Agricultural Communication and Education in the U.K.

Marlee Stollar
agricultural communication

In May and June, I traveled to England and Scotland on the Agricultural and Environmental Communication education abroad. This trip was only two weeks, but had enough experiences to last a life-time.

The part I enjoyed most about the trip was its focus on my major, agricultural communication. Our group was able to learn some key differences and similarities between the U.S. and the U.K. both in agricultural communication and agriculture in general. By learning more about my future profession in another country, I was able to have an even better understanding of global agriculture going into my senior year. I gained this awareness especially through our various industry visits.

While we were in England we visited many places and agricultural businesses, but my favorite was Farmers Weekly. Not only did the company buy us all Starbucks coffee, but also taught us a lot about what their organization does. Karl Schneider, the editor, focused the discussion mostly on where agriculture is in the U.K. now and how that affects their content. Being one of our first industry visits, it was a nice introduction to learning more about U.K. agriculture. Farmers Weekly is the number one magazine for farmers in the U.K., so the organization had a great deal of interesting insights on how to engage audiences.

Our time at the Scottish Farmer was also impactful. Although the publication was smaller than Farmers Weekly, it was interesting to have a discussion with them about their magazine. There we talked a great deal about the decline in print and strategies to combat this issue. Another interesting part of the visit was hearing about the history and how far the organization has come in the past 126 years. We were even able to see old copies of the magazine, understanding what the magazine used to contain versus what it is currently. 

This two-week adventure included tours and visits that were more focused on culture and history as well. Some of my favorite visits include Kensington Palace, the London Eye, the Roman Baths and Stonehenge. I loved the opportunity to learn so much about agriculture, while simultaneously visiting intriguing places such as these. My absolute favorite activity was walking around Edinburgh, Scotland. The historic city has a lot to offer, from shops to restaurants to its overall atmosphere. The group was also able to visit Edinburgh castle, which was also rich in history.

The Agricultural Communication and Education trip allowed me to learn more about culture and agriculture in the U.K. I had previously studied abroad in Brazil my sophomore year, but this trip was a different experience that allowed me to learn more about my major from an international perspective. From the trip, I now have a better understanding of agricultural communication in these countries and how it may, in turn, affect the U.S. I am grateful for the opportunity, and I recommend all students, ACEL or not, to apply in the future!

Education Abroad in England and Scotland

Meredith Oglesby ’20
agricultural communication

When I first heard about the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences as well as the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership I was excited to be able to combine two things I love: traveling and agricultural communication.


One of my favorite parts of the trip was the time we spent in London. This is where we flew into from the United States. I absolutely loved hearing the history of the city and seeing the London Tower, the London Eye and hearing all about the Royal Family. It was so fun to be able to be a tourist while also learning about an area I have an interest in. Throughout the trip we visited several agricultural publications which I thought was incredibly interesting. During our visits we were able to hear about the layouts of the publications, how they incorporate social media into their brand and the employee roles. We also learned about the agricultural issues that the UK faces and how these compare to the agricultural issues we face in the United States. It was interesting to be in the UK during the time where Brexit is relevant and the future is uncertain. Being able to hear about Brexit from the perspective of agriculturists was something you wouldn’t get from media outlets in the United States or from visiting the UK as just a tourist.

I enjoyed the time we spent in Bath where we saw the Roman Baths. I had never seen anything so old before and the whole town was so beautiful to explore and walk around. It was cool to learn and hear about history from a perspective different from ours. We are used to learning the role of the United States in global issues and wars. Here, we were able to see sites and listen to the history of the country from the perspectives of Europeans. Thinking about how the English were impacted when they were defeated in the American Revolution was something I had never given much thought to. The English have had several conflicts with the French and to this day you can tell the French aren’t necessarily their favorite people. Many times throughout the trip, we were encouraged to think from a different perspective than what we were used to which was really cool.

