I found my calling in agricultural communication

By: Maggie Hovermale
agricultural communication

Throughout high school, I was set on studying animal science, and potentially going to vet school. However, through my involvement in my SAE working at Honeyrun Farm and participating in CDEs like agricultural sales and agricultural communications, I found my calling.

I was then able to recognize that while I do still love science, biology, and animals, I truly was going to be happy in a career within agricultural communications.


Maggie Hovermale (left) at OSU for the agricultural communications CDE.


Maggie Hovermale (left) at the 88th Ohio FFA Convention.


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How the Agricultural Communications CDE Has Impacted Me

By: Kaylee Reed
agricultural communication

For three years, I competed at the state Agricultural Communications CDE and one year, I got the opportunity to compete at the national level. Competing in this CDE made me fall in love with the agricultural communication major and Ohio State.

One year in particular stands out to me: my second year competing in the radio broadcast practicum. I was so excited to compete in that particular practicum! I ended scoring a 97 out of 100 on my practicum and from that moment on, I knew that I wanted to major in agricultural communication. This CDE opened my eyes open to the different jobs an agricultural communicator can do and how broad those jobs are. There are so many options in this major!

The many visits to Ohio State made me feel the sense of community and hear about the wonderful opportunities that CFAES could offer me in terms of studying abroad, education, advanced computer labs, a support system and caring faculty.


Kaylee Reed, left, at the Agricultural Communications Banquet for the national level.

Agricultural Communication, More Than a CDE

By: Josie Montoney
agricultural communication


The Agricultural Communications Career Development Event was by far the biggest factor behind my decision to pursue a degree in agricultural communication – it truly exemplified the idea that CDEs are put in place to fulfill the FFA’s mission of “career success”.

From the time I began to compete in the contest my freshmen year, it piqued my interest as a way for me to find my niche in the agricultural industry. I hadn’t grown up on a farm, yet I had an undeniable passion for sharing the industry with those who hadn’t been provided with the same exposure as I had experienced from 4-H and FFA.

Through the wonderful coaching of my agriscience educator, Mr. Scott Sharp, I was able to hone my skills in writing, graphic design, editing, planning/marketing, and presenting – all skills that have given me an upper hand in nearly every endeavor I have pursued, especially my college education. This CDE provided me with a clear mindset of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, which is a luxury very students are afforded with.

I cannot stress enough that any FFA member who has enjoyed this contest should heavily consider the agricultural communication major- it’s the first step in choosing a career that will truly make a difference.


Josie Montoney (left) at the Agricultural Communications CDE.


From a CDE to the Rest of My Life

By: Sarah Johnson
agricultural communication

Participating in the Agricultural Communications Career Development Event (CDE) was one of the most instrumental parts of my high school career. This CDE catapulted me into a career path I never saw myself pursuing.

I have interned with the Office of Advancement for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences as their communications intern, interned with Linde’s Livestock Photos, and currently work in the Office of Advancement as a student assistant and with ShowChampions Photography.

I also own SJ Photography where I photograph livestock, shows, events, weddings, families and seniors. None of these experiences would’ve been the same if I hadn’t been exposed to the material and framework of agricultural communication at this CDE.

Majoring in agricultural communication allows me to have the best of both worlds, all while continually improving my communication skills.

Johnson, second from left, and her Agricultural Communication CDE team and advisors at the Ohio FFA Convention.






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Much More Than A Volunteer: Buck-I-Serv 2016

By: Christine Balint
agriscience education


As a Buckeye, everyone has their own individualized experience during their time at Ohio State. We hear about the educational abroad opportunities, the research development within the college, and watch as leaders step forward to promote diversity and love within our college community. I assume many students have heard of Buck-I-Serv, but have not taken the time to research and learn more about this great organization. Buck-I-Serv is centered-around community service and civic engagement where students learn the importance of active citizenship and working in diverse environments. I’ve decided to share my story to hopefully spark the interest of fellow students to devote some of their time here at OSU to an organization that does much more than provide manpower.

This winter break, I took the time to travel to Cleveland County Oklahoma where I spent five days working with Habitat for Humanity. With a team of seven fellow buckeyes, we worked to build a home for a tornado survivor and learned her story of how she lost her home in 2013. Lee Anne is a single mother who has lived in Norman, Oklahoma for most of her life. Tornados in Oklahoma are similar to how Ohioans treat severe thunderstorms or snowstorms: something we always hear about, but rarely takes precaution towards. During tornado season, Lee Anne’s home would be located in the direct path of one of the most powerful tornados Norman had seen in years. Arriving home after the storm, Lee Anne would only see her shower standing where her home once stood. Jumping forward to 2016, Lee Anne had began her journey towards a new home with Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity does not give away homes for free, they do however provide a zero interest rate to make it more affordable for the homeowner. I had never worked with Habitat, and was excited to get my hands dirty and use skills I’ve learned from FFA/4H to help build this home. Little did I know that the time and work we put into the home helps Habitat offer the zero percent interest rate (which would come from outside contractors paid hourly on normal sites). Lee Anne visited us on the site and shared her personal story while installing dry wall throughout the home. I could see in her eyes that we truly were a blessing in her life and she graciously expressed her gratitude towards us committing our break time towards helping her. It was this moment that I knew I had provided a service, a service to a fellow man in need.

Over the remainder of the trip, I learned more about the social justice issue of poverty and homelessness. Norman, Oklahoma is known for it’s homeless population and my team had the opportunity to interact and work with members of that community while we were staying at the local church. Every person has his or her own story, and it is our duty to break the stereotype that lies behind homelessness.

I never could have imagined the impact this service trip would have on my time here at Ohio State. I worked with amazing members of the Habitat for Humanity team, was able to explore Oklahoma City, and travel halfway across the country with seven other buckeyes I can gladly call my good friends. I’ve learned that there is much more I can do from just volunteering. Through service I can work towards a better tomorrow, and overcome obstacles that surround our growing society. Lee Anne continues to update my team on the progress of her home and follows our lives as we proceed through college. I am forever grateful for this service opportunity and plan to commit more of my time towards service while here at Ohio State. In summary, I share the words of Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”