May 26, 2017
By Marlee Moore
2017 interns are, left to right, Caleb Hicks, Ellie Isbell and Kelsey Kassebaum.
Three Auburn University (AU) College of Agriculture students began summer internships with the Alabama Farmers Federation May 8.
Caleb Hicks, Ellie Isbell and Kelsey Cassebaum, all Federation scholarship recipients, will intern through the Commodity Producers Conference in August.
Agricultural communications senior Hicks returns to the Federation this summer, now with the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA). He previously interned with the Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grain Producers.
“I’m excited to meet more people within Alabama’s agriculture industry,” the Ramer native said. “They produce the food and fiber we need to survive, and I can’t wait to tell their story.”
Hicks is an Ag Ambassador, Ag Council vice president and is involved with AU Young Farmers. He also works for the college’s communications and marketing office publishing a monthly newsletter and managing social media.
“Caleb is bringing the energy we saw last year back to our organization,” said AFVGA Executive Director Mac Higginbotham. “His work photographing and promoting the fruit and vegetable industry will position us to expand our reach with consumers far beyond this summer.”
Muscle Shoals native Isbell, an agricultural communications senior, is interning with the Public Relations and Communications Department. This summer, she will write and take photos for Neighbors magazine, manage social media, develop web content, copy edit and pursue independent projects.
“Since I started my agricultural communications curriculum, I knew I wanted to intern for the Federation,” said Isbell, who was raised on a Colbert County row crop farm. “I’m so thankful to learn from some of our industry’s best communications professionals and meet our state’s farmers.”
Isbell is an Ag Ambassador and Project Uplift ambassador, interned with the Colbert County Extension office and was the College of Agriculture’s assistant student recruitment coordinator.
“With her background in agriculture and eagerness to learn, Ellie is a great fit for our department,” said Debra Davis, the Federation’s publications director. “Her experiences at Auburn, including her tenure publishing a newsletter with the college's communications and marketing office, have prepared Ellie to fine- tune her skills this summer.”
Baldwin County’s Cassebaum is interning with the Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grain Producers and will document and develop use of checkoff dollars in education, research and promotion.
“Growing up on a farm, I’ve had many agricultural experiences and can’t wait to see more of Alabama’s commodities I'm unfamiliar with, like catfish and timber,” said the agricultural business and economics senior. “After working for the Federation, I’ll have come full circle by learning to be a voice for the industry I was raised around.”
Cassebaum is the AU Young Farmers chairman; member of the Sigma Alpha professional sorority; AU Collegiate Cattlemen and Cattlewomen; and the Block and Bridle Club.
“Kelsey’s wealth of production agriculture knowledge and passion for the industry have readied her for this internship,” said Carla Hornady, the Federation’s Soybeans and Wheat & Feed Grains divisions director. “Her background will allow her to connect with producers and give insight into issues facing farmers.”