Whittney Smith Bowers came to Ohio State from Piketon, Ohio in 2006 and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural communication in 2010. Bowers currently is the director of grassroots and political outreach for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation in Columbus, Ohio.
[ACEL]: Hi Whittney! Why did you select to major in agricultural communication?
[Bowers]: I selected agricultural communication because I wanted to help bridge the gap between consumers and producers. I knew this program would help me learn how to effectively communicate all types of information to different audiences.
Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Once you decide to study agriculture, the natural choice is to attend Ohio State. As a Land Grant University, and one of the largest universities in the country, being a Buckeye offers tremendous opportunity–both during your time there and post graduation.
How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My education has been the catalyst for my career, in every internship and post graduation job I have held, there is a direct link to the courses I took at Ohio State.
What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved with the Adopt-A-Class program, ACT, and the study abroad program while at Ohio State.
What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I enjoyed my writing classes, exploring the differences between feature writing, news writing, technical and scientific writing, and everything in between. Being able to write in diverse styles has been an asset to my career and the different opportunities I have had.
What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education?
I am grateful for Dr. Buck’s mentoring and the opportunities she took time to help me pursue. She helped widen my eyes at what was before me and helped me to not be so narrowly focused, and I was able to grow as a student once I realized what was available to me.
What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
My favorite memory of my time at Ohio State was serving as Editor of the AgriNaturalist. Putting together a magazine from start to finish in a couple months time, selling the ad pages, reading the fantastic stories my classmates were writing, it was all a tremendous experience that directly correlated to my first job. I also enjoyed getting to cover the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board ballot initiative, which was a special assignment I had the opportunity to write about for the Lantern.
What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job was as Assistant Editor of the Jersey Journal, a monthly publication from the American Jersey Cattle Association.
What positions have you held since your graduation from Ohio State?
Since graduation from Ohio State, I have worked for the American Jersey Cattle Association in different capacities, and in my current position at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as director of grassroots and political outreach.
During your career, have you received any awards or honors?
I recently completed the Ohio State Young Alumni Academy.
As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
During my time at Ohio Farm Bureau I have been able to work closely on issues surrounding the Current Agricultural Use Value, CAUV, and how it has impacted land owners in Ohio. In June of 2017 the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to bring relief to those with land enrolled in the CAUV program, which had seen drastic increases throughout the state. Being part of an effort that has brought relief to farmers and landowners was a great tangible victory for the agriculture community and something I’m very proud to have been a small part of.
What advice would you give to a current student?
There are tremendous opportunities to students of Ohio State. Take time to explore your interests and try something new. There are few points in your life where you will have the resources and opportunities to be uninhibited in your adventures. From rock climbing, to ballroom dancing, to everything in between, there is something for everyone at Ohio State. Think outside the box and get involved!
What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL helped me cultivate a continued connection to Ohio State, and the feeling that I had made a life-long investment during my four years of undergraduate studies.