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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

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Internship highlight – Zach Callaghan

by Zach Callaghan, agricultural education student

This summer, I worked as an Educational Program Assistant at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan. In this role, I primarily spent my time teaching elementary and middle school students during weekly summer camps. Each week was centered around a different theme and focused on teaching the science of animals, nature, and environmental conservation. As a future high school agriculture teacher, this experience helped to build and improve my pedagogical skills by providing opportunities to write curriculum and manage my own classroom. I would definitely recommend this experienceto other Agricultural Education students as it is a great outlet to practice teaching and the curriculum can easily relate to agriculture. With only one semester left until I begin my student teaching experience, I am grateful to have had this opportunity to work with students and teach them a little bit about agriculture along the way!

 

Many wins for students at Ag Media Summit

by Katie Burke, assistant professor in agricultural communications and journalism

Eight students from the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) Kansas State chapter attended the Ag Media Summit in Minneapolis this July. In addition to gaining knowledge from conference sessions, students received numerous awards and recognitions from National ACT. The club won Chapter of the Year for the third year in a row, Janae McKinney (senior in agricultural communications and journalism) was one of the AAEA scholarship winners, and Katherine Wist (senior in agricultural communications and journalism) was elected to the National ACT Officer Team. The K-State club also came back with several Critique and Contest awards: the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine (Fall 2018 issue) won first place in the Publication Division; Katherine Wist won first place in the Infographic Division and placed in three additional divisions; and Mary Marsh (senior in agricultural communications and journalism) won first place in the Short Feature Writing Division. “Kansas State ACT was awarded NACT Chapter of the Year … for their excellence in leadership, education, community service, social activities, and fundraising,” says the NACT Facebook page.

K-State agricultural education earns national recognition

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

The National Association of Agricultural Educators recently recognized K-State’s agricultural education program as Region II’s Outstanding Post Secondary Agricultural Program. The agricultural education faculty includes Brandie Disberger, Gaea Hock and Jon Ulmer. Congratulations on this well-deserved award.

Internship highlight: Mary Marsh

by Mary Marsh, agricultural communication and journalism student

 

For my final summer of college, I decided to go home to California and get a job close to home. This summer, I am working as a field inspector for the California Crop Improvement Association. I am checking sunflower fields in my home county of Colusa. My role is to go to the sunflower fields around the county and make reports about what I see to make sure the crop is high quality, since these flowers are going to be harvested for seed.

I do three inspections throughout the growing season. My initial check is pre-bloom when the buds are just beginning to form. I look for different weeds in the field and for different varieties of sunflowers that may have grown in the field or within a mile to two-mile radius. Although it is not in the job description, I also keep an eye out for different pests causing problems in the sunflowers. During the two bloom checks, I walk out into the field and make sure there are no off-varieties that might affect the quality of seed. Being in the field is important to me, this job is all about getting in the thick of the sunflower action. I have about 90 fields to check around my county. Needless to say, I have been busy and have learned quite a bit about sunflower production!

Although my job is heavily focused on agronomy, I have found ways to keep my communication skills polished. I have brought my camera along with me and have made it my goal to document the various maturity stages in my fields. I also get to interact with agronomists and growers occasionally. So far, I have noticed a growing confidence in talking about field crops since taking this internship.

This job has allowed me to see more of my county and learn a whole new commodity. I will be a stronger communicator because of this hands-on experience in production agriculture.

Congratulations to Dr. Minton

by Linda Gilmore

 

A familiar face will be leading the Kansas State University College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension into the future. Ernie Minton, interim dean and K-State Research and Extension director, has been appointed to the posts following a national search.

Minton’s appointment, effective June 16, was made by Charles Taber, university provost and executive vice president.

“The College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension are central to achieving our land-grant mission, and it is important we have balance and stability in this time of change,” Taber said.

“Based on his years of steady leadership as interim dean and director and associate dean and associate director, Dr. Minton is the right leader for the College and KSRE at this time,” Taber said. As the college dean and K-State Research and Extension director, Minton is charged with advancing both on a variety of fronts, including program development; faculty and student development; research, teaching and extension; program accreditation; and the college’s and university’s goals in K-State’s visionary 2025 plan.

The full announcement can be found at https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2019-06/newdean61919.html

CASE-Agriscience Plant Institute conference hosted on campus

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

 

Twenty-three teachers from 10 states gathered on the K-State campus for the “Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education – Plant Institute,” June 16-21. This fast-track course is a professional development training leading to course certification. CASE Institutes provide teachers with 50 to 100 hours of hands-on instruction related to a specific year-long CASE course. Fast-track CASE Institutes are condensed trainings focusing on lab instruction. Topics covered during this CASE included soil texture, plant reproductive structures, and plant pigments. At the end of the week, these 23 agriculture education professionals were fully certified in CASE Agriscience-Plant. We love hosting these events and spreading K-State purple across the country!

Hock, Rogers-Randolph honored at NACTA conference

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

 

Drs. Gaea Hock and Tiffany Rogers-Randolph received awards at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Conference in Twin Falls, Idaho, June 18-21. Hock was awarded the NACTA Educator Award while Rogers-Randolph received the NACTA Graduate Teaching Award. Both awards require an extensive application and review process.

 

Spring capstone class works with alumni

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

In the spring 2019 agricultural communications capstone class, teams of two paired with alumni clients to create a strategic communication plan related to a work project of their client. Students worked with Jesse McCurry (’00), Kansas Grain Sorghum; Robin Kleine (’12), Focus Marketing Group; Nicole Crosson (’13), Wyandotte County 4-H youth development extension agent; Jessica Bowser (’03), USDA rural development; and Maggie Seiler (’15), Hoard’s Dairyman.

“This class brought together all of the elements that I learned about throughout my collegiate career,” spring graduate MiK Fox says. “Delving into the background about a company or campaign, unpacking problems and possible solutions and learning the various strategies and tactics necessary for the creation of a campaign that encompassed all of the qualities needed for a successful campaign will help me in my future. Being able to see the real world implications throughout the class has helped to bring what I learned in the classroom into fruition in the real world.”

“The class helped them think critically and strategically about audience analysis and modes of communication,” Dr. Katie Burke remarks. “The alumni were great to work with, too!”

Fall 2018 Agriculturist earns national award

Congratulations to the fall 2018 Agriculturist editorial staff on being awarded top student publication at the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association competition in Louisiana June 10-13. View the publication here.

 

 

Faculty changes

by Linda Gilmore

Lauri Baker will be leaving the department to work as an associate professor with the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (Center PIE) at the University of Florida. She will have a tenure home in their department of agricultural education and communications. Her last day with the department will be June 22 and she will be completing some special project work for K-State Research and Extension through August 3. Be sure to wish her the best in her new position.

 

Tiffany Rogers-Randolph will join our agricultural communications and journalism faculty as assistant professor starting July 1. She recently finished her doctorate at the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication and has a research interest in social online media’s use in agricultural storytelling and engagement.