Posted by: Christie Nissen on February 28, 2024

Posted in: Newsletter

Make plans to attend the ARC Annual Meeting!

By Sally Behringer, ARC president

Have you reserved your room yet for the ARC Annual meeting? You can do that now via the ARC website. This year’s meeting will be June 18-20, in lovely Cincinnati. We’ll be staying at the beautiful Hilton Netherland Hotel. More details on our agenda and registration will be announced soon, so get those rooms reserved and stay tuned!

Membership committee hard at work
The ARC Membership Committee continues to explore ways to bring more value to our members. During the most recent Membership Committee meeting, the group discussed an upcoming member survey. There’s a link to this survey in this issue of the ARC Light newsletter. Please take a moment to complete the survey and give us your insights! We want to make ARC the most valuable professional development group possible!

Want to host a ‘Harvesting Knowledge’ webinar?
We’re on the lookout for hosts for upcoming Harvesting Knowledge webinars. Send your ideas for topics and dates to Sandra O’Rourke ( or 952-758-5811).

Follow ARC on social media
Are you keeping up with ARC announcements and events via our website and social media? This is a great way to get the latest news on upcoming webinars and events, the annual meeting and information on special programs, such as the ARC/C.O.nxt Scholarship and ARC Internship. Here are some handy links – be sure to bookmark these in your browser:

•             ARC Facebook page:
•             ARC Website:
•             ARC X:

Students: Apply for scholarship
The Agricultural Relations Council/Charleston|Orwig Scholarship program deadline is fast approaching. ARC awards one $1,500 scholarship to a college student studying ag communications and/or public relations. This scholarship program is named, in part, after Lyle E. Orwig, a founder of Charleston|Orwig, which is now known as C.O.nxt. The deadline for applications is March 15, so get your application in now. Find more details at: Please direct all questions to Sandra O’Rourke ( or 952-758-5811).

Do you have questions or ideas on how we can continue to grow ARC and attract more members? I’d love to hear them! Contact me any time at

Thanks for being a part of the Agricultural Relations Council. I hope your 2024 is off to a great start!

Let’s grow ARC together!


Spread the word: ARC is offering a $1,500 undergraduate scholarship

The Agricultural Relations Council encourages college ag communication students to apply for ARC’s/C.O.nxt scholarship. Worth $1,500, the scholarship is generously funded by an endowment to the ARC Foundation from Lyle Orwig, a founder of Charleston|Orwig.

To qualify, applicants must be college students studying ag communications and/or public relations, with an interest in working for agribusiness companies, marketing communications agencies, national/state/regional commodity or general farm organizations, and other positions that promote agriculture. Applicants must also have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 and 3.0 in the major area of study (4.0 scale). The scholarship will be awarded through the bursar’s office at the recipient’s college or university.

When applying, applicants must include one academic/professional reference, typed application, writing/editing sample, resume, transcript and completed scholarship application form.

Click here for more scholarship submission details. Submit ARC scholarship applications and supplemental materials by March 15. The ARC/C.O.nxt scholarship recipient will be notified by April 15.

Direct ARC scholarship-related questions to: Sandra O’Rourke ( or 952-758-5811).

Submit Golden ARC entries by April 12

It’s time to be recognized for your outstanding agricultural communications work! But that can only happen if you enter the Golden ARC Awards Contest. This contest is open to corporate, non-profit and organizational teams. Students may enter, at no cost, in any category. Get feedback on your entries and see how your work stacks up against the best in the business.

To be eligible, entries must be completed in full or partially in 2023. The Golden ARC Awards Contest offers two divisions – Campaigns and Tactics. Within each division, individual categories exist. A complete list of categories can be found here.

ARC members who have not entered in the past must contact Sandra O’Rourke to set up a profile. This profile must be set up at least 24 hours before entries can be accepted.

To find more details about judging criteria, eligibility, fees, submission guidelines and ARC Golden ARC entry directions, go to:

Click here to enter the contest. (Reminder: If you haven’t entered previously, set up your profile with Sandra O’Rourke.)

Winners will be announced at the Golden ARC Awards banquet in Cincinnati, on June 19.

ARC’s April 18 Harvesting Knowledge webinar features targeted market research

Register for the Agricultural Relations Council’s (ARC) next Harvesting Knowledge webinar on April 18, which features “Foundational Research: The Bridge to Targeted Triumphs.” Cam Camfield and Mace Thornton of the Stratovation Group will lead the one-hour webinar, which starts at noon Central time. Click here to register.

