ACE Retirees Update
October 2017
August 2017

OCTOBER 2107
ACE Keeps Moving Forward

Linda Benedict, the ACE Retiree Director-elect, and I just returned from Scottsdale, Arizona, for the fall board meeting. As past presidents, both of us have sat through our share of long board meetings. We resisted the urge (most of the time) to roll our eyes as some of the same topics came up we heard during our terms: membership growth and involvement, financial concerns, professional development. Then again, the board wouldn’t be doing its job if it wasn’t concerned about these topics.

Then things changed. The board looked forward as it chose a new management company, and made plans for the 2018 and 2019 conferences. Board members dared dream big with talks of web design, marketing plans, webinars, joint conferences, recruiting new members and, yes, the usual membership involvement, finances and professional development.

It was exciting, a little scary and very energizing to see the ACE leadership step out and reach for the future.

And speaking of energizing, check out two articles Linda submitted. They will challenge you to use your talent and experience, so get busy!

In This Issue

  • Kierland to Host 2018 Conference
  • 2019 Conference Comes to San Antonio
  • Call for Freelancers to Speak
  • George Laur Joins Climate Change Movement Big-time
  • Farewell to Bill Tedrick
  • Write a Review, Do a Commentary for the JAC
  • Who Was Your ACE Mentor? Upcoming Events

Kierland to Host 2018 Conference

The board met in Scottsdale to scout out next summer’s Ag Media Summit location for you. We did not stay at the host hotel, the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, because fall rates put it out of our league. Yes, it will be hot August 5-8 but the registration fee of only $385 and low hotel rates can’t be beat.
 
Scottsdale and Phoenix flow easily into each other in a desert bowl surrounded by red-rocked cliffs. The area looks like it was built last week, with low light-stoned buildings and wide western streets. Cactus, palm trees and bright flowers add welcome pops of color. The town boasts an active art center and great restaurants. How many ways can you fix tacos? You’d be surprised.

2019 Conference Comes to San Antonio

President-elect Elizabeth Gregory North proposed two Texas cities for the location of the 2019 ACE conference. The board chose the Westin River Walk June 24-27 in San Antonio. Check it out.

Call for Freelancers to Speak

The Ag Media Summit conference committee will be calling for proposals shortly. I’d like the retirees to present a session on freelancing after retirement. Many active ACE members would love to hear how you make it work.

So if you’re interested in coming to Scottsdale and speaking o    cn this topic, either as an individual speaker or on a panel, please contact me at jrodekohr@bellsouth.net.

And here’s an added incentive. While you’re there, you can pitch story ideas to the ag publications editors at the summit. Planners expect more than 700 attendees so don’t miss your chance to meet these editors in person and line up your next byline.

George Laur Joins Climate Change Movement Big-time

By Linda Benedict

George Laur, who retired from the University of Missouri in 2013, decided to use his writing, editing and photography talents for the good of the environment. Here is some of what he’s doing:

“During my last decade at MU, I became increasingly informed and concerned about climate change. You may recall that I began my career as an editor for Rural Missouri, the statewide publication for Missouri’s rural electric cooperatives. Since then I have followed the energy industry closely. I couldn’t just end a career that began in the energy industry, and ended as the director of a science-based publishing effort for a university, at the time our world was facing the biggest energy-related environmental threat in human history, and not volunteer, when I knew communication was at the center of creating the political will needed to solve the problem.

I had heard of Citizens’ Climate Lobby prior to my retirement. I liked its solution of a revenue-neutral carbon fee that returned all revenues collected back to households in the form of dividends. I also knew they wrote a lot of op-eds and letters to editors, and I thought I could help with that effort. So when I retired in April of 2013, I contacted them to ask if there was a local chapter I could join. There wasn’t. That June, my wife, Kathy, and I were in Washington D.C., first to go through lobby training, then to meet with our members of Congress. That September we launched a Columbia/Jefferson City chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, where I still serve as group leader. Since then I have also begun serving as one of two state coordinators for Missouri. On Nov. 14, I’ll be making my 9th visit to Capitol Hill.

