Kansas State University

search

Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: Agricultural Communications and Journalism

K-State Meat Judging Team wins in Texas

On October 28, the Kansas State University Meat Judging Team brought home the first-place cup from the Cargill High Plains Meat Judging Contest in Friona, Texas. K-State won overall team as well as first place in beef grading, total beef and specifications. The team scored an impressive perfect score of 400 in specifications, a difficult feat that rarely happens.

K-State had three students place in the top 10 individuals. Twelve schools from across the nation competed at the Cargill contest.

The contest consists of placing 10 classes including beef, pork and lamb carcasses, two classes of beef cuts and two classes of pork cuts. Students also must write reasons on five of those classes, identify specification defects and quality and yield grade 15 beef carcasses.

Certain specifications are set by the USDA to ensure meat is similar by different companies. Contestants must know these specifications and identify any defects the cuts may have. Grading beef carcasses determines the value the carcass has to the consumer. In the contests, students grade the quality of carcasses based on the degree of marbling in the ribeye. Yield grades must be calculated to the nearest tenth while factoring in the carcass’s ribeye size, fat and weight.

Each part of the competition is timed, which forces students to be concise and accurate in their decision-making process. Along with decision-making skills, students gain knowledge of the meat industry and make connections with other students, professors and industry professionals.

“Achieving a perfect team specification score and being only the second K-State meat judging team to win Cargill made this contest the most memorable of this fall,” said Kaci Foraker, junior in agricultural communications and journalism. “This contest had some of the most challenging classes we had encountered all year. It was rewarding to have our hard work and long hours spent practicing pay off.”

The team competed in their final competition on November 11 at the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, Nebraska.

Travis O’Quinn, associate professor of animal sciences and industry, coaches the team. Members include: Cole Liggett, Dennison, Ohio; Grace Luebcke, Marysville, Kansas; Hannah Taylor, Arlington, Wisconsin; Kaci Foraker, Burrton, Kansas; Keayla Harr, Jeromesville, Ohio; Leah Parsons, Leavenworth, Kansas; and Sam Davis, Madison, Kansas.

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)

Student Spotlight: Ashley McKenny

By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communications master’s student

Ashley McKenny, a senior majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal science and industry with a marketing and communication option, spent her summer interning for Legacy Livestock Imaging. Legacy Livestock Imaging is based in Topeka, Kansas, and owned by Heidi and Charles Anderson. Heidi visited the Imagery in Agriculture class at Kansas State last spring to talk about her work, and McKenny was instantly interested in the summer internship opportunity at Legacy Livestock Imaging. She chose to apply because it combined two of her favorite things: livestock, especially show cattle, and photography. McKenny traveled to the Red Angus, Shorthorn, Hereford, and Limousin Junior national shows taking photos both in and out of the show ring, posting on social media, and sorting pictures after shows.

McKenny, who is working on growing her own photography business, says, “I really enjoyed my internship this summer. It gave me some great real-world experience and really taught me a lot about photography. It also taught me that photography is something I want to do in the future.” Though much of her summer was spent in the barn, she did get to explore other places like the National Mustard Museum in Madison, Wisconsin and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Horses and 4-H’ers: My Summer Experience

By Allison Wakefield, agricultural communications and journalism junior

 

When asked about my job at the Rock Springs 4-H Center, this Marc Anthony quote immediately comes to mind: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This summer, I was a member of the horse barn staff. I had been to Rock Springs as both a 4-H camper and counselor, but my experiences as a child and young adult were nothing compared to what I did this summer.

In June, more than 2,200 4-H’ers from all over Kansas visited the horse barn and got the chance learn about and ride horses. Rock Springs also hosted family reunions, company conferences, camps for hearing-impaired youth, and even a 4-H exchange group from Japan.

As an agricultural communications and journalism major, I was excited to improve my communications skills and learn how to teach and interact with a wide variety of audiences and quickly adapt to their learning abilities. I was challenged to give instructions to groups of people who didn’t speak English or could not hear me. It was extremely challenging, but also rewarding. Seeing a smile on a child’s face while riding a horse and knowing that I was part of a lifelong memory was inspiring.

My co-workers, both equine and human, were fun to work with. We endured a few long, hot days, but we stayed positive and happy. It was clear that I was working with people who loved the work as much as I did.

My favorite thing about this summer was being able to use my photography skills on the trails. I took photographs of numerous trails that other barn staff members and I had cleared for future trail riders. I am so glad I had the chance to capture friends and fun through a lens and help the 4-H center at the same time.

Helping many kids ride their first horse, watching them overcome their fears, learn about horses, and begin to love them affected me greatly. At the end of the summer, I realized that I may have left a small mark on Rock Springs, but Rock Springs left an even bigger mark on me, and I’ll never forget it.

Allison, a junior from Mound City, Kansas, is serving as the Ag Council Representative for the 2018-2019 K-State Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) chapter.

Student Spotlight: Kelsey Tully

Story by Deanna Reid, master’s student

Kelsey Tully, a Wichita native, is pursuing her master’s degree in agricultural education and communication. Tully graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2016 with a bachelor of science degree in animal science. As a graduate student, she works with Professor Jason Ellis on his research, and she is a teachingassistant for the Agricultural Business Communications class.

 

When asked why she is attending Kansas State, Tully stated, “I’m in graduate school because I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and be able to not only use my undergraduate degree but also be able to work hand-in-hand with farmers and ranchers.” Her thesis focuses on integrating new-media technology in extension as an educational tool.

 

Tully also works for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification at K-State where she helps with graphic design, webpage design and maintenance, and research.

 

She said, “I grew up in the city not knowing much about agriculture. But I have been very fortunate to work in many different settings with all kinds of livestock, from cattle to alpacas, and I have loved every minute! I look forward to finding a job in which I can keep learning and helping others.”

 

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.

Instructor Audrey King pursues Ph.D.

Story by Deanna Reid, master’s student

 

Agricultural communications and journalism instructor, Audrey King, is moving into the next phase of her educational journey and academic career. Audrey left K-State on June 15 to work on a Ph.D. in agricultural education at Oklahoma State University.

Audrey says leaving is bittersweet. “While I’m excited for the next chapter in my career, I know that it would not be possible without my experiences at K-State. I can’t thank the department and everyone in it enough for training me and developing my skills. I hope I can go on to make everyone proud,” she says.

Audrey’s love for teaching undergraduate students began at K-State and has inspired her to pursue a Ph.D. “I am so proud of each of my students and particularly the ACT Club for the hard work they put in all year long. I hope to continue to watch them grow from afar,” she says.

After graduating with her bachelor’s (2013) and master’s degrees (2016) from K-State, Audrey worked in the department assisting with research, advising undergraduate students, advising the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) club, and teaching agricultural communications and journalism courses this past academic year.