Agricultural communicators are essential to help educate and bridge the gap between rural and urban audiences on food production, innovation and technology. Traditional and new media platforms allow for these stories to be told and shared beyond traditional borders, with the next generation of agricultural communicators leading the way.
The Livestock Publications Council (LPC) Forrest Bassford Student Award, sponsored by Alltech, honors excellence, professionalism and leadership among students. Katelyn Harbert, a senior in agricultural communications and journalism and global food systems leadership at Kansas State University, was announced as the recipient of the 2020 LPC Forrest Bassford Student Award during the LPC Annual Membership Meeting, held virtually on Nov. 9, 2020.
“Receiving an award in honor of someone as influential as Mr. Bassford is incredibly humbling,” Harbert said. “I hope that I can spread my passion for agricultural communications in such a way to make a fraction of the impact he made on the industry and in the Livestock Publications Council.”
Harbert credits growing up in a small town in rural Kansas and spending much of her childhood on tractors and combines for her passion for agriculture and love of the industry. In high school, she was an active member of the Kingman FFA chapter, going on to become the first female American FFA Degree recipient from the chapter in 2019. Harbert’s involvement in FFA showed her the opportunities available in agricultural communications and inspired her to pave her own path.
In addition to being an officer in Kansas State’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter, Harbert is also involved in the College of Agriculture Ambassadors, Agricultural Communications Advancement Team, Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honorary Fraternity and Royal Purple Yearbook at Kansas State University.
The application process for the LPC Forrest Bassford Student Award was competitive, with talented agricultural communication students as candidates. In addition to Harbert, the finalists for the award were Kylie Harlan, Texas Tech University; Hannah Chambers, Texas A&M University; and Lacy Jackson, Texas Tech University.
“As a voice for the farmers and ranchers who work hard to feed our growing world every day, agriculture communicators help educate consumers about our industry and how food is produced,” said Jenn Norrie, communications manager at Alltech. “Alltech is proud to sponsor the LPC Forrest Bassford Student Award and to support future agricultural communicators.”
More information about the LPC Forrest Bassford Student Award and past recipients can be found here.