Of course, I was thinking volunteer work in retirement would be easy. I could say “no” whenever I wanted. But, that’s only partly true when it seems so important. I would love to only write op-eds, but we need to increase membership, bring business and community leaders on board, start new chapters around the state, and, the worst one for me, serve on committees. This has consumed my retirement. All those home projects and places we want to travel are still on hold.

We are making progress. In 2013 when I joined the effort, few Republicans in Congress would mention climate change. Today we have 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats working together on the Climate Solutions Caucus. This is largely due to the hard work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers.”

If you feel inspired and would like to learn more about his cause, go to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby website. Or think about how you could use your talents to help your favorite cause.

Farewell to Bill Tedrick

As you read in an earlier email, our friend Bill Tedrick passed away September 27. Here is a portion of his obituary.

Bill received his BS in Agriculture from Ohio State in 1952, his MA from University of Maryland in 1960, and his PhD on December 14, 1968 from Michigan State University. His years teaching high school agriculture in Ohio included establishing the FFA program at Wellington HS, Wellington, Ohio. That experience and being an extension agent and 4-H specialist in Ohio and Michigan brought to him the opportunity to become Editor and Chief of the Agricultural Communications Department of Texas A&M. His
 
move to Texas in February 1971 culminated in 17 more years of service in the TAMU system. In all, Bill worked as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1955 through 1988. In his retirement years he enjoyed annual stays in Michigan, where he fished, hunted and played horseshoes. Bill was a regional, state and national champion pitcher, dedicating many hours to the game and improvements to venues.
Hillsdale County, Michigan, fairgrounds sports the Tedrick Horseshoe Pavillon, a great source of pride to the family.

Write a Review, Do a Commentary for the JAC

By Linda Benedict

Retirement has given me the opportunity to do more reading and to keep up with controversial issues in agriculture. There is so much misinformation out there that even I get confused sometimes about who has the correct facts. But there are many enlightening and intelligent books and articles being written and documentaries being produced, and more people need to be exposed to these, which brings me to my point: ACE’s Journal of Applied Communication is looking for commentaries and reviews. That’s where ACE retirees come in. We have the capability to do the research and write the commentaries and reviews to help others understand communication strategies and how some of these issues are being manipulated. David Doerfert at Texas Tech, the current JAC editor, sent me this link for the JAC submission policies. He also said feel free to contact him with questions at david.doerfert@ttu.edu.

Who Was Your ACE Mentor?

As you look back on your career with ACE, think about the people who took an interest in your work, inspired you to get involved with ACE, and challenged you to excel in your field.

My mentors were Dan Lutz, Joe Marks and Gary Hermance — all active ACE members who took time to bring me along.
 
Who were your mentors? And why? I’ll share some of your answers in upcoming newsletters. Send meyour thoughts at jrodekohr@bellsouth.net.

Upcoming Events

August 4-8, 2018: Ag Media Summit join meeting with ACE, Scottsdale, AR
June 24-27, 2019: ACE Conference, San Antonio, Texas

AUGUST 2017
CE Retirees Stay Busy

I am constantly amazed with the creativity, ingenuity and all-around joy I hear from ACE retirees. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

Our newest retiree, Martha Filipic, jumped right in the deep waters by agreeing to co-chair the ACE planning committee for our conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, next summer. She shares the early planning stages with you.

Jim Coats accidentally shared his creative days with us when he sent it to the retirees’ listserv. But it was so interesting, I decided to share it again in this newsletter. If you missed it the first time, be sure to read it this time.

Let’s help Lyn Jarvis celebrate a much deserved honor and raise a toast to Ralph and Vera Ballew for 65 years of marriage. Wow.

Dave McAllister answers my question about his leadership role in ACE and Tom Knecht is back in the radio business.

And you thought summer was a slow time …

In This Issue

  • ACE Joins Ag Media Summit for 2018 Conference
  • Let the Creative Juices Flow
  • Lyn Jarvis Honored with Robert O. Sinclair Cup
  • Raise a Toast to Ralph and Vera Ballew
  • Why I Serve: Dave McAllister
  • Tom Knecht Is Back on the Radio Upcoming Events

ACE Joins Ag Media Summit for 2018 Conference

Next year, ACE will join the American Agricultural Editors Association, the Livestock Publications Council, Connectiv Agri-Media Committee, and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow at the Ag Media Summit conference at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, Aug. 5-8, 2018.

