Students Attend Professional Development Conference in Kansas City

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By: Mollie Lastovica

Four students in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications attended in the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Annual Conference in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 13-15.

Undergraduates Karina Farias, Jennifer Enocksen and Jackie Hill, along with graduate student David Walther represented the university while fostering relationships with industry professionals and learning about current trends and technologies affecting broadcast journalism.

“I attended numerous workshops which offered a wide range of topics including social media, agriculture policy and target audience,” said Hill, a senior agricultural communications and journalism major.

One event, Trade Talks, gave conference attendees the chance to visit with countless industry leaders.

“This was a time in which over 100 broadcasters and industry professionals were set up at their individual booths and were available for questioning and on-camera interviews. I had the chance to shadow NAFB President-Elect Janet Adkison and do a couple of interviews myself,” Hill said.

Walther, Farias and Hill were selected by a departmental committee to attend the conference and were sponsored by the department and NAFB. Enocksen, a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow organization, traveled as part of her official duties.

“It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Farias, senior agricultural communications and journalism student, said. “I’m interested in the broadcasting industry, so attending NAFB just seemed logical and I’m glad I did.”

The conference allowed the students to explore different forms of broadcast and discover career options.

“Getting the chance to interview some professionals and be in front of the camera while at the conference assured me that television broadcasting is the route I want to take with my education and career,” Hill said. “It was a great feeling to know everyone there shared the same passion for agriculture.”

Farias encouraged all students to seize opportunities for professional development, especially through conferences.

“Professional development conferences are important because it’s real world experience with industry professionals,” Farias said. “There are opportunities there that you won’t be able to get inside a classroom. At these conferences, you may be speaking with your future employer.”

Hill agreed that the benefits of attending such conferences are invaluable.

“It is a great opportunity for students to network with industry professionals and to learn more about the specific field,” Hill said. “How could any student pass up such a great opportunity to attend a conference with industry professionals and gain some hands-on experience in the field you wish to someday have a career in?”

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