Once we entered Scotland everything was so lush and green. I was amazed at the hills and mountains and how beautiful the countryside is. I loved the time we spent in Edinburgh. I enjoyed hearing how the opinions of the Scottish and English differ on different issues such as Brexit. Exploring Edinburgh was beautiful and while we spent time in the UK we heard so much about Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. I had never watched Harry Potter or read the books. While in Edinburgh I bought the first Harry Potter book which is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK rather than “Sorcerer’s Stone.” I read the whole thing on the flight home!


Once the official part of the trip was complete we had the chance to travel to other parts of Europe before heading back to the United States. Marlee Stollar and I flew to Paris for a couple of days. This was so fun to explore and see the Eiffel Tower. I loved that we had the flexibility to travel more once the trip ended and even though we weren’t in Paris very long I am thankful we got to see the city and eat some of the food.


This trip was a great experience to visit beautiful places, rich in history and surrounded by lush agricultural ground. I learned more about agricultural communication through our visits to the publications, universities and farms and also was able to see the sights of England and Scotland. I loved learning about the culture of the countries and being able to discuss similarities and differences between the United States and the United Kingdom. I have a better understanding of the current relationship between the U.S. and the UK and am interested in seeing how Brexit works out. I also can’t wait to have the chance to travel more in Europe!

A Day in the UK: Education Abroad in England and Scotland

Paige Schaffter ’21
agriscience education

A review of day 5 of the Agricultural and Environmental Communications study abroad trip to England and Scotland in May 2019.

I’ve never seen college students so happy to stop at a McDonald’s restaurant as I have today. To preface this, the United Kingdom drinks more tea than coffee (surprise, surprise), but the coffee they do have, as I have been told is atrocious. Needless to say, stopping for some fast-food coffee might be the highlight for some students!

We started our day at Rural Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester, England. This area is known as the capital of the Cotswolds, which offers gorgeous scenery! We met with Dr. Steven Chadd, a former administrator, and lecturer at RAU. He talked about the history and background of RAU and the programs they offer.

Most similarly to Ohio State, specifically the Wooster campus, RAU has its own farms. They own over 400 hectares, which is roughly 988 acres. There they have a sheep operation with 400 breeding ewes, a dairy facility with 900 cows, and an organic completely outdoor pig farm with 100 sows and their offspring. The livestock is fed out and taken to market once they reach roughly 200 pounds. I found the facility to be especially interesting because it’s completely outside and because it’s a joint venture with a nearby farmer. Essentially, RAU owns the infrastructure and uses it for educational purposes, and the farmer owns the pigs and pays the labor.

Our next presenter was Dr. Peter Morris LLB (Honors), a communication/media professor. He noted that he’s previously commentated rugby games and equine events and owns his own media and journalism business called Vocal Solutions. Most strikingly, he said that our job as communicators for the ag industry is to use the power we have in a conscientious way and assimilate and validate the information we have. To highlight his point, Dr. Morris showed us a video featuring a very fun and large agriculture event in the UK, but what people don’t see is the “dark side” of ag or all the issues farmers are facing, and the US is experiencing a similar fate. Additionally, the UK is also facing the problem of the lack of broadband internet in rural areas. It’s pertinent to make the internet accessible to farmers for emergencies, market updates, and other uses. Lastly, Dr. Morris said, “the biggest reason why agriculture makes the news is due to sensationalism,” and I feel this is especially true in the United States. In addition to this, the U.S. and the UK also struggle with fake news and deciphering what is true. Not to fear though, Dr. Morris offered us some exceptional advice: Ask where it was reported, where else it was reported, what is the source, and does it “feel” true? Those are the best questions to debunk and invalidate fake news.

Afterward, we took a short tour around the campus to see student housing (which is similar to most universities where freshman live on-campus, and upperclassmen rent off-campus properties with others), dining halls, chapel, and student union/gift shop. Did I need another crewneck sweatshirt? Absolutely not. But when else will I visit RAU?

After RAU, we headed to Bath, England where we visited the historic Roman Baths and hot springs and took a walking tour with Louise around the city. After the fabulous and exciting tour of the city, we went back to the hotel to change and get dinner on our own. Word to the wise, The Scallop Shell has the best fried fish I’ve ever eaten! 10/10 would definitely recommend.


