Meet the Staff – Spring 2017 Issue

The spring 2017 issue of the Agriculturist is written and produced entirely by the agricultural communications students enrolled in ACOM 4310 Developing Agricultural Publications during the fall 2016 semester.


Stefanie Wolf, Editor

My name is Stefanie Wolf. I am a senior agricultural communications major from Henrietta, Texas, and the editor of the Spring 2017 issue of The Agriculturist. Growing up, I was actively involved in the agriculture industry, which created a passion for communicating the story of agriculture to people far and wide. Upon graduation, I plan to continue my education and pursue a master’s degree in agricultural education where I hope to continue advocating for an industry that is so dear to me. I am excited to continue to be a part of an industry that feeds and clothes our world and is home to so many genuine and hardworking individuals.

Read my story “Life on the Rodeo Road” here.


Shelby Maresca, Associate Editor

My name is Shelby Maresca, and I am graduating senior agricultural communications major from Plainview, Texas.  I have the pleasure of serving as this issue’s associate editor. I enjoy traveling, music and living in the moment, along with spending time with friends and family. I will be continuing my higher education at Texas Tech, pursuing a Master of Science in Agricultural Communications. After finishing my master’s degree in May 2018, I hope to find a job in either youth development working with organizations such as FFA or 4-H, or in the music industry, working for a label in their communications and design department. I hope you enjoy this issue of The Agriculturist!

Read my story “CASNR Advising Academy: Not Just Another Number” here.


Chamonix Mejia, Associate Editor for Digital Content

My name is Chamonix Mejia. I am a senior agricultural communications major from Laredo, Texas. This year, I am serving as the associate editor for digital content for The Agriculturist. After graduation in December, I will start on a Master’s of Science in Agricultural Communications at Texas Tech, with hopes to work for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Public Affairs Specialist after completing my master’s. Texas Tech has given me so many wonderful opportunities, and this department has given me the chance to cultivate a stronger passion for agriculture and natural resources. I hope you enjoy my story about the Department of Natural Resources Management and their use of environmental DNA in the field!

Read my story “Collaborating to Catch Criminals” here.


Hannah Ford, Advertising Manager

My name is Hannah Ford, and I am a senior agricultural communications major at Texas Tech University. I hail from the small town of Peaster, Texas, involved with career and technical education and youth leadership in agriculture from a young age. I have a passion for communications, food security, international relations, and telling agriculture’s story. I have plans to continue my education to become a professor of higher education. Involved in research within food labels in Italy, I constantly seek opportunities to study and learn about the agricultural industry on a global scale.

Read my story “From Famine to Farming” here.


Kalie Bennett

My name is Kalie Bennett. I am a senior agricultural communication major from Lamesa, Texas. Throughout my coursework, I have found my passion and learned so much more about the industry. Because of my passion for agriculture, I hope my future career allows me to stay in the industry. I plan on continuing to advocate and work in agriculture on my family’s farm and other aspects of the industry. I am very excited and nervous to see what the future holds and where my passion will take me.

Read my story “Chromatin the Hub of Information” here.


Sean Blagrave

My name is Sean Blagrave. I am from the small farm-town of Ackerly, Texas, which is 85 miles south of Lubbock. My family farms over 10,000 acres of farmland, and our cash crop is dry-land cotton. I have worked on the family farm as long as I have been able to work. Over the years, I have learned many different farming techniques and am continuing to do so. I fell in love with agriculture and plan to make an impact in the agricultural industry after I graduate from Texas Tech University with an agricultural communications degree.

Read my story “Staying on Track” here.


Taylor Bradley

Hey y’all. My name is Taylor Bradley, and I am from Dimmitt, Texas. I graduated in 2013 from Nazareth High School. I am currently a senior agricultural communications major, and I will be graduating in December 2016. Agriculture is a major part of who I am. My family owns feedyard operations in Dimmitt and Tulia, Texas, so I have been apart of the industry for as long as I can remember. I decided I wanted to continue working in the agriculture industry because I want to show people how important agriculture is in everyday life. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Texas Tech University, and plan on using the tools I learned here to further my work in agriculture.

Read my story “Showing with a Disability” here.


Hannah Cavazos

My name is Hannah Cavazos, and I am a senior agricultural communication major from Ralls, Texas. Coming from a small west Texas town, agriculture is a way of life. Growing up, I was very active in FFA and 4-H. My participation in both organizations fueled my interest in agricultural and helped lead me to my decision to major in agricultural communications. I am also currently working on receiving my teacher certification. After graduation, I would love a job as an agricultural science teacher and play an active role in educating the next generation of agriculturists.

