Oklahoma Stories

From farms to words

By Leah Kelly August 2023

How my internship with Oklahoma Living magazine unveiled a new passion for agricultural communications

Leah Kelly standing in front of OAEC building
Leah Kelly, Oklahoma Living 2023 summer editorial intern | Photo by Lance Shaw

My life has always been agriculture. From the air I breathe to the food I eat to the bed I sleep in at night. Growing up on a family-owned farm, being highly involved in FFA throughout high school and now being apart of the Ferguson College of Ag at Oklahoma State University, I can confidently say agriculture has shaped me for who I am today.

As an animal-loving little girl, it was no shock I would be going into an animal science degree, however, when first starting college, I thought that degree would take me to veterinary school. After my freshman year, my path in life changed quickly.

I was big into exhibiting livestock – sheep, goats and cattle – during high school. So much that I have now created my own show stock business. Now that I am out of the ring and standing on the outside, I have been able to look back and realize, my liking for nutrition of the animal is much bigger than I thought. That realization caused my path in life to go towards ruminant nutrition. To be able to make the nutrition side of the industry better in some way.

The most shocking decision of my college career was heading into agricultural communications as well. I was not one to be writing stories about the industry. I was one for the stories told about agriculture through pictures.

I went into communications for photography. Thinking it would be easy, look good on my resume, and honestly, that I could drop the major after that photography course. Little did I know the love and opportunities I would have through agricultural communications.

This internship with Oklahoma Living magazine was one of those opportunities – brought to me mainly by the people, and my father, at Southeastern Electric Cooperative.

The struggles I have been through to get an internship, left me hopeless. However, when getting this internship, I was excited, yet also nervous and part of me didn’t want to do it. This was my first internship to obtain, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Hayley Leatherwood, managing editor, has been an amazing supervisor. Hayley has helped me learn to love written communications by allowing me to bring in my passion for agriculture to the magazine.

I quickly learned that working in the communications field, things don’t always go as planned. Therefore, I was only able to compose two feature stories, but I couldn’t be prouder with how they came out. I was able to contribute my photography into the August feature, Leading the Charge, while also meeting some awesome people in the electric industry.

This internship has made me look at aspects differently. How a magazine is put together, the time and effort put into the magazine, from advertisements, scheduling interviews and photoshoots, and how the feedback from your team can only make the editing and revising process easier. Making the end result that much better.

Nonetheless, I am a woman who fell in love with promoting the industry that shaped her. My passion lies with promoting agriculture through graphic design, photography and videography. I fell just short of loving written communications. But within this internship, I have learned to love writing about the industry that is the backbone of America. And the industry that needs the most help getting through the struggles and issues it has, is and will face.


Category: Oklahoma Stories

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