Meeting planning is beginning to take shape. At this point, the ACE Retirees and Past Presidents’ Reception is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5. ACE is also considering a pre-conference on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Breakout sessions will be on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 6-7, with the ACE C&A dinner on
Tuesday evening. Right now, the only thing on the schedule for Wednesday, Aug. 8, is a “coffee-to-go bar,” but there may be post- conference options available.

ACE’s planning committee is working with the Ag Media Summit program committee to work out details. As usual, ACE will organize our own breakout sessions, which will pretty much run concurrently with other breakouts. Anyone at the conference, which usually numbers about 600 people, will be able to attend any of the sessions.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer a retirees’ discount next year, as none of the other organizations who meet with the Ag Media Summit provide such a discounted rate. But on the bright side, the registration cost will likely hold to $385 to $395 (compared with an ACE retiree registration fee of $375 for the 2017 conference). Also, single-day registration fees will be available.

Although the conference is later in the year than usual, the call for session proposals will be earlier. The planning committee wants sessions nailed down early in 2018 to help raise funds and find donors. If you’re interested in presenting, look for the Call for Proposals in November.

If you have any questions, contact Lori Greiner at lgreiner@vt.edu or Martha Filipic at marthafilipic@gmail.com, the ACE program committee’s co-chairs.

Let the Creative Juices Flow

Here’s news from Jim Coats. Enjoy.

All my life more of a grasshopper than an ant, I’m supplementing my retirement income these days with free-lance book editing (that can include YOUR books, too, fellow ACE-ers), part-time work at a music shop in Folsom, California, and teaching people to play guitar, mandolin, and ukulele (see photo of last Saturday’s ukulele class). I tell you, the uke is a very happening thing these days! But some of the best musical times I remember are of playing with the ACE X-Tension Chords. (Probably some of the best times I can’t remember, too.)

A couple of my photographs made it into the local visitors’ bureau quarterly and the color calendar for the Sutter Buttes, a beautiful little mountain range that makes its home in the middle of the Sacramento Valley.

I’ve done a little bit of traveling — to New York City last fall to visit my daughter Emma, who lives in Brooklyn, working for Google. She helps make sure the Google Assistant has a suitable personality. Really.
 
Definitely on my top-10 list of jobs I never imagined would ever exist in this world. Looking forward to more trips, including to Ireland next fall, if I can swing it. Middle kid Josh is a coder in San Francisco, and youngest Dustin is just now finding his way into the working world.

Meanwhile, I stay local in midtown Sacramento, keep company with Cali, my calico cat, and play music as often as I can — a little bit of blues, Celtic music, bluegrass, rock ’n roll — plus whatever I can fit onto a ukulele for my classes. The live music scene is pretty hot here on a lot of fronts.

The free-lance, gig-economy is a much edgier cocktail than was my 30- year stint at the University of California, but I must confess that it’s a lot of excitement and fun, too! And 61 is a much younger age than I ever imagined it would be.

Wishing everyone a season of pleasant surprises!

Lyn Jarvis Honored with Robert O. Sinclair Cup

As you may recall, Lyn Jarvis received a distinctive honor from the University of Vermont. Here is a summary of the award and a photo of the big night:

Lynville W. Jarvis (right) is presented the Robert O. Sinclair Cup that honors retired faculty and staff with professional accomplishments and distinction in their careers while at the University of Vermont. The award was presented at the 24th Annual Alumni and Friends Dinner for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University of Vermont Extension System. The award, that honors Dean Emeritus Sinclair (left), recognizes retired faculty members who have served the College with distinction during their career and whose professional accomplishment involved increasing levels of responsibility and reflected outstanding performance and dedicated service.

Chuck Ross, Director of UVM Extension who introduced Jarvis, said he needed no introduction and dubbed him “Mr. Across the Fence” in honor of the generations of TV viewers who grew up watching the show he produced for 27 years on WCAX-TV in Burlington, VT. The show remains the longest running daily farm and home program in the nation. He took the show from live studio broadcasts where anything could, and did, happen to taped shows on on-location filming, among the first Vermont broadcast journalists to do so.