Read my story “Oh, The Places You Can Now Go” here.


Hannah Cleveland

Hello! My name is Hannah Cleveland, and I am a senior agricultural communications major from Lubbock, Texas. I will graduate in May of 2017. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course work and opportunities I have been able to experience here at Texas Tech while pursuing my degree. Over the course of the past few years of college, I have discovered my strengths are writing and design. Following graduation, I am hoping to secure a communications job that will allow me to be an advocate for agriculture. Aside from life at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading and watching movies. I hope you enjoy this semester’s issue of The Agriculturist.

Read my story “Flying Through Life’s Crossroads” here.


Leah Curren

My name is Leah Curren. I am a senior agricultural communications major from Girard, Texas. This year, I was thrilled to serve as a journalist for our edition of The Agriculturist. After graduation in May, I will embark on my journey to complete a Master of Science in Agricultural Communications at Tech, with hopes to work for Country Living Magazine or a similar publication after completing my master’s. Through the tireless effort and instruction of our wonderful faculty and staff at Texas Tech, my love and appreciation for agriculture, thoughtful design and photojournalism only continue to grow. I hope you enjoy my article about the Department of Landscape Architecture and their strides in creating healthier environments for children in Lubbock and across Texas.

Read my story “When Nature Nurtures” here.


Sinclaire Dobelbower

My name is Sinclaire Dobelbower, a graduating senior studying agricultural communications at Texas Tech. I am from Midlothian, Texas, a small town south of Dallas. I have been involved in many different facets of the agricultural industry, but my passion lies specifically within the equine industry. After graduation, I will be attending graduate school at Texas Tech to earn my Master of Science in Agricultural Communications. After graduate school, I dream of working in the equine industry as a journalist or communications specialist for a breed or horse show association, and someday I would like to own my own horse marketing business.

Read my story “For the Love of the Land” here.


Marianne Easter

My name is Marianne Easter, and I am a senior at Texas Tech University majoring in agricultural communications. With my captivating spirit and down to earth disposition, my friends would say that my personality lies somewhere between Audrey Hepburn and the Pioneer Woman. Aside from ag communications, my passions include ranching and breaking colts, cooking for cowboys, fashion, exercise/health and serving my King. Growing up on my family’s ranch in north Texas has shaped me into the women I am today. With my professional development skills and public relations knowledge, I would like to embody my unique understanding of the western heritage through journalism, marketing and photography.

Read my story “Grazing a Gold Mine” here.


Bo Graham

My name is Bo Graham, and I am from Roanoke, Texas. I will be graduating from Texas Tech University in December 2016 with a degree in agricultural communications. I have many hobbies, but my main interests include hunting and fishing. When I am not in class or at work you will likely find me in the woods or on a lake. I most enjoy editing videos and hope that one day I will be able to do this for the outdoor industry.  I have enjoyed my time in school and cannot wait to see what my future holds.

Read my story “Success in Sorghum” here.


Abby Hill

Hi ya’ll. My name is Abby Hill, and I am a senior agricultural communications major from Turkey, Texas. My strengths include writing, design, and interpersonal communication. In my free time, I enjoy reading, photography, and being involved with Texas Tech University and the Lubbock community. Growing up in a small agricultural town fueled my passion for the agricultural industry at an early age, and it still continues today. I want to build a career working in public relations which is why I declared my minor in this field. Ultimately, I want to work for a public relations firm that allows me to advocate for the agriculture industry.

Read my story “What’s all the Buzz About?” here.


Drew Kohnle

My name is Drew Kohnle, and I’m a senior agricultural communications major from Lubbock, Texas. I have a deep interest in Texas Tech Athletics and am currently a sports writer for a sports publication called After I graduate, I wouldn’t mind pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. However, recently my heart has been captured by the Lord, and I’m discerning a future in campus ministry as well. My time in college was great, but the biggest help to me was allowing the Lord to make His home in my heart, and I would love to pass that on to more college students.

Read my story “Breaking out of their Shell” here.


Dakota Lambert

My name is Dakota Lambert. I am an agricultural communications major from Andrews, Texas. I am an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, and musician. Upon graduation, I will be moving to Colorado to guide whitewater rafting and fly fishing trips. My ultimate career goal is to own my own direct trade coffee company that would work with farmers internationally ensuring fair compensation for growers using sustainable agricultural practices.

