Agricultural Communications team earn awards and leadership positions

Published By: Russell Boone July 9, 2024

From L-R: Russell Boone Jr, ChaNaè Bradley, Latasha Ford, Rebecca Miller Fort Valley State University’s agricultural communicators earned five awards during the annual Association for Communication Excellence Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Communication professionals from Fort Valley State University’s (FVSU) Agricultural Communications Department recently earned several honors from the Association for Communications Excellence (ACE) in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences.

ACE is a national organization composed of professionals practicing all facets of communications such as writing, graphic design, marketing and social media. The organization provides a chance for professional development and networking for individuals involved in promoting knowledge about agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences.

The organization held its annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah June 23-25. Russell Boone Jr., ChaNaè Bradley, Jeff Brothers and Latasha Ford earned five awards for writing and publications.

Bradley, senior communications specialist, along with Ford, research communications manager, Boone, public information editor and writer, and Brothers, graphic designer, won a gold award for Magazines and Periodicals for the 2023 Focus Magazine. The quartet also won a bronze award in Publications for Diverse Audiences for the 2023 agComplish Magazine.

Individually, Ford won two silver awards. The first in Technology Education for the Writer’s Playground Program with FVSU colleague Dr. Yolanda Surrency. The second came in Newsletters for Extension Today,1890 Land Grant Communicators.

Boone earned a bronze award for Writing Within a Specialized Publication for the story Maintaining the Operation.

Marquinta Gonzalez, director of FVSU’s Agricultural Communications Department, said that having staff members earn awards and leadership roles in a national organization is a testament to their dedication and professionalism.

“It’s not surprising that these individuals earned awards and are acquiring leadership positions in ACE. They take pride in producing quality work and representing FVSU well on a national level,” she said.

In addition to winning awards for their work, Bradley and Ford, who both serve on the ACE Board of Directors, will hold leadership roles in ACE for the next few years.

Bradley is the incoming ACE president for 2025.  She shared her plans for the organization during the conference.

“One of my main goals is to increase 1890 and 1994 membership to reflect the entire land grant university system,” Bradley said. “It is important to see representation from our historically Black colleges as well as our tribal colleges and universities.”ChaNaè Bradley, Fort Valley State University’s senior communications specialist, receives the gavel as she is appointed president.


In addition, she is presently working with the board in developing a certification program for evaluating communications scheduled to launch in 2025. Likewise, Bradley is working alongside ACE development officers in pursuing resources and partnerships that will enhance its stability and broaden its capabilities. 

Furthermore, she wants to use information from the ACE retiree focus groups to make strategic decisions for the future and increase ACE’s social media engagement throughout the year.

ACE’s newest leader is looking forward to the challenge.

“Anytime you take on something new with major responsibilities there is always a level of nervousness, excitement and anxiety. But I believe in God and know that I’ve been equipped to handle what’s been given and will do my best to serve the organization well,” Bradley said.

Ford will serve as incoming vice-president for 2025, president-elect for 2026 and president of ACE in 2027.

“It is a pleasure to serve with my FVSU colleague, ChaNaè Bradley, on the ACE board as she leads our organization. As for receiving the president’s gavel in 2027, I am a tad nervous but super excited about the opportunity. It’s never too early to start planning and I’ve already begun putting ideas down on paper which include reaching out to members willing to step into leadership roles. I’d like to thank our members who elected me as vice president to eventually sit in the president’s seat,” Ford said.

She added, “I appreciate their trust in my abilities. I am thrilled to see ACE thrive as the years progress because of the dedication of our outstanding membership.”