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As I head into the upcoming week I struggle with feelings of stress, anxiety and being overwhelmed.  In eleven days this school semester will be completely over.  All of the hard work, tears, frustration, joys and triumphs will come to an end and conclude my fifth semester as a college student.

I started this blog as a class assignment for my Public Relations in Agriculture class, taught by Jamie Johansen.  This blog was simply a class assignment, nothing too exciting, just another assignment.  This blog however, has turned into more than a class assignment.  It has turned into something I truly love, enjoy and has opened many doors for me.  Actually, this entire class has!

Many of you know, if you’ve read my About Me section or know me personally, I started out my journey at Missouri State as an animal science major.  I also spent some time in the emergency veterinary industry.  The entire time though I wasn’t quite sure WHAT I wanted to do with that degree.  I honestly struggled for a few years even knowing what I wanted to do with my life as a whole.

Then I started blogging and participating in the engagement part of the assignment, which was to comment with constructive and engaging comments on other agriculture blogs.  This opened a whole new world to me.  The entire time I had been in college, until this semester and this class, I had no idea what agriculture advocacy was or that it was even an issue.  I knew people opposed GMO’s and animal rights activist were often extreme, but I had NO IDEA to what level of a problem it was, until I started following other agriculture blogs.  I immediately started writing about these issues, like the Chipotle ad and an anti-GMO Facebook page saying agriculturalists had no right to write about agriculture topics.  I got REALLY into the whole blogging and agvocating thing really fast.

I now look forward to my weekly blogging routine, while other people dread it, I love it.  My Twitter and Facebook pages are now flooded with agriculture news, information and just general fun facts.  Over night I switched from a college kid posting about random stuff that didn’t matter, to a student who was more passionate than she knew she could be about something that DOES matter, agriculture.  I work hard to keep all of my social media websites professional and full of accurate, worthwhile information.  I want people to be able to access and read the information I post and know it is reliable and resourceful.

So what have I learned from this class and taken away from it?  I learned that agriculture communications is an extremely important field of study to the agriculture industry.  A field I want to be a part of.  I am now an agriculture communications major and I look forward to a bright future in it.  I learned that you have to leave your comfort zone.  Posting information about controversial topics like GMO crops and opening myself up to the harsh backlash that can come from that, was not easy.  Going to an event like NAFB and walking up to some of the biggest names in agriculture and interviewing them, was not easy.  It was one of the scariest things I ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding and fun things that I have ever done.

I owe a lot of this and a big thank you to Jamie Johansen and Kristyn Stidham.  Jamie being my teacher gave me some of the best instruction I could have asked for.  Jamie is not JUST a teacher, she is also a professional in the industry and a fantastic mentor.  Kristyn has been one of my friends since my freshman year of college.  She has not been just a friend though, she has been a mentor, an encourager and a constant source of information.  Both of these women have impacted my life and helped more than words can say this semester.  Thank you to both of you for making this semester such a fantastic learning experience and helping find my place in agriculture!