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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: Agricultural Communications and Journalism

Congratulations to the K-State Livestock Judging Team

Agricultural communications and journalism student, Kaci Foraker, was part of the history-making K-State livestock judging team. For the first time in the long history of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the K-State Livestock Judging Team has been honored as the champion team overall in the intercollegiate judging contest. The team was first named champions in the beef, swine and oral reasons divisions. The final contest of the spring, the event draws to a close a spectacular first half of the season with much to look forward to this fall. The team is coached by Chris Mullinix and assisted by ASI senior, Payton Dahmer.

2019 K-State Livestock Judging team. Kaci Foraker, junior in agricultural communications and journalism, is a member of the team.

Team Results:

Champion Team Overall

High Team Swine

High Team Beef

High Team Oral Reasons

Third Sheep/Goats

Team Members include: Adrian Austin, Mt. Vernon, Ill.; Claire Bradbury, Winfield, Kan.; Cooper Carlisle, Ropesville, Texas; Kaylee Farmer, Nevada, Mo.; Kaci Foraker, Burrton, Kan.; Adrianna Gasper, North Vernon, Ind.; Keayla Harr, Jeromesville, Ohio; Cade Hibdon, Princeton, Kan.; Kaitlyn Hildebrand, Ohio, Ill.; Samuel Lawrence, Avilla, Ind.; Cole Liggett, Dennison, Ohio; Michael Loughridge, Chatsworth, Ga.; Megan Marion, Terre Haute, Ind.; Brady McComb, Pratt, Kan.; Justin Nofziger, Wauseon, Ohio; Hadley Schotte, Marysville, Kan.

Holcombe’s Career Celebrated at Retirement Party

Gloria Holcombe, long-time editor in the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, put away her red pen on Feb. 28. The publishing unit hosted a retirement party for her on Friday, March 1. Family, friends, and colleagues shared cake, punch, and stories. Steven Graham, former assistant to the dean, and Ernie Minton, interim dean and director, gave special remarks in honor of Gloria’s retirement. Dan Donnert presented Gloria a photo taken on one of their many road trips.

Gloria began her career with the College of Agriculture in the mid-1980s and served in a variety of roles. Her unique skills led her to being promoted quickly from secretary to office assistant to information writer for the Agricultural Experiment Station Editorial Office. She moved to the Department of Communications as a writer and editor in 1994 when communications staffs for the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service were combined. She coordinated the semiannual K-State Ag Report magazine and annual report to the Kansas Legislature, as well as collaborating on special projects for K-State Research and Extension and the College of Agriculture, including an integral role in the organization and implementation of the K-State Research and Extension annual conference.

She served as state representative for the Association for Communication Excellence, a professional organization for communicators. This organization recognized her talents by awarding multiple submissions over the years as top quality nationally. She has been recognized by receiving the Award of Excellence for publishing and graphic design in 2016 and the Service Award in 2008.

Gloria has also served on the K-State Faculty Senate and Faculty Senate committees.

The Department of Communications recognized her as employee of the year in 2007. She received K-State’s President’s Award of Excellence in 2015.

We wish Gloria all the best during her retirement.

Agricultural communications and journalism alumni survey

In January, an agricultural communications and journalism alumni survey was distributed through the alumni Facebook group to gather information about career paths our graduates follow, most valuable skills in agricultural communications and what upcoming graduates need in terms of scientific knowledge. The survey will guide curriculum changes and help faculty better communicate career possibilities with prospective students. Nearly 125 alumni have participated in the survey.

For those who have not yet seen the survey, we would love to hear from you. We plan to share findings from the survey in a future alumni newsletter.

 

Please use the link below to access the survey. It takes about 5 to 6 minutes and is voluntary and confidential, although we cannot guarantee anonymity due to the nature of some questions.

 

https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3IQWxDr1QBLWUnP

 

If you have questions, email Katie Burke ‘10, ‘15 at kjburke@ksu.edu.Thank you!

Levy Randolph to join the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Levy Randolph has been hired as an assistant professor in agricultural communications and journalism. He will join the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education this summer and begin teaching during the fall semester.

Randolph has degrees from California State University and the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication. He has experience as a conference facilitator for National FFA and owns and operates a video production company with his wife, Tiffany. He has taught multiple media production courses and business writing. His research agenda focuses on science communication through narratives

Randolph’s office will be located on the third floor of Umberger Hall.

Randolph Fills Open Agricultural Communications Professor Position

We’re pleased to announce that Levy Randolph will be our new assistant professor in agricultural communications and journalism. He will join the department in summer 2019 and begin teaching during the fall semester. 

Levy earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University in agricultural education and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication. Along with experience as a conference facilitator for National FFA, he and his wife Tiffany own and operate a video production company. He has taught multiple media production courses and business writing. His research agenda focuses on science communication through narratives. We look forward to his arrival and having a full faculty.

His office will be located on the third floor of Umberger Hall.

 

Richard Baker Retires

To hear Richard tell it, he became a broadcaster because a fraternity brother told him he should get into the media business because he likes to talk.

With those inspiring words, Richard set off on his quest, studying at K-State and working at several radio stations across Kansas in the 1960s and 70s. He was running a black radio station in Omaha when legendary K-State broadcaster Ralph Titus called him looking for a new news director at KSAC, the college’s radio station that would later become KKSU. Richard ran the news operation for the radio station from 1977 until 2002, when the university lost the station, to the regret of many. At that point, Richard was offered the opportunity by our former department head to transition to teaching agricultural communications, which he did from 2002 until this week.

Throughout his four decades at K-State, Richard also produced a weekly interview program called Perspective. His original charge was to share information that people would not otherwise have easy access to, so for decades, Richard has hosted a wide array of thought-provoking authors on topics from astrophysics to xenophobia.

Whether working by serving the Kansas listening audience or working with students, Richard has held to – and taught – his personal ethics of fact-based reporting, fairness, quality and transparency. He’s never been afraid to ask the tough questions – and as a good journalist, he actually relishes those moments. Iron sharpens iron, and Richard, to his credit, helped many a colleague and student sharpen their skills and thinking.

The department thanks Richard for his four decades of service at Kansas State University!

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.