Annual contest honors excellence in journalism, PR, other outreach
Division of Agriculture communications staffers tie for sweepstakes runnerup
LITTLE ROCK — Communications and public policy professionals from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture earned 18 awards Saturday during the annual Arkansas Press Women communications contest.
Two staffers, Fred Miller and Mary Hightower, tied as sweepstakes runners-up. The sweepstakes award, for the highest number of wins and placements, went to Angelita Faller of UA-Little Rock.
This year’s contest had 132 entries.
Fred Miller and Kristin Higgins
Fred Miller and Kristin Higgins were big winners at the 2021 APW Communications Content. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Mary Hightower)
First-place winners in the APW contest are eligible to compete at the national level, if they are National Federation of Press Women members. APW has been notified that 21 of its members have placed in the national competition. NFPW’s awards presentation is scheduled on Friday evening, June 11, as part of a virtual conference hosted by the Arkansas affiliate. For more information about the conference or to register visit nfpw.org/conference.
“We in the UA System Division of Agriculture are so proud of our Communications unit and Public Policy Center and the recognition that Kristin Higgins, Fred Miller, Mary Hightower and others recently received from the Annual Arkansas Press Women Communications Competition,” said Mark Cochran, vice president-agriculture for the University of Arkansas System.
“Their work received accolades for communications that highlighted Division activities, educational information and service related to ballot initiatives, the COVID pandemic — including ‘Recursos en Espanol’ — and agricultural research discoveries that support the state’s largest industry and improve the lives and economic well being of so many Arkansans,” he said. “Their work emphasizes that it is not only important to conduct good science, but also the science must be effectively communicated.”
This years winners and placements from the Division of Agriculture:
Kristin Netterstrom Higgins, program associate-Public Policy Center, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture won for her work in promoting ballot issues during the 2020 election year, including:
First Place in Web and Social Media > Blog > Nonprofit, government or educational for “DYK: Arkansas One Of Several States With More Ballot Issue Options"
Second Place in Web and Social Media > Electronic Newsletter > Nonprofit, government, or educational for “Arkansas Ballot Issues News & Notes”
Second Place in Communications Programs and Campaigns > Public Service Program or Campaign for “2020 Arkansas Ballot Issue Education”
Second Place in Communications Programs and Campaigns > Public Service Program or Campaign for “Take Time to Care Before You Share - How to Avoid Spreading Misinformation”
Co-entrant: Molly Hunt, county extension director/extension educator-health and human sciences for Purdue University, was co-writer.
Third Place in Web and Social Media > Blog > Nonprofit, government or educational for “Covid-19 and Absentee Voting in Arkansas”
Third Place in Web and Social Media > Electronic Newsletter > Nonprofit, government, or educational for “Arkansas Ballot Issues News & Notes”
Honorable Mention in Web and Social Media > Social Media Campaign > Nonprofit, government or educational for “2020 Arkansas Ballot Issue Education Social Media Campaign”
Co-entrant Julie Thompson provided graphic design work.
Mary Hightower, chief communications officer at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture won for newswriting as well as digital communciations related to COVID-19 outreach in 2020, including:
First Place in Writing > Feature Story > Online publication for “Masks can’t hide the laughter, enthusiasm during COVID-time summer camp”
First Place in Editing for Print or Online Publications > Publication Regularly Edited by Entrant > Newsletter/other publication - non-profit, government, or educational for “ONE Division - Special Edition”
First Place in Web and Social Media > Website Edited or Managed by Entrant > Nonprofit, government or educational for “COVID-19 Recursos en Español”
Co-entrants: Blanca Hernandez, Pulaski County extension agent; Keiddy Urrea-Morawicki, diagnostician for the Plant Health Clinic at the Division of Agriculture, provided translation work; Bryan Mader, assistant professor-health, for the Division of Agriculture; provided research-based content.
First Place in Communications Programs and Campaigns > Public Service Program or Campaign for “University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture COVID-19 web, social media outreach." Co-entrants:
Amy Cole, digital media program manager; provided web and social media expertise
Tracy Courage, extension communications director provided copy and content
Emily Davis, extension publications specialist provided graphic design work.
Nick Kordsmeier, interim director-communications for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station; provided editing, content and logistics.
Chris Meux, design specialist provided graphic design work.
Kim Rowe, Hempstead County extension agent provided Facebook posts.
Julie Thompson, design specialist, provided graphic design work.
Oliver Williams, publications specialist, provided graphic design work.
Second Place in Writing > Specialty Articles > Agriculture for “Laura’s wicked winds twist soybeans, flatten rice, scatter cotton bolls”
Honorable Mention in Writing > Continuing Coverage or Unfolding News for “COVID's economic impact”
Co-entrant: John Anderson, agricultural economist and head of the Agbusiness and Agricultural Economics Department for the Division of Agriculture and the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
Fred Miller, science editor for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, won for news stories about agricultural research:
First Place in Writing > Specialty Articles > Physical health for “Research aims to prove childhood health benefits of blueberry extracts”
First Place in Writing > Specialty Articles > Agriculture for “Fitbits and AI — technology may help improve quality in chicken meat”
First Place in Information for the Media > News or Feature Release – Single Release for “Regulations keep take-out food safe from COVID-19, but precautions still important during purchase; hand-washing essential even for those in isolation at home”
Second Place in Writing > Specialty Articles > Science or technology for “Research on soybean vein necrosis virus leads to unexpected discovery”
Second Place in Writing > Specialty Articles > Green/environmental for “Division of Agriculture entomologist on mission to save Arkansas’ bees”
Third Place in Writing > Specialty Articles > Agriculture for “Researchers aim to outsmart waterborne pathogens in hydroponic systems”