Read my story “What’s the Buzz on Pollinators?” here.


Ty Lust

Faith, family, and familiar faces are just a few of my favorite things. My name is Ty Lust, and I am from Abernathy, Texas. I am an agricultural communications major, and I plan on using that degree to do non-profit communications. I am currently a youth pastor, as well as manage a mission’s organization called Omega. I care deeply about people and love any opportunity to go to new places and meet new people. In my story, I was able to take my passion for people and share the story of a multigenerational farming family. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Read my story “Mothers, Daughters, and Wives of Farmers” here.


Micah Lyssy

Hello all. I am Micah Lyssy, and I am from Fort Sumner, New Mexico. This town may be a hole in the wall, but it holds a plethora of culture and hospitality from which I have gained much knowledge and acquired great aspirations. Upon leaving my hometown, I chose to pursue a degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University. With this degree, I plan to venture out into the world of insurance focusing on the agricultural field. Many pursue a career thinking they know it all but I plan to approach my career choice with a clean slate and a fresh, eager mind willing to learn.

Read my story “How the Cookie Crumbles” here.


Emily McCartney

Growing up on ranches in Texas and western Nebraska, I was raised with a love for the American west, the adventurous way of life, and good horses. I can often be found exploring West Texas with camera in hand, or documenting the raw lifestyle of the American cowboy. I am proud to call Throckmorton, TX my hometown but I am currently an agricultural communications student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. I am also a proud member of the six-time national champion Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team. After college, I look forward to igniting Emily McCartney Photography and pursuing my dreams of freelance photojournalism/lifestyle photography. My goal as a photographer is to capture the rawness of the people, land, and animals in authentic form. There is much of a story to tell and I desire to use my mix of production agriculture knowledge and visual communications skills to accurately depict the western way of life through photography, journalism, branding, and marketing.

Read my story “The Canyons Called Them Home” here.


Erica McCright

My name is Erica McCright, and I’m from Colorado City, Texas. I’m a senior at Texas Tech University studying agricultural communication. After graduation in December 2016, I plan to move to Fort Worth and find a job in marketing and sales. Working with AMES Environmental and Engineering as the administrative assistant and marketing throughout my college career, I learned about marketing and hope to continue in this department. My future goal is to one day own my own business. Coming from a family who owns their own business, I love the feeling of working toward a goal and helping a company grows.

Read my story “Cotton is King” here.


Laurel Nix

My name is Laurel Nix, and I am from Coahoma, Texas. I am a senior agricultural communications major at Texas Tech University. I have gained many skills in communication and marketing throughout my undergrad. After graduation in December, I plan to continue my interest in real estate and marketing. I am hoping to obtain a career in one of these fields. Interning with Keller Williams through my college career has helped me gain a passion for real estate and an understanding of marketing. My future plan is to obtain my broker’s license and open my own real estate firm.

Read my story “A Common Message” here.


Kristen Schniederjan

Hi y’all! My name is Kristen Schniederjan and I am a senior agricultural communications major from Dalhart, Texas. I am also pursuing a minor in media strategies. I have an ever-growing passion for photography and writing creatively and formally. After graduation, I hope to work in a communications-related field where I can contribute my strong writing skills daily. One day I would also like to work as a freelance photographer and blog writer. In my spare time, I enjoy reading magazines and books, watching movies, traveling, and interior decorating.

Read my story “Finding CommonGround” here.


Allison Sexton

My name is Allison Sexton. I am a senior agricultural communications student born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. I have accepted a full-time position as an account executive for Aycock Mediaworks, a local full-service advertising agency. My plans for the next few years are to remain in Lubbock with my husband Blake and our dog, Beau. In my spare time, I enjoy cycling, running, working on our house, and time with friends and family. My time at Texas Tech has been incredible, and I look forward to being an alumnus of such a wonderful university. Wreck’ Em forever!

Read my story “Legacy Behind The Mask” here.


Steven Shedd

My name is Steven Shedd and I am from a small town called Eloy, Arizona.  I will be graduating Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications in December of 2016.  As a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation I am interested in pursing a career in natural resource policy and Native American affairs. I grew up on a generational cotton farm in southern Arizona and my hobbies include hiking, snow skiing, photography and travel.  I am excited to graduate Texas Tech University and I am looking forward to seeing where my degree in agricultural communications will take me.

Read my story “Between Earth, Sky and Texas Tech” here.


