K-State Radio Network, Agriculture Today – Charlsie Craig

This past summer I served as the broadcast intern with Agriculture Today over the K-State Radio Network. This station is based out of Manhattan, Kan.

Agriculture Today is a broadcast show aired every week day at 10 a.m. The show is aired on KFRM 550 and live streamed on K-State Research and Extension wed page. The show, can reach not only to Kansas but surrounding states and with the live stream all across the United States. I work under the main broadcaster, Eric Atkinson.

The main purpose of this broadcast show is to keep producers, farmers, or advocates of agriculture in the know of what research and big things are happening in the world of agriculture. The show covers subjects that are spread all of agriculture from crops to Ag in the Classroom.

For the first couple of weeks it was a quick learning experiences of just learning how to edit material on Adobe Audition and learning how to set up the program to be aired. Although I was just getting my feet wet, within those first few weeks Atkinson ask me to contact someone for my first interview.

I thought that I wasn’t ready for my first experience, but Atkinson thought I was, and of course he was right. Currently I’m now up to doing five to six interviews a week but every time I still get the butterflies.

As the summer went on I had my first traveling experience at 2015 Kansas State FFA Conference. This experience brought a lot of first such as, using a hand held microphone and recorder. Also, I had the pleasure of being back stage during the last session when they announced the new state officers. My purpose of this event was to interview the winners of Kansas Star in Agribusiness and Farmer, and the new state officers. This was a very intense upbeat environment that I wasn’t use to. It ended up being a great experience and it made me realize how much I love broadcasting.

While realizing I liked that experience, at the station, my duties were routine. But I mean routine in the sense of having to conduct interviews. Every interview is different and the interviewee is always different. This internship has taught me many things and one of which is don’t be shy. When I listen to my interview at the beginning of summer compared to the end you can hear how by the end of the summer my interviews started to feel more relaxed and conversational. Every week I have to produce two network pieces that will be placed on the website for stations to use throughout the week. This piece can only be three minutes. Although it sounds easy sometimes it can be and sometimes you get 15 minute interviews that holds a lot of information. This experience taught me to utilize my time correctly.

Throughout the summer I learned many things but the two most important ones were deadlines and time management. In this communications industry time is based on time, wither that being interviews or producing a piece so it’s ready for the next show. Nothing has been more rewarding then having people call me telling me they heard me on the radio and ask me more questions about the interview. It gave me a humbling feeling of significance.

Atkinson has been a great mentor. I have learned so much from him and the staff at Agriculture Today. Atkinson brings a sense of importance and achievement on every broadcast show. Agriculture has a long road ahead of it and its people like him advocating it to help mend it together.

AG am – Sam Capoun

Sam - AG am

Sam - AG am 2

Our Town, Our Food

Livestock Sale Barn

AG am in Kansas, produced by Farming Unlimited, Inc., is a daily broadcast television program focusing on all aspects of agriculture in the state of Kansas. Based out of Topeka, the company works with different organizations and individuals to showcase and promote agriculture.

This summer I had the opportunity to be an intern for AG am in Kansas. My job duties were to produce, host and edit television segments. I began my internship in late May and finished in early August.

During my first few days of the internship, I was asked to format a plan outlining what I wanted to accomplish this summer. Not everyone gets a chance to be on television, so I wanted to use this opportunity to inform viewers about agriculture. My goals consisted of debunking myths revolving around the agriculture industry. I also wanted to explain the importance of these agricultural processes that range from using fertilizers to using gestation crates.

I started a list of topics that I wanted to cover and individuals that I would interview. I then reached out to them to schedule a date and a location for the interview. The last step was to form questions that I would ask during the interview.

During the actual on camera interview, I not only had to conduct the interview but I also needed to make sure all of the settings were correct on the video camera in terms of lighting and audio. Often I was by myself as both the cameraman and interviewer. After conducting the interview, I needed to continue taping video footage for all of the B-Roll footage that I needed to complete the segment.

The final stage of production consisted of editing. AG am in Kansas uses the Final Cut Pro editing system. Of all the stages of production, editing is what I found the most challenging to learn. My duties were to take all of my video clips and make them into one flawless video segment.

This internship fit my goals in agriculture communication extremely well. Growing up on a cattle operation, I’m very passionate about the agriculture industry. However, in today’s society it is becoming more and more evident that people are having a harder time connecting indirectly with what feeds and clothes their world. This internship gave me an opportunity to explain different livestock and farming practicing to our television viewers.

My experience as an intern for AG am in Kansas helped me to develop professionally. The skills and lessons I learned will continue to be with me in every aspect of my life. I gained communication, technology, people, and video production skills. Each day I could say a learned something new. From this experience, I am confident that after graduation I will incorporate communications into my future career.

