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ACE Update – August 2017

President's Message
ACE Management Search Committee Update, Decision in October
Casler Receives ACE’s Highest Honor
Long-time Farm Writer Receives Award for Ag Reporting Efforts
Board Treasurer Receives Special Service Award

Message from the President

Thank you again

for allowing me to serve ACE. What a learning experience the past two years on the Board of Directors has been, and I know there’s a lot more learning coming my way.

That’s how it’s been for me in ACE. Anytime I’ve volunteered or participated in an effort—whether as a Learning Community leader, a member of a conference planning committee, or as a board member—I’ve received more than I’ve given. That may sound a little cliché, but it’s true.

By working closely with other members, I’ve learned how other states handle issues, crises, and every day happenings. I have a network of people to rely on when I need ideas. And then there’s the stretching—learning how to handle situations that challenge me and help me grow.

When you hear about an opportunity to volunteer or serve, raise your hand. There are lots of opportunities in committees and learning communities and in planning and presenting for webinars or annual conference. When someone asks for a volunteer—you are being asked! Step forward. You won’t regret it.

Speaking of volunteers, ACE 2018 co-chairs Lori Greiner and Martha Filipic are already hard at work planning an outstanding conference for you in Scottsdale next August. Send them a note if you’d like to join the committee. This will be a hybrid meeting, of sorts. We are joining the Ag Media Summit, which includes the American Ag Editors Association, Livestock Publications Council, Conectiv Agri-Media Committee, and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. We’ll share speakers, breakout sessions, and some meals. Mark your calendars now for Aug. 5-8. We’ll have the lowest room rates ($139) and registration ($385-$395) rates in years.

Other committee members include Brian Meyer and Ed Adcock, Iowa State, Maggie Lawrence, Auburn, Susan McGinley and Robert Casler, University of Arizona, Donna Sheffield, Kansas State, ChaNae Bradley, Fort Valley State, Kelsey Hall, Utah State, Victor Villegas, Oregon State, and Beth Forbes, Purdue.

It was great seeing many of you at the annual conference in New Orleans. Kudos to Steve Miller, past president, and his stellar planning committee led by Jennifer Alexander and Tobie Blanchard. Congratulations to all of the ACE and Critique and Awards Program winners. You are a talented bunch.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Steel, President

ACE Management Search Committee Update, Decision in October

The search committee charged with finding organizational management for ACE has completed Zoom interviews of finalists and conducted reference checks. Next up: site visits for the two remaining firms on Aug. 25. Finalists will meet with the ACE Board during the fall board meeting Oct. 9-12 at which time the board will make a final decision.

Both firms have experience with organizations with similar needs to ACE. They have a long track record in the business, a stable workforce, and are fiscally conservative. Both take a strategic approach to their work and have had success with growing membership and revenue for organizations. They have dedicated professionals who handle such things as conference planning, membership, and accounting full time. They are able to reduce the costs of certain software programs by sharing it among many organizations.

The ACE board is mindful of past challenges, and the search committee – Elizabeth Gregory North, LaRachelle Smith, Doug Edlund, Mary Wirth, Beth Forbes, Becky Koch and Suzanne Steel –  has worked hard in reviewing and researching every applicant, and that review continues.

Casler Receives ACE’s Highest Honor

Robert Casler received the ACE Professional Award during the annual conference in New Orleans.      

The ACE Professional Award is the highest recognition given by the association. The past three recipients are Faith Peppers, Kevin Gamble, and Frankie Gould.

“The award recognizes service to ACE and excellence and professionalism in a communicator. It is for elevating one’s craft,” said Steve Miller, 2016-17 who presented the award.

Casler has been an ACE member since 1992 and has served on various special interest groups, now called learning communities, organizing and coordinating workshops, led or has been involved in other ACE activities, and was the 2010-11 ACE president. He also attended the ACE Summit in Moscow in 2001.

He managed the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences publication and marketing program for more than 30 years until his retirement in 2014, maintaining high standards in various services and products.

Long-time Farm Writer Receives Award for Ag Reporting Efforts

An uncompromising attitude toward editorial integrity and a history of commitment to being on the cutting-edge of breaking agribusiness news prompted an association of land-grant university communicators to present an award of excellence to the director of content for the Penton Media Agriculture Group.

Forrest Laws was presented the Reuben Brigham Award at the national ACE meeting in New Orleans. Laws is director of content for the Penton Media Agriculture Group and oversees content creation for Delta, Southeast, Southwest and Western Farm Press and for BEEF, Corn and Soybean Digest, Farm Industry News, Hay & Forage Grower and National Hog Farmer. 

The award is presented to someone who has made a major contribution in the field of agriculture, natural resources, or life and human sciences at the regional, national or international level.

Laws joined the Delta Farm Press in 1980, meeting the requirement an editor write at least three features a week.     

“Using that as a base, I would say a conservative estimate is that I’ve written more than 5,000 articles for Farm Press over my 36 years,” said Laws, a native of Arkansas.

The first story in the daily online DFP (Delta Farm Press) Daily is almost always by Laws, noted Frankie Gould, director of public relations and communications at the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center.

“It is always compelling, concise, educational and full of links to additional information,” said Gould, an ACE member.

Laws is always on the cutting-edge of technology while still maintaining hard-core journalism standards and ethics, she said.    

“He was one of the first at field days to use a digital camera, then cell phones and selfie sticks, digital video via phone and a small video camera, Go Pro camera, tablets and transcending into social media,” Gould said.

“Most of what we write is posted on the website first and then placed in the print issue if space is available,” Laws said. “Generally, I write something every day. The daily e-newsletter we publish for Delta Farm Press is a tough taskmaster.” In the photo to the right, Laws is shown accepting his award from Past President Steve Miller.

Board Treasurer Receives Special Service Award

ACE board treasurer Becky Koch received a Service Award at the New Orleans conference for her efforts to verify and provide improved transparency to ACE finances.

“Board members had labored to have a clear and up-to-date understanding of association transactions and finances,” said 2016-17 ACE president Steve Miller, who presented the award. 

Board members now have that, thanks to Koch, said Miller.

“Becky spent numerous hours studying our accounts and transactions and through her office developed the interactive spreadsheet to view our financial picture and, with executive director Holly Young, has trimmed month-to-month expenses,” he said.

Send submissions, upcoming webinars and ideas to forbes@purdue.edu.

Copyright © 2017 Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences. All rights reserved.

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