Ag Alumni’s Big Premiere

Video shows what the Association is all about

Have you felt like a celebrity lately, with camera crews following you around at Ag Alumni Association events the past year? Well now’s the time for the big premiere! The Association’s video is now available on YouTube and at the Ag Alumni website.

Mike Johanning, who is part of the Association’s communications committee and was chair at the time the video was produced, said he is pleased with how alumni responded to requests for interviews, etc., throughout the production process. The committee, over the past year, established a budget, selected Mizzou’s Academic Support Center to produce the video within that budget, and tried to decide how to script the video.

“As it turns out, no script was needed – the people interviewed told the story,” Johanning said.

Video cameras were behind the scenes at many Ag Alumni events over the past year.Video cameras were behind the scenes at many Ag Alumni events over the past year, including 2015 CAFNR Ag Unlimited.

He said the Ag Alumni Association has for some time thought it would be beneficial to create a video to document many of the activities they do – from fundraising to what is done with the funds raised. Sam Ott from Mizzou’s Academic Support Center served as videographer and attended and shot at most of the Association’s events this past year – starting with fall events like bonfire and homecoming tailgate, and continuing through the April awards ceremony, Celebration of Excellence.

“We wanted the video to be more than just another request for funding,” Johanning said. “We figured our alums were hit up enough for funding opportunities with Ag 100 Endowment, Tiger Ag Classic and Ag Unlimited. So we wanted to do something that not only highlighted our major fundraising activities, but also to show many of the other things we do with the funds we raise. We use the money to provide 25 scholarships per year worth $2,000 each, and we give nearly $20,000 per year to help fund student projects and events that support students and their activities.

“We had hoped to highlight the mission of the Ag Alumni Association in the video and I think we accomplished that goal throughout.” The association’s mission is to Connect Alumni, Impact Students, Engage Committed Talent and Grow a Sound Financial Base, all with the goal of becoming the “Gold Standard” for alumni organizations at Mizzou.

Dana Brown Haynes, alumni relations coordinator, was impressed with Johanning and his committee throughout the project.

“It’s our first attempt at something like this so it was a learning process,” she said. “The committee did a tremendous job of identifying people to interview – they worked tirelessly for a year. Mike did a fabulous job of coordinating with the videographer and the speakers. He did a tremendous job as did the rest of the committee.”

Johanning encourages all CAFNR alumni to share the video through social media and even through internal work channels, if appropriate to the workplace. The Association also has a brochure, but sharing a printed piece electronically isn’t quite as easy – a video seemed like a logical next step.

“Anymore with social media it seems like video is something people are a little more tuned in to,” Johanning said. “We wanted to get visuals of people that either a lot of people would recognize or they could relate to. We also wanted to get a good mix of students, faculty, staff and alums. We tried to get that good cross section; a lot of people from different walks of life and ages.

“Our hope is that this video will help encourage more alumni to become involved in Ag Alumni Association activities.”

And although it seems like a lot of work went into a short video, there is plenty of additional footage that wasn’t used for the video that the association is using to help publicize individual events, like bonfire, going forward.

And now that the Association has gotten its feet wet, Brown Haynes said she hopes this project won’t be its only venture into video.

“It can be tremendously helpful as we look at the web,” she said. “We have a very diverse group of alumni and this is a means to help us reach everyone. This is a great vehicle for us to show alumni some of the things we’re doing and some of the ways they can get involved and participate.”