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Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

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Internship highlight – Zach Callaghan

by Zach Callaghan, agricultural education student

This summer, I worked as an Educational Program Assistant at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan. In this role, I primarily spent my time teaching elementary and middle school students during weekly summer camps. Each week was centered around a different theme and focused on teaching the science of animals, nature, and environmental conservation. As a future high school agriculture teacher, this experience helped to build and improve my pedagogical skills by providing opportunities to write curriculum and manage my own classroom. I would definitely recommend this experienceto other Agricultural Education students as it is a great outlet to practice teaching and the curriculum can easily relate to agriculture. With only one semester left until I begin my student teaching experience, I am grateful to have had this opportunity to work with students and teach them a little bit about agriculture along the way!

 

Agricultural Education program home to state FFA officers

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

Of the six state FFA officers elected at the 91st Kansas FFA Convention in May, five are agricultural education majors at K-State this year. Logan Elliott, Asbury, Missouri, president; Abby Goins, Oswego, vice president; Mason Prester, Wilson, sentinel; Lukas Sebesta, Wilson, treasurer; and Elizabeth Wright, Olsburg, secretary, are students in the agricultural education program. Elliott, Prester and Wright are freshmen, while Elliott and Goins are returning students. Agricultural education is well represented and we look forward to seeing what these students accomplish throughout their year in office.

Many wins for students at Ag Media Summit

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.

Internship highlight: Mary Marsh

by Mary Marsh, agricultural communication and journalism student

 

For my final summer of college, I decided to go home to California and get a job close to home. This summer, I am working as a field inspector for the California Crop Improvement Association. I am checking sunflower fields in my home county of Colusa. My role is to go to the sunflower fields around the county and make reports about what I see to make sure the crop is high quality, since these flowers are going to be harvested for seed.

I do three inspections throughout the growing season. My initial check is pre-bloom when the buds are just beginning to form. I look for different weeds in the field and for different varieties of sunflowers that may have grown in the field or within a mile to two-mile radius. Although it is not in the job description, I also keep an eye out for different pests causing problems in the sunflowers. During the two bloom checks, I walk out into the field and make sure there are no off-varieties that might affect the quality of seed. Being in the field is important to me, this job is all about getting in the thick of the sunflower action. I have about 90 fields to check around my county. Needless to say, I have been busy and have learned quite a bit about sunflower production!

Although my job is heavily focused on agronomy, I have found ways to keep my communication skills polished. I have brought my camera along with me and have made it my goal to document the various maturity stages in my fields. I also get to interact with agronomists and growers occasionally. So far, I have noticed a growing confidence in talking about field crops since taking this internship.

This job has allowed me to see more of my county and learn a whole new commodity. I will be a stronger communicator because of this hands-on experience in production agriculture.

Spring capstone class works with alumni

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

In the spring 2019 agricultural communications capstone class, teams of two paired with alumni clients to create a strategic communication plan related to a work project of their client. Students worked with Jesse McCurry (’00), Kansas Grain Sorghum; Robin Kleine (’12), Focus Marketing Group; Nicole Crosson (’13), Wyandotte County 4-H youth development extension agent; Jessica Bowser (’03), USDA rural development; and Maggie Seiler (’15), Hoard’s Dairyman.

“This class brought together all of the elements that I learned about throughout my collegiate career,” spring graduate MiK Fox says. “Delving into the background about a company or campaign, unpacking problems and possible solutions and learning the various strategies and tactics necessary for the creation of a campaign that encompassed all of the qualities needed for a successful campaign will help me in my future. Being able to see the real world implications throughout the class has helped to bring what I learned in the classroom into fruition in the real world.”

“The class helped them think critically and strategically about audience analysis and modes of communication,” Dr. Katie Burke remarks. “The alumni were great to work with, too!”

Fall 2018 Agriculturist earns national award

Congratulations to the fall 2018 Agriculturist editorial staff on being awarded top student publication at the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association competition in Louisiana June 10-13. View the publication here.

 

 

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.

Cakes for Cats

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

To support the Cats’ Cupboard philanthropy, the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and AgEd clubs hosted a pancake feed on Tuesday, May 14.

The event served as a great break from the stress of finals, and breakfast smells wafted down the hall of the third floor of Umberger Hall. Club members prepared and served pancakes, sausage, fruit and juice to students, faculty and staff.

A non-perishable food item or hygiene product served as a ticket to the delicious breakfast. Thirty people attended the breakfast and more than 200 items and $20 were collected for Cats’ Cupboard. This was the first time ACT and AgEd clubs hosted the event. Both clubs hope to continue this fundraiser, said Janae McKinney, incoming ACT president.

 

Cats’ Cupboard is open to all K-State students, faculty and staff. The on-campus food pantry encourages students to take food, hygiene and cooking equipment that correspond with their personal needs. Students and staff may use the pantry as often as necessary.

Emerging Agricultural Technology: New Course Explores Technology in Agriculture

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

Students learn about wind energy at Cloud Community College.

AGED 212 emerging agricultural technology, a new agricultural education class, allows students to explore topics that can be covered in the power structural technical systems pathway in an agricultural education program. As part of the class, students participate in tours and hands-on learning around the state. This semester, students have learned about new the K-State Polytechnic unmanned aerial systems program, alternative energy at Cloud County Community College, the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at K-State, and more.

Students tour the K-State Polytechnic campus in Wildcat style.

 

 

 

Through these tours, they learned about the use of drones, wind, and solar technology in agriculture and agricultural education, discovered postsecondary education and career options, and explored teaching methods for new technology concepts.

 

 

Monte Poersch at Cloud County Community College hosted the AGED 212 class and explained alternative energy. Students were introduced to career opportunities in wind and solar and many ways to teach those concepts in agricultural education classes.

Monte Poersch explains alternative energy sources.

 

The class also toured the biological and agricultural engineering program at K-State where Dr. Stacy Hutchinson described and demonstrated integrated systems management in agriculture. The education students were challenged to teach their students how to solve agricultural challenges of the future.

Dr. Stacy Hutchinson tells students about the biodiversity and agricultural engineering program at K-State.

Agricultural Education Students Assist at National MANRRS Conference

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

MANRRS students enjoy science-based learning.

K-State agricultural education students helped with the 34th Annual National Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Conference in Overland Park on April 6. K-State agricultural education students facilitated workshops to teach high school students from across the country about renewable energy, biotechnology, food science, soil conservation, and plant and animal science.

About the event, Jon Ulmer stated,

K-State junior Matthew Milholm teaches during the 34th annual conference.

“We want to thank K-State MANRRS, Compass Minerals, and Zelia Wiley for giving our students the opportunity to teach Jr. MANRRS members about agriculture at their national conference.” MANRRS promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in the fields of agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.

High school students learn from Casey Ballard and Matthew Milholm, juniors K-State agricultural education.