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Communications and Agricultural Education

Communications and Agricultural Education

Kansas State University
1612 Claflin Road
301 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3402

785-532-5633 fax

Dr. Jason Ellis named Department Head


On December 21, 2017, Dean John Floros announced Dr. Jason Ellis as the new Head of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education. Dr. Ellis officially began his new position on January 14, 2018. He is the third person to fill this role, following Mr. Robert Furbee and Dr. Kristina Boone.

Dr. Ellis earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, with a dual major in agricultural communication and animal sciences and industry. After graduation, he went to work as an account supervisor for a Des Moines, Iowa, advertising firm until 2002. He returned to school and earned his master’s degree in meat science in 2003 and doctorate in agricultural education and studies in 2006, both from Iowa State University. He served as a graduate research assistant, project coordinator, extension specialist, and lecturer at Iowa State while pursuing his graduate degrees. He served as an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for five years before returning in 2011 to Kansas State University as an assistant professor and then associate professor.

The full university announcement can be found at http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/stories/2018/01/jason-ellis-department-head.html


Student Spotlight: Kaci Foraker Rocks Meat Judging Again

Kaci Foraker, sophomore in Agricultural Communications and student worker in the publishing unit, was part of the K-State Meat Judging Team that recently took 1st Place at the Iowa State Meat Judging contest. Kaci placed 4th in Individual Overall and 3rd in Pork Judging. Good job, Kaci!

Seven Students from the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education Become Ag Ambassadors

After completing the selections process (starting with 57 applicants), seven of our students have been selected as new Ag Ambassadors. There are 22 new members this year, many of whom are out-of-state students. Congratulations to Allison Bertz (ACJ), Katelyn Harbert (ACJ), Hannah Hosick (AED), Michaela Hughes (ACJ), Emma Lehmann (AED), Mia Pentz (AED), and Marie Reveles (AED)!


ACT club wins 2017 Chapter of the Year


The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow club earned several awards at 2017's Agricultural Media Summit. They were named chapter of the year in the membership, leadership and community categories.

Topping the list of awards was being named this year's overall outstanding chapter. Congratulations to the ACT club members!

(from left to right: Taylor Matheny, Jackie Newland, Jill Seiler, Audrey Schmitz, Leah Giess, Anissa Zagonel, Samantha Albers and Audrey King, ACT advisor)

Congratulations Topanga and Jackie

K-State agricultural communications and journalism students were recognized at the 2017 Agricultural Media Summit in Snowbird, Utah for outstanding work. Audrey King, ACJ instructor and ACT adviser, traveled with seven students to the summit.   

tnadj In-coming ACJ senior, Topanga McBride won the 2017 Forrest Bassford Student award from the Livestock Publications Council. Three of the four finalists who received travel scholarships to attend the Ag Media Summit this year were from K-State. Jill Seiler and Taylor Matheny were the other two K-State finalists. 

Another in-coming senior, Jackie Newland, won the Dr. Evans Presidential Scholarship from the American Agricultural Editors' Association. Newland and Audrey Schmitz were two of the four scholarship finalists.

Congratulations to them and the runner-ups!  


Kansas State Agriculturist wins again

The Kansas State Agriculturist won first place in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow national contest. Lisa Moser is the instructor for the Agricultural Student Magazine, which is offered during the spring and fall semesters. fall2016

The students on the leadership team for the fall 2016 magazine are Melissa Grimmel Schaake, editor; Audrey Schmitz, associate editor; Lindsey Ashmore, assistant editor; Marie Annexstad, advertising manager. Congratulations to all the students who produced this winning issue.



2017 Summer Intern

Cunningham, Kansas, native and incoming senior, Ashley Fitzsimmons, is the Livestock Publications Council summer intern. The internship is hosted by the American-International Charolais Association.

Ashley F
Fitzsimmons is working on multiple degrees. In addition to her ACJ major, she is minoring in animal sciences and industry (ASI). She also is working toward completing a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership from Forth Hays State University.  

K-State Hosts CASE Workshop

Kansas State University recently hosted a 5-day professional development institute for 18 participants. Those participating traveled from across the nation for this opportunity for intense professional development. The institute provided experience in a full year of curriculum for Principles of Agricultural Science - Animal. The curriculum was written by Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). Brandie Disberger, Agricultural Education instructor, served as coordinator for the CASE institute and worked closely with CASE staff, CASE Lead Teachers, and participating teachers from across the nation to help make the institute successful. For the CI news release, click here.

Association for Communication Excellence 2017

Recent graduates and graduate students of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education presented their research at 2017 Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

King Demott
From left to right: Mikhayla DeMott and Audrey King stand in front of their posters just minutes before the presentations begin


Jeremy D’ Angelo, graduate student, highlighted his findings on citrus greening. Anissa Zagonel, recent ACJ graduate, presented Facepager application research. Another recent ACJ graduate, Mikhayla DeMott, presented research stemming from Jennifer Ray’s thesis on brand consistency in K-State Research and Extension. Ray was last year’s outstanding thesis winner.

For the second year in a row, a recent graduate of our master’s program received the outstanding thesis award. Cassie Wandersee, 2016 graduate, was presented with this year’s outstanding thesis award for her paper, “An Audience Focused Approach to Framing Climate Change Communication in Agriculture

Congratulations and thank you to all the students who presented at the 2017 ACE conference!

2017 Summer Intern

Senior agricultural education student, Alex Tuttle, is one of five summer interns with K-State Research and Extension. She is working in Scott County where she works with the 4-H Youth Development program, which includes attending the county fair, camps and small workshops.  Tuttle

Tuttle is involved in many clubs; serving as the vice president in the Agricultural Education Club and serves on the TASK (Teach Ag Students of Kansas) force where she travels and promotes agricultural education.  Tuttle begins her student teaching in the spring of 2018. 

Welcome Dandi Thomas!

DTDandi Thomas joined K-State Research and Extension as the temporary marketing and communications assistant to support focus on branding, marketing and social media. Her previous experiences include social media management, graphic design and marketing. With an agriculture background in southwest Kansas, Dandi’s experience paired well with her skills during her time as a communications intern at the Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas Farm Bureau. She’s a recent graduate of Kansas State University, having received her B.S. in Agricultural Communications and Journalism in May. Dandi will work closely with Megan Macy, marketing specialist, and will assume her responsibilities when Megan takes temporary leave this summer. 

Agricultural education student receives Morse Scholarship


Katelyn Bohnenblust, Clay Center, received the 2017 Marjorie J. & Richard L.D. Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship from K-State Libraries. The $3,000 scholarship supports an undergraduate project involving community service and potentially impacting public policy.

Please click here for the full article.

Thank you to the Manhattan Fire Department

More proof that our students excel in our classrooms and in the community! Our own Brooke Harshaw, graduate student in Agricultural Education and Communication, was operating the fire hose at the scene of The Dusty Bookshelf fire on Thursday, March 2, 2017.BH

Photo courtesy of David Mayes Photography