Funding from CALS Alumni Allows Student to Gain Hands-on Experience

By Ellen Bombela, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Iowa State alumni made their way across the meadow in a horse drawn carriage as Madelyn Main prepared to greet them and distribute name tags. The Iowa State Alumni Association event, Stars Guests at the Stars Over Sunrise Acres event could enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride through the meadow. Over Sunrise Acres, was hosted in Adel on May 31 by Patricia Tice ('75 child devel MS '83 ed) and Lynn Henderson ('74 ag journalism). This was just one of many events that Main will attend and assist with throughout her internship.

Main, a sophomore in agricultural and life sciences education with a communications option, works for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service as an alumni relations intern. In her role, Main has many different tasks including helping with alumni relations events such as the CALS BBQ and  the Curtiss League Kickoff, writing feature stories, website updating, creating content for social media and updating the database of alumni records.

Main’s internship is funded by CALS alumni in support of agriculture communications.

“Giving students the opportunity to have internships is great so they can get that practical experience,” Henderson said. “Having an internship is a very clear path to getting involved with the industry and getting a job after graduation. The fundraising effort helps not only with this scholarship, but also supports students so they can go to meetings and conferences within the industry,” Henderson said.

Main is thankful for the opportunity to work for CALS Communications Service through the scholarship and said she knows that no matter what career path she ends up on, the skills she is gaining from this experience will be useful.

“Communications is something that is a part of your everyday life,” Main said. “I have no idea what I’m going to do next summer, let alone ten years from now, but I definitely know the skills I have learned here are beneficial and will come back around in my favor in the future.”

Growing up on a farm with hogs, corn and soybeans, agriculture has always been a big part of Main’s life. Although she doesn’t plan to go into the production side of things, she still wants to be a part of the agriculture industry.

“I’ve always had a respect for agriculturists and I want to be involved in the industry and everything that they do,” Main said. “I think there’s a role for everyone in agriculture if they want to be a part of it, so I think that communications is where I fit.”

Some activities and organizations that Main is involved in include Ag Business Club, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow Club, Salt Company and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She is also a CALS Ambassador and a Dean’s Leadership Scholar.

The Dean’s Leadership Scholar scholarship will offer Main financial support to attend the Agricultural Media Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona in August. The summit offers crop and livestock media professionals different workshops, presentations and opportunities to network.

*Photos from the Iowa State Alumni Association Stars Over Sunrise Acres event are available on the association's Facebook page.