymour, Jeremy Holzner, and Jamie Ritter provided admirable interim support at several times in the past 13 years. The administrative support from FASS provides us with tracking of our financial and administrative records, correspondence, test preparation and grading, logistics and general communications with our members, and support for our executive committee. I thank all and especially Morstatter for her dedication and resourcefulness. She is the model for providing support of this organization and for me in my role with ARPAS. I also thank Holzner for his continuing leadership of FASS and support of ARPAS.

The first president that I served under was Darrell Johnson, who was tolerant and supportive of my slow metamorphosis from a former president of ARPAS to an employee of ARPAS. I do not know if he could have survived a whole year with me as EVP, as he was soon followed by our first madam president, Marit Arana. Although it was difficult for them to keep up the leadership pace, Arana was followed by Randy Shaver, Bill Brahman, John Wagner, Bill Sanchez, Mike Galyean, Jack Garrett, Bob Wetteman, Jeff DeFrain, John Bernard, Andy Cole, Al Kertz, and Daryl Kleinschmit. Beck will be spared my idiosyncrasies. I am grateful that none suggested it was about time for me to retire.

Other officers during my time as EVP of ARPAS were Secretaries Moe Bakke, Andy Cole, Ellen Jordan, and Randy Shaver; Treasurers Carl Hunt, Dale Hill, Keith Lusby, and Dana Tomlinson; and Editors in Chief of the ARPAS journal Wayne Kellogg and David Beede. Thanks to each of you for your support, dedication, and service to ARPAS.

I offer a special thanks to Steve Schmidt, who has served many years as the chairperson of the Examining Board, and to my fellow Purdue University graduate student classmate, Bill Price, for continuing service as our historian. I also want to thank the many ARPAS members who volunteered for service on our committees. I encourage the reader to view the committee member listing on our website.

Many things happened and some accomplishments were made in my 13 years. I will offer a few of my observations (in no particular order), which may differ in importance to others:

  • Coronavirus changed the world and the way we function as an organization. The cessation (temporary, I hope) of in-person events has been most disappointing and damaging to us, but we have found ways to cope.
  • The ARPAS Foundation was initiated and remains as a continuing source of financial support for specific activities.
  • The ARPAS “Distinguished Professional Animal Scientist Award” was begun and will continue to recognize some of our outstanding professional leaders.
  • Several new chapters were formed and continue to provide member engagement and support for ARPAS.
  • Major changes were made in our examination process to allow for remote testing. Without this enhancement, our membership process would not have been possible in the past 18 months.
  • Our journal publication process was enhanced through Elsevier, and our journal was renamed Applied Animal Science.
  • One disappointment was the end of joint meetings for our founding societies.
  • Enhanced services have been provided by FASS and allow us to better serve our members.
  • The consolidation of our industry has affected our financial position and our membership focus.
  • The aging of our membership is apparent, and filling those shoes and engaging new members will continue to be a challenge.
  • The disappearance of male dominance in our organization is welcomed and reflects the change seen by all colleges of agriculture and our industry.
  • Although we do not update our five-year strategic plan every five years, we have recognized its usefulness in guiding our organization. I encourage the initiation of that process to begin.

To those I have failed to acknowledge in this report, please forgive me. I will continue to be a cheerleader for ARPAS, in a less vocal position. My next phase of ARPAS membership will be initiated by paying my lifetime Emeritus dues.

Thanks for this opportunity.
Kenneth

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