I would highly recommend this internship to anyone who loves interacting with people, being in front of a camera and above all loves agriculture. Your skills will be put to the test everyday but the opportunities are endless! To apply for an internship for AG am in Kansas contact Heather Newell at heather@trinitymarketinggroup.net.

American Angus Association – Sarah Harris

I interned this summer with the American Angus Association as the communications and public relations intern. The application process was very fast paced and I was not sure what to expect when I got to Saint Joseph for the first day.

The original deadline to apply for this internship was March 1, and though I had thought about applying I did not get an application turned in. Luckily, a few weeks after the deadline Dr. Ellis forwarded an email from Jena McRell at the American Angus Association looking for more applicants for the position. I jumped at the missed opportunity and sent in my resume, cover letter, and two writing samples on March 23. I was amazed to get a reply the next morning — then set up a phone interview for March 25. I traveled to the Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Missouri for an interview on April 2.

A few days after the interview in Missouri I was offered the position and accepted. A few short weeks later, I packed up and headed to Saint Joseph for the summer. My internship lasted from May 18 to August 13, and was packed with a ton of experiences in a very short time.

Day one I was given a handful of assignments to start working on including putting together a media kit for the National Junior Angus Show, media releases to write and some design projects. It was almost overwhelming. I had never written a news release and I got lost looking for the office where I was conducting an interview; however, I did learn the layout of the Association building very quickly.

The American Angus Association was host to six interns this summer in different areas of focus — The Angus Journal, Angus Genetics Inc., events and activities, and Angus Media. I feel like I had one of the best experiences, as I was able to work in every area rather than just one. Going into the summer I was not sure what I wanted to do with my degree in when I graduate in December, but my experiences with the American Angus Association have given me a better direction.

My favorite part of the summer was by far working with the production team for The Angus Report. I got to experience everything from running the teleprompter to writing scripts for the show. It was very fulfilling to see videos that I had shot and interviews that I had cut be used for an actual television show.

Throughout the duration of my internship there was never a dull moment and the workload never slowed down, which made the summer fly by. The National Junior Angus Show in July was another one of my favorite parts of the experience. A majority of the work I had done in the summer was leading up to the show and it was inspiring to see everything come together. In addition to seeing my designs displayed around the show ring, barns and printed in the show book, I was able to get a years worth of experience in one week. While at the show in Tulsa, Okla., I gained experience with social media coverage, news releases on winners and events, video interviews to be used for The Angus Report television show, photography, and writing personal interest stories.

I would recommend this internship to everyone — especially those who are not sure of what path in communications they want to go down. This internship gives you experience in writing, design, photography, videography and social media management along with a chance to travel to shows, farms and ranches. I learned so much and cannot express how blessed I was to have this experience with the American Angus Association.

Certified Angus Beef Internship- Meg Drake

This past summer I served as the Industry Information Intern with Certified Angus Beef.  The internship was based out of Manhattan, Kan.

Certified Angus Beef, or CAB, is a not-for-profit organization that is considered a subsidiary of the American Angus Association.  CAB’s operational strategies and various business ventures are multi-faceted.

The company’s main purpose is to promote Angus beef and in turn generate more revenue for its producers.  They approach this operational goal from many different angles and work with different links in the production chain to accomplish their mission.  Not only does CAB license feedlots and restaurants but their marketing department also provides materials to those who wish to advertise the fact that they sell or produce CAB branded meat.

The Industry Information Division works mostly with producers and feedlots.  Their goals are to provide literature and information highlighting or featuring feedlots and producers that have done exceptionally well in terms of producing a high quality and consistent Certified Angus Beef product.

Some of my duties as the Industry Information Intern included meeting with and writing articles featuring producers, industry leaders, and even restaurant chefs.   On a day-to-day basis I was also assigned videos and transcriptions that had to be condensed down to 3-minute excerpts to be featured as “Angus VNRs” or video news releases that were later featured during “The Angus Report.”  I was also allowed the opportunity to record and serve as the voiceover for some of these VNRs.  Other duties included, but were not limited to, constructing news releases for various events, transcribing interviews, writing blog entries, and updating social media sites.

Throughout the duration of my time spent with CAB I not only learned many things about myself as a writer but I gained a better understanding of the value-added beef industry and learned what it was like to be a full-time employee.

Under my supervisor, and Director of the Industry Information Division, Steve Suther, I feel that I was able to advance my writing skills.  As an ex-Kansas State instructor and someone who has worked in the industry as a journalist for many years, Mr. Suther’s edits provided me with insights into style and how to make my writing more effective when trying to reach a specific audience.  I greatly valued his inputs and have kept all of my articles on file for future reference.

