Highlighting Course Activities Across AECM
AFEE 1001 and 3096
On Oct. 12, it was Agricultural Communication & Marketing Take-Over Day in AFEE 1001! Students in our orientation class were able to learn more about the ACM major and possible career opportunities. Some of AFEE 3096 - Experiential Learning: Production and Business students gave short presentations about their summer internships. Minnesota Beef Council Communication Director (and ACM alum), Becky Church (pictured here) also shared more about her career path, internship possibilities for students, a day in the life of her job, and life advice!
For AFEE 2421: Professional Communication for Agriculture, Food, and The Environment, students had the opportunity to work in teams to construct a symposium for their fellow classmates. Groups were assigned a broad theme, such as transparency, sustainability, or literacy which they applied to food, agriculture or the environment. Through this project, students developed their ability to work effectively in groups, apply their knowledge of visual communication, and practice critiquing communication messages as well as fielding difficult questions from an audience.
Throughout the semester, students in AFEE 3112: Building Construction Technology have the opportunity to do hands-on projects in a shop (see photo above). As part of their woodworking unit, students built bird houses and a tool/nail carrier. During the course of this unit, students are able to use stationary tools such as a compound sliding miter saw, jointer, table saw and the drill press, as well portable power tools like the biscuit jointer, power drill, jig saw and portable sander. During project construction, Lee and the students discuss strategies used for teaching these concepts to middle school and high school students.
"These are two projects that are very good for introducing woodworking to middle school students or any beginner. Through these projects, the students learn the safe and proper use of power tools," says instructor Lee Thompson.
In AFEE 4450W: Advanced Agricultural Journalism and Persuasive Writing for Ag, Food and Environmental Sciences, ACM students listened to presentations from a wide range of agricultural professionals.
The first guest speaker was Greg Horstmeier, Editor-in-Chief of DTN/The Progressive Farmer. During his visit, Greg talked about the work DTN/The Progressive Farmer does and the reach they have far beyond agriculture. He shared stories and information on what occurs in the DTN News Room and examples of fast-pace news stories his team writes. Greg also shared career opportunities within DTN and answered questions from students relating to journalism and where digital media is heading in the future.
Theresa Reps, Integrated Communication Program Manager (and alum) and Trish Scorpio, Vice President of Integrated Communications for Midwest Dairy also stopped by to visit with AFEE 4450W students. During their presentation, they discussed writing for public relations. They each shared their career paths, details about Midwest Dairy, described what it is like to work in communications, shared general tips for writing, and even led students through two real-world exercises that challenged their communication strategy and editing skills.
Their last guest speaker was Tom Rothman with University of Minnesota Extension. Tom shared his experience of working in radio for 32 years and the different roles he had with the Minnesota Farm Network. He also shared briefly about podcasting and went through a typical day of a radio broadcaster. Tom encouraged that radio media is growing, unlike another media platform such as print. He fielded questions from students and provided insight for those that were interested in internships within the radio broadcasting profession.
For two of their assignments, students in AFEE 4450W had their own clients, the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC) and CFANS. Representatives from both organizations shared information about the work they do and research that is being done. Students were tasked with developing communication and social media materials that included a press release, news article, fact sheet, blogs, and Facebook and Twitter posts. These materials will be used to help raise awareness of MITPPC and CFANS, communicate the focus of certain research projects, and demonstrate the impact of both organization’s work on broader communities.
AFEE 1001 and 5111W
Partnering with the Minnesota State Fair and Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom students from AFEE 1001 and AFEE 5111W lead an interactive field trip at the Little Farm Hands exhibit on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on October 9, 2017 for 5th grade students from St. Anthony Park Elementary (see photo above).
Our students had three education stations planned that focused on the environment, food, and Minnesota ag products. With these, they were able to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) into their teaching. The project was designed to increase 5th grade students’ understanding of agriculture while also providing our Ag Ed students with an opportunity to develop teaching skills.
Mariah Daninger, a senior studying Agricultural Education said she really enjoyed the field trip, “We were able to put skills we have into practice as well as learn new skills. It was fun to work with the energy of the students, but I also had to learn to channel the energy into our activities. Overall, it was great to work with the AFEE 1001 students to create an enjoyable and educational experience for the fifth graders!