I must say this has been quite an amazing year. First moving in to college, getting to travel not only all over Missouri but also getting to go to Taiwan, it has been quite the college experience. Although I will miss my time here at Missouri State, I am ready for my new adventures in Columbia, MO where I will be staying this summer with a few of my good friends who are also doing an internship in Jefferson City. I will miss my friends and family, but “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, than we aren’t really living” (Gail Sheehy).
I am also sad to say that I will no longer be returning to Missouri State next year. I have absolutely loved my time here and have created so many friendships that I will keep for a lifetime. My heart however lies in the Zou at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The end is near and I must say it has been a great chapter in my life. I now no longer will have to endure dorm life, eating dining hall food, or race for parking. It will be replaced with now having to pay for a house, utilities, and having to buy groceries. I can’t believe how fast college is passing by, but if can pass every finals week until I graduate I know that I am a survivor.
This past week I had an amazing opportunity to hear from one of the most well-known, well respected guys in the agriculture journalism/ communication business. Chuck Zimmerman, founder of AgWired and ZimmComm News Media, took the time to speak to our class about his role in the Agriculture Communications field and how the company came to be. Chuck and his wife Cindy have both continued an active career in news media for over 30 years.
ZimmComm was one of the first to join in to the blogging world spreading the news about the agriculture industry. The ZimmComm team now covers almost every major agriculture event across the country where they report and blog news concerning the industry.
One of the major keys to the ZimmComm’s success over the years was being able to keep up with the ever changing social media trends and the way public relations and journalism has changed over the years. After seeing a need for agriculture news to enter into the online world, they never wavered for the opportunity to bring agriculture to social media and the blogging world. As social media and communication continues to change, we can always count on Chuck and Cindy to be proactive when it comes to the evolution of journalism. I have no doubt that agriculture communications is in good hands.
Jaelyn Burgman, Missouri FFA State President giving some convention highlights.
Burbon FFA was this year’s Farm Bureau video contest winner.
As some of you may know this week marks a very important week to many FFA members across the state. For some it’s preparing for contest teams, looking forward to sessions and keynote speakers, or in my case—looking forward to a time of reflection from this past year. Words cannot describe all of the friendships, countless memories, laughs, car troubles, and life experiences that have truly changed my life. I am so excited for members to finally arrive and to hear the first tap of the gavel at the opening session.
I am so thankful for every opportunity that the Lord has given me. When I think back to the beginning of the year I set goals for myself and that was to leave an impact on others, and to never let an opportunity pass that I may regret later. The Greek god Caerus, was well known for his unique hair style. Also known as the opportunity statue, Caerus’s was bald in the back with only a small tough of hair in the front. His hair was supposed to represent how opportunities can pass you buy. As you pass by him, you can grab his hair, but once he has past there is none to hold on to. Once an opportunity passes you by, you can no longer seize it. I only hope to keep this idea with me over the years for the constant reminder of how precious time can be.
I have learned many lessons this year and although I am beginning to close a memorable chapter in my life, I know that my involvement will never change unless I chose to do so.
Well ladies and gentlemen this time of year marks a busy time in our lives where countless hours are spent gearing up for contest season and competing in CDE and LDE events all over the state! Needless to say I am excited for this year’s Missouri State FFA Convention to finally become a reality. The first time I can remember attending convention was when my older sister walked on stage to sing the National Anthem. That day marked the first time I had seen the organization as something larger than just an extracurricular activity. To see so many students across this state who had worked hard for the opportunity to compete and attend sessions of one of the country’s largest State Associations, I was amazed at the excitement. Since then convention has always been one of my favorite events of the year, and this year I am so excited for my opportunity to be a part of it.
FFA members it has been such an honor to have served you this year and I hope to continue over the years to give back to the organization. I can honestly say that as I have traveled across the state and visiting chapters, that you all have taught me many lessons that I hope to keep with me over the years and have impacted me in more ways that I can count. As we work towards competition this year, it is important to never forget why we are here as FFA members; “to practice brotherhood, honor agricultural opportunities and responsibilities, and to develop those qualities of leaders ship which an FFA member should possess!”
