My name is Ava Splear and I am currently studying Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and minoring in Public Relations.
I’ve held the position of the Agricultural Literacy/Communications Intern at DeKalb County Farm Bureau this summer and last summer! I’m pleased that the skills and knowledge I’ve learned through this internship will align with my future career goals.
The first week of my internship I attended a Farm Bureau Ag Literacy Coordinators meeting and met with coordinators from all over the state. This opened my eyes to the abundance of ag literacy resources available state-wide and nationally.
Another new experience I enjoyed is helping facilitate Farm Safety Camp for children throughout the county. During this camp I participated in a grain entrapment demonstration. Being submerged in grain to show kids the dangers involved was impactful.
I also helped with Summer Ag Institute, which was more extensive than 2021 because the course was offered for more graduate credit hours. One of my projects was creating an “escape box” focused on pollinators and insects. The goal was to provide a new tool for teachers to adapt to utilize in the classroom.
One extremely transferrable skill that I’ve improved this summer is my writing. Through my academic coursework I practice a lot of journalistic writing in Associated Press style. By creating stories for CONNECTIONS, this internship allowed me to diversify and improve a different style of writing.
This fall I have an internship with the College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences (ACES) Office of Marketing & Communications as a Student Ambassador. This program will be titled “Faces of ACES.” The goals of this program are to increase brand awareness, outreach and recognition, generate excitement, deliver authentic messages, and inspire change and activism within the College of ACES.
I am confident that my internship at DeKalb County Farm Bureau this summer has prepared me to take on this new role! I am excited to learn more valuable skills, but also use my existing skills to be an asset to this team.
Some skills that I have developed at Farm Bureau that will be beneficial in this role and my future career include social media, content creation, photography, writing, leadership, public speaking, a successful way to educate others, and the opportunity to connect with all different kinds of people!
Other organizations I’m involved with on campus are Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and Illini Emerging Leaders. I’m also an ALEC Ambassador and help to plan events for students in my major as well as meet with prospective students to answer any questions they have. These organizations tie in with my career goals, but also with what I am passionate about.
I am thankful for the opportunity to intern with DeKalb County Farm Bureau to expand my skills, gain experience and make connections!