Hannah Ford is a doctoral student in agricultural communications at Texas Tech University.
A 2017 Texas Tech agricultural communications alum, Ford pursued a career in agri-tourism after completing in her bachelor’s degree, serving as the public relations coordinator at the Fort Worth Zoo.
Ford said she wishes everyone could experience agri-tourism in a zoo setting.
“I don’t feel most agriculturists consider zoos to be agri-tourism,” Ford said, “even with the contributions toward science, research and conservation that they provide.”
Ford has a strong belief in the future of agriculture and wants to spread that message to her peers.
“I think agriculture, in general, sets up every student for success because we see the struggles of farmers, and we also see the fear and misinformation that is spread upon the consumer base,” Ford said.
With the false claims on animal rights issues, the zoo has to put out truthful information about what goes on behind the scenes.
“There were a lot of behind-the-scene footage and photos that we did when I was there,” Ford said. “We let people see visuals of the type of treatment and care the animals receive.”
While taking photos and video footage of the animals, Ford was able to apply her agriculture background to common things practiced in the zoo setting.
“I never imagined anything from my agriculture background being applied to a zoo, but it was every day that I saw something that could work for both zoo and farm animals,” she said.
Before returning to Lubbock in 2020 to pursue her doctoral degree, Ford received a master’s degree from Mississippi State University in 2020. She said she is glad to be back on the Texas Tech campus and hopes to one day become a college professor.
As a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech, Hannah assists with research and teaches a section of Scientific Writing in Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
I think agriculture, in general, sets up every student for success because we see the struggles of farmers, and we also see the fear and misinformation that is spread upon the consumer base.HANNAH FORD