Just Plain Celeste, the Ag Journalist

 Growing up, I had two groups of friends: show friends and school friends.
My 2006 KY 4-H State Livestock Judging Team

My 2006 KY 4-H State Livestock Judging Team

 
My show friends were the kids I had spent my summers with since I was nine years-old.  They were my livestock judging teammates and livestock showing rivals. 
  
We shared everything: our food, our families, and our love for the livestock industry.  Among these people I found my biggest supporters, my college roommates, and friends that time and distance can’t separate.
 
My high school girlfriends, Spring Break 2007

My high school girlfriends, Spring Break 2007

 My school friends were the ones I hung out with the rest of the year.  In our small town, everyone went to the same school from 1st grade on so we all knew way too much about each other. 

These people starred in so many fond memories: elementary school plays, middle school dances, sleepovers, pool parties, and soccer games.

Since fourth grade, I have been keeping these two groups separated.

Living in these two very different worlds created an identity crisis for me.  I had to learn when to be “farm Celeste” and when to be “school Celeste.”   I hated separating the people and parts of myself that I loved the most, but I didn’t know how else to deal with it.

My situation as both a journalism and an animal science major is very similar to my friend scenario growing up.

In the past, I would have tried to separate my journalism life and my animal science life.  My experiences with my friends, however, has taught me how painful that can be, and I am determined to do whatever I can to avoid the same outcome. 

My solution: combine my passions and chase them as one dream.

 That’s why I incorporate agriculture into nearly every post on this blog, even if the prompt has nothing to do with it.  I’ve spent my whole life separating the things and people that were so dear to me, I don’t want to do that forever!

 My goal is to develop my online presence and gain respect for my agriculture journalism work.  Hopefully, my audience will reach a point where they no longer categorize me, but instead see me as just plain Celeste. 

I think all good journalists want that same treatment.  Think about it, if you love a person’s work then why do you care if it was published in a blog or in the Sunday print edition?  Either way its their work, its their talent, its worth respecting. 

Journalists need to quit wasting time trying to settle on a job title and do what they were meant to do: write!

One of my favorite ag journalists is Amanda Nolz, a journalism student and livestock lover who (among other things) works with BEEF Magazine.  I have no idea what her specific job title is, nor do I care!  All I’m concerned with is seeing her by line on my RSS feed, whether its in her personal blog or Beef Daily, because I know that there’s good content to follow.

When people ask what my career goal is now, I tell them that I want to be an online agriculture journalist.  Their next question is always, “What will you do?”  I look them in the eye, smile and say, “Whatever needs doing!”

Whether that means blogging, podcasts, videos, or hard news writing, I don’t care.  I’ve spent too long separating my passions, its time to combine them all and see what happens.


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