Bush wins Fields-of-Corn photo contest

ACEL alum Amanda Bush ’17 was the winner of the most popular award for the 2020 Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest, which is hosted by the National Corn Growers Association.

Bush, who graduated in 2017 with a bachelor of science in agricultural communication, submitted a photo taken from her family farm in Morrow County, Ohio. She is the executive communications assistant for Ohio Farm Bureau.



Hamilton to serve as social chair for CFAES Student Council

Arica Hamilton, a junior studying agricultural communication, will serve as social chair of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ Student Council for the 2021-2022 academic year.

As social chair, Hamilton will preside over the social committee and the organization of the CFAES ice skating social, CFAES Olympics and other socials for students within the college.

ACEL undergraduates complete in research forums

Beach, Pozderac, and Shuman

Undergraduate students from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) competed in two undergraduate research forums at The Ohio State University. The University’s Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate Research Forum and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Undergraduate Research Forum were both held virtually during the first week of April.

Schelby Beach, a senior studying agricultural communication from Findlay, Ohio, participated in both undergraduate research forums with her research project “Consumers’ Perception of Ethics and Lab-Cultured Proteins.” She was mentored by Dr. Annie Specht, associate professor of agricultural communication.

Jacob Shuman, a senior studying community leadership from Chillicothe, Ohio, presented his research at the CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum. For his project, “Quantifying Attributes of Drone Congregation Areas,” he was mentored by Dr. Reed Johnson, associate professor of entomology in the Department of Entomology at Ohio State.

Milan Pozderac, a senior studying agriscience education from Fredericktown, Ohio, presented his research at the CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum. He was awarded second place in the social science category for his project, “Career Choice and Beliefs: Insights from Second Generation Agriculture Teachers.” He was mentored by Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor of agriscience education and senior associate dean and director of faculty and staff affairs for CFAES.

“I’m proud of our students who completed these research projects during an unusual time of both virtual learning and research,” said Dr. Shannon Washburn, professor and chair of ACEL. “The research they completed will help them in their future careers to improve the communities, programs and people they will work with each day.”

The CFAES Undergraduate Research Forum provides a means for undergraduate students to share their research with members and friends of the OSU community; recognizes the significant contributions to research by OSU undergraduates; and facilitates exchange between students, faculty, and the public. Students enrolled in any undergraduate degree program in College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the School of Environment and Natural Resources are invited to participate, provided they have a CGPA of 2.5 or higher and are engaged in supervised research projects in the area of their major.

Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, currently in its 26th year, is a University-wide research forum that provides a means for undergraduate students to share their research with members and friends of the Ohio State community; recognizes the significant contributions to research by Ohio State undergraduates; and facilitates exchange between students, faculty, and the public.

Undergraduate students in ACEL study agricultural communication, agriscience education or community leadership. These three bachelor of science degrees prepare students working with youth and adults of age to promote agriculture and positive change in communities. For additional information on undergraduate in the areas of agricultural communication, education and leadership visit acel.osu.edu.


ACEL Distinguished Senior: Kolt Buchenroth

Kolt Buchenroth is a senior studying agricultural communication with a minor in agribusiness. Originally from Kenton, Ohio, Kolt is a graduate of Kenton High School. He is one of 14 seniors from the the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership to be named an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

Why did you choose your major?
I had just started at WKTN when I met Joel Penhorwood and Dr. Buck at the Ohio FFA State Convention. I knew I liked radio and I wanted to make that my career but related it back to agriculture. Joel was graduating that year and raved about his experience as a Buckeye. When I learned I could get a degree in two of my passions, it was all over. I was dead set on agricultural communication.

Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
I’ve wanted to attend Ohio State as long as I can remember. I don’t want to say that was the only option — because it wasn’t. I spent my early days cheering on the Buckeyes, attending Skull Sessions, and even the occasional football game. After I got older and decided I wanted to stay in agriculture and had discovered radio, Ohio State was the clear choice for me.

What classes did you enjoy the most?
This is a hard one. Dr. Buck’s spring break photography trip was such a great experience. Dr. Specht’s 4130 class taught me so much about design. Tom Stewart’s classes are always fun yet informative. Dr. Whittington’s cultural proficiency class expanded my horizon and forced me out of my comfort zone. I have also enjoyed classes in other departments like Bethany Barker’s COMM 2221 Journalism class, Paul Peloquin’s fundamentals of radio and TV production class with WOSU, and Dave Fisher’s Buckeye TV classes were all challenging, but a lot of fun too. The AgriNaturalist production course is also a BLAST!

Spring break photography trip in Nashville, Tennessee

Taking photos on the spring break photography trip.

What student organizations have you been a member of as a student?
I was the vice president of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, director of public relations and communications for FarmHouse-ATZ Fraternity, a member of Collegiate Farm Bureau, and the editor-in-chief of the AgriNaturalist Magazine.

