by Katie Burke, assistant professor in agricultural communications and journalism
Eight students from the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) Kansas State chapter attended the Ag Media Summit in Minneapolis this July. In addition to gaining knowledge from conference sessions, students received numerous awards and recognitions from National ACT. The club won Chapter of the Year for the third year in a row, Janae McKinney (senior in agricultural communications and journalism) was one of the AAEA scholarship winners, and Katherine Wist (senior in agricultural communications and journalism) was elected to the National ACT Officer Team. The K-State club also came back with several Critique and Contest awards: the Kansas State Agriculturist magazine (Fall 2018 issue) won first place in the Publication Division; Katherine Wist won first place in the Infographic Division and placed in three additional divisions; and Mary Marsh (senior in agricultural communications and journalism) won first place in the Short Feature Writing Division. “Kansas State ACT was awarded NACT Chapter of the Year … for their excellence in leadership, education, community service, social activities, and fundraising,” says the NACT Facebook page.
By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Jill Seiler, senior in agricultural communication and journalism (ACJ), has been involved in Kansas State University’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), a club for ACJ students, for four years, holding an officer position for three years.
“Since freshman year, I’ve been involved with ACT. It’s definitely been the place where I’ve put my energy during college,” says Seiler. “I’ve seen the value from the very beginning of my college career, whether it was meeting industry professionals or getting to meet other fabulous students. There are awesome people in ACT, which is why I’m involved.”
At the local level, Seiler has been the Public Relations Director, Vice President of Development and is currently the President of K-State’s ACT. She says that it’s been a great way to take on a leadership role in college. In high school, she was very involved in activities and coming into college she felt like she needed something to continue practicing her leadership.
“I’m definitely a different leader now than I was then,” says Seiler. “I enjoy being able to give back to the organization and to see how things change from year to year.”
Seiler says the reason she ran for president because she feels like she has many ideas to contribute to the organization and wants students to gain skills through ACT that they can use to succeed in industry. Whether students attend a photography workshop and learn how to take better photos or network and meet potential employers for internships and careers, Seiler hopes students gain skills they might not be able to get in the classroom and go on and succeed in life.
“We’ve had a legacy of being a very prestigious chapter,” says Seiler. “I want to be part of continuing that tradition and getting freshman, sophomores, juniors and transfers alike excited about our major and club. I believe this club can augment and work parallel with our major and increase what you take out of college. Being able to help students see the value; that’s why I’m president and why I’m part of ACT.”
In the summer of 2017 in Snowbird, Utah, members of K-State’s ACT went to the national meeting of ACT held in conjunction with the national meeting of American Agricultural Editors’ Association, the Livestock Publications Council, and the Connectiv Agri-Media Committee at Ag Media Summit. Seiler was elected to the National ACT Officer Board as Vice President. K-State ACT won many Chapter of the Year awards and many Critique and Contest awards. Seiler says it was a good opportunity to showcase how awesome our K-State chapter is.
“Alumni were so excited for us and just to see their enthusiasm and how excited they were, made all of the late hours this year and past year all worth it,” says Seiler. “We want to win because it makes the alumni proud, and that’s a really awesome feeling.”
Seiler wants to be part of the legacy for ACT and is very thankful of the people who have come before her and put together the constitution and set up a structure for the organization.
“I remember being a freshman and looking up to the seniors who were in the major and club,” says Seiler. “I appreciate everything they have done for us and laid out for the organization. We wouldn’t be a national winning organization without the foundation we have set up by our alumni.”