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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. Ulmer to receive Honorary American FFA Degree

  Jonathan Ulmer

Jonathan Ulmer, associate professor of agricultural education, was recently selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree on Oct. 26 in Indianapolis.

K-State Communications and Agricultural Education faculty to present at Education Research Conference

Patrice Scott reports, "Kansas State University will be well represented at the American Educational Research Association conference in New York this week where multiple College of Education faculty and graduate students will present."  Brandie Disberger, instructor of Communication and Ag Education and Sally Yahnke, associate professor of Curriculum and Instruction, will present "Professional Development Needs of Alternatively Certified Career and Technical Teachers: A Borich Model." 

Agricultural Education Club Organizes the College of Ag Scavenger Hunt at KSU Open House 2018

AGED Open House 2018

The Agricultural Education Club coordinated the College of Ag Scavenger Hunt during open house.  Matthew Schick organized the event for the Agricultural Education Club.  He gathered donations from 13 different organizations within the College of Agriculture to print over 300 t-shirts.  Individuals who completed the scavenger hunt earned a free College of Agriculture T-Shirts.  Student volunteers passed out scavenger hunt cards and t-shirts.

 The Agricultural Education Club would like to thank the following sponsors:

-Agricultural Technology Management Club, Alpha Gamma Roe, Alpha of Clovia, Feed Science Club, Food Science Club, George Wright Society, Horticulture Club, Milling Science Club, Plant Pathology Club, Sigma Alpha, Wheat State Agronomy Club, Ag Economics/Ag Business Club, and Collegiate Cattlewomen.

Agricultural Education Student Teacher Interns Participate in Professional Development

Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student Click here for the full story: http://enewsletters.k-state.edu/agcomm/ag-ed-student-teacher-interns-participate-in-professional-development/

K-State agricultural education student teaching interns recently participated in two days of professional development for the Ag Ed Enhancing Pre-Service Instruction (EPIC) Experience sponsored by Kansas Corn Commission. Students were able to tour and talk with various production agricultural sectors in Garden City, Kansas.

Corn Tour

Communications and Agricultural Education Alumni Create Magazine for Ranch House Designs

Ranch House Journal cover

Two of our graduates Meg Drake (Spring, 2013) and Melissa Grimmel Schaake (Spring, 2016) create "Ranch House Journal" magazine for Ranch House Designs. Meg is the editor and Melissa is the graphic designer. Our K-State program was featured in this magazine titled "Welcome to Wildcat Country". In addition, Nicole Lane Erceg (Fall, 2015 grad) wrote a story about Lyons Ranch, featuring KSU alum Amy Lyons Langvardt (Spring, 2008) in this publication. Click on the link to view the entire magazine via issuu: https://issuu.com/ranchhousedesigns/docs/rhj-spring2018-web . 

Kansas State University promotes Communications and Agricultural Education Faculty Members

Eighty-two Kansas State University faculty members are receiving promotions in rank, while 47 faculty members are earning tenure. "Each of our new tenured and promoted faculty members have made significant contributions through their teaching, scholarly endeavors and service to their departments, college, our university and their professions. We celebrate these outstanding achievements with them," said April Mason, provost and senior vice president. 

Dr. Jason Ellis, Department Head and faculty member in Agricultural Communications and Journalism, has earned a promotion to full professor. Dr. Gaea Hock, faculty member in Agricultural Education, has earned a promotion to associate professor.

Taking the Classroom Outdoors

Dr. Katie Burke is taking the classroom outdoors this year through a series of excursions for Agricultural Communications and Journalism students, staff, and faculty members. Students braved the icy April winds on the first excursion to the Konza Prairie. The hike through the recently burned tallgrass prairie provided adventurers an opportunity to get outside, de-stress, and to casually learn about fire, grazing, and the agricultural benefits of the tallgrass prairie. Students brought their cameras, enjoying and capturing the vista view of the prairie in early spring.

 Plans are currently underway for the second excursion. Want to join us? Have a great idea for a hike? Let us know! Email Dr. Katie Burke, kjburke@ksu.edu

Girls on the Konza Trail

Katie teaching Konza

Konza Prairie

Group at Konza Prairie

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


ACT Club Hosts "Aggieland" at KSU Open House 2018

  ACT Trivia Game Open House 2018

Students from the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) club hosted a trivia game at Kansas State’s 2018 Open House on April 7th. The game was popular with all age groups and tested players’ knowledge about Kansas State and the Manhattan area. Chocolate-covered soybeans, courtesy of the Kansas Soybean Commission, were rewarded to all who played. A big thanks to our ACT club members and to all who stopped by our booth! 

Student Spotlight: Kaci Foraker Rocks Meat Judging

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

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. 

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