With fraternity brother Chris Young.

What internships did you complete and how did they help you decide what you did or did not want to do after graduation?
As mentioned, it was pretty clear I wanted to be a farm broadcaster. My time at WKTN as the agriculture news director showed me station life. While farm news was my title, I did a little bit of everything. It gave me an appreciation for local journalists and now our affiliate radio stations and how they operate. I learned the tricks of the trade too. I’ll always be thankful for my friends at WKTN that gave me my start and taught me what I know.

Interning at Ohio Ag Net was a natural fit. There is no turning back now, but that gave me the real dose of what it was like to work for a statewide radio network.

What stands out as your best college memory?
This is easily joining FarmHouse Fraternity. Ohio State is a big place, especially when you come here from Small Town, USA. FarmHouse gave me fraternity brothers all in the same boat. We’re all from our different corners of the state — or the country — and we’re all trying to figure life out in the city. It’s a support system and a group of friends. We’re a family. The only thing I would’ve done differently is rushed sooner!

Why should someone else consider your major at Ohio State?
Why WOULDN’T you attend Ohio State? We have expert faculty in a highly regarded and recognized program.

What do you plan to do after graduation?
I am excited to continue my role at Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal after I graduate.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Shae Leeper

Shae Leeper is a senior studying agricultural communication with a dual minor in agribusiness and agronomy. Originally from Marysville, Ohio, Shae is a graduate of Marysville High School. She is one of 14 seniors from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership to be selected as an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

Why did you choose your major?
Growing up on a farm, I knew that I always want agriculture to be a part of my life. I was also very interested in marketing and the creative aspects of business. Agricultural communications was combination of my two interests, which was a perfect fit.

Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
When choosing a university to attend, I was interested in staying in Ohio and Ohio State offered the field of study I was interested in. I also heard a lot of great things from friends who were a part of CFAES.

What classes did you enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed all of my classes and they each offered something unique. Within my major I really enjoyed AGRCOM 4130: Publication Design and Production. It was a great class to become familiar with Adobe applications.

Within my agribusiness minor, I enjoyed AEDECON 3170: Agriculture Law. Dr. Kirk-Hall did a great job of teaching the class and we learned a lot about various types of law affecting agriculture.

Within my agronomy minor, I though HCS 5140 was a great class. It was nice learning about the history of different crops within agriculture, especially those planted in Ohio.

What student organizations have you been a part of as a student?

  • The Agribusiness Club – Social/Recruitment Chair (2019-2020), President (2020-2021)
  • Celebration of Students Banquet Planning Committee – Image Chair (2019-2020), Co-Chair (2020-2021)
  • Sigma Alpha (2019-2020) – Public Relations Chair (2020)

What internships did you complete and how did they help you decide what you did or did not want to do after graduation?
I interned with Richwood Marketing in the summer of 2018 as a marketing intern. It was a great internship to start out with. It helped introduce me to the world of marketing and all of the different elements that go into it. The company had a great culture and work environment which set the bar high right from the start. After completing this internship, it helped me realize that I wanted to be involved in marketing, but more so the overarching ideas, rather than a specific segment of it (such as graphic design).

During the summer of 2019 I interned with the OSU Extension Office in Delaware County as the 4-H and Agriculture & Natural Resources intern. This internship provided me with the opportunity to work within agriculture and with different group of people, 4-H and Junior Fair Board members, farmers, adults involved in the county fair, and more. I really liked working with others and being in a position that was everchanging. I had a lot of projects to put together, each one different from the other. It showed me that I like having new and different tasks to take.

What stands out as your best college memory?
The Agribusiness Club trips are memories that stand out to me. Transitioning from the Ohio State Marion my sophomore year, this was a great way to get involved and meet new people. I really enjoyed traveling to a different region of the United States to explore agriculture. The trips were always fun and it brought club members closer together.

I also always enjoyed going to Ohio State football games. Rain or shine it is a surreal experience to watch the game alongside thousands of other students. 

Why should someone else consider your major at Ohio State?
For those interested in agriculture and business I think that agricultural communication offers some unique opportunities that are applicable to any business role. Throughout our classes, we learn all about communications from writing and design, to working on a team to create a yearlong project. Communications will always be a vital aspect of business. The experiences I had and skills I gained from my major are unmatched and I know I will use them frequently throughout my career.

What is your advice for future Buckeyes?
For those interested in becoming a part of our college I would say take advantage of every opportunity. Join clubs, takes classes outside of your major, and try to push yourself to try new things. Your four years in college go by quick, but they will be filled with some of your favorite memories. I have found lifelong friends while in college and learned so much. Take advantage of study abroad or class trips, going to a new place and learning about the culture or agriculture is an eye-opening experience that helps us grow. Just enjoy it!

