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.
The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow were busy during the month of March with social activities and philanthropic efforts.
Officers hosted a “Paint Your Own Flower Pot” party for members to prepare for Spring. Students designed their own terracotta pots while enjoying snacks and sweets. All enjoyed a relaxing, fun evening while learning about upcoming events on the club’s schedule like K-State Open House, Ag Media Summit, NACTA Ag Media Team, and fundraising opportunities.
“During this social, I loved seeing how creative members got when designing their flower pots, while also being productive and hearing about our events,” says Leah Giess, ACT Officer.
In addition to social activities, members have also been busy working with the Flint Hills Breadbasket. Flint Hills Breadbasket’s mission is to minimize hunger and poverty through the distribution of available food and to nurture projects that will help alleviate hunger and poverty. As part of ACT’s philanthropic efforts, members design and prepare a newsletter for mailing. ACT member, Ashley Fitzsimmons designed the newsletter, and ACT members and officers prepared over 1,500 newsletters for distribution by tabbing and labeling.
“Our club loves supporting such an amazing organization that does so much for our community, and we enjoy getting to use our skills and knowledge to help them with their duties,” says Giess.
Although Amanda Tomlinson did not initially plan on a career in agricultural communications, the field has given her many opportunities.
Tomlinson has been working as an editor for the Publishing Unit in the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education for the past two years. She edits and publishes research reports created by Kansas State University faculty.
The faculty that she edits for receive research funds from the Kansas Agriculture Experiment Station, which include agricultural experiment stations located throughout the state. Before these faculty submit publications to outside journals and papers, she reviews the manuscripts to ensure correct formatting and grammar.
“My role is helping faculty get their message out there by editing, printing and publishing their work so that farmers, producers, and others can read the material,” says Tomlinson.
Six ACJ students and two advisors attended and participated in the 2018 National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) Professional Development Conference (PDC) held January 11-13 in Wooster, Ohio.
This year’s conference was hosted by The Ohio State University’s ACT organization and the theme was “Cultivating Communicators.”
During the conference, students took part in discussions about crisis communication and public relations event planning. Attendees were also able to tour Weaver Leather and Certified Angus Beef.
“It’s so wonderful seeing our members attend and engage in their first PDC and really reap the benefits of our national organization and the network it provides,” says K-State ACT President and fourth year ACJ student, Jill Seiler.
The next PDC will be in conjunction with the National Association for Farm Broadcaster’s Convention held in November 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri.
K-State’s Agricultural Communicator’s of Tomorrow (ACT) chapter is hosting its first Critique and Contest for Kansas high school students interested in photography, writing, and design.
The chapter is asking for ACJ alumni to help support the program through donations that would provide an award to the winners of each category to support their studies at K-State. Awards are planned to be $100 for each overall winner of the categories, which are open to all ages in high school.
The contest will be opened from January until March. Winners will be announced following spring break. For more information regarding sponsoring, please contact Audrey King at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Gaines, executive director of the Kansas FFA Foundation, experienced a change of heart her junior year of college. This occurrence was frightening at first, but allowed her to realize her true passion and started her on the track toward her current career.
“Follow your heart and your passions, they will take you where you need to go,” Gaines says.
Throughout her childhood and early college years, Gaines was solely interested in utilizing her Kansas State degree (’91) in agricultural communications and journalism for radio broadcasting.
“As a junior in college, I had an internship with a radio company and realized very quickly that was not what I wanted,” Gaines says.
Getting an opportunity to experience the reality of working in the radio industry allowed her to gain new insight and understand what to expect from a career in broadcasting. Although the internship caused her to drift from her original plan, it led her to her true passion within agricultural communications.
Communications and Agricultural Education students joined others across the College of Agriculture to discuss why diversity matters in the college. This student-led forum was standing-room-only in the Leadership Studies’ Town Hall.
The crowd included Dean John Floros, assistant and associate deans, department chairs, and faculty. Industry partners were also present like Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Cargill, and other stakeholders.
The discussion began with the statement, “Diversity is our reality. Inclusion is our goal.”
Two ACJ students, Bryanna Cook and Kyler Langvardt, were brave enough to speak out against hate and stand up for inclusion.
Cook, a junior ACJ student, spoke up saying, “We are a K-State family, and we need to act like it.”
Some faculty, staff and students of the department attended the KSUnity Walk on Tuesday, November 14 from 1-3 p.m. During the walk, participants came from their respective campus buildings and met on Anderson Hall’s lawn. Then, the KSUnite program took place. Participants heard a message of unity and steps that all K-Staters can take as the community moves forward to be an ever more inclusive campus.
Thoughts from department members that attended:
“I was impressed by the turnout of people that attended.” – Kelly Ingalsbe, accountant
“It was neat that despite the weather there was still a sizeable turnout of attendees.” – Audrey King, instructor
“It was a really awesome sight to see so many K-Staters in purple and on the lawn.” – Lori Buss, accountant
“K-State’s unity walk was a step in the right direction toward making everyone on campus feel like family. It was nice to see mobs of purple supporting the event.” – Dr. Katie Burke, instructor
The search for a permanent department head is well underway. The 13 person search committee has reviewed application materials from several qualified candidates and three individuals have been invited to interview – Dr. David Doerfert, Texas Tech University; Dr. Jason Ellis, Kansas State University; and Dr. Dwayne Cartmell, Oklahoma State University. Candidates will interview in late November and early December.
The full interview itineraries will be shared and posted to the department website as soon as they are finalized.
I will be the first to admit that I have no interest in broadcasting. However, somehow this print journalism-loving student found herself at the 2017 National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention in Kansas City Nov. 7-10.
As a senior that has been really involved in the department and ACT I have heard about the NAFB convention every year, but I refused to attend as I thought it was just for students interested in broadcasting. Four days of radio voices, fantastic speakers and excellent food (one day there was prime rib), helped me realize that NAFB is for everyone and that broadcasting plays an important role in communicating with agricultural producers.