Ag Media Summit 2017

By: Chloe Fowler, Associate Editor of the Brock Center
Sophomore agricultural communication major with a minor in law and society

From July 22-26th, with four of my Cal Poly peers, we attended the Ag Media Summit (AMS) in Snowbird, Utah; ‘The Summit on the Summit’. Though I went into the event with a light amount of apprehension,  the conference proved extremely rewarding and gave myself and the other students in attendance, hope for a bright future.

Snowbird, Utah, located just outside of Salt Lake City, is high in elevation and typically a ski resort. The area hosts  many conferences in the summer due to its large amenities. The conference was a combination of groups including LPC (Livestock Publication Council), AAEA (American Agricultural Editors’ Association), and ACT (Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow), the nationally run student organization which Cal Poly’s ACT is an affiliate chapter.

Representing Cal Poly: L to R: Chloe Fowler, Roman Waskiewicz, Tatum Holdener, Tyler Manane, Madison Somerday, Dr. J. Scott Vernon

The conference sessions were provided by professionals teaching tips and tricks of software and design programs (InDesign, Illustrator, etc.). In addition, there were sessions on how to take appropriate pictures for stories and approach controversial subjects within the agricultural industry. These sessions were not just for the college ACT members; as a college student I sat right next to the professionals learning the same tools of the agriculture journalism industry.

There was also an InfoExpo displaying agricultural companies across the country and the roles they fulfill within the industry. As college students, we were able to walk around discussing internship and career opportunities with each of these companies.

While there, we were honored to hear from Amberley Snyder, a nationally ranked barrel racer and break away champion. She spoke to us about her most difficult obstacles in her life, how she succeeded and what we could do to prosper as well. She shared about learning to ride and compete at a high level after a paralyzing car accident from the waist down at age 18, she showed us how we all have to “draw out of the bag of life, and don’t really have a choice on what we draw out, good or bad.” Her evident joy and spark for life was invigorating and left us all with a fresh perspective on life. She reminded us our attitude is typically the only thing we can control in a situation, so we better make it a good one!

Other ACT members came from all over the nation, including Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Indiana attended AMS as well. As Cal Poly students we were able to build a relationships with our future colleagues from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. While they are Boiler Makers, and we are Mustangs, we all got along well and can now say we have friends all across the country.

AMS was an opportunity I will never forget and hope all students have an opportunity like this to build their careers and networks beyond their homes and college towns. I hope to attend next year as it will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, and encourage any student or professional in the agricultural communications career to take advantage of the established conference.

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