ARPAS as an organization had a great year in 2013-2014. Thanks to our dedicated volunteer leadership, our FASS administrative liaison Jeremy Holzner and the FASS support staff, our members have been provided with an outstanding level of service.
The ARPAS leadership has sought new opportunities to enhance organizational objectives of certification, continuing education and adherence to our code of ethics while living within our financial constraints.
The code of ethics is a very important component of ARPAS membership. The wording of the code has been “modernized” since the inception of ARPAS in 1984. The Ethics Committee, chaired by the Midwest Director Joanne Knapp, is currently reviewing the code and changes will soon be presented to the Governing Council for review and approval. The 2014 ARPAS symposium at this meeting will focus on ethics in the Animal Sciences and bring additional focus to this important aspect of ARPAS certification.
Our PAS Journal continues to grow in stature and recognition by the Animal Science community. We are thankful for the leadership provided by our editor Wayne Kellogg and his cadre of associate editors, reviewers and the FASS publication staff. The continuing choice of “PAS” as a publication venue by our membership and their colleagues is essential to the growth and success of ARPAS.
The route to membership in ARPAS is by examination. One activity to increase membership was supported by the ARPAS Foundation. It funded the ARPAS examination fee for over 60 dairy “quiz bowl” students and graduate students during “2013 JAM”. We anticipate this Foundation activity will grow as we intend to offer this same program to ASAS and PSA students and graduate students as well.
The ARPAS Foundation, chaired by Past-President Bill Braman is now in its fifth year and assets have grown to over $125,000. Only earnings from the foundation assets can be used for educations endeavors, and all ARPAS members are encouraged to make regular a contribution to the Foundation.
Testing is essential to attaining membership in ARPAS. The examination committee consisting of chairperson Steve Schmidt, Mike Galyean, Marit Arana and Kenneth Cummings and supported by FASS staff members, reviewed the use of ARPAS exams as assessment tools for graduating seniors and presented their findings to the Governing Council at the mid-year meeting. A test program was authorized and one University will initiate an exploratory program with graduating seniors in the fall of 2014.
ARPAS now has the capability to offer all species exams online. Our ARPAS administrator Jeremy Holzner and the FASS IT staff tested various programs and submitted one to the Examination Committee for evaluation. The examination committee proposed using this software for online testing to the GC at our January 2014 meeting and it was approved. This was the first change in testing procedures implemented by ARPAS since our inception.
The American College of Animal Science (ACAS), the board certification entity of ARPAS, is slowly growing thanks to the leadership of President Randy Shaver (two years) and assisted by President-Elect Marit Arana and Secretary Dale Hill. Each of our six discipline areas is chaired by a board certified member of ARPAS and they encourage qualified ARPAS members to seek board certification. A change in the bylaws, approved by the GC and board certified members, will enhance the opportunity for those with a more diverse educational background to gain board certification.
ARPAS has not had a dues increase in a number of years. It became increasingly difficult to budget the activities of the organization from dues and sponsorship contributions without underspending on several budgeted item. Membership has not grown much and sponsors have been less generous or disappeared. To insure that our programs remain viable, a small increase in dues was approved at the GC meeting in July 2013. I am happy to report the increase created no adverse reaction from our membership. ARPAS is now on much firmer financial footing, thanks to our members and to the diligence of our treasurer, Carl Hunt.
The President-Elect of PAACO (Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization) is Dr. Terry Mader, our senior representative to that organization. Ted Friend and Frank Owsley are our other representatives. We greatly appreciate their participation on behalf of ARPAS. PAACO has gained international stature as certification organization for animal welfare and ARPAS is proud to have been one of its founders.
ARPAS continues to foster a relationship with the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science. This organization was founded in 2012 with our input and cooperation. A delegation was in attendance at the 2013 JAM and reported on the progress made by their organization.
In January, 2014, ARPAS entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Society of Animal Science to certify and assign credit to about 400 hours of their education videos and programs. This venture will provide animal scientists an alternative route for continuing education and may provide a source of revenue to both organizations.
ARPAS Chapters continue to play an important role in membership growth and member interaction. The California, Midwest and Northeast chapters each have more than 100 members and a delegate to the Governing Council. The Arkansas Chapter is in the process of reorganization and will encompass members from surrounding states. Hopefully, it will also reach the 100 member milestone.
The ARPAS Distinguished Professional Animal Scientist Award program has been in existence since 2008. We will have honored 20 of our past leaders with the recognition of Drs. William Olson, Gary Potter and Art Raun as the 2014 honorees during this meeting.
The Executive committee handles the interim business of ARPAS (between GC meetings). This committee has been ably headed by ARPAS President Mike Galyean and the business activity recorded by Secretary Ellen Jordan. Additional support was provided by Past-President Bill Sanchez, President–Elect Jack Garrett and Treasurer Carl Hunt. The Executive committee also has been supported by PAS Journal Editor Wayne Kellogg, Historian Bill Price and regional Directors Paul Beck, Joanne Knapp, Jud Heinrich and Dwain Bunting.
I wish to thank each and every one of these members for their outstanding service to ARPAS in 2013-2014.
Kenneth Cummings, Dipl. ACAN
Exec. VP, ARPAS