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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: College of Agriculture

Katie Burke named Assistant Professor

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Katie Burke recently moved into a new position within the department, going from instructor to assistant professor. In this new role, Burke is a 12-month faculty member with a 70% teaching, 30% research appointment. Burke will be specializing in strategic outreach regarding natural resources and conservation and giving natural resource professionals more tools to engage landowners.

“We’re excited to have Dr. Burke as an assistant professor with the agricultural communications and journalism program,” says Jason Ellis, communications and agricultural education department head. “This new role capitalizes on her talents and expertise beyond teaching, adding an emphasis in natural resource and environmental communication Extension work in Kansas.”

Congratulations, Dr. Burke!

Faculty changes

by Linda Gilmore

Lauri Baker will be leaving the department to work as an associate professor with the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (Center PIE) at the University of Florida. She will have a tenure home in their department of agricultural education and communications. Her last day with the department will be June 22 and she will be completing some special project work for K-State Research and Extension through August 3. Be sure to wish her the best in her new position.

 

Tiffany Rogers-Randolph will join our agricultural communications and journalism faculty as assistant professor starting July 1. She recently finished her doctorate at the University of Florida in agricultural education and communication and has a research interest in social online media’s use in agricultural storytelling and engagement.

ACJ/AgEd graduates 39 in spring 2019

by Rachel Waggie, agricultural education and communication master’s student

The Department of Communications and Agricultural Education graduated 29 undergraduates and 10 master’s students this spring. Agricultural communications spring class of 2019 includes Danielle Comstock, Bryanna Cook, MiK Fox, Leah Giess, Megan Green, Kyler Langvardt, Janelle Marney, Taylor Belle Matheny, Ashley McKenny, Sarah Moyer, Tarra Rotstein, Kelly Schrag and Kennedy St. George.

Agricultural education graduates include Rachel Bellar, Moriah Cobb, Sydney Cullison, Allyson Dorrell, Cassandra Ebert, Hannah Fry, Christina Hoffman, Caroline Howsden, Trent Johnson, Eric Koehlmoos, Ashley Lauinger, Savannah Pryor, Matthew Schick, Meghan Strassburg, Melissa Strassburg and Caitlyn Thompson.

Students graduating with a Master of Science in Agricultural Education and Communication include Mariah Bausch, Chelsea Bowen Whittle, Darcie Gallagher, Ernest Jones, Laura Miller, Deanna Reid, Kelsey Tully, Anna Williamson, Lauren Worley and Anissa Zagonel.

Congratulations, graduates! We are proud of you and wish you the best of luck.

K-State Open House a Success

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

ACT members created a “Launch into Aggieland” trivia game for Open House.

Perfect weather welcomed current and potential students and their families to the Manhattan campus to learn about majors, opportunities, and organizations at the 2019 All-University Open House. The event highlighted more than 250 majors and options and 475 student organizations available at K-State.

K-State agricultural education students were excited to promote their major.

Students and faculty from the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education joined in on the fun. The K-State Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow created and hosted a life-size version of the game Candyland, “Launch into Aggieland” trivia game, and gave away chocolate-covered soybeans. Agricultural Education club members designed and gave away T-shirts at the event as well. Allison Wakefield, a junior in agricultural communications and journalism, said, “The open house was a lot of fun. The ACT members enjoyed interacting with everyone and especially liked playing our Aggieland game with kids!”

 

K-State Ag Ed club members designed and gave away T-shirts to Open House attendees.

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.

Alumni match doubles scholarship donations

Doug and Sabrina Kruse have given a gift to create 15 matching scholarships in the College of Agriculture as part of the new K-State Family Scholarship Program. Doug graduated in 1988 with a degree in feed science and management.

This match means an individual, group of individuals or an organization can donate $30,000, and it will be matched with $30,000 from the Kruse contribution to form a college scholarship.

The Kruse K-State Family Scholarship will be used to match at least 15 new gifts for student scholarships. New gifts of $30,000 will be matched with $30,000 from the Kruses’ gift. $10,000 will go into an expendable scholarship fund, making $2,000 scholarships immediately available to students for up to five years. The remaining $50,000 will go into the endowment, ensuring future generations of Wildcats will receive scholarships as well. The $30,000 donation can be one lump sum or contributed in five annual contributions of $6,000. 
If you are interested in participating in the K-State Family Scholarship Program, visit www.ksufoundation.org/family for more information or contact John Morris, senior vice president of development, at 785-532-7587.

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.

Kansas State Welcomes World Food Prize Guests

By Kelsey Tully, agricultural education and communications master’s student

A group of international students and researchers from Cambodia and Senegal arrived in Manhattan, Kansas, on October 11 to begin their U.S. agricultural experience. Kansas State University’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) hosted the group before the World Food Prize events in Des Moines, Iowa.

While the international guests were in the Little Apple, the SIIL team provided a glimpse of Kansas agriculture in a variety of settings. Dan Devlin, director of the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE), set up farm tours for the SIIL group to see U.S. agriculture up close and in action.

Their first stop was River Creek Farms, which started in 1890. Brothers, Joe and Bob Mertz, discussed how they operate and manage the family farm using a crop and livestock integrated production system and the challenges that face U.S agriculture. This conversation posed an exciting opportunity for a bidirectional learning opportunity, where both native Kansans and international participants shared stories about different production practices used globally, including antibiotic use in livestock, livestock genetics, the use of GMOs, and the cost of farm products.

After a traditional U.S. lunch at Manhattan’s local Tallgrass Tap House, Devlin took the group to see the research side of Kansas agriculture – K-State’s agronomy department research plots. Elliot Carver, an agronomy doctoral student, led the tour. The plots are used to test multiple dimension of cover crop practices, and participants were able to discuss how Carver is applying his research to everyday farming questions and concerns.

Campus SIIL faculty and their colleagues from Cambodia and Senegal participated in a panel discussion on youth engagement and capacity building at the World Food Prize in Iowa on October 18.

 

Kelsey Tully is the social-media assistant for K-State’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.

Ulmer to be Honored at National FFA Meeting

By Linda Gilmore

Jon Ulmer, associate professor of agricultural education, was selected by the national FFA program to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree. This award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The Honorary American FFA Degree recognizes those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists. Ulmer will receive the award at the 2018 National FFA Convention and Expo during an onstage ceremony on Friday, Oct. 26, in Indianapolis. All recipients will receive a certificate and medal, and their names will be permanently recorded. Ulmer currently serves on the National FFA Board of Directors.

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)