Is there a particular topic you would like to learn about? Would you like to host a webinar? Contact Sandra O’Rourke ( with your webinar topic suggestions and/or willingness to host a webinar.

Share your opinions, recommendations, ideas via the ARC survey

ARC wants YOU to complete the ARC membership survey! Your feedback will be extremely helpful in providing more value to ARC members. Please take a moment to complete the survey and give us your insights. ARC leaders want to make this organization the most valuable professional development group possible.

ARC and Curious Plot select Lucia Plagge as ARC Foundation/Gardner & Gardner 2024 public relations intern

Plagge to gain hands-on experience in agricultural communications and public relations, supported by industry leaders and Gardner & Gardner Communications grant

Lucia Plagge

The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) and Curious Plot announced that Lucia Plagge has been awarded the 2024 ARC/Gardner & Gardner Communications 2024 internship. This unique internship opportunity marks the sixth year of the ARC internship program and demonstrates their commitment to fostering talent and innovation in agricultural communications.

The internship, made possible in part through a grant from Gardner & Gardner Communications to the ARC Foundation, offers a blend of hands-on experience with the 2024 host organization, Curious Plot and involvement in ARC initiatives. Plagge, a junior at South Dakota State University, will join a cohort of Curious Plot interns to embark on The Curious Summer, working cross-functionally on diverse public relations projects across the food, agriculture and companion animal care markets.

“We are excited to host the ARC intern at Curious Plot this summer,” said Daren Williams, senior vice president of public relations and reputation management at Curious Plot. “Lucia will have the opportunity to work directly with our team of curious communication experts, gaining hands-on experience and contributing to meaningful projects that advance the food and agriculture industry.”

Plagge will spend 80% of her time working on projects with Curious Plot, honing her skills in public relations and reputation management. Additionally, Plagge will spend 20% of her time supporting and attending the ARC Annual Meeting and serving as an ARC student advisor, helping to shape and grow the ARC community and providing insights on the needs of those starting out in agricultural public relations.

“ARC is proud to continue our commitment to helping aspiring professionals grow in the agricultural communications field,” said Kristy Mach, ARC executive director. “Through this internship, Lucia will gain invaluable experience working with two industry-leading organizations, contributing to real-world projects and shaping the future of agricultural public relations.”

Plagge’s internship will run for 12 weeks and is a hybrid role between the Curious Plot headquarters, ARC office and remote with employees from across the country. For more information about the ARC internship program, please visit

ARC heads to ‘Cincy’ for its annual meeting

Do your summer travel plans include the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) Annual Meeting in Cincinnati, June 18-20? Add this event today! Meeting registration will open in March.

ARC is meeting at the beautiful Hilton Netherland Plaza. Reserve your hotel room here.
Hilton Netherland Plaza
Address: 35 W 5th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-421-9100

Golden ARC Award Winner: Newsletters – Print or Digital
FBNews newsletter

Provided by Erin Anthony, American Farm Bureau Federation

Now in its 11th year, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) FBNews newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly via e-mail (except for August and December) to 19,000-plus subscribers. Our readers are Farm Bureau farmer and rancher members, 4-H and FFA participants, Capitol Hill, federal agency and foreign embassy staff, reporters and consumers interested in food policy and agricultural sustainability.

Formerly known as Farm Bureau News, the publication was launched in print in the 1920s. In its last print iteration, FBNews was a tabloid-size, eight-page, color newspaper published twice a month. Knowing we were going to be eliminating the print publication, we created an FBNews website and a free newsletter in February 2013 to pave the way for our complete transition to digital in May 2013.

We launched the e-newsletter with a few hundred subscribers and continue to grow our readership each year.

FBNews highlights the breadth and depth of Farm Bureau
FBNews is dedicated to covering the policy and regulatory priorities established annually by our farmer and rancher members. We also highlight programs, events and awards focused on our county and state Farm Bureaus and grassroots members, and incorporate the excellent analysis provided by our economists through their Market Intel columns. From hard news stories to feature articles and first-person perspectives, the FBNews newsletter showcases the breadth and depth of Farm Bureau.

FBNews is also a key advocacy tool. From the FBNews e-newsletter, in a click or two, FBNews articles can be shared via Facebook, X, LinkedIn and e-mail by AFBF and its thousands of members who want to let consumers and lawmakers alike know how legislation and regulations affect the people who produce the food, fuel and fiber none of us can live without.

Constant Contact analytics tell us that for the last 10 newsletters our average open rate was 46% and our click rate was 3.2%, compared to an overall average open rate of 37% and average click rate of 1.86% for all Constant Contact newsletters.

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