What do you plan to do after graduation?
I am excited to say that I recently accepted a position at Scotts Miracle-Gro as an assistant marketing manager. This position is a two-year training program within brand management. I will be placed on two, one-year rotations with different brands within Scotts. I am looking forward to learning more about the industry and everything encompassed within brand management.

ACEL Distinguished Senior: Courtney Heiser

Courtney Heiser is a senior studying agricultural communication with a minor in production agriculture. Originally from Attica, Ohio, Courtney is a graduate of Seneca East High School. She is one of 14 seniors in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership to be selected as an ACEL Distinguished Senior.

Why did you choose your major?
I grew up on my family’s row crop farm in Seneca County and always enjoyed being on the farm, riding in the tractors with my dad, and learning about different parts of the agriculture industry. I couldn’t wait to get involved in organizations like 4-H and FFA to continue to grow my passion for agriculture. In high school, I became actively involved with the Seneca East FFA chapter. As an officer, I made connections with a lot of local agriculture professionals. During the summer of my junior year, I job shadowed a director of marketing at a local cooperative which really drove my decision to study agricultural communication. I loved the opportunity to learn more about different aspects of agriculture and share new information with farmers and consumers.

Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?
As a first-generation college student, my mentors really helped me decide on what school to attend. Not only did I want to be a Buckeye, but my high school agricultural educator and FFA advisor, Bryan Crapo, was a big influence. He really encouraged me to further my education in agricultural communication because he studied at Ohio State and was very helpful with everything along the way. Ohio State also offered a vast range of scholarships that were easy to apply for and made a huge difference when determining where to go to college.

What classes did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed all of my coursework throughout my time at Ohio State, but I would have to say my top three favorite classes included campaign design and management with Tom Stewart (AGRCOMM 5130), culture proficiency (COMLDR 3535) with Dr. Susie Whittington, and foundations of personal professional leadership (3530) with Rod Welker.

What student organizations have you been involved in as a student?
At CFAES Wooster, I was involved in ACEL of Tomorrow and got to serve as the organization’s first official president alongside my outstanding executive team and passionate advisors. When I transitioned to the Columbus campus I got involved in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, and currently serve as the president. I also got involved with Alpha Zeta Partners and traveled to Brazil and Washington D.C. with 13 other students in CFAES. While at both campuses, I served as an ambassador for CFAES, making connections with prospective students and families sharing my story as an agricultural communication student.

Agricultural Communicators, Educators, and Leaders of Tomorrow at the annual ACEL Banquet in 2019

ACT at the annual Night for Young Professionals event in 2019

What internships did you complete?
I had the opportunity to complete several internships during my tie as an undergraduate. During the summer of 2019, I served as the communications intern for Ohio Soybean Council. During the 2019-2020 academic year, I was the communications intern for the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. During the summer of 2020, I served as Heritage Cooperative’s marketing intern.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of my internships and very grateful that I have the opportunity to continue to do what I love after graduation as a marketing specialist with Heritage Cooperative.

What stands out as your best college memory?
Looking back on my college career, I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil with Alpha Zeta Partners during January and February 2020. I made so many friends and memories and learned about the similarities and differences between Brazilian and U.S. agriculture and culture.

In Brazil with Alpha Zeta Partners in early 2020

Why should someone else consider your major at Ohio State?
The agricultural communication major is such a unique major. For me, I was able to tie my two favorite things together – agriculture and helping others! One great thing about the agricultural communication major is that you will have so many opportunities for diverse internships and jobs after graduation – you have to have communication skills for any job, and as an agricultural communication major, you’ll be the cream of the crop when applying for jobs!

What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working for Heritage Cooperative as a marketing specialist.

Sanders joins Arkansas Department of Agriculture staff

Sanders, 2021

Join us in congratulating recent alum Abby Sanders ’20, who is now a public information coordinator with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.

Sanders completed a master of science in agricultural communication, education and leadership in December 2020.
Congratulations Abby!

Rumble named Outstanding Advisor at Ohio State ATI campus

Congratulations to Dr. Joy Rumble, assistant professor of agricultural communication, for being named the recipient of the Ohio State ATI Outstanding Advisor award.

Rumble advises ACEL students who attend our CFAES Wooster campus and teaches several of our agricultural communication undergraduate and graduate courses at both the Wooster and Columbus campuses.

Rumble joined the ACEL faculty in 2018. She is a three time graduate of Ohio State, which includes a master’s degree in agricultural communication from our department.

Sanders defends master’s project

Join us in congratulating Abby Sanders on the recent successful defense of her master’s project “Branding in Higher Education: Arkansas Tech University Department of Agriculture.”
Dr. Annie Specht served as Abby’s advisor and Dr. Emily Buck was her committee member.
Congratulations Abby!

