Illinois Corn Checkoff Board Invests in Future Online Advocacy

Jan 24, 2011  |  ICMB

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         CONTACT: Tricia Braid

January 24, 2011                                                                                 (309) 827-0912          


BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—The Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) is empowering eight college students from across the state to engage in online agricultural advocacy, or “agvocacy” as such endeavors have been dubbed, in social media for the spring semester.

The corn checkoff funded program seeks to invest in the professional development of Illinois students with interests in agriculture or communications and marketing. The internships offer a stipend in exchange for positively addressing issues impacting farmers via popular social media outlets like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and blogs.

“We know that Illinois farmers are tired of seeing misinformation spread all over the news and social media about farmers and what we do,” said Scott Stirling, ICMB Chairman.

“What we’ve found is that college students are a perfect fit for this challenge. The internship program achieves two goals; grooming future professionals for the new world of communications, and presenting the truth about agriculture through popularly accepted social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter,” explained Stirling.

Social media interns for the spring 2011 semester are:

  • Claire Benjamin, studying Ag Communications at University of Illinois, from Ellsworth, Illinois
  • Jonathan Greenstein, studying Mass Media: Management, Promotions, and Sales at Illinois State University, from Buffalo Grove, Illinois
  • Ashley LaVela, studying Ag Communications at University of Illinois, from Oak Lawn, Illinois
  • Megan Moore, studying Public Relations at Illinois State University, from Oglesby, Illinois
  • Kayla Portwood, studying Marketing at Illinois State University, from Sullivan, Illinois
  • Rosie Sanderson, studying Animal Industry Management at Illinois State University, from Clare, Illinois
  • David Taylor, studying Agricultural Supply Business at Joliet Junior College, from Peotone, Illinois
  • Kristen Wyman, studying Marketing at Illinois State University, from Paxton, Illinois

Among other responsibilities, interns are expected to complete posts for the CornCorps blog ( Upon completion of the internship, each student will have a portfolio of published work to show future employers.

Find out more about the ICMB Social Media Internship program at