NEWS RELEASE: First Centennial Endowment Project Selected

The first project for the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership’s Centennial Endowment has been awarded funding.

Drs. Jera Niewoehner-Green and Mary Rodriguez submitted the selected proposal, which designs a study abroad program to Trinidad and Tobago that will aim to provide experiential international education for both undergraduate and master’s level graduate students that contextualizes leadership and change in the community settings.

The goal of the Centennial Endowment is to ensure the continued evolution of educational opportunities, programs and curricula that best prepare our graduates for rewarding careers as communicators, educators and agricultural industry leaders. The annual distribution form this fun shall benefit students and faculty of the department by filling discretionary needs.

The selected endowment project will fill a current need for international programs that specifically address ACEL focus areas and create a course wherein students from ACEL majors, as well as across the College can learn how various stakeholders might work together to address community challenges related to the economy, health, agriculture and education. This international experience will fulfill the need for educational and professional development for undergraduate students and master’s students specializing in international development.

“When the Centennial Endowment was created during our centennial celebration in 2017, we looked forward to the opportunities that would be available to our current and future students, in thanks to the many alumni, faculty, staff and stakeholders who have financially contributed to the fund,” said Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor and chair of ACEL. “The project selected for funding this first year is exactly the kind of educational enrichment opportunity for our students that I envisioned when this process started more than two years ago. It fills an important study abroad gap left in our department due to some faculty transitions. This has the opportunity to be impactful for all of our majors.”

Academic outcomes of the program will include students being able to describe how healthy communities are built, describe how communities engage in transformative processes, engage in systems thinking to aid in the development of healthy communities and identify how education, communication, and leadership play a role in community change.

“Development of a sound international experience will aid in increasing the cultural competency of our students, making them more prepared for the global workforce,” said Dr. Jera Niewoehner-Green, assistant professor of community leadership.

Program funding will cover a scouting trip in the spring of 2020 for two ACEL faculty members and an international development graduate student to meet with faculty from The University of the West Indies, extension and community practitioners and community leaders. The logistics of the study abroad will be developed and finalized on this trip to ensure a quality experience for the students participating in the inaugural trip in Spring 2021.

“For the program to be sustainable, established community relationships are needed and we are excited to travel to Trinidad and Tobago this spring to begin those relationships,” said Dr. Mary Rodriguez, assistant professor of community leadership.

Funding will also support the attendance of the two faculty members and graduate student to attend and present program assessment data at the North Central American Association for Agricultural Education (NCAAAE) in Autumn 2021.

ACEL prepares communicators, educators and leaders in the food, agricultural, and environmental sciences to integrate research-based learning, practice and engagement, in ways that will advance positive changes that strengthen individuals, families and communities. For more information on the academic programs and research available in ACEL, please visit


Oglesby Studies Abroad in Australia

Meredith Oglesby
agricultural communication

During May of 2018 I had the opportunity to travel to Australia on a program called Human Impacts on the Natural Environment. We left on May 7 and arrived to Australia on May 9, the flight from Los Angeles, California to Brisbane, Australia was around 13-14 hours. We then flew to Townsville where we spent the first part of our trip. Australia is fourteen hours ahead of Ohio so it took some time to recover from major jet lag.

Oglesby interacting with wildlife on Magnetic Island

The entire trip was focused on the environment and how Australia maintains a sustainable lifestyle. During our first week in Hidden Valley we were in the rainforest area where we learned about the history of the country and identified flora and fauna. We also spent a day learning about the aboriginals culture at Mungulla Station. We swam in Running River Gorge and hiked to Wallaman Falls, the largest sheer drop waterfall in Australia.

We spent one day in the aquarium in Townsville where we snorkeled and visited a sea turtle rehabilitation center. We then traveled to Magnetic Island where we did a research project on the Koloa population and saw these animals in the wild. They are endemic to Australia, meaning they are only found in this country. We even got to hold one! We also saw other wildlife on the island such as lorikeets and parrots. We also participated in a reef restoration project where we looked at how changing temperatures impacts the plants and life in the ocean.

