Felipe Vallejo, Lead Designer & Social Media Coordinator for the Brock Center
Junior in agricultural communication with minors in agribusiness & graphic communication
From August 4-8th, sixteen members of Cal Poly’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) traveled and represented the university at Ag Media Summit (AMS) in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Ag Media Summit is an industry-wide gathering of agricultural communicators that serves as an opportunity for professional development and industry networking to both students and professionals in attendance. Journalists, media professionals, college students, and more meet at AMS because of a shared passion ‒ communicating agriculture to the world.
The 20th annual conference was a combination of groups ranging from Livestock Publication Council (LPC), American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT).
Day 1: Sunday, August 5th
The first day began with the National ACT Welcome and Chapter Development session. On this first day, we mingled with other ACT members and caught a glimpse of what an ACT chapter looks like outside of Cal Poly. Mustangs joined with ACT members from other universities like Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University, Utah State University, Texas A&M, and more. In this session we discussed fundraising, community service, and outreach at different universities and how we can apply those concepts to our ACT chapter in San Luis Obispo. The night wrapped up with a “Party Like it’s 1999” themed mixer between industry professionals and students.
Day 2: Monday, August 6th
A 7:30AM breakfast that lead right into the professional workshops, kicked off Monday. Cal Poly students attended workshop sessions on graphic design, blogging and writing, social media marketing/management, and crisis communication in agriculture, Networking with other universities continued as we learned about graduate program opportunities in agricultural communications.
Students attended the AMS Trade show which included promotion of new products and opportunities to network with companies like the Pork Board, Corteva Agriscience, Case IH, and more. Following the InfoExpo, a few Cal Poly students enjoyed dinner at sunset with bagpipes filling the resort’s courtyard.
Day 3: Tuesday, August 7th
On Tuesday, students leaped into sessions on using photography to tell a story, podcasting, more media marketing, and design tips. Fernanda Santos, a Brazilian immigrant, was the ACE keynote speaker, highlighting the journey she took to create a name for herself through politics and public policy in the United States.
Later in the day, Mustangs attended the ACT Business Meeting & Critique Contest. After electing the new team of National ACT officers, Quincie Gourley and Madalyn Souza were recognized for placing in the photo contest while the Brock Center was awarded “Best Online Publication” for the Winter 2018 issue of AgCircle.
Day 4: Wednesday, August 8th
Wednesday was the last day in Scottsdale. A few of us decided to grab brunch and explore the commons before our flights. As AMS came to a conclusion, I realized I had enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. I was able to bond with more Cal Poly students, gain skills that are applicable to the industry, and learn more about possible careers with my agricultural communication degree. I fully encourage anyone with a passion for agriculture and media to attend Ag Media Summit to experience it for yourself.
The next Ag Media Summit will be held July 24-31 in Minneapolis!