The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) is in year six of the ARC/Gardner & Gardner Communications internship program. ARC is hosting an internship in 2024, with Curious Plot.

The internship is unique in ag communications in that it is a collaboration of the organization (ARC) and the host agency. The ARC portion of the funding comes from a grant from Gardner & Gardner Communications to the ARC Foundation.

  • The intern will receive a complimentary ticket to the ARC annual conference plus be reimbursed for travel, up to $1,000, to the ARC annual conference to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 18 – 20, 2024.
  • The intern will spend 80% of his/her time on host organization projects and 20% to support and attend the ARC annual meeting and act as a student advisor for ARC.
  • The internship will include a student advisor position with the board of directors.
  • The advisor position will help shape the ARC community on the needs of those just starting out in agricultural public relations.
  • The internship will be 12 weeks long with the advisor position being 9 months long.
  • Internship will run from May 20 – August 9, 2024, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Intern will be chosen by a representative of the hosting organization, along with a representative of Gardner & Gardner Communications.

In 2024 ARC is offering an internship opportunity with Curious Plot.

Curious Plot is a marketing, communications and consulting agency for the food, agriculture and companion animal care markets. They believe in better. Better marketing to advance brands, people, animals and our world. The team of curious experts looks closer, sees further and uses diverse thinking to push ideas from good to extraordinary. Their core competencies are strategy + consulting, public relations, media, digital & engagement, and creative + experience.

The Curious Plot team of 120+ team members are coast-to-coast with their headquarters located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Students interested in applying for the ARC Internship with Curious Plot should complete the online application by December 31, 2023.  The intern will be selected by January 31, 2024. 

Questions?  Please contact Sandra O’Rourke at 

QUICK LINK: 2024 application for Curious Plot

2023 Intern – McKenna Greco

The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) and G&S Business Communications selected McKenna Greco, a senior at Rutgers University studying animal science, with a minor in business and technical writing, as the 2023 ARC/Gardner & Gardner Communications intern. As the intern, she will also serve as the student adviser to the ARC board of directors.

Greco works as a tutor for the Rutgers Writing Center and Varsity Tutors. Additionally, she serves as an instructor and equine caretaker for Morning Star Farm Riding Academy in Freedom, N.J.

Greco’s college training has provided her with opportunities to write about threats to agriculture, including a research proposal on spotted lanternflies. She presented her research findings at the Undergraduate Research in Writing Conference as part of a panel addressing issues in sustainability. To prepare for the conference, Greco used the original literature review and analyzed scientific data to educate the audience on the threat to agriculture, possible solutions and a recommended timeline.

For another project, Greco developed an agricultural animal waste management plan. This involved creating an online tool for farmers to develop comprehensive and environmentally conscious waste management plans.

Last fall, Greco was one of 11 students selected to attend the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s annual conference. She attended policy meetings, networked with industry leaders and engaged with state officials from across the nation.

Through the ARC/Gardner & Gardner Communications internship, Greco looks forward to working alongside G&S staff and industry professionals to represent the needs of agriculturalists working to feed the country. “This is an exciting opportunity to learn how to be the most valuable team member I can be and hone my agricultural communications skills,” she stated. Additionally, Greco wants to expand her skill set in business and technical writing to best fit clients’ needs.

After college graduation, Greco’s ideal job involves working in agricultural communications to advocate for the needs of farmers, promote new markets and educate the public about the realities of agriculture.

Previous interns and host organizations: 

2022 – Sydney Mitchell, South Dakota State University, interned with Animal Agriculture Alliance.

Sydney is currently a student at South Dakota State University studying Agricultural Communications. She will graduate in December of 2022. At South Dakota State University Sydney is a member of the Honors College, Collegiate 4-H, Dairy Club, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture, the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, and more.

Growing up Sydney showed dairy, beef and dogs in 4-H and completed many other projects in 4-H. She is currently running an independent project called Beyond the Farm where it is her goal to teach middle and high school students about the variety of careers in agriculture. Through this project Sydney has spoken to thousands of people across the country, reached over 300,000 people on social media, and helped to tell the story of agriculture.

2021 – Madison Stoneburner,  Supper Honors College at Palm Beach Atlantic University, interned with C.O.nxt

This year’s Agricultural Relations Council summer intern is Madison Stoneburner. She is spending her ARC internship working remotely with C.O.nxt, a full-service marketing and communications agency that serves the food and agriculture industries. Gardner & Gardner Communications provides the funding for this scholarship.

During her time working with C.O.nxt, Stoneburner will expand her knowledge of public relations (PR) and the agriculture industry while working on content development, media relations, social media and influencer relations. She was first offered the ARC internship at C.O.nxt for the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, the internship was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stoneburner is a spring 2021 graduate of the Supper Honors College at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU), West Palm Beach, Fla., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in political science. During her time in college, Stoneburner studied under her adviser and mentor Wes Jamison, who encouraged her to pursue a PR career within the agriculture industry.