For this week I decided to post a few tips I have learned from my adventures in Springfield and my experiences I have learned from this year:
- When you begin to stare at the ice cream machine in the dining halls, firmly tell yourself NO and then walk away, you will be addicted for life.
- You will gain the freshman fifteen it’s inevitable, so might as well not fight it.
- Never choose a Gatorade on how cool the color looks; it will most likely be gross.
- No coffee after 7 o’clock, no matter how cool it looks to sit in a coffee shop late at night, your stomach will pay for it the next day.
- No matter how many times you check your Facebook, your homework is still not done (we all do it).
- Always make early appointments for library study…. the Asians usually fill it fast.
- If your study plan includes some form of procrastination and leads to an all night study, make sure you do not make eye contact with anyone— your lack of beauty sleep will scare many.
- When stuck with community bathrooms in your dorm ALWAYS wear shower shoes.
- Girls: you never have to buy bobbie pins at the store ever again, there is always a constant supply in random corners of your room.
- Do your laundry regularly- it’s hard to get the hang of, but is most appreciated.
- For those of you who get stuck with professors with accents- there is nothing you can do about it, so just try and enjoy listening to the exotic voice because you will not be able to understand a word of it.
- Become friends with Kimmy Jin
- Don’t try to use the Rec Center after New Year’s, resolutions will most likely only last about 2 months.
- GO TO CLASS—because you pay for it.
- Make an effort to make friends in every class; this comes in handy for homework help.
- Your advisors know what they’re talking about, so make an effort to listen and schedule appointments.
- PAY your parking tickets.
- Your room is only a place where you sleep, otherwise be out and about on campus and meet new people. College is full of opportunities—take advantage of it.
Hope you all enjoy!
Judy Graff, more widely known as the Farmn’Wife, is what I would call a farm blogging superstar. She started blogging in 2007, and from there shared her passions about agriculture and now helps other farmers share their story as well and how to promote their products. Reading through her blog I saw a few things that I thought were very useful when it comes to blogging and the impact it has for business.
- Blogging is one of the best ways to grow closer to the consumer
There are many advantages to blogging that allows consumers to contact you directly through a simple comment. Educating the people about your product will give them a better understanding of every benefit you have to offer. In turn, this creates a much happier consumer and a better business.
- Have a blog post checklist
Having a simple to navigate an organized blog will attract more readers by simple making it easier to read through. Let’s face it, WordPress is one tough cookie when it comes to how the program works and organizing your blog just the way you like it. It is important to just spend a little bit more time on learning how to work it in order to create a larger fan base, having graphics, links, and good titles will pay off.
- Create a searchable title
Although we all like to think that our blogs are special and they are, they may not be getting the most views. She uses the example of the word “Agriculture” and how much the word is searched. When searched almost 2.7 million different links come up. So, instead of just using broad terms, use specific phrases that give you a better chance in showing up on the first search page.
The Farmn’Wife is now a widely known name and continues to help farmers and students such as myself to better your business and share your story of agriculture.
This week was a very exciting week for agriculture as Tuesday March 19 marked this year’s National Ag Day. This year I had the amazing opportunity to spend Ag Day in Washington DC to help spread the word of agriculture and its importance at our nation’s capital. One hundred young agriculturalists all serving as leaders in AFA (Agriculture Futures of America), 4-H, and the FFA organization were gathered to meet with their congressional leaders in order to promote agriculture.
One of my favorite things about getting to wear the Blue Jacket is getting to show off the amount of pride and legacy that comes with our organization. Coming to the capital this week and being stopped by so many people who had also shared that same FFA background and who were proud to have been a part of FFA, made me realize just how much of an impact this organization has on young students and future leaders. I was overwhelmed of the amount of support that came from the congressman I had the opportunity to speak with today. I have high hopes for America’s largest industry and its issues are more important now than ever before. I hope everyone will share their agriculture story this week and help promote our farmers safe and sustainable food!