Our next stop was Mission Beach where we had a free day to sleep in and explore the area. My favorite part of our stay here was when you walked to the beach you had to follow a path through the rainforest first. We weren’t able to swim in the ocean because it was Crocodile season!

Due to the location and size of the country the seasons and weather and very different than the United States during the month of May. This is there fall/winter seasons. For the majority of the trip we were in Northern Queensland where the temperature was in the high 70’s to 80’s. Although near the end of the trip 11 of us traveled to Sydney, which is in the southern part, where the weather was in the low 50’s. I didn’t realize that their weather could be so cold. In some areas in the winter months it will snow near the southern part near Melbourne.

We had the chance to experience the outback while we stayed in Chillagoe. We swam in a local spring fed creek, toured a cave, and learned about why the soil is red as well as how they manage the land with the air and soil being so dry. We also looked into the process of mining. My favorite part of staying in the outback was experiencing the sunsets every evening.

The next section of our trip focused on farming in Australia, with this we had the opportunity to stay with a host family in the Atherton Tablelands. My host family lived on a beef farm. We toured the farm and learned how they manage their farmland with portions of the rainforest being on their property. We also saw a 20 foot python! The family has to watch their livestock and dogs to ensure the snakes do not harm or attack these animals. We also had the chance to make fresh squeezed orange juice. Spending time with the family we learned about their culture and daily life. Much of their lifestyle is similar to Great Britain as they are part of the commonwealth.

We then traveled to Port Douglas where we learned all about the Great Barrier Reef! We had a day to learn about the zoning system that is put into place for businesses and recreational purposes. We also learned how to identify fish and coral species. We spent three days snorkeling on the reef learning all about the impacts humans have on ocean life. We had the chance to see clownfish, sharks, and sea turtles. During our last morning in Port Douglas we did a beach clean-up where we learned about the impacts plastic are having on ocean life.

Also, while in Port Douglas we went to a Wildlife Habitat where we had the chance to see some animals up close. We saw kangaroos, pelicans, crocodiles, and wallabys. My favorite was the cassowary. These are flightless birds similar to what would have been dinosaur species!

We spent our last day as a full group in Cairns where we were able to explore the city after we took our final. We went to the mall and walked on the board walk. This is where part of the group flew home and part of us flew to Sydney for about a day and a half.

While in Sydney the light show Vivid was going on. The whole city is lit up with bright lights and shows and activities. We had the chance to see Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Sydney Opera House. It was really fun to just explore and see the city. We went shopping in some of the stores and saw the different parts of the city.

Sydney light show

On the way back with all the time changes I lived June 8 for 41 hours! Through this trip I was able to learn more about the environment and ways to be more environmentally friendly. I also gain valuable friendships with people I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for this trip. I am so thankful for the adventures I had every day and won’t forget them anytime soon!

Wallaman Falls

Sunset in the Outback


Oglesby (second from left) and her friends with their host mom



Hulse studies sustainability and policy in Prague

Jane Hulse
agricultural communication

There are a lot of amazing opportunities to study abroad in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. This past summer I was able to participate in one such opportunity, traveling abroad to Prague with the Czech Republic: Sustainability and Agricultural Policy in the EU program.

I first learned about this program when researching classes and opportunities in the International Economic Development program, which is one of my minors. The study abroad program would not only count for six credits towards my minor but would also enable me to really experience the international part of the International Economic Development minor.
The program ran from May 11, 2018, to June 9, 2018. The first day was mostly taken up with travel. After nearly 13 hours of airports and flights, I arrived in Prague and was picked up at the airport by our group leader and some of the Czech students who would be guiding us during our stay. We went back to the hotel and had some time to rest before going to dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Over the next few weeks we took classes at the Czech University of Life Sciences and got to tour the city and see some of the major monuments, such as Prague Castle. We slowly became accustomed to using the extensive public transportation system to get where we wanted to go, and ate at the same Vietnamese restaurant at least once a week. We also had the opportunity to see other parts of the Czech Republic outside of Prague. We went on excursions to South Bohemia and Moravia to see and learn about different industries and farms. We went on a 16 mile hike up and down a mountain in Moravia, which was one of my favorite activities. Another of my favorite things was the weekend we spent doing family stays with the Czech buddies. My buddy took my roommate and me to her family cottage in South Bohemia where we saw places like Hluboká Castle, a healing spring that was fabled to have healed the blind, the ruins of Pořešín Castle, and several beautiful forests that we hiked through. The last day, we had a farewell dinner where everyone was given a graduation certificate and some printed photos to take home with us.

