St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) February 26, 2006
Two college students pursuing careers in agricultural communications will receive some on-the-job “new media” training at next week’s Commodity Classic, March 1-4 in Anaheim, Calif. The Monsanto Company is sponsoring the students’ trip as a part of its Future Ag Journalist Fellowship.
Margy Fischer, a senior at the University of Missouri, and Mary Irelan, a sophomore at the University of Illinois, will be attending Commodity Classic for the first time. They will be blogging their experiences at the combined corn and soybean growers annual meeting on AgWired.com, a ZimmComm New Media weblog devoted to what’s new in the world of agribusiness.
Monsanto Public Affairs Manager Mica DeLong says the opportunity will provide the students with a unique real-world media experience. Monsanto has a long- standing commitment to promoting youth involvement in agriculture by supporting programs such as Future Farmers of America, 4-H, Agriculture Future of America, Ag in the Classroom and other notable agriculture youth and leader development organizations.
“These students will make some new contacts and learn more about the agricultural industry at one of the largest and most widely recognized ag events of the year,” says DeLong. “ZimmComm has offered a unique opportunity for both students to write for AgWired, which gives them exposure to one of the newest forms of communications and can really broaden their knowledge.”
Fischer and Irelan will be contributing editors on AgWired.com and will post their observations as they travel to and participate in the annual convention. The Commodity Classic attracts more than 4,000 corn and soybean farmers from around the country. All of the posts they create will be categorized, making it easy to locate their content, which will be interspersed with the regular event coverage conducted by AgWired Editor and ZimmComm Founder Chuck Zimmerman.
“Monsanto is one of the companies leading the way in the agricultural communications revolution with their use of new media like blogging and podcasting,” Zimmerman says. “For a new media company like ours, this project allows us to begin training the agricultural journalists we’ll need as the industry grows and develops in that direction.”
ZimmComm also maintains three other agriculture-related company blogs. Domesticfuel.com focuses on alternative agricultural fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, and WorldDairyDiary.com is all about the dairy industry. AgNewsWire.com publishes news releases distributed by ZimmComm for companies and organizations. ZimmComm also has created blogs on contract for other entities such as the National Biodiesel Board, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Missouri Beef Industry Council, and MFA Health Track.
Margy Fischer is a senior at the University of Missouri, studying agricultural journalism and economics. She grew up in Clemson, SC. She has interned with the American Farm Bureau Federation as a writer and photographer and is a contributing columnist for Missouri Ruralist magazine. She is a member and past president of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter at MU.
Mary Irelan is a sophomore at the University of Illinois, studying Ag Communications with an advertising emphasis. She grew up in Sparland, IL just north of Peoria. She interned with Colleen Callahan Communications broadcasting on WIRL radio. She grew up on a corn and soybean farm and was a former FFA section president and 4-H county queen. She lives in the 4-H house at the University of Illinois and is involved in many campus activities.
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto’s products, see http://www.monsanto.com.
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