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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tagged to Teach Ag

Story by Deanna Reid, master’s student

The communications and agricultural education department hosted the “Tagged to Teach Ag” event on April 30. This event brought more than 250 FFA members from high schools across the state to the Manhattan campus to learn more about what it means to be an agricultural educator.

Current Kansas State University agricultural education students and faculty gave presentations about the program and future career options. Information about the agricultural education degree and other K-State programs was also available.

FFA members also enjoyed ice cream from Call Hall and fresh cookies from the grain science and industry department while they played interactive games, collected “ag swag” and prizes  and took photos with Willie the Wildcat at the “Tagged to Teach Ag” photo booth.

“We would like to give special thanks to the ag ed students, FFA advisors and presenters for making this a great event,” said Instructor Brandie Disberger, one of the event organizers. “We hope everyone considers teaching ag as a career!”

Outstanding seniors in the department

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

Each year, departments in the College of Agriculture select an outstanding graduating senior from each academic major. The Department of Communications and Agricultural Education chose Alex Walters from agricultural education and Jill Seiler from agricultural communications and journalism.

The award is based on academic achievement, department involvement, leadership roles and work experience related to their respective major.

Walters served as vice president of the K-State Agricultural Education Club. She also was a member of the Teach Ag Students of Kansas recruitment team, College of Agriculture Ambassadors and Sigma Alpha professional sorority. She completed internships with AgReliant Genetics and K-State Research and Extension in Scott City, Kansas. Most recently, Walters has been completing her teaching internship at Haven High School. Next fall, she will begin her role as an agricultural education teacher at Peabody-Burns High School.

Seiler served as president and vice president of the K-State Chapter of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) and currently is the National ACT vice president. Seiler was part of the editorial group for the spring 2018 issue of the Kansas State Agriculturist. She was also a member of National Agri-Marketing Team, College of Agriculture Ambassadors, dairy cattle judging team, and other organizations and teams. She has completed internships with Wisconsin Holstein Association, Kansas Dairy and Certified Angus Beef.

Congratulations to these seniors and all those who graduated in May. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Ag Ed Club members partake in service project

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

At the end of April, Agricultural Education Club members built and painted beehives to help the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) with a local service project for the Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education Farm. As part of National Volunteer Month, KDA employees worked with students to help save bees through the SAVE Farm located near Manhattan, which helps veterans and service members find a pathway to farming.

Club members volunteered more than 50 hours by painting and constructing beehives. The SAVE Farm will sell the beehives to increase the presence of bees for hobbyists or commercial businesses. Money from the beehives is used to hire veterans and support the rest of the SAVE Farm.

Beekeeping classes are offered for veterans, which give them hands-on training of the basic beekeeping culminating in harvesting and bottling honey. With the help of a U.S.  Department of Agriculture grant, the SAVE Farm plans to grow its apiaries to 500 colonies over the next two and a half years.

For more information, visit http://www.thesavefarm.org/.

ACT finds success at NACTA competition

Story by Deanna Reid, master’s student

On April 21, four members of the Kansas State University Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) club competed in the Agricultural Communications/Agricultural Sales contest at the 2018 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska.

This year’s contest topic was “Waters of the U.S.” All participating teams were required to prepare a communication plan, a presentation and take a test during the competition. Even though the K-State ACT club has not participated in the competition before,  they scored high in all aspects of the competition and placed second in the contest.

Their advisor, Audrey King, is proud of the students’ work. When asked about their performance during the competition, she said, “I think one of the things that made our team really strong is that it was comprised of students from different states who had unique views about water. They were also all in different class levels, which provided a good opportunity for them to mentor and learn from each other.”

Leah Geiss (’19), Chelsie Callaham (’18), Mary Marsh (’20), and Tarra Rottstein (’19) created an organization called the “Concerned Kansans for Water Rights” and presented their ideas on agricultural water use and conservation.

AGCOM 420 students participate in photography experience

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

Over spring break, 22 students traveled throughout Kansas to take pictures as part of an agricultural communications and journalism photography class. This is the first year the photography class was offered in our department to give students an applied photography experience in agriculture and natural resources. The photography tour was held March 17-20.

Students prepared for the trip by meeting each week to learn about photography and get accustomed to their own cameras.

During the tour, students explored cattle operations, farms, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, the Chase County State Lake, small businesses, small town downtown areas, and other outdoor venues.