My month in the Czech Republic went by very quickly, and I was sorry to go when there was still so much more to see. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the program, and it is good to know that there are so many remarkable study abroad experiences available in the College. In fact, I will be participating in another this upcoming winter break; I will be traveling to Antarctica to study the human impact on a fragile environment.

Hulse learning about tractors in Prague.

Prague Study Abroad Group.


Hulse (right) poses in Prague.

Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Newlon, ’98



Kelly Newlon came to Ohio State from Perry County, Ohio. She now works for the University as the Director of Education Abroad for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, a position she has held for 10 years. With her job, she has been able to travel to all seven continents!

[ACEL]: Hi Kelly! You completed your undergraduate degree in agricultural education. Why did you select that?
[Newlon]: I knew I wanted to pursue higher education administration by the end of my sophomore year. I had a love for CFAES and agricultural education and knew it would provide an excellent foundation for my career.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I am a third generation Buckeye and grew up coming to football and basketball games, imitating the drum major and knowing the cheers. There really was no other university in my mind.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
My production agriculture minor courses are what impress people in my general life the most today. People think it is cool that I know how to weld and select animals for breeding based on their EPDs. I also did some cool things with classes, most fun was earning my private pilot’s license.

What professor, faculty, or staff member had an impact on your education/career? How?
It is hard to think back now and think of what I thought as a student, but through my professional career Dr. Ray Miller made a huge impact. His quiet humility and extreme work ethic were exemplars for all around him.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
I studied abroad between my freshman and sophomore year and on the program met a student who was serving as a University Ambassador. She encouraged me to apply to be an ambassador and I got the job! As I have developed professionally I gained skills and it has taken me back to the classroom at the college level and I am ever grateful for having classroom management and student teaching course content.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
My primary involvement was as a University Ambassador and Alpha Sigma Upsilon sorority. I was also involved in CFAES Student Council, the Recognition Banquet Committee, Collegiate 4-H, Sphinx and Bucket and Dipper.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Nothing beats the goose bumps I feel when the drum major comes running down the ramp during a home game against TTUN. The anticipation of the game to come and the comradely shared with those around you is unequaled.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I was the assistant director of admissions at Indian University in Bloomington, IN.

What other schools have you worked for during your career?
Indiana University, Capital University, The Ohio State University.

During your career, have you received any awards or honors? If so, what are those?
I have received the University Outstanding Student Organization Advisor award twice, Dr. L.H. Newcomb Excellence in Leadership and Service Award in 2015, Sphinx/Mortar Board Senior Honorary Faculty and Staff Award four times.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I love my work and take pride in the small moments of seeing students grow on programs. It is pretty cool that my career has taken me to seven continents though!

What professional organizations have you been involved with during your career?
North American College Teachers of Agriculture, National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association, National Association of Foreign Student Advisors, Forum on International Education, Diversity Abroad, National Association of College Admissions Councilors.

How are you involved in your community outside of your profession?
I have continues to advise Alpha Sigma Upsilon and helped found an alumnae association. I have also been active in the United Methodist Church including choir membership.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Be strategic and plan for your future, but always keep an eye out for how you could improve upon that vision. Don’t rule anything out!

What did ACEL cultivate in you? How?
ACEL is all about servant leadership and I take great pride in being in a career that allows me to build a workforce that will give back and grow Ohio communities.

Newlon visited her seventh continent this summer when she visited Tanzania.


