Heat, Workshops and Networking at Ag Media Summit

August 15, 2018

Arizona in August is…well, as hot as you’d expect. Paulsen PR Specialist Sarah Hill found that out earlier this month when she attended Ag Media Summit. The event, held in Scottsdale, Ariz., on August 4-8, was full of educational and networking opportunities.

This year’s event was a joint meeting of four major agricultural communications organizations: the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), the Livestock Publications Council (LPC), Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) and the Association for Communications Excellence (ACE). ACT is the organization for college students seeking to go into agricultural communications, while ACE is for communications professionals who work for agricultural colleges and universities.

Ag Media Summit kicked off with a tour of local agricultural sites around Gilbert and Queen Creek, Ariz., including Sossamon Farms and Hayden Flour Mill; Schnepf Farms; and Queen Creek Olive Mill.

Sossamon Farms is a fourth-generation-owned cropping operation that exclusively grows ancient grains, many of which are thousands of years old. They have also partnered with the Zimmerman family, who operates Hayden Flour Mill. The small-scale flour mill processes the ancient grains grown by Sossamon Farms and other local growers and sells their flour, crackers and pasta to chefs and artisan bakers around the U.S.

Schnepf Farms raises peaches and grapes while also utilizing their operation for “agritainment” purposes, teaching visiting families about agriculture. The farm has three different wedding venues, amusement park rides, a glamping campground with refurbished Airstream trailers, a u-pick garden and other kids’ activities. They host holiday events that welcome up to 100,000 visitors a day.

Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona’s only extra virgin olive oil producer and a family-owned company. They host hourly tours that teach visitors how to detect differences in olive oils and how olives are grown, harvested and pressed into oil. They also have a small restaurant and large gift shop on site.

The next three days were spent meeting with editors and networking at the trade show, while also enjoying professional development workshops on media relations, crisis communications, writing about science, issues management and more. Sarah also moderated a panel on integrating telecommuting into your business.

The 2019 Ag Media Summit is an event you’ll definitely want to consider sponsoring and/or attending if your organization is looking to get in front of agriculture industry editors. The 2019 event will welcome members of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), agriculture industry editors from around the globe, to learn about U.S. agriculture and agricultural communications.

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