Agriculture communicators are the voice of the industry, sharing stories and educating the public on where their food comes from. Students and young professionals are the future and have the ability to amplify these messages through multiple new media channels.During the 2018 Ag Media Summit (AMS), Alltech honored young agricultural communicators through the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) Forrest Bassford Student Award and the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) Alltech Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Awards.
The 2018 Livestock Publications Council Forrest Bassford Student Award, sponsored by Alltech, was presented to Madison Hokanson, a South Dakota State University (SDSU) agricultural communications and leadership student and seventh-generation farmer from south-eastern Minnesota. Hokanson was presented a $2,000 scholarship and a plaque during AMS.
“My career goal is simple: to bring all sectors of agriculture together, working to educate the world as a united front,” Hokanson said. “We’re all different, but in the end, the future of ag communications is ensuring a thriving future in agriculture for generations to come.”
Hokanson is an advocate for the pork industry and served as one of the Pork Checkoff’s three inaugural Pig Farmers of Tomorrow in 2017. Additionally, she serves as a College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences Ambassador at SDSU and is the vice president of Sigma Alpha, a professional women’s agricultural sorority.
The Forrest Bassford Student Award honors excellence, professionalism and leadership among students. Each year, following a competitive application process, the LPC Student Award Program provides travel scholarships for four students to attend the Ag Media Summit. In addition to Hokanson, this year’s travel award winners were:
- Kiera Leddy, Oklahoma State University
- Alexa Nordwald, University of Missouri
- Sarah Moyer, Kansas State University
In support of young professionals, the American Agricultural Editors’ Association Alltech Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Award provides the opportunity for active AAEA agricultural journalists 35 years old or younger to receive a travel stipend to attend the Ag Media Summit, as well as an invitation to attend ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE19), held each May in Lexington, Kentucky.
The 2018 American Agricultural Editors’ Association Alltech Cultivating Young Ag Journalists Award recipients were:
- Tyler Harris, Nebraska Farmer/Farm Progress/Informa
- Katie Knapp, The Ag Photographer
- Kelsey Litchfield, freelancer
- Emma Wilson, Iowa Corn Growers Association
- Kellie Lasack, Roan Marketing Communications
“Alltech is proud to support the future of agricultural communicators as the ambassadors and voice of our industry as they share stories from the farm in a time where the vast majority of consumers are generations removed from the farm,” said Jenn Norrie, Alltech’s communications manager for North America.
The 20th annual Ag Media Summit hosted more than 700 agricultural communicators, media professionals and students in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Aug. 4-8, 2018. The Ag Media Summit is a joint meeting of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), the Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the Connectiv Agri-Media Committee and the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences, and it offers opportunities for professional development and industry networking.