AMS: Days 3 & 4 / Wrap Up

Written by Jordan Dunn, Editor in Chief

Tuesday was a very busy day for us at the Ag Media Summit! We started off the day with a few more workshops, had a luncheon with a motivational speaker and finished off with an awards dinner and after party.

Awards Dinner

Jordan, Dr. Gearhart, Katie, Rylin, Giuliana and Harrison at the Awards Dinner on Tuesday night.

Overall, our experience at the 2014 Agricultural Media Summit has been an amazing one! We are coming back with a ton of ideas for ACT and the Brock Center for the next school year, and we can’t wait to share everything we learned with you! The connections made at AMS are truly one of a kind, and I look forward to bringing more students with us to Arizona!

In the midst of being so busy, we were still able to squeeze in a few tours! We toured the Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Colts) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (home of the Indy 500)!

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Harrison, Jordan, Katie, Giuliana, Rylin and Dr. Gearhart starting their tour at the Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lucas Oil

Dr. Gearhart, Harrison, Giuliana, Rylin, Katie and Jordan on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Thanks for following along with our experience at the Ag Media Summit! Keep an eye out for some more summer blogs in coming weeks!

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AMS: Top 5 Things We Learned / Day 2

Written by Jordan Dunn, Editor in Chief 

Howdy! It’s day 2 at the 2014 Agricultural Media Summit and boy did we learn a lot today! Today was consisted of workshops, an award ceremony and visiting the Info Expo.

First off, congratulations to the editors and contributors to the Ag Circle magazine, as Ag Circle was awarded Excellence in Publications in the NACT Critique Contest!

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Jordan, Rylin, Katie, Giuliana and Harrison after the NACT Awards.

With our first round of workshops down, we’ve come up with the top 5 things we’ve learned so far:

1. Harrison Reilly: There are  more ways to look at writing news stories than the typical inverted pyramid. 

2. Jordan Dunn: There’s an easy way to seamlessly work between GoogleDocs and InDesign. 

3. Rylin Lindahl: Using the flash on your camera creates unnatural light, because the sun is never directly above your camera. Instead, place the external flash and/or reflectors at a more natural/realistic angle for a better result. 

4. Giuliana Marchini: Innovation needs abrasion. Different outlooks and opinions coming together can generate great ideas.

5. Katie Roberti: Indiana is the second largest soybean producing state. 


Stay tuned for more tomorrow! In the meantime, keep up with us via twitter (@AgCircleMag)

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Ag Media Summit: Intro / Day 1

Written by Jordan Dunn, Editor in Chief

Hello Everyone! Welcome to the first post of our Agricultural Media Summit Blog Series, where we [Katie Roberti, Harrison Reilly, Giuliana Marchini, Rylin Lindahl & myself] will be recapping you with what we are experiencing at the 2014 AMS in Indianapolis, IN. We’ll cover everything from our deep dive session workshops to our explorations around the city, so try to keep up!


DAY 1  – July 27

AMS 2014

Jordan Dunn, Katie Roberti, Rylin Lindahl, Giuliana Marchini and Harrison Reilly fresh out of an ACT workshop!

Today is our first full day at AMS. Yesterday (Saturday) was our travel day, but we were able to meet up with most of the ACT members that had already arrived. So far, everything has gone smoothly – besides maybe our rainy trip to Steak & Shake [hence the hats].

Stake&Shake AMS 2014

Harrison, Giuliana, Katie, our waitress, Rylin and Jordan at Steak & Shake.

After seeing [and going to the top of] a 330ft monument, visiting the NCAA Hall of Champions and visiting a zoo, we put on our costumes and made our way to the famous Welcome Party! The 2014 theme was “All-Star Sports”, which we found fitting for Indianapolis.

AMS 2014 Welcome Party

Jordan, Rylin, Giuliana, Harrison and Katie dressed up for the “All-Star Sports” Welcome Party.

After a long day of time zone recovery and miles of walking, we are ready to start AMS off with a day of workshopping and networking!

Follow us on twitter (@agcirclemag) for live updates throughout each day of AMS, and stay tuned for some more blog posts!


