This blog post was written by Jennifer Ray, 2012-2013 Ag Circle Editor-in-Chief.
This year was the best yet, no questions asked. I have traveled to the Agricultural Media Summit (AMS) with Cal Poly ACT for the past three years: St. Paul, New Orleans and now Albuquerque. The event is consistently successful and Cal Poly always has a large group of attendees. This year was even better. It’s been a few days now and I still can’t help but feel proud to be a part of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Organization and proud to be a Cal Poly Mustang.
Cal Poly had thirteen students at the conference and two advisors. That’s not a record by any means, but we were the largest ACT group at this year’s AMS. The group was a mix of first, second, third and fourth year members including our National ACT Second Vice President and recent alumna, Carrie Issacson. We also had one boy among us, a great ratio for the ACT bunch!
We mixed and mingled with students from other universities including the University of Florida, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech. We made tough decisions, selecting through the lists of available workshops on topics like video, photography, public relations and writing. We even made some key connections and picked up cool ag swag at the InfoExpo, everything from bread loaf stress balls to John Deere duct tape.
Perhaps my favorite part was meeting some awesome professionals in the field, including Cal Poly alumni. I was pleased to meet Melissa Hansen, a founding member of the Cal Poly ACT Chapter and the very first Editor-In-Chief of Ag Circle magazine. Melissa is now an Associate Editor for the Good Fruit Grower magazine.
The first ACT session is always slightly embarrassing, but we survived. It begins with a school cheer from each of the represented universities. This is not Cal Poly’s forte. If we have a Cal Poly cheer that is creative and fun to share (such as the University of Arkansas’ hog call,) no one in are chapter knows it. Our loud and proud, “Go Mustangs!” just doesn’t cut it when compared to the sound effects and hand motions of our friends from other schools. However, there is one part of the conference that Cal Poly did excel in this year.
I was so proud every time I heard the Cal Poly name called during the NACT Critique & Contest Awards. The most exciting accomplishment was our Spring 2012 Issue of Ag Circle magazine. It won First Place in the magazine category and brought home the Excellence in Publications award! This was especially exciting for last year’s editorial staff, but also for all of our student writers and photographers who were a part of the magic.
A few of our members took home awards for their individual work: Morgan Dewar earned First Place for her radio spot advertisement, Carrie Isaacson earned First Place for her Social Media Campaign and the award for Excellence in Public Relations, Alex Beeler won Second Place for her photography, Addie Dyer won Third Place for her photography, Aimee Shaner won Third Place for her Short Feature Story and Lisette Carolina Ramirez won Second Place for her photography.
And finally, I was elected to serve on the 2012-2013 National ACT Officer Team as Second Vice President! I was thrilled to take over the office from my good friend, Carrie Isaccson. I am also excited to be serving alongside some AMAZING and talented people!
New NACT Officer Team left to right: That’s me from Cal Poly, Breanne Brammer from the University of Missouri, Andy Barth from Oklahoma State University, Faith Jurek from Texas Tech University and Hannah Miller from Tarleton State University.
I look forward to traveling to Oklahoma State University for our National ACT Officer retreat and planning meeting in October. The ACT Professional Development Conference will be held at the University of Arkansas March 8-10 and the next Agricultural Media Summit will be in Buffalo, New York August 3-7, 2013.
I could not be happier to be a part of the National ACT organization and I look forward to making even more friends and memories this year. Go Mustangs!