ACE 2023 Fall Virtual Conference

November 1-2, 2023 

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM -4:00 PM CT, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM MT, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM PT

$75 ACE member; $100 non-member

ACE Student Members are $40!

(not a member click here to join ACE)

Via Zoom

LEVEL UP: Reaching All Communities

Last year, LEVEL UP, ACE’s fall virtual conference, had members looking inward. As participants, we focused on investing in ourselves and our careers. This year LEVEL UP is aiming outward by helping participants reach all communities. 

The keynote address will feature Michelle Miller - Farm Babe

Day 1

1:00 p.m. Welcome and Overview

1:10 – 2:05 p.m. Keynote: Michelle Miller - Farm Babe

Bridging the gap between educators and consumers. Join Michelle as she discusses with us how to reach all communities by creating relationships built on trust. She will share communication tips she has developed on her journey to social media stardom as Farm Babe and discuss how she uses social media to help the general public understand agriculture’s story.

PRESENTER: Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller, better known as the Farm Babe, is a Florida-based internationally recognized speaker, published writer and columnist, and an online influencer as a full-time advocate for agriculture. She started her social media outreach over seven years ago as a way to better bridge the gap between farmers and consumers, making a name for herself as a dedicated “mythbuster” in food and farming. Farm Babe has hundreds of thousands of followers and an average social media reach of 5+ million monthly. She’s been featured in Forbes and has caught the attention of the Today Show, Inside Edition, CNN, People magazine, and more. She has been a guest on Dr. Drew, has influenced corporations as powerful as Burger King, and has proudly spoken alongside some of the biggest names in food and farming today. 

2:10 - 2:25 p.m. Making Connections and Build Relationships Through the Use of Technology

A quick overview of emerging technologies for connecting with and engaging new and diverse audiences and collaborating with others.

PRESENTER: Victor Villegas

2:30 - 2:40 p.m. Break

2:40 - 3:35 p.m. Exploring the Power of Influence

Influencers and agriculture communicators come together to discuss how they effectively balance authenticity and accuracy to engage audiences on agricultural and life science topics, tackling challenges of conveying complex information while maintaining personal brands, fostering collaboration with experts, and driving positive actions among their followers. Learn how working with influencers can help you reach all communities with your message. 

PANEL: Michelle Miller, Michelle Payn, Christina Morton, Teresa Thorne

3:40 - 3:55 p.m. Build Brand, Trust, Community for Spanish-Speaking Audiences

Best practices Top 10 Tips to building community and trust among Spanish-speakng audiences through relevant science-based content.

PRESENTER: Lourdes Mederos

4:00 - 4:40 p.m. Free to Be: Leading Authentically

L’Tonya Davis, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first permanent chief diversity and inclusion officer, will discuss the importance of diversity at all levels of an organization and illuminate the value of inclusion for all the various communities we serve. She will also share her personal story and career growth journey.

PRESENTER: L'Tonya Davis

4:45 - 5:00 p.m. Membership Presentation & Wrap Up and Preview of Day 2

Day 2

1:00 Welcome Back & 2024 Salt Lake City Conference Preview

1:10 - 2:05 p.m. Finding Common Ground

Join us for a fireside chat to discuss how agriculture can find common ground with all audiences to achieve uncommon results. Agriculture must reach beyond itself to other audiences to find common ground on big issues. The American Farm Bureau Federation has two examples; the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), which AFBF helped to form with the environmental community and others to align on recommendations to advance climate smart farming. The second example is the AFBF-organized campaign Farm Bill for America’s Families: Sustaining Our Future. This is a digital campaign to help the general public understand their connection to the farm bill and its importance. Both examples highlight the value of putting down the battle gear to find common ground and leverage it.

PRESENTER: Terri Moore

2:10 - 2:55 p.m. Civil Rights Concepts: Advancing Equity and Opportunity at Public and Land-grant Universities

This presentation will examine the impacts of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as it relates to the execution of federally funded programs within educational institutions, specifically research and Extension programs. We will discuss the importance of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the impacts of effective communication to ensure that federally funded programs are accessible to the public and delivered equitably, providing equal opportunity for all. We will explore different methods of communication to ensure that all programs are administered equitably.

PRESENTER: Shabnam Izadi

2:55 - 3:05 p.m. Break

3:05 - 4:00 p.m. Inclusive Communication for Underrepresented Populations

Reaching out to traditionally underrepresented groups is an essential skill set needed to promote inclusion and effective outreach. Learn best practices from land-grant university professionals who have conducted research and serve in leadership capacities to engage indigenous communities and migrant working populations.

PRESENTERS: Patrese Atine, Whitney Stone

4:05 - 4:40 p.m. Unlocking Accessibility and Compliance: Best Practices in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (508 Presentation)

Delve into essential strategies and techniques for creating inclusive and compliant documents and presentations using two powerful Microsoft Office tools. This session will highlight the importance of accessibility and compliance, shed light on Section 508 standards and regulations, guide you through a comprehensive overview of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint features that can be harnessed to ensure your documents and presentations are accessible to all, regardless of their abilities. Throughout the presentation, we will explore practical tips and tricks, including: 1. Document Structuring 2. Alternative Text for Images 3. Color Contrast and Font Choices 4. Hyperlink Accessibility 5. Slide Design and Layout By the end of our presentation, you will have gained a solid understanding of how to create accessible and compliant content in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

PRESENTER: Jimmy Nazario-Negron

4:45 - 5:00 p.m. ACE C&A Presentation & Wrap up of Day


  • Kay Ledbetter -Committee Chair | Texas A&M AgriLife Research
  • Aaron Alexander | UF/IFAS
  • ChaNae Bradley |Fort Valley State University
  • Ruth Hohl Borger Ed.D | University of Florida/IFAS
  • Karen Cannon
  • Gail Ellis | Oklahoma State University
  • Lori Greiner | Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Lori Tyler Gula, Ph.D | USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Maggie LawrenceUSDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Lourdes Mederos | University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
  • Stacey Stearns | University of Connecticut Extension

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