Kansas State University


Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Tag: K-State Research and Extension

2018 New-Media Marketing Bootcamp

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement’s (CREE) recently hosted its New-Media Marketing Bootcamp at the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas. Small and rural business representatives came together to build social media strategies, while learning new skills and creating content.

Attendees spent the day and a half of the conference in sessions about building their narratives, Facebook analytics and video, image curating and editing, building websites, branding across platforms, converting followers into customers, in-person training and events, e-commerce, content planning and strategy, and Google analytics.

Participants heard from panelist speakers Jodi Oleen, Kansas Pork Association; Connie Mushrush, Mushrush Angus; Patty Reece, The Volland Store; and Rebecca Drew, Grimm’s Gardens.

“It was really neat to be able to put into practice what we work on every day in the office with real business owners and employees. It’s rewarding to see them excited about boosting their online presence and using our resources,” CREE Communications Marketing Intern, Chelsie Calliham says.

New-Media Marketing Bootcamp was sponsored by K-State Research and Extension and From the Land of Kansas.

Find out more about CREE and its new-media marketing knowledge for rural and agriculture-based businesses and organizations at ruralengagement.org.

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.

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Department celebrates Employees of the Year and Groundhog Dag

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

The department congratulates Rick Butler and Phylicia Mau as Department Employees of the Year through a nomination and review process. Each received a plaque, and their names have been added to the plaques in the conference room in the main office.

Butler (’93), who works for University Printing, reviews customer-pro

vided electronic files before plate output, completes customer-requested design work, and provides prepress design consultation for clients.

Mau is a part of the publishing in the department and provides clien

ts with graphic design assistance, including page layouts, logos, artwork, posters, electronic publications, and other visual displays. She creates designs and images for print and electronic use.

These awards were announced at the Groundhog Day breakfast celebration. Pancakes and sausages were enjoyed by all.



Alumni and Department Feature: The Person Behind the Edits

Story by Kaci Foraker, freshman (ACJ)

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.

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Opportunities for Alumni Through CREE’s Outreach Events

Story by  Michaela Hughes, sophomore (ACJ)

The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) is advancing its mission through outreach and training events on marketing and communications for audiences throughout Kansas and beyond. These events range from webinars and Facebook live videos to seminars and the annual New-Media Marketing Boot Camp.

“We remain focused on empowering people to feel comfortable using new-media marketing tools. Whether it’s Facebook, a newsletter, or a blog, we want people to understand the platforms they working in,” says Cassie Wandersee (’16), managing director of CREE.

Recently, CREE collaborated with partner organizations to host several events and webinars.

One of these partnerships is with the Marketing Learning Community of the Association for Communications Excellence (ACE). CREE began working with ACE to host bi-monthly webinars that focus on training participants in communications theory and practice. During the last webinar, they discussed content strategy and planning for small businesses and service organizations.

Co-creater, Dr. Cheryl Boyer and Managing Director, Cassie Wandersee presenting at the K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference.

CREE has also partnered with K-State Research and Extension. Dr. Cheryl Boyer and Wandersee presented on content strategy and communicating through multiple channels at the K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference in November. It is also working with Kansas Pride on an online seminar in January focused on launching e-commerce stores. This webinar will discuss the benefits, as well as the preparation needed, for creating an online store.

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K-State Research and Extension Bookstore and Mail Center: Something for Everyone

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student

In the basement of Umberger lies the K-State Research and Extension Bookstore and Mail Center, which supports both KSRE and the College of Agriculture by managing and distributing more than 2,000 publications, promotional materials, and other items.

Publications are available online and available in print for a small fee. These items can all be accessed through the bookstore website, www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu.

“Our publications are a great resource for a variety of topics,” says Mandy Wilson, KSRE Bookstore and Mail Center Coordinator. “We have information ranging from planning your home garden, to choosing the right childcare provider, to just identifying that spider on your porch.”

The featured publication for October is the Kansas Garden Guide – an 80-page guide to all things vegetables and herbs. This guide has everything you need to know about soil, compost, seeding, watering, pest control, container gardening, season extension, harvesting, and storing.

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