Other things I learned while interning with CAB were how to properly write for video broadcast and how to effectively communicate with producers for the purpose of conducting an efficient interview.  It is important when constructing a video script to first captivate audience members then provide information between excerpts as succinctly as possible.  It is also important that excerpts flow and when put together make sense.  In regard to interviewing producers, I learned that it is crucial to prepare ahead of time.  Familiarizing yourself with a producers operation helps when devising effective questions, it also shows he or she that you care about their business.  In many cases they are more open to sharing information with you and are more comfortable around you as an interviewer if you have done your research first.  Credibility is essential as a writer.

Upon completion of my internship experience I was able to discern between what I excelled in and what I didn’t care for as much.  I feel as though I learned a lot about who I am as a person and what kind of career path I’ll be pursuing in the future.

Areas that I enjoyed in particular were the broadcasting and social media components of the internship.  When searching for a job in the future, these two areas are ones that I can list as being comfortable with and proficient in.  I also enjoyed traveling and visiting with cattle producers.  Getting to interact with people that are passionate about the industry is another component I will look for when deciding upon a career.

KFRM Internship- Taylor James

The internship for Taylor Communications, or more specifically, KFRM 550 AM began in late May. The station I was based out of happened to be in my hometown of Clay Center. It is a medium size radio station that shares office and studio space with KCLY, which is a FM sister station of 550 AM. No fancy title, I was just known around the office as the summer intern.

For the first couple of weeks my duties consisted of researching issues facing the wheat harvest in Oklahoma and Kansas. KFRM’s broadcast region stretches into several states, but the main focus for the wheat tour was everything north of Interstate 40 and the Kansas-Nebraska border. I spent about a week looking up which varieties of wheat where the most prevalent in the area, communication with extension agents to glean local information and researching diseases and pests that were likely to be harmful in 2010.

While I was at the station and not on the road, I helped record some advertisements. This was a great learning tool as it familiarized me with being able to run the equipment and modify ads so that they were a better fit for the customer. The sound equipment became vital to be able to use for the next part of my internship at county fairs as well as recording sound bites for portfolios, scholarships, etc.

I began the wheat tour by traveling down to Yukon, Oklahoma on the last week of May. Along the way I stopped at a few northern and central Oklahoma grain elevators to get a grasp on how soon they would be ripe to harvest in their regions. Anxiously awaiting combines and harvest crews I was dismayed upon arriving in Yukon and realized they were still a day or two away from cutting. While this may not seem like a big deal, the radio station had already allotted time for eight radio broadcasts a day from the wheat tour. They also had sponsors for the tour that were expecting to get in their radio plugs. I was able to scrounge enough reports to keep the places filled until two days of rain hit the region. Still, there were radio spots with my name on them back at the station. I was able to rely on public speaking and common ground to find people associated with the harvest and get them to talk to me about what they had seen or heard. This phase of the internship was a bit like trial by fire; I hadn’t had much experience at getting interviewees and was placed in a position of finding 5-6 a day. It was a great time to realize the scope and weight of my job.

After spending four weeks and a shade of 6500 miles in the Harvest Tour Chevy Equinox, I traded it in for a regular cab Dodge pickup and cargo trailer for the 2010 County Fair Tour. Using this I would travel to 30 county fairs in Kansas. County fairs ranged from Syracuse, Kansas in western Kansas to Cowley County in the southeast.

The first county fair was in Great Bend, Kansas. It became evident to me that this part of the job would be considerably easier to accomplish as some interviewees were turned away. Pulling into a fairgrounds with a radio truck and trailer was like an ice cream truck to some of these 4-Hers, parents, extension agents and fair board members. Although there were nine spots to fill every day on the air, I usually ended up being done recording within an hour or two of being on the grounds. Some kids were shy, but would quickly open up when they got past the part of having large headphones on their heads and began to talk about their projects. Being a 4-H member as I kid I had several projects, but there were a lot I had never heard of while being at the county fairs. Turtles, mice, snakes, robotics, even alternative energy were projects that came up while on the road. It was also greatly helpful to find extension agents and other people of interest at the fair to shift the spotlight onto fair activities and other community aspects of the fair.

Throughout the summer I learned a lot about deadline responsibility, time management, being able to work with on air talent and sponsors and gave me my first taste of professional employment. Being able to fill those spots on the air allowed me to better utilize my location and communication skills to make sure the employees back at the station didn’t have to do extra work to juggle time slots. This was a first time for me working with sponsors and receiving a new list of them every day for the fair tour proved to be difficult to change and work into a program that I had to keep versatile to be able to develop into completion every day. My internship ended in August officially, but I was asked to join the National Association of Farm Broadcasters at their National Convention in Kansas City in November. While there I met a large group of smart, experienced talent that offered advice and career opportunities down the road. The most rewarding part of my internship was being chosen for the Glen Kummerow Memorial Scholarship and being able to talk in front of the convention. This was the most rewarding to me as I was able to tell my story and how I had benefited from being a part of agricultural communications and agriculture radio.