Ross added, “Many Extension professionals credit him with providing the training and experience that led to recognition from various collegiate and professional organizations for their expertise in Extension programming for television.

Jarvis may have retired in 2002, but Ross said he has not slowed down. “Lyn remains dedicated to the show, appearing on a regular basis to share his favorite recipes on segments of “In the Kitchen with Across the Fence” and his travels to far-away places with viewers.”

After receiving his MA degree from the University of Alabama, Jarvis worked at WSFA-TV, in Montgomery, Alabama, and Broadcasting Services at the U. of A. before returning to his home state of Vermont.

Raise a Toast to Ralph and Vera

Here’s a note from Ralph Ballew about an amazing occasion.

Vera and I celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary the 4th weekend in July. We celebrated a few days early so those present could also attend the Ballew Family Reunion, which was held July 23. Our anniversary was August 8.

Our youngest daughter, Julia, who lives in Leeds, England was here with her friend from London. Our oldest son, Jeff, from Shreveport, La., was here with lots of his family, as was son Dale and family from Huntsville and our oldest daughter, Jan, who lives nearby.

The celebration began with a seafood buffet on Friday evening attended by 19 members of our family. On Saturday afternoon a professional photographer from Birmingham made family pictures. The big event was an evening meal at Jan’s house where a delicious meal was served. Included was a beautiful and tasteful anniversary cake. One highlight of this event was four sets of posters of family pictures, one set being life size.

Most of the events were a surprise to us and it was a celebration of a lifetime! We have been truly blessed with a wonderful life!! Fourteen members of our family, from California, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico were not able to attend.

Why I Serve: Dave McAllister

Here is Dave’s response to my question about taking on a leadership role in ACE:

After a long stint at the University of Minnesota, I accepted a position with USDA-CSREES in 1999, retiring five years later. I had been an ACE member since 1972 but had never served it in any major capacity until I was asked by some of my colleagues to "run" for DC Region Director, to succeed Marci Hilt, in 2001-02. I say run in quotation marks because I don't recall any particular competition for the post.

I enjoyed the opportunity, although I don't recall all the details 15 years later. I know it was difficult to have meetings since there were relatively few ACE members in the region, compared to other regions, and the ones who were there were a bit spread out. We tried to set up an afternoon of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Washington, but as I recall only Marci and I were there to pound nails with some non-ACE volunteers.
 
I enjoyed going to the ACE Board meetings and getting to know other ACE leaders from around the country.

Our biggest achievement was designing and carrying out a very well- received diversity conference in Washington in 2002, which attracted communication professionals and quality speakers from across the country. I was the chair, and our committee consisted of Marci Hilt, Terry Meisenbach, Judy Rude, Ellen Varley, and Hank Becker. This group was recognized for its efforts with ACE's Diversity Award in 2003, now a fond memory.

Tom Knecht Is Back on the Radio

Past ACE President Tom Knecht was recently appointed Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Digital Communications in the White County, Georgia, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).

Operating under FCC call letters W4TWK, Tom and a fellow radio amateur, or "ham," share the title, which involves being prepared to communicate information digitally during emergencies in support of the White County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

A typical assignment would be sending written information between a shelter operator and the emergency response managers at the EOC. Tom and his colleague Jim, K4PZ, also collaborate in training other members of White County ARES to communicate information by radio in digital form under a wide range of conditions.

The White County ARES group is a volunteer organization of radio amateurs who are trained, committed, and ready to deploy when traditional forms of communication such as landline telephones, cell phones, and the Internet have been knocked out by a natural disaster, widespread power failure, or other devastating event. The ARES motto is "When all else
fails .."

ARES units are active in many of the 3,000-plus counties across the U.S. under the auspices of ham radio's national organization, the American
 
Radio Relay League. Their work is often mentioned in news reports of recovery from natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

Tom would be interested in hearing from other radio amateurs in ACE, whether or not they are involved with ARES, at w4twk@arrl.net.

Upcoming Events

October 9-12: Fall Board Meeting, Scottsdale, AR
August 4-8, 2018: Ag Media Summit join meeting with ACE, Scottsdale, AR
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