In January, an agricultural communications and journalism alumni survey was distributed through the alumni Facebook group to gather information about career paths our graduates follow, most valuable skills in agricultural communications and what upcoming graduates need in terms of scientific knowledge. The survey will guide curriculum changes and help faculty better communicate career possibilities with prospective students. Nearly 125 alumni have participated in the survey.
For those who have not yet seen the survey, we would love to hear from you. We plan to share findings from the survey in a future alumni newsletter.
Please use the link below to access the survey. It takes about 5 to 6 minutes and is voluntary and confidential, although we cannot guarantee anonymity due to the nature of some questions.
Levy Randolph has been hired as an assistant professor in agricultural communications and journalism. He will join the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education this summer and begin teaching during the fall semester.
Randolph has degrees from California State University and the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication. He has experience as a conference facilitator for National FFA and owns and operates a video production company with his wife, Tiffany. He has taught multiple media production courses and business writing. His research agenda focuses on science communication through narratives
Randolph’s office will be located on the third floor of Umberger Hall.
The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement hosted its third annual new-media marketing conference, the Insight Summit. The conference featured topics related to new-media marketing, including storytelling across platforms, basic and advanced analytics, social media strategy, visual content, e-newsletters, and selling online.
The 2019 Insight Summit differed from past events by hosting agricultural communicators and researchers from across the country to present recent research to participants. Academic researchers included: Courtney Meyers, faculty at Texas Tech University and 2003 K-State agricultural communications and journalism alumna; Angie Lindsey, faculty at the University of Florida; and Shuyang Qu, faculty at Iowa State University. Graduate student researchers included Deanna Reid, K-State; Levy Randolph, University of Florida; Brittany Bowman, Oklahoma State University; and Maggie Elliot, Texas Tech University.
The center is a unique resource for rural and agricultural businesses because of its interdisciplinary partnership of founders: Lauri M. Baker, agricultural communications and journalism; Cheryl R. Boyer, horticulture; and Hikaru H. Peterson, agricultural economics. CREE is an institutional collaboration between K-State and the University of Minnesota.
Additional team members include Allison Wakefield, intern and current ACJ student, and Mikhayla DeMott, audience engagement specialist and 2017 ACJ alumna.
The Insight Summit, previously known as the New-Media Marketing Boot Camp, was February 12 and 13 at the K-State Alumni Center.
By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student
Agricultural education and communication graduate students attended the 2019 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) in Birmingham, Alabama, February 3–4, 2019. Students Anissa Zagonel, Mariah Bausch, and Kelsey Tully along with faculty sponsor Lauri Baker presented papers and posters focused on current research and professional development. Bausch and Baker’s poster titled “Student perspectives of agricultural communications research” won second place in the poster competition. The paper by Rumble, Wu, Tully, Ruth, Ellis, and Lamm titled “A mixed-methods comparison of self-reported and conversational trust in science” placed second among academic paper presentations.
Papers presented included:
Beyond the post: Equine operators’ communication processes for conservation practices
Anissa Zagonel, Lauri Baker, Shelly Ingram, Jon Ulmer, and Joann Kouba, Kansas State University
Student perspectives of agricultural communications undergraduate research
Mariah Bausch and Lauri Baker, Kansas State University
A mixed-methods comparison of self-reported and conversational trust in science
Joy Rumble, Yu Lun Wu, The Ohio State University; Kelsey Tully, Kansas State University; Taylor Ruth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jason Ellis, Kansas State University; and Alexa Lamm, University of Georgia
How consumers contrast and assimilate information about agricultural biotechnology
Taylor Ruth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Joy Rumble, The Ohio State University; Alexa Lamm, University of Georgia; Jason Ellis, Kansas State University
Coauthor network analysis of Journal of Applied Communications articles from 2008 to 2017
Audrey King ’13, ’16 and Quisto Settle, Kansas State University
Professional Development Session presentations included:
What are reviewers looking for?
Quisto Settle, Oklahoma State University; Lauri Baker, Kansas State University
Posters presented included:
Scholarship in action: Student perspectives of undergraduate research in agricultural communications
Mariah Bausch and Lauri Baker, Kansas State University
Communicating through chaos: A quantitative content analysis investigating the prepared responses of articles about zoonotic disease on the CDC and USDA websites
Topanga McBride, Lauri Baker, and Mariah Bausch, Kansas State University; Angela Lindsey, University of Florida
We’re pleased to announce that Levy Randolph will be our new assistant professor in agricultural communications and journalism. He will join the department in summer 2019 and begin teaching during the fall semester.
