Bridging the Agriculture High School Communication Gap

Here is a quick video description of the project!

Project Overveiw:

Over the course of this semester, I have had the opportunity to improve my communications skills through working with the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Rancher and Promotion in Education programs, specifically focusing on their discussion meet as it comes closer in March. In this project, I have had the opportunity to strengthen my skill set in internal communication, external communication, and organization.
In terms of internal communication, I have been able to work with many of the individuals that work for the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation to help get projects underway and make sure that I am staying up to task on my assignments. In this sector, communication is more frequent but easier. With internal communication, I have the goal of building better relationships with those who I have the opportunity to work with as I learn from them.
Less frequent, yet mentally harder to achieve, was external communication. This is where I have the opportunity to communicate and work with sponsors, volunteers, educators and others. This can take place in the form of anything from a text message, to an email, phone call, zoom call or in person. My goal in this area was to build relationships with these individuals and companies while also educating about the importance of the Idaho Farm Bureau and the Discussion Meets.
The ability to communicate is a part of communication, but another part of it is learning how to be organized enough to meet both your own needs and the needs of those you are in contact with. In working through this project, I have been able to strengthen my ability to become stronger in these areas as well.

Project Purpose:

To better understand how to handle myself in a professional and relaxed environment as well as helping to strengthen the Federation.

Project Objective:

To create positive relationships with all those who I am in contact with while also better learning to communicate in a professional setting.

The Project:

Discussion Meet- 52 schools, 32 Counties, 5 Districts, 1 State

To better get a grasp at to what the High School Discussion Meet, this is an amazing example round that the Rigby High School Students put together in 2021:

For the High School Discussion meet, I was able to get in contact with schools all across the state. The Final State Runoff took place mid-March where 5 extraordinary young ladies came to represent their districts.

For my part in this project, I would follow the processes listed later in this report. I was able to become in contact with schools and programs that had never been invited to participate before. I also was invited to speak in a video made on the discussion meet that will be released later this year.

Promotion in Education

The best part (to me) of Farm Bureau, and by association Young Farmers and Ranchers and Promotion in Education Committees, is that there is always an open chair waiting for anyone in any stage of life to fill. This is particularly exciting for students coming out of high school. As an additional part of this project, I was given the opportunity to create a workshop that helps introduce students to what is waiting for them in Farm Bureau after highschool.

Here is a link to the workshop itself:

Challenges are just the name of the game in communications, and this project was no exception. I faced challenges with breaks in communication, misunderstandings and even the communication required to navigate our way around natural barriers, like the abnormal amount of snow Eastern Idaho was blessed with this year.

Project processes

  • Break down each district into the counties that reside within that district.
  • Discover all the schools that reside within those counties.
  • Compile the list of schools for the entire district and then sort them into alphabetical order.
  • Identify which schools have FFA chapters and identify how to reach out to those advisors.
    • This often required me to call the school and ask how would be the best way to contact these teachers.
  • Reach out to the main high school offices of the remaining high schools to see who I could contact to speak to about bringing the opportunity to their students.

Overview of Experiences
Overall, this project has helped to strengthen my relationships with others, increase the relationships between high schools and Idaho Farm Bureau, and learn to better manage my time and efforts to best serve everyone around me.