Kansas State University


Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Category: December

Alumni Holiday Card Exchange

We wish you a beautiful and bright holiday season! Thank you to everyone who sent us a holiday message and photo. Be sure to send us updates throughout the new year. We love to hear about your families, career milestones and community involvement.

Audrey Vail Sinn

Audrey (Vail) Sinn ACJ ’06 lives in Reynolds, Nebraska, with her husband Brandon Sinn (K-State ASI ’04, DVM ’10) and sons, Ethan (3) and Eli (2). She works full time in the marketing department for Lambert Vet Supply in Fairbury, Nebraska. In her spare time, Audrey likes to cross-stitch, read, watch movies, and chase her boys around.

Mary Soukup

Mary (Geiger) Soukup ‘07 is an ACJ alumna. Soukup lives in Ellsworth, Kansas, with her husband Troy (K-State AGECON and ASI ‘04 alumnus) and their 4-month-old daughter, Sheridan. She works out of her home as an editor for Drovers CattleNetwork. Beyond working and spending time with her family, she enjoys running, working out with friends, cooking, and photography.

Audrey Young Monroe

Audrey Young Monroe

Audrey (Young) Monroe ’06 is an ACJ alumna. She currently lives in Olathe, Kansas, with her husband Billy and their newborn daughter Savanna. Beyond welcoming their daughter and niece into the world this year, Audrey and Billy also adopted a two-year-old lab/golden retriever mix named Kona.

Lana Swendson Barkman

Lana (Swendson) Barkman ‘13 was the first alumna of the Agricultural Education and Communications master’s program. She lives in Wamego, Kansas, with her husband Caleb (K-State ASI ’11) and their dogs Charlie, Gunner, Rex and Ruger. Lana works as the event coordinator for No-till on the Plains, a non-profit educational organization. She enjoys working out and playing with the beloved “Barkman Bunch.”

Maggie Martin Malson

Maggie (Martin) Malson ACJ ‘01 lives in Parma, Idaho, with her husband Josh (K-State ASI ‘01) and their children Mackenzie (11), Emma (8), Jayten (5) and Brynleigh (2). Maggie publishes Idaho Cattle Association’s magazine and is a freelance writer and photographer. Josh and Maggie help manage Malson Angus & Herefords, along with Josh’s family.

Matt and Jana (Culup) Splitter

Matt Splitter ACJ ’09 and Janna (Cullop) Splitter ACJ ’09 live in Lyons, Kansas, with their 15-month-old daughter, Laikyn. Matt is the owner/operator of their fifth generation farm. Janna recently transitioned home from her role in agricultural lending to assist with the farm accounting and payroll and care for their daughter. The Splitters are both very active in community organizations and in their spare time, enjoy traveling, working on their home and spending time with family.

Julia Stoskopf Debes

Julia (Stoskopf) Debes ACJ ‘07 moved home this fall to the family farm in Hoisington, Kansas, where she lives with her husband Josh (K-State Mechanical Engineering ‘06) and their almost-two-year-old daughter, Emaline. Julia started her own freelance company, North Homestead Communications. In addition to helping out on the farm, Josh and Julia are working to restore and expand their over-100-year-old farmhouse. Their card shows all of the places they have lived since graduating from K-State: Florida, Ohio, Washington D.C., and now back to Kansas.

Nichole Ely Gouldie

Nichole (Ely) Gouldie ACJ ‘10 lives in Inman, Kansas, with her husband Jake (K-State agricultural economics ‘09) and their 6-month-old daughter, Harper. Nichole is the communications specialist for MKC. The Gouldie family keeps busy spending time with family and friends and operating their club lamb business, Gouldie Club Lambs.


From Kansas to Kentucky

Story by Hannah Anderson, senior (AGED)

Each October, the Kansas State University agricultural education program selects students to travel to the National FFA Convention.​ These students represented the K-State Agricultural Education Club, the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, and the entire College of Agriculture.

College of Agriculture booth
Tyler Cates, Ashley Leer, Baylee Siemens and Kaitlyn Alanis were among the eight K-State Agricultural Education Club members at the National FFA Convention.

Continue reading “From Kansas to Kentucky”

An Irish Adventure in Sustainability

Story and photos by Brooke Harshaw, junior (ACJ)

Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are featured in Harry Potter.

During Thanksgiving break, I set off for Ireland with a group of fellow students to study agriculture, communications and culture. I was not sure what we would find, but I decided to focus my attention on how the Irish perceive the word sustainable. As I left Kansas, my definition of sustainability was very broad. It was simply this: to be able to feed the world. I made a note of how the Irish people we met along the way described the word in relation to agriculture. Continue reading “An Irish Adventure in Sustainability”

NACT Officers Attend NAFB Conference

Story by Briana Jacobus, senior (ACJ) and National ACT Member Relations Coordinator

NACT Officers at NAFB
K-State ACJ seniors Briana Jacobus (far left) and Maggie Seiler (far right) are both National ACT officers.

I am serving as a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Our team was elected at the Agricultural Media Summit (AMS) in August. Since then, we have been busy meeting via conference calls. On November 12-14, we attended the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) conference in Kansas City, Missouri. We bonded as team members, planned activities for the year and networked with professionals.

Continue reading “NACT Officers Attend NAFB Conference”

Tagged to Teach Ag

Story by Bridget Hoover, senior (ACJ)

A recent campaign aims to bring attention to the nationwide shortage of agricultural educators. This shortage includes the state of Kansas, home to 176 agricultural education programs. Shannon Washburn, agricultural education professor explains schools that previously did not have programs have added them, increasing the demand for teachers.

Hannah came from Illinois to tour the K-State agricultural education program.


Continue reading “Tagged to Teach Ag”