The class displayed their work in a photography showcase in early April. Furthermore, University Printing will be printing calendars with all of the best photos from the class and will be available for purchase in the fall.

Western Kansas Youth Water Advocates Conference

 

 

Dr. Gaea (Wimmer) Hock (’03, ’06) assisted with the Western Kansas Youth Water Advocates Conference in Garden City, March 23–24.

This conference helps high school FFA members learn more about water issues and develop skills for advocating in their communities. Ten students from six FFA chapters participated in the event.

Dr. Hock taught sessions about considering the target audience and the basics of research. Melissa Poet (’17) and Russell Plaschka co-hosted this conference and served as mentors for students and sponsors for the event. Poet currently teaches agricultural education at Greeley County High School, and Plaschka serves as the Career and Workforce Development Specialist at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

 

 

CREE presents at Engagement Symposium

Dr. Lauri M. Baker and Dr. Cheryl Boyer, with the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE), presented their insights on communicating research to communities at the Engagement Symposium. This event was held at the K-State Student Union on April 12.

The event brought campus researchers together to share their insights and encourage the conversation on how to best address communities’ most pressing issues. It was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, the Center for Engagement and Community Development, and the Staley School of Leadership Studies. For more information on the event, you can visit http://www.k-state.edu/cecd/events/symposium/.

CREE executive directors, Baker and Boyer, shared their experiences on community engagement with a presentation titled, “Working with Rural Agricultural Businesses to Identify New and Social Media Needs”.

Baker and Boyer spoke about how they engage the community while making progress on research and addressing the communities’ needs. The two also highlighted their recommendations for growing involvement.

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Student organizations take part in university Open House

 

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

The Agricultural Education Club and the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) club each hosted a booth at the university-wide K-State Open House on Saturday, April 7. These booths were among many in the College of Agriculture (COA) “hub,” where several other agricultural student organizations hosted booths.

The weather wasn’t ideal, so the agricultural organizations’ booths were housed inside Waters Hall. However, it didn’t stop alumni, kids, or students from visiting campus for this fun weekend event.

The AgEd Club coordinated the COA Scavenger Hunt with the help of Matthew Schick, a junior in agricultural education, who spearheaded the event for the club. He gathered donations from 13 different organizations to sponsor over 300 printed t-shirts. Individuals who visited the booth and completed the scavenger hunt earned a free t-shirt, while student volunteers passed out scavenger hunt cards and t-shirts.

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Ag Ed Student Teacher Interns Participate in Professional Development

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

K-State agricultural education student teaching interns recently participated in two days of professional development for the Ag Ed Enhancing Pre-Service Instruction (EPIC) Experience sponsored by Kansas Corn Commission. Students were able to tour and talk with various production agricultural sectors in Garden City, Kansas.

During the tour, students:

  • visited Royal Farms Dairy and learned from Kyle Averhoff about the farm’s story, goals, and the role of corn in the dairy industry;
  • toured Bonanza Ethanol Plant, where Jeff Gilbert and colleagues spoke about the ethanol industry and their Garden City plant;
  • visited Reeve Cattle Co., where the Reeve family discussed their use of ethanol, feed distillers grains, and other corn feedstuffs in their cattle operation;
  • visited the K-State Research and Extension Southwest Research Station, where Dwane and Grace Roth, Mike Meyer, and Michael Kempke discussed water issues in southwest Kansas and emerging technologies for sustainable water use;
  • heard perspectives from individual corn producers, Russell Komlofske, Kyler Millershaski, and Jeff Mai;
  • visited Sublette High School agricultural education teacher, Will Johnson who shared advice for starting a new agricultural education program and beginning careers as educators;
  • and visited Cimarron High School agricultural education teacher Ryan Miller who spoke to students about the importance of positive community relationships to create successful agricultural education programs.

 

2018 New-Media Marketing Bootcamp

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) recently hosted the New-Media Marketing Bootcamp at the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas. Small and rural business owners, communication professionals, and K-State Research and Extension employees came together to build social media strategies, while learning new skills and creating content.

Attendees spent a day and a half in breakout sessions where they were guided through the steps to tell their organization narratives and plan content across multiple platforms. “One of the most difficult parts of running a business or serving your community through Extension is finding the time to do everything your job demands,” says Cassie Wandersee (’16), managing director. “At Boot Camp, we provide attendees the time and support to focus on their communications and marketing efforts without daily distractions.”

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