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Last month, four Western Illinois University School of Agriculture students attended the Ag Chat Foundation's 2015 National Collegiate Congress. Hosted at Dow AgriSciences in Indianapolis (IN) Jan. 17, the conference was for college students exclusively and focused on how to help students find better ways to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers via technology and social media platforms. Back row, L to R: Ross Newton (WIU), Jamie Ellerbrock (WIU), and Emily DeSchepper (WIU). Front row, L to R: Jenny Jackson (WIU) and Rachael Sampson (guest).
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WIU Ag Students' Ag Chat Conference Attendance Provides Them with Industry Advocacy, Marketing Knowledge

February 16, 2015


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MACOMB, IL — Last month, four Western Illinois University School of Agriculture students attended the Ag Chat Foundation's 2015 National Collegiate Congress. Hosted at Dow AgriSciences in Indianapolis (IN) Jan. 17, the conference was for college students exclusively and focused on how to help students find better ways to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers/ranchers via technology and social media platforms.

Western attendees included Jenny Jackson (Jacksonville, IL), a senior studying agricultural science; Jamie Ellerbrock (Ursa, IL), a senior studying agricultural business; Emily DeSchepper (Altona, IL), a junior studying agricultural business; and Ross Newton (Bloomington, IN), a junior studying agricultural science.

"Since our generation is glued to social media, what better way to connect with them than a platform they look at daily? That is the main reason why we were interested in attending the conference," Jackson said. "We all share a passion for advocating for agriculture. With all of the misconceptions about food production floating around, we want to join the effort to positively promote farmers and ranchers."

According to Jackson, the conference featured five main presenters who focused on professional advocacy, marketing techniques and blogging.

"There were also opportunities to attend breakout sessions. The different presenters covered such topics as how to start your own blog, how to share your personal story and how to balance social and professionalism," Jackson explained. "At the end of the day, a panel of local students came in to discuss their food-buying practices and offer conversation with the audience. This was a test of the audience–the students who attended—to use the skills they learned that day," she added.

The students' attendance at the conference was sponsored by the WIU School of Agriculture and the WIU Collegiate Farm Bureau.

For more information, contact Jackson at JR-Jackson@wiu.edu. Learn more about the WIU School of Ag at www.wiu.edu/ag.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations