2016 Collegiate Congress Videography Winners Announced

While the month of April began with a cold chill outdoors, the atmosphere at Dow AgroSciences was in a heat wave. On April 2, 2016, the AgChat Foundation brought together over 70 students at the 2016 Collegiate Congress, hosted on the campus in Indianapolis. Attendees represented 18 universities and colleges from 10 states.

The day began with a shock and awe keynote from RoyLee Lindsey of the Oklahoma Pork Board. Lindsey provided a call to action which inspired the students to take a concerted effort to ask consumers about their buying decisions. He emphasized the need to listen rather than jumping to conclusions on others’ opinions, a lesson that was echoed throughout the entirety of the conference.

“I was so impressed with this year’s National Collegiate Congress,” said Natalina Sents, attendee and senior of Iowa State University. “The event was well planned and gave me the opportunity to network with peers from other schools, as well as professionals with varying fields of expertise. Learning with such a diverse group of people made for a very, rich experience.”

The student panels offered great insight and were unlike anything I’d ever participated in. I came home with several pages of notes, but my favorite take-away from the breakouts was Travis Haney’s advice, ‘Don’t miss the journey.’ I highly recommend this conference to any student passionate about food and agriculture,” said Sents.

Sam Wildman teaches students how to “silence the haters,” at the 2016 #AgChat National Collegiate Congress!

A photo posted by AgChat Foundation (@agchatfoundation) on

The interactive event consisted of featured speakers, student collaboration activities, and a variety of breakout sessions which covered professional growth, brand analysis, advocating through apps, on campus events, silent social media monitoring and more.

Students also participated in a video creation project in which they were divided into five teams and tasked with creating a short video about the importance of being an advocate for agriculture. The videos were posted on the AgChat Foundation YouTube page, and the team whose video received the most views received complimentary registrations to the 2016 Cultivate & Connect conference or the 2017 Collegiate Congress. The winning group includes Natalina Sents of Iowa State University, Perry Harlow of Illinois State University, Megan Neumann of Joilet Junior College (IL), Morgan Hasler of Purdue University, Brandi Peverley of Allen County Community College (KS), Michaela Price of The Ohio State University, Angie Ruffoni of Santa Rosa Community College (CA), Sabrina Myoda of Purdue University, and MeKenzie Gear of Purdue University. In the winning video, the team chose to encourage farmers and consumers to ask the individuals about different aspects in agriculture. The winning video may be viewed by visiting https://youtu.be/svBbxfTTAlU

The AgChat Foundation hosts several regional conferences throughout the year and the international Cultivate & Connect conference. These events provide farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals and educators with the tools to empower the telling of their agriculture stories.


If you would like more information about ACF’s Collegiate Congress, contact AgChat Foundation Executive Director, Jenny Schweigert by calling 309-241-8803 or email execdir at agchat.org.

Uniting Bee Health

One of the many misconceptions of agriculture pertains to the wonderful world of honey bees. Farmers are continuously dealt increasingly, challenging playing cards including weather, lower prices for their products and increased expenses. Its important that the general public understand that despite these steep challenges, farmers and ranchers continue to place priority on stewardship for the land and other assets such as bees. Assets such as honey bees and other pollinators are an absolutely necessity in the world of farming and ranching.

The Feed A Bee initiative brought together more than 70 partners pledging thousands of acres of land to A portion of a honey bee colony at the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina. AgChat.orgincrease forage for pollinators, including nearly two dozen individual growers and family-owned farms who committed to converting acres of their land to pollinator havens.

It is also essential that farmers and ranchers understand the concerns shared by moms, dads and the general public. In a partnership with Bayer Bee Care, the AgChat Foundation will bring together farmers, ranchers, agriculturalists, moms, dads, dietitians, chefs and more to discuss the issue of bee health. This joint conversation will occur on Twitter using the #AgChat handle on Tues., Feb. 2.

“Everyone has a connection with the honey bee. They work hard to pollinate many of the foods we eat every day. We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation with the AgChat community to discuss the important role of bees on the farm and in our backyards.” – Dr. Becky Langer, Manager of the North America Bayer Bee Care Program

In addition to the Feed a bee program, Bayer CropScience has a unique partnership with an up and coming cartoon character, Vitamin Bee, who offers appeal to children.

“Vitamin Bee is all about educating kids about healthy eating and how bees are a vital part of getting the food we eat from farm to table. We’re so excited to connect our community of parents and teachers with the agricultural community on Twitter!” – Geoffrey Kater, Creator/CEO – Vitamin Bee, LLC

We invite you to join us on Twitter, 5-7pmPT/6-8pmMT/7-9pmCT/8-10pmET, as we discuss bee health, Feed A Bee and encouraging today’s youth to become involved with Vitamin Bee. You can join the conversation by following the #AgChat hashtag on Twitter. The discussion will provide useful tools for both the agriculture community and the general public.

For additional information on how to join this discussion, click here.


September 8th, 2015 – AgChat on Antibiotics and Resistance

September 8th, 2015 - AgChat on Antibiotic and Resistance What Are The Concerns With Antibiotics In Agriculture? Consumers hear media stories about deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or watch TED talks on “What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?” and wonder how agriculture does this to people.

In this #AgChat we learn more about the views of antibiotics from both farmers and consumers. One can sense a need to develop a common language, terminology, and metrics so as to help develop long lived solutions to managing antibiotic resistance.
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March 10th, 2015 – AgChat on Antibiotics

March 10th, 2015 – AgChat on AntibioticsHow Does Ag Work With Antibiotics? There is concern expressed in the press and social media about the issues of super bugs that are evolving because of the use of antibiotics. How is the use of antibiotics in agriculture impacting the genetic changes of bacteria? What are the conversations farms have with consumers about their use of antibiotics on farms? This #AgChat looks into the conversations occurring.
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March 3rd, 2015 – AgChat on Water

March 3rd, 2015 – AgChat on WaterWater Is Life Water is certainly a necessity. And, the variety of ways water is used is vast (example: water in beer making). Water quality and availability is a concern by many, especially when thinking into the future 15 or 20 years out. Within the USA, water use, availability, and quality cause contention amongst many stakeholders and stresses the systems in place for everyone. What does the future of water hold? This #AgChat on Water highlights some of the issues and insights into water in agriculture.

Participating in this chat were Aubrey Bettencourt (@AubBettencourt) with the California Water Alliance (@CAWaterAlliance), and Caroline McKinney with Trimble Agriculture (@Trimble_Ag). They offered insights on their view of water and some of the solutions being taken by people and organizations.

This chat was sponsored by The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (@NIAA_comm) and their Annual Conference March 23-26 in Indianapolis, on the topic of water. Learn more about the #AgWater2015 conference [link] and register to attend [link].

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