Newlon spent time in Antarctica a few years ago, learning about and experiencing a new education abroad program.


Alumni Spotlight: Katy Wuthrick Mumaw, ’07

Katy Wuthrick Mumaw graduated from Ohio State with a degree in agricultural communication in 2007. After eight years with the National FFA Organization, Katy now works as a reporter for Farm and Dairy in Northeastern Ohio.

[ACEL]: Hello Katy! You majored in agricultural communication. Why did you select that major?
I was always interested in pursuing a career in agriculture, but my strengths in high school were in social sciences and English. When I discovered a degree that combined my passion with my skills I was hooked.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Going to Ohio State was always a dream of mine, as my parents are both alumni. I chose Ohio State because of the reputation and caring staff.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
My education opened my eyes to all the possibilities in agricultural communications Because of my education, I continue to share the story of agriculture.

How were you involved outside of the classroom?
I was involved in the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Saddle and Sirloin Club and Sigma Alpha. I also worked in the Ohio State Extension Business Office.

Did you have a faculty or staff member that was influential to your time at Ohio State?
Dr. Mark Tucker showed me the power of inclusion. He ensured each member of the class was valued for what they brought to the table. Kelly Newlon opened my eyes to different cultures and concepts. I traveled to the Czech Republic with her and several other students during my time at Ohio State and I am still amazed at what I learned and the growth I experienced while abroad.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
I have so many wonderful memories. One that sticks out is serving food at the Farm Science Review with Saddle and Sirloin — it was hot, it was fun and inside jokes kept us smiling.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I worked as an education specialist for the National FFA Organization.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
My involvement in the development, launch and marketing of the National FFA Organization’s website in 2015.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Never stop learning and care deeply. Care about other people, care about your work, care about your influence on others.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated a passion in me to ask questions. ACEL instilled in me the value of diversity of thought and the power of a 360 perspective.

CFAES Top Ten Seniors in 2007

At an Ohio State game my senior year – 2006.

O-H-I-O with coworkers.

Czech Republic study abroad in 2005.

Honduras Study Abroad: Photo Voices

At the end of each study abroad in Honduras, students create a photo voice and share with their peers. A photo voice is a combination a photo and words that effectively express communities and individual’s needs, problems and desires. Many university professors across the country use the photo voice model when teaching social sciences, which is a great fit for our students to share the impact this expereinece study abroad experience

After the photo voice presentations are shared by the students, they are added to the study abroad blog for students to share with family and friends.

Below are the links to each photo voice created by our students (and a few staff, too!):

Ohio State
Beauty at a distance by Katherine Bell
Is it self-satisfaction? by Anwar Elkhatib
Innovations with impact by Courtney Fulton
A new hope by Paul Gerdeman
The little things in life by Jamie Gothard
Lasting impact by Katrina Harper
Not me by Logan Heiby
A little piece of home by Sarah Landis
Cut off from innocence by Emelia Martin
Building bridges by Cody McClain
A shared reflection by Abby Motter
A hunger for education by Robby Thiel
Be the change by Adam Wagner
Education with limitations by Sam Wander
Free yourself from the prison of your mind by Tara Vorst
The remarkable by Trina Beebe

Utah State
The race by Ashley Cromer
A treasured tejaban by Matthew Rinta
His Love by Cameron WestIf not me, who? by Laura Dotson

Honduras Visit Video

In October, members of the ACEL faculty and staff traveled to Choluteca, Honduras. During this short trip, they met with the Ministry of Education, the advisory board of the Choluteca Vocational School, visited rural villages, the mercado and leadership team of World Gospel Mission.

Dr. Jamie Cano and W. Tyler Agner were recognized by the mayor of Choluteca for the work they have been doing to improve the lives of the residents in the city.

This short video captures the highlights of the trip.

Each year, students from CFAES travel to Choluteca, Honduras as part of the a community development study abroad offered through the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. The education abroad experience will travel again in May 2017. More details here.

Students interested in this program should attend the upcoming info session on December 1, 2016 at 6pm in 246 Agricultural Administration.