The MU Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow earned second place and $1,500 in the Yamaha-ACT scholarship contest from Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. this August.
The club created a public safety campaign that focused on safe and responsible operation of all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles using a T-shirt design, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and a video storyboard.
Van Holmes, public relations manager of Yamaha Motor Corporation, said in an email that the MU chapter “did a great job capturing the spirit of the application process — incorporating safe, responsible use messages in an ag setting within their practical sample pieces.”
Club members created the project during their own free time.
Senior Kari Weis, fundraising committee co-chair of ACT, said she made participating in the competition one of the organization’s goals when she served as club president in 2012.
ACT allocated the prize money to fund their annual trip to the Agricultural Media Summit in Buffalo, N.Y. this August.
“It was completely the student’s initiative,” said Sharon Wood-Turley, ACT adviser and program chair for Science and Agricultural Journalism. “We’re a small degree program and we have a small student club and not a lot of funds, so it was extremely helpful that they did that because otherwise it would’ve been a little bit more difficult.”
The convention, put on by the Livestock Publications Council, the American Agricultural Editors Association and the American Business Media Agri-Council, is the largest meeting of agricultural publications in the country, according to the Agricultural Media Summit website. The summit offered students the opportunity to network with media professionals and meet other agricultural journalism students around the country.
“It’s a great networking opportunity on two or three different levels,” Wood-Turley said.
For next year’s competition, ACT President Courtney Leeper said they hope to get an earlier start next year with more planning.
“Going into next year, I might look at the kids that are in the marketing classes and see if we can have them maybe think about what they can possibly do,” Leeper said.
In addition to the summit, ACT takes part in community service such as food drives, toy drives and volunteering at the Nora Stewart Early Learning Center in Columbia. The club holds monthly meetings and brings in alumni to speak to help members learn more about the agriculture media industry. Weis said the clubs next step is to get more involved in “telling the stories of agriculture” and working with local farmers to do PR campaigns.