Co-Chair: Sarah Hill
Co-Chair: Rachel Lium

Facebook Group

AAEA Young Professionals Taskforce

Strategic Plan 2018

Purpose of the taskforce and committee:

  • Committee for organizing all gatherings, webinars, meetings, and introductory liaison for young professionals who join AAEA.

Purpose of the young professionals group:

  • New to the industry, recent college graduates, those under 35 – all who are interested in becoming more involved in AAEA and connecting with others.
  1. Professional Development

Designed to provide learning opportunities throughout the year and serve as a resource for young professionals. These opportunities will primarily be delivered by webinar. We will also look to have a face-to-face meeting in conjunction with a larger AAEA event – see Skills Boot Camp idea below.

  1. January/February 2018: Get to Know AAEA – Committee Structure and Roles, and How to Get Involved
  2. Advanced Social Media — Discover How PR Firms Use Social Media for Big Ag
    1. How PR firms use social media to promote big ag
    2. How PR firms use social media to promote smaller ag companies with limited budgets while managing expectations for results, and what ideas there are for maximizing those limited dollars.
    3. How are different brands using social media?
    4. How are magazines/publications using social media?
    5. How are freelancers using social media?
  3. How to Navigate Workplace Dynamics (working with older generations)
  4. Skills Boot Camp
    1. Day 1: Advanced Social Media (2 hours in the late afternoon/evening)
    2. Day 2: Morning photo adventure (1/2 day) and Best of Photoshop (1/2 day)
  5. The Intricacies of Working with Business Development and Sales
  6. The Science to Creating Hot Headlines
  7. The Art of Mingling


  1. Creating A Community

Create a Facebook group as a way to stay engaged and develop a sense of community. Goals of the group will be to:

  1. Share stories, ideas, and things of interest.
  2. Offer feedback on an article, project (help)
  3. Discuss issues of importance and concern
  4. Point out good resources (websites, books, orgs)
  5. Facebook Live: Could serve as a follow up from the webinars/learning opportunities to share what you’ve done with that (ie best headlines, videos, hot topics and issues to keep your eye on). Could also serve as a place for members to get feedback/critiques on photos from expert photographers or just from each other.

How to promote this page/community:

  • Promoting on the AAEA website
  • Byline
  • E-blasts
  • On the AAEA regular Facebook page
  • Mentions during YPT webinars/events

We will potentially consider creating a LinkedIn group instead if the Facebook group is not garnering any interest or engagement. Some form of an online community is needed.

  1. Networking Opportunities / Partnership with Future Ag Communicators committee

Regional Events

  • AAEA regional workshops, farm shows, NAFB (ACT’s winter meeting), NAMA, AMS (ACT’s summer meeting), etc.


  • Host a “Young Professionals Mixer” or combine with “First Timers Reception” at the beginning of AMS to give a sense of community and connect people before things officially kick-off.
  • Booth at AMS: students will work booth to discuss scholarship program, internship program, etc.
  • Meet the finalists: scholarship finalists will be introduced at the “Young Professionals Reception / First Timers Reception” at AMS.

Potential Mixers/Receptions

  • Round robin speed dating: students will rotate around tables in a conference room with two professionals from the industry at each table. It will serve as a “speed-dating” event. Professionals will include various company representatives, agency/PR, editorial, etc.
  • Simple ice-breakers: draw names out of a hat and match members with someone new.

Student Liaison

  • Serve as a liaison between professionals and students in clubs/organizations with agricultural communication interests at colleges around the Midwest or country
  • Encourage recent grads join AAEA after college
    • Help with transition between graduating students and professionals
  • Ensure students have joined young professional Facebook group
  1. You Just Joined AAEA – Now What?
    1. Connecting new professionals to all of AAEA organization / membership follow-up
    2. Guidance on how to get younger members involved / stay connected in AAEA

Communication to new members

  • After someone under 35 signs up to be a member, a month later a member of the YPC sends a follow-up email welcoming the member and provides some details about getting involved in AAEA.
  • Young professionals group to provide new members with:
    • Specific list of ways to get involved
      • Join a committee
      • Attend events
    • Serve as a liaison to new members: connecting them with committee leaders
    • If a committee is full, but a new member signs up and wants to join:
      • Committee chair creates list for members interested for next year
      • Find another committee that does need more assistance
  • Create monthly or bi-monthly email communication to young member list OR include spotlight once a month in the Byline:
    • Create a calendar for when and what content to provide to Byline committee; assign committee member to do this.
    • Emails will potentially discuss:
      • Joining Facebook group
      • Upcoming webinars and events
      • Updates on which committees in AAEA need assistance
      • Young pros spotlight – “meet the young pro” or “meet the seasoned expert”
      • Q&A with members
      • Ways highlighting how other young members are currently involved