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Ag comm club attends national conference for first time

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 00:02

Four students in the Agriculture Communication Club traveled to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. last weekend to attend the National Ag Communicators of Tomorrow conference.


This is the first year the Ag Com club has been a chapter of the national society, and the first time USU students have attended the conference.


Jamie Keyes, vice president of the club, said the conference was a great professional development opportunity.


“We took tours of the different agriculture out there and learned a lot about journalism and agriculture,” she said. “Agriculture is different here than in the Midwest.”


The students also participated in a crisis simulation while at the conference.


“We learned how to handle breaking news,” she said.


Dawn Otterby, president of the club, said it is very important for there to be agricultural communicators to link the agriculture industry to other industries as well as legislators and the public.


“Agriculture is relevant to everyone,” she said. “It’s what you eat, it’s the clothes you wear, it’s the car you drive, it’s the road you drive on and everything.”


Kelsey Hall, assistant professor of agricultural communication and journalism and advisor for the Ag Com Club, said the club is about professional development for students interested in communicating about agriculture.


“It encompasses nutrition, food, agricultural practices, environmental practices and certainly the science behind agriculture,” she said.


Hall said the workshops at the conferences the club attends are particularly useful to the students.


“The first one we went to was in November with the National Farm Broadcasters Association,” she said. “The students got to network with and shadow farm broadcasters in television and radio and also got to learn a little bit about the industry’s trends and tools that they could take with them when doing stories out in the field.”


Hall said the highlight of the conferences so far was a press conference with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at the November conference.

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