“The man with the mullet”


Chase Gasser lines up across from a teammate in a defensive practice drill. Regarded as one of the toughest players on the team, Gasser enjoys the chance to play football for the club team.

By Zachary Steiner
agricultural communication student

Chase Gasser was curiously wandering through the involvement fair on the oval of Ohio State’s campus his freshman year when he saw the OSU club football team booth. This was an open door for him to once again play the game he loved so much—football.

Regarded by his coaches and teammates as someone who embodies the culture of the club team and plays with energy every snap, Gasser has had a successful career. He also is an agricultural systems management major in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Gasser is a native of Creston, Ohio—a small farming community in Northeast Ohio where he grew up with an agricultural background and playing football each fall for his local high school team, the Norwayne Bobcats.

Originally, Gasser did not know what to expect when he first showed up for practice with the club team. He did not know what it would be like, but he took a chance and club football has since become a full commitment for him.

“I didn’t think it was going to be serious at all. I showed up thinking it was going to be a good old time,” Gasser said. “It was me going out on a limb to give it a try and here we are.”

Gasser, who stands at sturdy 6’2’’ and 220 lbs., is listed as the team’s starting defensive tackle. A man who rocks a long blonde mullet and scraggly facial hair, he fits the job description. His playing style certainly fits the mold as well.

He would describe his demeanor on the field being like a wild man—fitting for someone who prepares for each game listening to AC/DC.

“You just gotta be a wild man. You gotta be gritty. You can never shy down from the guy across from you,” Gasser said. “Playing defensive tackle, those big offensive linemen are often bigger than me, so I can’t be intimidated.”

OSU club football team’s first-year head coach, James Grega, took one look at Gasser and instantly thought he would be a great addition to the team. What gave it away? The long blonde mullet that flows from his grey helmet.

“The first thing that comes to mind is the hair and you see the hair and you think this guy has to be a good football player because you can’t pull off that hair and not be good at football,” Grega said.

Being named to the All-American team for the National Club Football Association his first two seasons, Gasser certainly has a career full of accolades. However, what his teammates most appreciate about him is the leadership he has brought. He exemplifies what it means to be a buckeye on the club team.

“From day one, the first time he came out to practice, you could just see you weren’t going to have a tougher guy on the team, a guy that is going to give everything he’s got every play. He brings a ton of energy to practice and to our games,” Grega said. “He’s been one of those guys who has been instrumental to establish the culture of winning.”

Gasser believes you have to play the game with energy. He prides himself on being a team player—sacrificing for the teammates around him.

“This sport is all about passion and playing for the guy next to you and it is something to have the opportunity to play at a university like this,” Gasser said.

The team is made up of a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Everything from players formerly on the varsity squad to small-town farm kids, Gasser enjoys the challenge of bringing the group together.

“This is the most absurd group of people you will ever see on one team, but somehow we found a way to click,” Gasser said. “You just have so many different people, so many studs in high school who knew they were not going to play division one somewhere, so they came here and found this special club we have.”

The club players at Ohio State are playing because they have a chance to strap up their helmets a few more times before they hang up the cleats for good. Like varsity student-athletes, club athletes must balance their practice and competitions with schoolwork, jobs and whatever else they are involved in.

For Gasser who has been employed at the Ohio State beef and sheep facility since his sophomore year and is a full-time student, this has proven to be challenging.

“Trying to balance chores at the farm, schoolwork, and practice can be tricky at times, but you just have to grind,” Gasser said. “Find those chances to work on stuff and get it done.”

Alike his mentality on the field—playing with a high energy and passion—Gasser attributes his success on the field and the classroom to his upbringing. He believes with 100% certainty that farmers are the toughest people around.

“Everyone on this team knows I live at the OSU Beef and Sheep facility and they think I have this farm strength, farm tough attitude and that is for sure,” Gasser said. “That is what agriculture is. Whether that is physical strength or mental strength, I mean, you look at farmers, they’re the toughest people I know, and I try to carry that same mentality.”

Being the lone agricultural major on the team and clearly standing out from others with his mullet and mustache, his teammates and coaches appreciate his comfort in being himself no matter who is around.

“He embraces who he is, and he doesn’t deviate from who he is at all and I think the guys on the team appreciates that and they gravitate towards it,” Grega said. “Everybody feeds off his energy and his emotions and it is always positive.”

With a motor that never quits, hair that stands out amongst a crowd and the toughness of a farmer, Gasser wants his legacy to be one thing—a national championship.

“The first national championship in OSU club football history. That’s it. That’s what we want,” Gasser said.


This feature story was written by Zachary, an agricultural communication student enrolled in the Agricultural Communication 2531 course during the 2019 Autumn Semester. Dr. Joy Rumble instructed the course.