Story by Chelsie Calliham, ACJ
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.
“It all started with rodeo,” DeMott says. “My sister and I taught youth rodeo camps in high school and that is where I found my interest in teaching agriculture.”
Her interest in rodeo and agriculture led DeMott to K-State where she knew the College of Agriculture was “the perfect fit for her” because of the exciting atmosphere in the department, the opportunity to continue to rodeo, and the feeling of belonging to a family.
DeMott’s rodeo experience combined with her communications background gave her the competitive edge when vying for the Miss Rodeo Kansas 2018 title, her most recent accomplishment.
“Being Miss Rodeo Kansas has always been a dream and goal of mine,” DeMott says. “I am so honored and I look forward to representing professional rodeo and agriculture throughout the state and across the country.”
Mikhayla attributed her success in the Miss Rodeo Kansas competition to the communication skills she gained at K-State.
“My studies at K-State give me an excellent platform,” Mikhayla says. “Being an agricultural communicator and Miss Rodeo Kansas go hand in hand.”
CREE is housed in The Department of Communications and Agricultural Education and works with small, rural businesses. CREE’s objectives are to generate research-based knowledge related to new-media technologies and rural enterprises while offering hands-on research experiences for graduate and undergraduate students in an effort to serve as a source for local, regional, and national rural enterprises and others involved in improving rural life.