Interning at AgForce Queensland

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I’ve started my third week at AgForce Queensland. I can’t believe it’s already my third week! I really love working here! The people are so nice and welcoming. I’m working with the media and communications team – Stacey and Nadine. Fun fact about Stacey. She did an exchange program at J.D. Hudgins in Hungerford so it’s been really neat having a Brahman connection as a boss!

A little background about AgForce. AgForce formed in 1999 by combining the United Graziers Association (a sheep organization), Queensland Grain Growers Association, and the Cattlemen’s Union. The purpose of this merger was for these organizations to have a single, unified voice. Even though these are specific industry organizations, they share many of the same common issues such as vegetation management, international competitiveness, and rural community services. AgForce is a grassroots organization that speaks for its members. They are the voice of members in Parliament, put together field days and workshops specific to member’s needs, and advocates agriculture to the public.

AgForce is composed of an executive board consisting of a president, vice-president and a vice-president/treasurer who are members of AgForce and are elected by members of AgForce. There are also  commodity presidents for cattle, sheep and wool, and grain. Finally, Queensland is comprised of five regions with each region having state councillors.

I believe AgForce is comparable to Farm Bureau in America. They both are the voice of agriculturists. They both are grassroots organizations. They both are speaking on behalf of farmers and ranchers vying for their voice to be heard in legislation, providing programs to their members, and  educating the public.

Here’s a slideshow of the office.

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How cool is this (see picture below)?! You must be thinking, it’s just a faucet. Oh no! In fact this is the most awesome faucet I’ve ever encountered! There’s two buttons on top. One says boiling and the other says chilled. That’s exactly what comes out of the faucet, either boiling or ice cold water. Genius! There’s also the lever that is normal faucet water.

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Another neat feature in the office are the walls that are whiteboards!

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I also really love this campaign! So very true!

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So what have I been doing?

AgForce produces a magazine, Envoy, every two months and the deadline to have it to the printer is this week so I’ve been helping out by writing profile articles and briefs and proofreading. Envoy is a full color, 32 – 40 page magazine. Below is a picture of the past couple of issues.

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There’s also a really awesome weekly newspaper, Queensland Country Life (QCL), produced for Queensland, Australia, agriculturists. It’s pretty amazing! AgForce is given a section to include three, 200 word articles about recent events/issues, a social photo, and a calendar of upcoming events. I’ve been condensing and formatting articles for QCL, formatting and writing captions for photos, and formatting the calendar of events. QCL is really awesome! It’s a full color, 104 page, 11×17 newspaper. A picture of a past issue is below.

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I’ve also done a couple of ad designs. One for Land Management Online announcing the launch of their new website for Envoy. Another on behalf of AgForce encouraging producers and retailers to apply for the 2013 Red Meat Awards for QCL.

Speaking of Land Management Online, I was able to attend a field day with Tamara. Tamara is an AgForce Policy Officer who focuses on vegetation management. The field day was in Grandchester, about an hour southwest of Brissie. It was a nature refuge field day allowing people interested in the restoration of the koala habitat to come and see a working demonstration at Old Hidden Vale. While there, I met a wonderful lady, Linda, who works for the Queensland Government in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. We chatted for quite a while. I took pictures for AgForce while I was there. It was also really neat because I saw mobs (that’s what a group of kangaroos is called) of roos hopping around not in a zoo!

That’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been here. I’m excited to keep learning about agricultural communications and agriculture in Australia!

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About Chelsey Ahrens

I currently work for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in the Animal Science Department. I'm the Specialty Livestock/Youth Education Specialist. I have a Ph.D. in agricultural communications from Texas Tech, a master's in agricultural leadership from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor's in animals science from the University of Arkansas. I love all things agriculture, particularly livestock. I also like to bake, cook, can, sew, and play with my dog child, Shooter.

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