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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: K-State Research and Extension

Congratulations to Dr. Minton

by Linda Gilmore

 

A familiar face will be leading the Kansas State University College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension into the future. Ernie Minton, interim dean and K-State Research and Extension director, has been appointed to the posts following a national search.

Minton’s appointment, effective June 16, was made by Charles Taber, university provost and executive vice president.

“The College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension are central to achieving our land-grant mission, and it is important we have balance and stability in this time of change,” Taber said.

“Based on his years of steady leadership as interim dean and director and associate dean and associate director, Dr. Minton is the right leader for the College and KSRE at this time,” Taber said. As the college dean and K-State Research and Extension director, Minton is charged with advancing both on a variety of fronts, including program development; faculty and student development; research, teaching and extension; program accreditation; and the college’s and university’s goals in K-State’s visionary 2025 plan.

The full announcement can be found at https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2019-06/newdean61919.html

CASE-Agriscience Plant Institute conference hosted on campus

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

 

Twenty-three teachers from 10 states gathered on the K-State campus for the “Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education – Plant Institute,” June 16-21. This fast-track course is a professional development training leading to course certification. CASE Institutes provide teachers with 50 to 100 hours of hands-on instruction related to a specific year-long CASE course. Fast-track CASE Institutes are condensed trainings focusing on lab instruction. Topics covered during this CASE included soil texture, plant reproductive structures, and plant pigments. At the end of the week, these 23 agriculture education professionals were fully certified in CASE Agriscience-Plant. We love hosting these events and spreading K-State purple across the country!

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!

Departmental research published in JAC

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

Spring 2019 master’s graduate Anissa Zagonel recently had a paper published in the Journal of Applied Communications. The article is titled “Printing and Mailing for the Brand: An Exploratory Qualitative Study Seeking to Understand Internal Branding and Marketing Within University and Extension Communication Services Units.”

Zagonel’s research investigated whether the investment of employees in a brand can lead to greater public understanding and positive impressions of a brand by external stakeholders. Her study sought discover how well employees in a university and extension printing and mail entity understood the extension brand and their investment in the brand. Research questions included: 1) What perceptions and investment do communication services employees have in the extension brand? And 2) what are employees’ perceptions of the organization’s branding and marketing efforts?

Results of this study indicate these employees are not invested in the brand with the majority having little to no understanding of the mission of extension. This contradicts previous research with employees in other brand segments of extension. Implications of this work include a need for training on the extension mission for communication services employees, a shift in culture to encourage investment in the brand, and inclusion of all extension employees in the mission of extension.

For the full abstract and article, visit https://doi.org/10.4148/1051-0834.2236.

CREE hosts third annual conference, Insight Summit

By: Mikhayla DeMott ’17, CREE audience engagement specialist

 

Participants listen at the annual CREE Insight Summit.
Dr. Lauri M. Baker presents about social media use and analysis.

The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement hosted its third annual new-media marketing conference, the Insight Summit. The conference featured topics related to new-media marketing, including storytelling across platforms, basic and advanced analytics, social media strategy, visual content, e-newsletters, and selling online.

 

The 2019 Insight Summit differed from past events by hosting agricultural communicators and researchers from across the country to present recent research to participants. Academic researchers included: Courtney Meyers, faculty at Texas Tech University and 2003 K-State agricultural communications and journalism alumna; Angie Lindsey, faculty at the University of Florida; and Shuyang Qu, faculty at Iowa State University. Graduate student researchers included Deanna Reid, K-State; Levy Randolph, University of Florida; Brittany Bowman, Oklahoma State University; and Maggie Elliot, Texas Tech University.

 

Attendees of the 2019 Insight Summit.

The center is a unique resource for rural and agricultural businesses because of its interdisciplinary partnership of founders: Lauri M. Baker, agricultural communications and journalism; Cheryl R. Boyer, horticulture; and Hikaru H. Peterson, agricultural economics. CREE is an institutional collaboration between K-State and the University of Minnesota.

 

Additional team members include Allison Wakefield, intern and current ACJ student, and Mikhayla DeMott, audience engagement specialist and 2017 ACJ alumna.

 

The Insight Summit, previously known as the New-Media Marketing Boot Camp, was February 12 and 13 at the K-State Alumni Center.

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.

Kansas FFA State Conference of Chapter Leaders

Story by Deanna Reid, master’s student

Kansas State agricultural education faculty and students participated in the 2018 Kansas FFA State Conference of Chapter Leaders at the beginning of July. More than 150 Kansas FFA members came together at Rock Springs 4-H Center for three days to form effective leadership teams for their chapters.

During that time, they competed in a scavenger hunt, packaged more than 30,000 meals for local food banks and met other leaders from across Kansas.

New role for Cassie Wandersee

Story by Deanna Reid, master’s student

Cassie Wandersee has moved from her role as research assistant with the Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) to a role with the communications and agricultural education department.

In her role with CREE, Cassie created social media and blog content, webinars, participated in public speaking events, workshops and gave conference presentations.

This fall, as part of her new job, Cassie will be teaching AGCOM 590 – New Media Technologies. She will also be assisting with social media planning and implementation. She is now located in Dole Hall and working closely with Megan Macy through the News Media Services team.

“I am excited to work more closely with K-State Research and Extension and our state 4-H group. Social media is key to reaching many audiences across Kansas, I hope I can put my skills in social media analysis and planning to good work,” Cassie says.

Cassie completed a bachelor of fine arts and minor in mass communications in 2012 and a master’s degree in agricultural education and communications in 2016 at Kansas State University.

2018 New-Media Marketing Bootcamp

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) recently hosted the New-Media Marketing Bootcamp at the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas. Small and rural business owners, communication professionals, and K-State Research and Extension employees came together to build social media strategies, while learning new skills and creating content.

Attendees spent a day and a half in breakout sessions where they were guided through the steps to tell their organization narratives and plan content across multiple platforms. “One of the most difficult parts of running a business or serving your community through Extension is finding the time to do everything your job demands,” says Cassie Wandersee (’16), managing director. “At Boot Camp, we provide attendees the time and support to focus on their communications and marketing efforts without daily distractions.”

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Department Feature – Bridging the Gap Between Researchers and Producers

Story by Grace Wilcox, freshman (ACJ)

“Building relationships and trust is crucial to success as a research and extension communicator,” says Donna Sheffield, publishing editor at K-State Research and Extension.

Growing up on a farm in Georgia, Sheffield says she can recall her father approaching their local extension agents with questions concerning their operation and relying on them for their expertise.

From her observations, she realized the importance of having access to knowledge and research, especially about agriculture. “I really value extension, what it has down for rural America, and what it is doing. Farming is not an easy way of life,” she says.

Today, farmers experience many challenges from fluctuating crop prices to weather phenomena such as wildfires and hurricanes that damage homes and arable land. Sheffield’s father grew up during the Great Depression, in a time when farm life was similarly challenging. Climatic weather events like the Dust Bowl damaged soil and crops, causing intense economic stress on farmers. Sheffield’s family continued their involvement in the agricultural industry throughout her life.

Teaching, research, and extension work together as the three parts of the extension system to ensure information and support are freely accessible to producers. Sheffield says, “Extension relies heavily on ‘local experts,’ such as county extension agents. They offer their expertise and any pertinent materials published by the university.”

On the other hand, Sheffield’s position involves editing publications before they reach the extension agents. She works specifically with the animal science, horticulture, and entomology departments at KSU. “My job is to translate [their] research into layman’s terms,” Sheffield says.

Continue reading “Department Feature – Bridging the Gap Between Researchers and Producers”