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Published on Saturday, August 1, 2015

Executive Vice-President's Report

Kenneth Cummings, PAS, Dipl. ACAN, Exec. VP, ARPAS

The ARPAS leadership team and support staff continues to provide excellent service to our members. Our normal scope of activities include certification of members, evaluation of programs for continuing education, tracking of continuing education credits, and monitoring adherence to our code of ethics. In addition we continue to add those initiatives identified in our strategic plan to better serve our members and the animal science community. 

Your Executive Committee consisting of President Jack Garrett, Past-President Mike Galyean, President-Elect Bob Wetteman, Secretary Moe Bakke, Treasurer Carl Hunt, Editor Wayne Kellogg, and Exam Chair Steve Schmidt has met (by phone) several time in the past year. All have done a marvelous job in their respective roles to plan and direct the activities covered in this report. We are usually joined by our regional directors Joanne Knapp (Midwest), Paul Beck (Southeast), Dwain Bunting (West), and Jud Heinrichs (Northeast). Minutes of these meeting have been recorded by Secretary Bakke and assisted by Jeremy Holzner and Kelsey Grant, our FASS administrative assistants. The minutes of these meetings are available to our membership via our website.

Our viable college system, the American College of Animal Sciences (ACAS), with six discipline areas is growing. We again have almost 200 diplomates. John Bernard is currently serving as ACAS president and will report on the results of the recent election and the activities of ACAS. 

ARPAS is its second decade of supporting the Professional Animal Auditors Organization (PAACO). The organization has grown in scope and stature and is recognized internationally for leadership in certification of animal welfare auditors and audit instruments. We are represented on the PAACO board by ARPAS members Terry Mader, Frank Owsley, and Ted Friend. Mader is currently serving as board chair of PAACO. PAACO is in a significant transition period because long-serving executive director Mike Simkins is retiring and a replacement is being sought. 

Our memorandum of understanding with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) designates ARPAS to train and certify our members to become service providers for the Feed Management Component of Nutrient Management Plans. Several of our members (Joe Harrison, Randy Shaver, and others) have devoted time and talents to this program, and a number of ARPAS members are now certified. We have had little activity associated with this initiative in the past year.

Our memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science assisted them in the establishment of an ARPAS-type organization in that country. We will be hosting a delegation from that country during this meeting.

The ARPAS Foundation now has a substantial asset base and a board of directors chaired by Past-President Bill Sanchez. Its purpose is to grow the assets and provide the earnings for education activities of members and prospective members, especially graduate students. Thanks to the efforts of Past-President Bill Braman, the Foundation has provided the examination fee for more than 100 students and graduate students in the past year. Exams will again be offered during this meeting to qualified students at no cost to them. We welcome your monetary contributions and input for this foundation.

The ARPAS symposium, an integral part of the joint annual meeting program, has grown in attendance and features world-renowned speakers delivering relevant information for our members and guests. President-Elect Bob Wetteman organized this year’s educational event. The topic is “Reproductive Efficiency of Beef Cows—Current Status and New Technologies,” and it is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, at 9:30 a.m. 

We have now completed our eighth year of recognizing our “Distinguished Professional Animal Scientist.” This year’s recipients are David Ames and Lonnie Luther. Both previously served ARPAS in leadership positions at the national or chapter level. We have now accorded this honor to 21 of our past members in recognition of their service to ARPAS and to the profession of animal science.
Chapters have been vital parts of ARPAS for more than 20 years, some with more activities and members than others. We now have three chapters with greater than 50 members and another almost reaching that level. Chapters are essential to providing local representation and activities for all ARPAS members. I encourage all of you to be active in chapter activities and to promote chapter membership to other ARPAS members.

Membership-related issues dominate the activities of the ARPAS staff. Kelsey Grant became our membership services coordinator in early 2015. She will manage our membership database and oversee our examination and CEU tracking and reporting systems. She will also work on our newsletter and website. Jeremy Holzner, our previous coordinator, has assumed additional managerial responsibilities within FASS but will still be involved in some ARPAS-related activities. I want to personally thank Holzner for his outstanding contributions to ARPAS over the past three years. 

We have had minimal membership issues in the past year, which would indicate that we have diligent members, a great FASS staff, and a well-tuned systems. FASS staff members provide many valuable functions in addition to membership and examination functions. These include editorial, accounting and financial reporting, website, and database management. This group deserves recognition also.

Dwain Bunting chairs our Membership Committee and works closely with Grant and Holzner on membership tracking. Jud Heinrich and his Communications Committee are responsible for the ARPAS newsletter, which is our main vehicle for keeping our membership informed. Grant is indispensable in putting the finishing touches on this product.

My activities involve serving as a liaison between the ARPAS membership, the Executive Committee, and our FASS service group, communicating with members and prospective members (including international), orchestrating and participating in conference calls, reviewing the website, writing newsletter articles, updating brochures, preparing for meetings, administering exams, and evaluating conference and meeting agendas for CEU. I am honored to be a part of this professional organization.

Frequent communication with members of the Executive Committee and the leadership of ACAS is necessary to ensure that our organization is headed in the intended direction and accomplishing its goals. The Executive Committee, in concert with The Professional Animal Scientist (PAS) editor Kellogg and the FASS publications group, recently evaluated and accepted a proposal from publishing company Elsevier to establish a partnership for the publication of PAS. Elsevier will work with ARPAS to promote and extend the influence of PAS. Kellogg will report on this action during our Governing Council meeting.

Examination Chair Steve Schmidt and his committee are responsible for our examination database and our examination process. We now are fully capable of offering exams online, although we still use a paper-exam system for some situations where sufficient computers are not available. The database of questions is continually reviewed and updated to ensure that exams are relevant. Schmidt is always receptive to assistance with updating the database of examination questions.

We welcome our new treasurer, Dale Hill. He is replacing Carl Hunt, who served as treasurer for the past six years. Under Hunt’s watchful eye we have increased our reserves, added to the Foundation, and maintained a balanced budget. Thank you, Carl, for your service to ARPAS.

The treasurer’s report will verify that ARPAS continues to be in a sound financial condition with a reserve of almost 100% of annual expenditures. Along with our treasurer, I monitor the ARPAS budget and review ARPAS expenditures and investments. A vital part of our funding is our sponsor program. Paul Beck and his Sponsorship Committee have raised the level of contact with our sponsors. As a result, we are seeing consistent revenue, of which we are very appreciative.

Ethics is one of the critical three legs in the ARPAS stool. The Ethics Committee is chaired by Joanne Knapp. Her committee remains very active, although our ethics issues are minimal. Knapp and her committee have placed articles on ethics specific to our profession in several publication in the past year.

Meetings attended on behalf of ARPAS in 2014–2015 were Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, Tri-State Dairy Nutrition, Penn State Dairy Nutrition Workshop, Washington DC Chapter Mini-Symposium, PAACO board meeting, and the joint ADSA–ASAS meeting. ARPAS exams were given at some of these meetings, and sponsors were cultivated. 

Thanks to all ARPAS and ACAS members who give of their time to work on behalf of this organization. Thank you for allowing me to work with Garrett and the officers and Governing Council members of ARPAS and to be your representative for ARPAS to the world at large.

Kenneth R. Cummings, PAS, Dipl. ACAN
Executive Vice-President, ARPAS
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