During her sophomore year of college, Stoneburner had the opportunity to meet with C.O.nxt founder Lyle Orwig, which solidified her decision to pursue a career in agriculture and instilled in her a goal to one day work for C.O.nxt. During her junior year, she had the opportunity to work on a campaign for a group of cattle ranchers at the Arizona-Mexico border. The campaign focused on bringing attention to illegal immigration, which affects the operations and lives of ranchers living at the border.

Prior to her graduation, Stoneburner served as the president of PBAU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and completed six public relations internships across various industries. Stoneburner had the honor of being recognized as the Outstanding Graduate for the Department of Public Relations at PBAU. She is looking forward to furthering her skills gained from coursework and past internships during her time at C.O.nxt.

2019 – Valley Urricelqui, California State University, interned with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

“This year’s Agricultural Relations Council summer intern is Valley Urricelqui, who is spending her ARC internship with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Centennial, Colo (near Denver). Her roots run deep as a fifth-generation cattle rancher, born and raised in Northeastern California. This is where Urricelqui grew her passion for the agriculture industry.

From a young age, Urricelqui was involved with her local 4-H and FFA programs – showing cattle for 10 years at her district fair. In high school, she was heavily involved in FFA as an officer and competing in speaking competitions.

During the summer months, if you couldn’t find her working on the ranch, Urricelqui was volunteering for the City of Redding Farm Camp that her mother started. This program involves inter-city children from ages of 5 to 13, who get the opportunity to see what it takes to work on a farm and fill their brains with as much knowledge as possible about where their food originates. Urricelqui loves to work with younger generations to educate them about the farm-to-fork philosophy and show them food production practices.

The past (2018-2019) Northern California State Beef Ambassador, Urricelqui is now serving as one of three 2019-2020 American National Cattlewomen’s National Collegiate Beef Advocates. Through this honor, she travels across the country to promote the beef industry, communicate with consumers and squash misconceptions.

In the spring of 2019, Urricelqui graduated from California State University, Chico, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural science and education. Her ARC/NCBA internship involves issues management and media relations. Also, she works with the NCBA Global Marketing Research Team to learn all about the beef community and how to inform consumers and producers regarding the safe, wholesome and nutritious product beef offers. Following her summer internship, Urricelqui plans to become an agriculture teacher.”

2018 – Madeleine Bezner, Texas A&M University, interned at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 

“As I traveled home from the 2018 Agricultural Relations Council Annual Meeting, I couldn’t help thinking thoughts of satisfaction and motivation. Quality professional development was delivered, and the networking opportunities were second to none.

ARC 2018 Intern Winner Madeleine Beznick, Texas A&M University, pitched in with her photography skills at the Louisville annual meeting.

However, what struck me most about the ARC meeting were the people. From my observations, ARC has evolved into a community of driven individuals who are passionate about agricultural public relations and, most importantly, are committed to finding the best practices to bridge the disconnect between consumers and agriculture. Furthermore, ARC members support and encourage one another professionally, which I found admirable.

Key takeaways included research on consumer trust, tips for engaging with consumers, innovative social media tactics, perspectives on Kentucky agriculture and an overview of ARC history. Above all, I witnessed recognition of highly-respected leaders within agricultural public relations.

After learning ARC’s values, listening to guest speakers and engaging with fellow attendees, it became evident to me that I truly was “stepping into the winner’s circle,” cue said satisfaction and motivation.

As I embark on my career, I am grateful I had the opportunity to learn the value of ARC and I look forward to staying involved. Thank you to ARC for allowing me such a unique internship and thank you to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for an outstanding learning experience.”

2017 – Hannah Oates, University of Kentucky interned at Alltech in Nicholasville, Kentucky

“Working for Alltech, my main responsibilities have been to write content, mostly blogs, from speeches delivered at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2017. These blogs have covered an array of topics, from mycotoxins in poultry to salmon in the Faroe Islands to regenerative cattle grazing. I started the summer with no knowledge on these topics, spending the majority of my days trying to research what I had listened to and trying desperately to make sense of these terms and concepts so unfamiliar to me.  

As my internship at Alltech comes to a close, I am reminded of just how much I have learned. Apart from technical terms and agriculture terminology, I was introduced to the world of agricultural careers, and amazed at what I found. There are so many opportunities available for careers in public relations and marketing in agriculture. This became even more apparent to me during my trip to Sacramento for the ARC convention, one of the other amazing opportunities that the internship afforded me. Surrounded by people with multiple careers types and working for an array of companies, I learned how many opportunities are available in the agriculture field.

I have learned more than I ever expected, gained more professional skills than any previous job, and have a newfound respect for agriculture and all that goes into delivering food to consumers. I am beyond grateful for this experience and so excited to see how it shapes and leads my future endeavors. This is a summer to remember.”