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Working in DC: Where Farm Meets City

Written by Kenna Lewis, Associate Editor

There are countless things to love about the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. I could go on for days about the beauty of the office: the conference room views overlooking the national mall, the barn wood rotunda, etc. I could rave about the free coffee (if you know #teambrock, you know coffee is a lifeline) or the weekly fruit deliveries. But at the end of the day, three main things have made the first month of this summer absolutely incredible: the mission of the organization, the responsibility they’ve given me as a summer intern, and the people I get to call coworkers.


The Mission

For those who may not be as familiar with AFBF, the organization’s mission is to stand as a unified national voice of agriculture by working through our grassroots organizations. Farm Bureau represents every type of farming practice, from large-scale ranches to small organic farms, recognizing the need for diverse operations. This mission is not something that is taken lightly by AFBF employees.

I’ve had the chance to sit in on a few meetings from around the office where it has become evident how genuinely the staff cares about representing the grassroots level of the industry. Special committees have been formed and full positions created to ensure county FB offices up to the AFBF office are in constant communication, and that ranching families know what current issues could affect them and how AFBF is working to accurately represent all sectors of the industry.


The Responsibility

 The past four weeks in the Communications Department have been nowhere near a “typical internship.” I was shocked throughout my first week, even my first day, at the amount of trust and responsibility granted to me. Within my initial few hours in the office, my boss promised that I would never be given a menial “intern task,” and then proceeded to assign me a 1,000 word feature story for Feed & Grain magazine, and another for the official newspaper of Farm Bureau. Throughout the course of the month, I was asked to sit on panels representing AFBF, attend press conferences, and manage many of the social media platforms. I have been provided a delicate balance of helpful guidance and entrepreneurial encouragement. The trust my bosses and the rest of the AFBF team have put into my hands is both humbling and exciting, and I don’t take it lightly.



The People

 Arguably the best part of working for AFBF is the group of people I work alongside each day. During my first hour in the office, a woman from Human Resources gave me a tour of the building, and with each office we passed by, a fellow employee shook my hand, learned my name (and actually remembered it!) and asked me about my hometown. The warmth and “family attitude” of the staff makes the working environment somewhere I want to be everyday, and it is evident that the folks around me genuinely love their job.

 Not only are the people beyond welcoming, they are also extremely passionate about their area of expertise. One of the coolest parts about working in such a large office is that each department specializes in something different, yet all come together to form one unified voice. Some days I’ll find myself soaking up the endless knowledge and personal experiences of the “issue experts” in the public policy department, and a day later I’ll find myself dissecting leadership theory in the organization department. The staff is made up of such a broad range of backgrounds, from past and current farmers to “city folk,” yet all have found their niche in serving a common purpose. The raw enthusiasm of those who work beside me gives me great confidence in the future of the agriculture industry.


 AFBF has been such a rewarding place to work, and I know my time in DC has been a summer well spent. Although it will be over in a few short weeks, I am thrilled for what this internship still has in store!

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Red, White & Blue and Ice Cream Too

Written by Katie Roberti, Associate Editor

If celebrating America’s birthday isn’t a good enough cause to make you love the month of July, here’s one more reason why it should be one of your favorite months of the year!

Thirty years ago President Ronald Reagan made a rich and creamy proclamation, one that I fully support. He designated July as National Ice Cream Month. His really large sweet tooth may have contributed to the idea, but Reagan had a much greater purpose for this designation than to solely fulfill all of America’s sweet cravings.

In 1984 Reagan proclaimed, “Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.”

Looking to improve the economy at the end of the Cold War, Reagan saw an opportunity to use American’s favorite dairy dessert to do just that. He decided this was something most Americans could both benefit from and enjoy.

Reagan further proclaimed, “The ice cream industry generates approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. Indeed, nearly ten percent of all the milk produced by the United States dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, thereby contributing substantially to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.”

Today ice cream continues to greatly contribute to America’s dairy industry. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, in 2010 the ice cream industry in the U.S. generated total revenues of $10 billion, with about 9 percent of milk being used for ice cream production.


I scream, you scream, Brock screams for ice cream! Katie Roberti, Associate Editor, and Jordan Dunn, Editor in Chief, enjoy a large helping of ice cream to support National Ice Cream Month.

In addition to the designation of the entire month, Reagan also declared every third Sunday of July to be National Ice Cream Day in America. So, if your swimsuit body can’t resist the treat for an entire month, at least dedicate National Ice Cream Day, on Sunday, July 20 to a scoop or two.

