Archive | May 2014

Getting Involved

Many employees at Servi-Tech are members of local and national professional organizations. Regardless of what the organization is, the purpose of professional development is the same – to enhance the skills that you have while gaining new ones in the process.

This is a blog post from Monica Springer, communications specialist with MP2 Communications (the communications division of Servi-Tech).

I joined the Kansas Professional Communicators group last year, but I’m just now becoming active in it. I became an appointed member of KPC, and I’ll be in charge of quarterly newsletters.

There are university professors in this group, assistants, people who work in marketing and public relations, journalists, and a whole slew of other professionals in the group.

I went to the KPC spring conference earlier this month in Hutchinson. The conference was at the Cosmosphere (I love that place!). At the conference I heard several speakers talk about our profession and saw how hard we all work when awards were given out at the end of the night.

Ad aspera

Seriously, the Cosmosphere rocks.

The speakers included Kristen Roderick, mobile and social media editor at The Hutchinson News; Ray Hemman, public information director for the Hutch school district; Rachel Groene, the brand director at Greteman Group in Wichita; and Lori Bower, who owns BowerComm Marketing Communications.

I wanted to share some random notes from the speakers.

  • Direct mail still works, because you can’t segregate the 40, 50 or 60-year-old who still picks up the mail, doesn’t own an iPad and who still reads a printed version of the newspaper.
  • Print newspapers are going to be around for a while. (Monica’s note: Hooray!)
  • Every company needs a social media policy in place.
  • I don’t know what Snapchat and Vine are, but I want to play with these things because people keep talking about them.
  •  The two first place awards that we won, for Servi-Tech’s social media and for The Servi-Tech Cultivator, will advance onto the national competition, which is held in South Carolina in the fall. Kansas Professional Communicators is the local organization of the national organization, which is called the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW).

Inspire young minds

Random other notes and quotes:

  • Somebody recommended reading “The Shallows – What the Internet is Doing to our Brains” by Nicholas Carr. I’ll add it to my reading list.
  • “Snow days are when the superintendent cannot make a right decision.”
  • “People are talking about it, so we might as well join in on the conversation.”
  • “Anything you do represents the company you work for.”
  • “Facebook just became baby book.”
  •  “It’s nearly impossible to communicate anything to anyone.”
  •  “It’s scary for people to commit.”

Here’s a press release about the event, with the awards that MP2 Communications took home:

Winners in the 2014 Kansas Professional Communicators contest were announced today during the organization’s annual spring conference.

North Dakota Professional Communicators judged 90 entries, with 37 entries receiving first-place honors and advancing to the National Federation of Press Women communications contest. Winners in the national contest will be awarded at the national conference Sept. 4 to 6, 2014, in Greenville, S.C.

Based on number of awards, including three first-place finishes, Amy DeVault, assistant professor in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University, was recognized as the 2014 Sweepstakes Winner.

The state awards were distributed following a day full of education, skill development and interaction with communication professionals in the Hutchinson area.

For more information about KPC, visit

For more information about NFPW, visit

newsletter award

Awards that MP2 Communications received:

First Place

Social media campaign/Corporate or for-profit

“Servi-Tech Inc.”


First Place

Newsletters/Corporate or for-profit

“The Servi-Tech Cultivator”


Second Place

Videos for website/Nonprofit, government or educational

“Frontier Cooperative”


Second Place 

Writing for the Web

“Frontier Cooperative Page”


Second Place


“Kansas Musings”


Second Place

Blogs/Corporate or for-profit

“From Field to Field”

Here is a full list of contest winners: Contest Winners

News of the Weird: ISU design professor envisions virtual reality lives for farm animals

From Saturday’s Ames Tribune:

By Gavin Aronsen, Staff Writer

Could chickens raised in close confinement live more humane lives if they experienced them virtually?

That’s a question posed by Austin Stewart, an assistant professor in Iowa State University’s College of Design, for his latest project. He calls it Second Livestock — a takeoff on the popular online virtual world Second Life.

The idea goes something like this: Chickens, too numerous in the United States to realistically all live free-range lives, could be raised in cages more humanely if, from a young age, they stood on omni-directional treadmills and wore virtual reality headsets displaying three-dimensional worlds mapped to their feed and scratch, mimicking a free-range existence.

Such a life would also provide protection from the stressors and predators that threaten free-range chickens.

– See more at:

A photoillustration of a chicken wearing a virtual reality headset. Image courtesy of Austin Stewart. - See more at:

A photoillustration of a chicken wearing a virtual reality headset. Image courtesy of Austin Stewart. – See more at:

What are your thoughts on this? Is this just complete sci-fi, ag-ignorant flights of fancy? Or is this something that could be a legitimate option years from now?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle footage

Good afternoon!

We’re testing out our new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). We’ve taken it on a few test flights on our property at our Dodge City, Kan., office. So far, nice!

Servi-Tech is exploring opportunities with the UAV in the realms of communication as well as aerial photography. 

Here’s what the UAV looks like:



Here’s some video of the UAV in the air.


And here’s what the camera on the UAV captures while it’s in the air.


So far, we think it’s pretty cool.

Photos from the Field

Good afternoon!

Ron Robinson, one of our agronomists in our Northwest Territory sent us some wonderful photos and video this week.

Have a look!

Ron 2 Ron 3 Ron photo