The 2018 Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) was held in Jacksonville, Florida. Graduate students, alumna, and faculty from our department attend SAAS to learn, network, and present their agricultural communications research.
The SAAS conference is a great opportunity for professionals in the agricultural industry and the educational field to come together to learn from each other and collaborate ways to improve the industry. The conference is divided into sections; agricultural communications is one of them. This networking event allows for other agricultural communicators to challenge each other to find more effective way of communicating the agricultural message.
During one of SAAS’s paper sessions, recent graduate, Courtney Boman (’17) and department head, Dr. Jason Ellis (’98) presented their research focusing on the “Measuring the influence of Twitter-based crisis communications strategies on brand reputation via experimental design.” The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement managing director, Cassie Wandersee (’16) and graduate professor, Dr. Lauri M. Baker presented their topic, “A quantitative assessment of possession rituals and engagement in Pinterest: An examination of the agricultural industry,” as well during this session.
Graduate students also had the opportunity to share their research findings at SAAS with a poster session and talking one-on-one with other professionals at the conference. Andres De Leon, Deanna Reid, and Kelsey Tully’s research focused on the “The Next Generation of Video Marketing: A qualitative study exploring the use of 360-degree video to market plants to millennials.”
Graduate student, Deanna Reid, says, “Attending SAAS was a great opportunity to meet other graduate students and agricultural communications professors. It was also neat to be able to put faces with the names on the articles and research I’ve been reading.”
Kansas State University and the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education was well represented at SAAS. These events give students the chance to explain and defend their research as well as learning from other academicians in the agricultural communications field.
The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) is advancing its mission through outreach and training events on marketing and communications for audiences throughout Kansas and beyond. These events range from webinars and Facebook live videos to seminars and the annual New-Media Marketing Boot Camp.
“We remain focused on empowering people to feel comfortable using new-media marketing tools. Whether it’s Facebook, a newsletter, or a blog, we want people to understand the platforms they working in,” says Cassie Wandersee (’16), managing director of CREE.
Recently, CREE collaborated with partner organizations to host several events and webinars.
One of these partnerships is with the Marketing Learning Community of the Association for Communications Excellence (ACE). CREE began working with ACE to host bi-monthly webinars that focus on training participants in communications theory and practice. During the last webinar, they discussed content strategy and planning for small businesses and service organizations.
CREE has also partnered with K-State Research and Extension. Dr. Cheryl Boyer and Wandersee presented on content strategy and communicating through multiple channels at the K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference in November. It is also working with Kansas Pride on an online seminar in January focused on launching e-commerce stores. This webinar will discuss the benefits, as well as the preparation needed, for creating an online store.
Mikhayla DeMott, the newly hired audience engagement specialist for the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE), serves many roles. Agricultural communicator, Kansas State University alumna, and Miss Rodeo Kansas.
DeMott understands the need to connect agricultural based, rural businesses to information and research on new-media technology. She will foster that connection in her position at the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement through event planning, client outreach, media relations, and content creation.
“I’m very excited to see CREE grow this year under the vision of our newly hired director, Cassie Wandersee, and staff,” DeMott says.
She graduated (’17) with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism with minors in mass communications and leadership studies from K-State. DeMott’s passion for agriculture was developed at a young age and still continues to grow. She grew up on a horse farm in Rio, Illinois, and discovered the joy in sharing the story of agriculture through rodeo.