The Fourth of July may be over, but you’ve still got plenty of time to fully enjoy the remainder of the month. Don’t let the month of July melt away without celebrating Reagan’s national month and supporting the dairy industry! If you’re summering in San Luis Obispo, grab a pint of your favorite Cal Poly Ice Cream and do as Reagan once encouraged every American to do, “observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

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A Sneak Peek at What’s To Come…

Written by Jordan Dunn, Editor in Chief. 

Now that Summer has officially been set in motion for Cal Poly students, I’d like to take this time to welcome in the 2014-2015 Brock Center Associates and let you all know what to expect from us this summer!

As you may have seen on our facebook page recently, we have two new associates coming to us in the Brock Center this year: Harrison Reilly and Katie Roberti!

Along with Harrison and Katie, we have Jordan Dunn (myself) and Kenna Lewis who are both returning from last year’s Brock team. All four Associates are 3rd year agricultural communication majors, and very involved in clubs within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Each of us brings something different to the table, in terms of experience and skills, which should make for a great team!

Harrison Reilly, Katie Roberti, Jordan Dunn and Kenna Lewis.

Harrison Reilly, Katie Roberti, Jordan Dunn and Kenna Lewis.


Now onto the fun stuff, let’s take a sneak peek at what we have coming this summer!

In terms of summer blogs, we will have one post from each of the Brock Associates on an agricultural topic that we are experiencing this summer – whether it be through an internship or personal experience. We also have a blog post planned to feature the Midstate Fair, and a “Live Blog” of our trip with the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow to the 2014 Agricultural Media Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana.

If you have a great idea for any other blog posts that just can’t wait for Fall, you can send me an email at to fill me in!

We look forward to keeping you all updated with interesting reads, and starting our work on the next issue of the Ag Cirlce magazine this fall. Stay tuned!

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Finding Your Perfect Match: Cal Poly’s Agricultural Clubs

Post written by Taylor Dericco, Animal Science student.


The thought of participating in school clubs can be scary, full of questions such as “did I choose the right one?”, or “do I have enough time to do more than one club and still finish my homework?” While I can’t answer those questions for you, I can help you learn a bit more about a few of the agricultural clubs here on campus. And who knows, you might find that they’re the perfect way to de-stress and take your mind off all your schoolwork!

 1.  Alpha Zeta

Alpha Zeta is the co-ed, professional fraternity for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. For anyone interested in a career in agriculture or natural resources, this is one of the best resume builders you can find! The members of Alpha Zeta are involved in many of Cal Poly’s local events such as Open House and WOW week, but present ample opportunities to meet and work for the community as well. Alpha Zeta is the first and oldest collegiate society for agriculture, and members of the Cal Poly chapter continue to strive to become the future leaders of their industries.

 2.  Block and Bridle

10256565_10152168082613425_6162738639612732362_nThe Block and Bridle club is an agriculture based club open to students of any major – agricultural or not! With a focus on livestock and ranching methods, members of this club have the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the agricultural industry by participating in field trips and other activities. In recent years, this club has toured large-scale operations such as Harris Ranch and Hearst Ranch to learn about their unique ranching styles and background, and have participated in school events such as Open House with their award winning tri-tip sandwiches.

 3.  Collegiate Future Farmers of America (CFFA)

Remember those days of blue corduroy jackets, working with animals, and serving the community? CFFA provides the opportunity for students to relive those memories and participate in similar activities throughout their college experience, while helping out local high school FFA members. This is a great addition to any resume, but more importantly an opportunity to develop your potential for leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

 4.  Crops Club

1233337_757316510986075_7674000290734046366_nFocusing on information related to the crop science major courses, this club is perfect for anyone interested in a career path that stems from Crop Science. Throughout the year, the Crops Club offers its members opportunities to socialize and network with professionals in many different aspects of the industry. You do not have to be a crop science major to join, however, as the club also participates in activities such as making and operating the corn maze in the Fall, going on a deep sea fishing trip, and providing Cal Poly grown pumpkins for Halloween carving!


Being a part of a club on campus gives you an opportunity to network and meet new people, and most clubs orient the focus of their meetings to what you are interested in. If you’re not sure whether the clubs above are what you’re looking for, don’t count out all clubs! The best option is to go to Week of Welcome Club Showcase at the beginning of the Fall Quarter, and stop at a few clubs that you might find interesting. With so many clubs offered at this school, there is guaranteed at least one club to peak your interest!

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