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Imagery in agriculture: ACT calendar project

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.

If there are any questions, email kstateact@gmail.com.

Lauri Baker presents at annual KSPA fall conference

By Allison Wakefield, agricultural communications and journalism junior

“Research isn’t just lab coats and chemicals,” said Lauri Baker, as she spoke at the annual Kansas Scholastic Press Association (KSPA) fall conference in the Kansas State University Student Union. 

Baker, associate professor of agricultural communications and journalism, explained to high school students the needs and benefits of conducting and distributing research. She introduced the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) and its research mission to help people conduct their businesses, especially in rural areas. Baker is a co-founder of the center.

Students received data from two research projects CREE conducted with K-State undergraduate students. Baker detailed the step-by-step process to conduct a quantitative content analysis looking at e-commerce sales in the horticulture industry, which included reading literature about online sales in advertising and related to e-commerce and developing a codebook that was reliable to gather data.

Baker presented the research gathered from the quantitative analysis. The students were amazed at the horticulture websites’ lack of accessibility. Of 498 horticulture businesses, only 19.2 percent were selling online and half of those companies did not have fully functional shopping cart systems for customer purchases.

During her presentation, Baker asked the students what they would want from an online plant-buying experience and compared it to the data collected from the focus groups, known as qualitative research. The groups ask potential consumers what they want from an online plant-buying experience, such as 360-degree video imaging and the use of more pictures.

The students listened to the challenges these businesses were facing and the improvements they could make from the research conducted.

Baker discussed how the millennial generation – those born between 1981 and 1997 – did not love the ideas that were created. She described how their findings helped business owners understand that potential customers wanted many resources when looking to purchase and care for a plant. She also mentioned the pitfalls of not having an engaging, high-quality 360-degree video for the focus groups to view the plants.

Focus group research confirmed that millennials prefer going into a business to purchase plants instead of buying online. It helped researchers understand and communicate to the businesses that they needed more deal pricing to get customers in the door.

The presentation concluded with Baker reiterating the importance of research and how it can help companies boost revenue. Several students said they were inspired by her presentation and asked Baker how to conduct their own research.

ACE/AMS Roundup

By Linda Gilmore

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.

Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and Agricultural Education club Participate in Watermelon Feed

By Leah Giess, agricultural communications and journalism senior

 

The annual Watermelon Feed, an event hosted by the College of Agriculture to celebrate the beginning of school, is a great way for students to interact with more than 35 agriculture clubs and organizations. The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) and the Agricultural Education clubs use this event to meet potential new members and inform them about ACT and professional development opportunities.

At the 2018 Watermelon Feed, ACT officers handed out ice pops and magnets to more than 40 students interested in learning more about the club. This year, ACT officers have scheduled professional development meetings and communications workshops. They provide opportunities to grow as communicators and connect with industry professionals. Social gatherings allow club members to have fun and create strong friendships.

ACT also provides opportunities for K-State students to get involved with committees, including a fundraiser committee and a high school critique and contest committee, which is an educational outreach fundraiser for the club. ACT encourages high school students to submit writing/graphic designs and photography to be judged for a prize.

Leah Giess (president), Mary Marsh (vice president of development), Janae McKinney (vice president of membership), Tarra Rotstein (secretary/treasurer), Katie Harbert (public relations officer), and Allison Wakefield (agriculture student council representative) make up the 2018-2019 ACT officer team.  

(Left to Right: Mary Marsh, Katie Harbert, Allison Wakefield, Tarra Rotstein, Leah Geiss, and Janae McKinney)

Commencement 2018

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

 

Commencement 2018 for agricultural education and agricultural communications and journalism undergraduate students took place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in Bramlage Coliseum.

Don Boggs, associate dean of academic programs, gave the introduction and recognition of faculty awards, while Shannon Washburn, assistant dean of academic programs, recognized graduates in the College of Agriculture with honors. The commencement address was given by Kansas State University President, Richard B. Meyers, and the student address to the graduates was given by Jeff Hadachek, an agricultural economics graduate. Department Head Jason Ellis ’98 presented degrees to our department graduates.

Agricultural education graduates include: Michael Adame, Matthew Anguiano, Ellen Blackwell, Paxton Boore, Mallory Burton, Cassie Campbell, Zachariah Cooper, Dane Cummings, Chelsey Figge, Wyatt Maurer, Michaela McKenzie, Ty Nienke, Josephine Reilly, Elizabeth Rogers, Baylee Siemens, Alexandra Walters, Caitlyn Wedel and James Weller.

Agricultural communications and journalism graduated include: Samantha Albers, Shaylee Arpin, Shannon Barry, Kelsie Beaudoin, Chelsie Calliham, Elizabeth Cooper, Ashley Fitzsimmons, Jacqueline Newland, Lauren Peterson, Karli Pryor, Hannah Schlapp, Jill Seiler and Chantelle Simon. 

From our graduate program, Randi J. Ernest received a master’s of science in agricultural education and communication at 1 p.m. Friday, May 11, in Bramlage Coliseum.

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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ACT hosts networking event

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

K-State ACT recently hosted a successful networking event for AGCOM students, alumni, and industry professionals. Despite the unideal weather on February 6, there were over 20 people in attendance at the event held in the Berney Family Welcome Center.

At the event, there were five industry professionals representing KSU Department of Animal Science, Kansas Wheat, K-State Research and Extension, Kansas Soybean Commission, and Kansas Farm Bureau.

Students mingle with alumni and other industry professionals at the Berney Family Welcome Center.

Senior ACJ student and ACT Officer, Sam Albers, says, “We had a really great turnout, which was awesome. Students were able to meet and connect with the professionals and build connections.”

An important aspect of this event was for students to improve their networking skills. The professionals first introduced themselves and then provided a networking tip that they use regularly.

Senior ACJ student Ashley Fitzsimmons who attended says, “This opportunity allowed me to brush up on my networking skills and converse with other industry professionals.”

CREE Welcomes Royalty

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.

Miss Rodeo Kansas 2018DeMott 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.

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Making Spring Break Memories

Story by Jackie Newland, sophomore (ACT)

Students view spring break as a time to relax and prepare for the remainder of the spring semester. For some, relaxation means travel and new experiences with lifetime friends made at K-State.

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The Oregon mountains – photo courtesy of Brooke Harshaw

 

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