Levy earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University in agricultural education and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication. Along with experience as a conference facilitator for National FFA, he and his wife Tiffany own and operate a video production company. He has taught multiple media production courses and business writing. His research agenda focuses on science communication through narratives. We look forward to his arrival and having a full faculty.
His office will be located on the third floor of Umberger Hall.
To hear Richard tell it, he became a broadcaster because a fraternity brother told him he should get into the media business because he likes to talk.
With those inspiring words, Richard set off on his quest, studying at K-State and working at several radio stations across Kansas in the 1960s and 70s. He was running a black radio station in Omaha when legendary K-State broadcaster Ralph Titus called him looking for a new news director at KSAC, the college’s radio station that would later become KKSU. Richard ran the news operation for the radio station from 1977 until 2002, when the university lost the station, to the regret of many. At that point, Richard was offered the opportunity by our former department head to transition to teaching agricultural communications, which he did from 2002 until this week.
Throughout his four decades at K-State, Richard also produced a weekly interview program called Perspective. His original charge was to share information that people would not otherwise have easy access to, so for decades, Richard has hosted a wide array of thought-provoking authors on topics from astrophysics to xenophobia.
Whether working by serving the Kansas listening audience or working with students, Richard has held to – and taught – his personal ethics of fact-based reporting, fairness, quality and transparency. He’s never been afraid to ask the tough questions – and as a good journalist, he actually relishes those moments. Iron sharpens iron, and Richard, to his credit, helped many a colleague and student sharpen their skills and thinking.
The department thanks Richard for his four decades of service at Kansas State University!
By Rachel Waggie, agricultural communications master’s student
Kansas State University hosted its second annual Science Communication Week Nov. 5–10, 2018. The Nov. 8 graduate student poster session focused on “Research and the State.” About 50 K-State graduate students, representing five academic colleges and 25 graduate programs, presented research posters. Approximately 17 presenters were from the College of Agriculture, two were from the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education. Mariah Bausch and Anissa Zagonel presented posters titled “Undergraduate Research Perceptions in Agricultural Communications” and “Printing and Mailing for the Brand: An Exploratory Qualitative Study Seeking to Understand Internal Branding and Marketing within University and Extension Communication Services Units,” respectively.
Experiences such as these are great chances for graduate students to present research in a more relaxed setting. “Opportunities like these are helpful for me to practice communicating my research, as well as learning from other disciplines,” says Zagonel, a second-year master’s student from Girard, Kansas. “Additionally, during this poster session, I enjoyed connecting with other graduate students from across campus.”
Both students presented their posters to a panel of judges, as well as other students and interested individuals, for the chance to earn a spot at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit hosted in Topeka this coming February.
Other events throughout the week included communications workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and other activities to engage graduate students across campus.
By Leah Geiss, agricultural communications and journalism senior
The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) club has implemented a 2019 calendar sale into their fundraising efforts. Calendar proceeds will help support chapter professional development and travel opportunities.
Calendar photos were taken by agricultural communications and journalism (ACJ) students during in AGCOM 420, Imagery in Agriculture class. Audrey King ’13, ’16 taught this class in the 2018 spring semester. Many ACT members were in the class and wanted to create a calendar to showcase student photography.
“The class was such a great learning experience and helped me really understand the basics of photography,” says Leah Giess, ACT president. “Many ACJ students thrived in the class and took such beautiful photos, so as a club, we decided we needed to share that with everyone.”
Katelyn Harbert, agricultural communications and journalism student, headed the calendar creation process.
“Designing the calendar was an excellent opportunity for using skills learned in the classroom in a real-world situation,” Harbert says. “Gaining this experience while helping support our club has been wonderful, and I am excited to see the project come to fruition.”
For those interested in purchasing a 2019 ACT calendar, the price is $15. Copies will be ready for distribution by December 12. Payments can be made in cash, check or by credit card in person in 301 Umberger Hall. Checks can be made out to Kansas State University ACT and mailed to 1612 Claflin Road, 301 Umberger Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506. For credit card payments, call (785) 532-5804. Use this link for online orders: https://goo.gl/forms/v3jIbQsvXE9MUW4U2.
