Offering real-life digital media opportunities for both 4-H and FFA members is the purpose of the newly-founded Compart Family Farms Digital Media Team. This year, 12 high school students from across the state were selected to be on the team. Comprised of 4-H and FFA members, the team is a unique collaboration between the two organizations. “There’s really nothing like this team,” said team member Sydney Mitchell.

Alyssa Groskopf, recruitment and communications coordinator with the University of Minnesota’s Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing, is a member of the Digital Media Team board of advisors. “It got started as an opportunity for agriculture to move forward and tell their story,” she said. The idea came from Lance Hughes, High School Activities Hub founder and was fostered by a growing interest to create digital media opportunities for youth in the ag sector. Groskopf is excited to be on the seven-member advisory board as the media team is developing a network of agricultural students to build on their ag knowledge. Also part of the team is Compart Family Farms as title sponsor and a supporter.

Mitchell has been a proud member of the Le Sueur 4-H club and when the opportunity arose to be part of this digital media group, Mitchell quickly applied. She and Savannah Stafford both have been part of the team since last year and are the co-captains. “I joined the team last year before the Minnesota State Fair.” Mitchell was then able to work on some videography during the state fair.

This year, Mitchell and Savannah helped create the application to be part of the team. Mitchell also had the opportunity to assist in choosing from the applicants as well. The goal in selecting team members was to find students that were knowledgeable in different media platforms.

In addition to working on digital media creation, Mitchell has been able to sell sponsorships for the team as well as work on contracts.

While the team has yet to meet in person due to Covid-19, they do have a Zoom meeting every Monday morning. That’s when they communicate about the projects they are currently working on. One of those projects was to make the various videos and graphics for the FFA virtual state convention this year.

Groskopf said CHS, AGDAILY and FFA are all working to create project ideas for the media team to work on. “The team members will get the chance to claim those projects as their own,” Groskopf said. Those projects will be added to the digital portfolios of the team members.

The team was planning on creating numerous projects for the Minnesota State Fair. Unfortunately, those will now be shifted online. “We are working on a large virtual competition. The competition will be different from most virtual shows because it will include judging for projects other than just livestock,” Mitchell said. “We know that it will be a great way for students across the state to showcase livestock and indoor projects they’ve been working so hard on all year.”

“FFA and 4-H both are essentially cultivating our future agricultural leaders,” Groskopf said. While many have had to adapt and utilize technology now more than ever to communicate, for the media team, this gives them the opportunity to hone those skills and use them to strengthen their networking in the ag arena. “There’s really nothing like this team. We’re all having fun with it,” Mitchell said.