Jaycee Syra

My name is Jaycee Syra, and I am from Cortez, Colorado. I am a senior agricultural communications major. I enjoy writing, photography, agriculture and sports. After I graduate, I would like to get a job with Texas Tech Athletics in the marketing and promotions department. I would like to run their social media accounts, as well as, help them with promotional items. After working for Texas Tech Athletics, I would like to get a job with a professional sports team or organization in their communications or marketing and promotions department. While working towards a career in the sports industry, I want to start building my own photography business. I have a goal to grow professionally and take as many opportunities as I can to get to the career and position of life I want to be at. In my free time, I like to travel, drink coffee, and watch football.

Read my story “Beyond the Focal Point” here.


Jaci Tischler

Hi! My name is Jaci Tischler, and I am a senior agricultural communications student in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University. I grew up in Anson, Texas, a small town located 25 miles north of Abilene. I will graduate with my bachelor’s of science in December 2016. Following graduation, I plan to take my current Mary Kay business full-time and pursue a career in direct sales. I will use my advertising, marketing, communication and design skills I have learned at Tech to further my career in the direct sales industry. I am excited to see what my future outside of college holds, and I am thankful to have received my degree from the best school in the nation.

Read my story “Family Tradition Turns Success” here.


Laurie Tolboom

Greetings from Dublin, Texas… at least that’s what it says in my hometown as you drive through it. My name is Laurie Tolboom and I am a senior agricultural communications major with an animal science minor. I grew up with a love for horses and the many aspects of communications, so Texas Tech was the perfect fit as it allowed me to gain an education in the area that I loved, as well as keep my horse with me. Starting in January 2017, I will begin the process of receiving my master’s degree in mass communications in the College of Media and Communications as the next step in pursuing my career goal of working in an equine-based communications agency.

Read my story “Matadors in Training” here.


Katherine Torres

My name is Katherine Torres, and I am a senior agricultural communications major from Mission, Texas. Upon graduation, I have accepted a full-time position with a local agricultural agency in Lubbock, Texas. I have enjoyed the last four years I have spent in Lubbock and the opportunities it has lead me to. Agriculture has always been one of my greatest passions and I hope to continue being an advocate for the industry and communicating the many facets of the agriculture industry.

Read my story “A Lifetime of Cotton” here.


Audrey Turner

Hello there! My name is Audrey Turner, and I’m a senior agricultural communications student at Texas Tech University from Dublin, Texas. Growing up on a ranch and showing goats, sheep and cattle, I knew at a young age that the agricultural industry was my passion. With so much going on in agriculture today, my future plans are to promote the importance of this necessary industry in a positive and friendly way. I enjoy the design part of communications, but I also love writing. Eventually, I hope to work with a livestock show and rodeo or an agricultural publication.

Read my story “Exceeding Expectations” here.


Tylee Williams

Hello, my name is Tylee Williams, and I am a senior agricultural communications major at Texas Tech University. Throughout my college career, I have been heavily involved in the judging program by participating on the wool and livestock teams. I am also involved in organizations outside of the college such as the American Angus Association and have held various internships that have allowed me to travel across the country. I grew up showing Angus cattle and am very passionate about the agriculture industry. Upon graduation in December 2016, I plan to continue my involvement in the agriculture industry through my career.

Read my story “CASNR Companion Canines” here.


Bryce Winfrey

My name is Bryce Winfrey, and I am a senior from Seminole, Texas majoring in agricultural communications. I am thankful to learn and work alongside fellow Red Raiders in the Student Government Association, Chancellor’s Ambassadors, Mortar Board and many more organizations.
I am extremely passionate about fostering real change to feed a rapidly growing population. Following graduation, I hope to work for an animal health company or serve in a capacity to advocate for world hunger issues. During my free time, I embrace a touristy lifestyle with an extra shot of espresso. Wreck ‘Em!

Read my story “Feeding Cattle and a Hungry World” here.


Sydney Witte

Hey y’all! My name is Sydney Witte, and I’m a senior agricultural communications major from Clint, Texas. Growing up on a ranch and being involved in pecan production, I have deep roots in the agricultural industry. In my spare time, I enjoy working with my family, reading and hanging out with friends. I love meeting new people and I strive to serve the Lord every day. This next spring, I will be working with Charles Perry as a congressional intern in Austin, Texas. I hope to attend law school following this internship and become an agricultural lawyer.

Read my story “Righting the Wrongs of Our Past” here.