By Kelsey Tully, agricultural education and communications master’s student
A group of international students and researchers from Cambodia and Senegal arrived in Manhattan, Kansas, on October 11 to begin their U.S. agricultural experience. Kansas State University’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) hosted the group before the World Food Prize events in Des Moines, Iowa.
While the international guests were in the Little Apple, the SIIL team provided a glimpse of Kansas agriculture in a variety of settings. Dan Devlin, director of the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE), set up farm tours for the SIIL group to see U.S. agriculture up close and in action.
Their first stop was River Creek Farms, which started in 1890. Brothers, Joe and Bob Mertz, discussed how they operate and manage the family farm using a crop and livestock integrated production system and the challenges that face U.S agriculture. This conversation posed an exciting opportunity for a bidirectional learning opportunity, where both native Kansans and international participants shared stories about different production practices used globally, including antibiotic use in livestock, livestock genetics, the use of GMOs, and the cost of farm products.
After a traditional U.S. lunch at Manhattan’s local Tallgrass Tap House, Devlin took the group to see the research side of Kansas agriculture – K-State’s agronomy department research plots. Elliot Carver, an agronomy doctoral student, led the tour. The plots are used to test multiple dimension of cover crop practices, and participants were able to discuss how Carver is applying his research to everyday farming questions and concerns.
Campus SIIL faculty and their colleagues from Cambodia and Senegal participated in a panel discussion on youth engagement and capacity building at the World Food Prize in Iowa on October 18.
Kelsey Tully is the social-media assistant for K-State’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.
Faculty, staff, and students from the department attended the combined Association for Communication Excellence and Agricultural Media Summit (ACE/AMS) conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, August 4-8. Several department members presented sessions: Linda Gilmore, with Dr. Quisto Settle from Oklahoma State University, presented “Turn ‘Me’ Time into Productive Time.” Cassie Wandersee ’12, ’16 presented “Advanced Facebook Analytics,” “Building a Program Assessment Tool in Qualtrics,” and “Proving Your Worth Through Effective Social Media Metric Reporting.” Jason Hackett presented “Podcasting 101: A Direct Route to Your Audiences Through Audio.” Audrey King, Lauri Baker, and Anissa Zagonel, along with Kris Boone, Ohio State University, presented “What is Today’s Story? Exploring the Land-grant Mission Through Story Circles.” Jason Ellis ‘98 and Donna Sheffield also attended the conference.
Members of the department won a Silver Award in the ACE Critique and Awards Contest for the 2018 College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension Annual Report: Driving Force for Change marketing communications campaign. Those who worked on the project and are included in the award: ACE members Gloria Holcombe, Jason Hackett, Brad Beckman, Mark Stadtlander, and Amy Hartman; and non-ACE members Megan Macy, Dan Donnert, Mary Lou Peter ‘79, Jeff Wichman, Eric Atkinson, Phylicia Mau, Pat Melgares, and Randall Kowalik.
Donna Sheffield and Lauri Baker attended the ACE Board of Directors meeting. Donna is the Development Director and served on the conference committee as co-chair of the sponsorship committee. Lauri is the Research Director.
Gloria Holcombe received her 20-year certificate for ACE membership.
Several students also attended and participated in ACT activities. The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) club was awarded Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row. This is a national ACT award. ACT adviser Audrey King praised the club saying, “The girls worked so hard this past year, but I know we all had a great time while doing it. Each and every one of these women will go on to do amazing things. I am so humbled and grateful to have a tiny part in their stories.”
In addition to the club award, Jill Seiler was one of four national Past President’s Scholarship recipients and was recognized at AMS. The scholarship is funded by the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation and in part by CoBank. Sarah Moyer was a finalist for the Forrest Bassford award through the Livestock Publications Council.
Students who attended AMS included: Undergrads: Janae McKinney, Mary Marsh, Leah Giess, Mikey Hughes, Sarah Moyer, and Tarra Rotstein; Graduate students: Rachel Waggie; and Spring 2018 recent graduates: Jill Seiler and Chelsie Calliham. Audrey King ‘09 and Katie Burke ’10, ‘15 represented them as advisers.