After the passing of Sonja Hillgren, Vice President at Farm Journal Media, Farm Journal and fellow supporters began to fund an experience for journalism students that will allow her spirit to live on. The Sonja Hillgren/Farm Journal Ag Journalism Field Reporting Institute is the backbone of "Field Reporting on Food and Natural Resources," an Agricultural Journalism course at the University of Missouri–Columbia in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
This course provides a weekend of intensive field reporting exploring the science, economies, sociology and issues in rural and agricultural Missouri. The fourth annual institute begins today as 17 students (Ag Journalism and journalism undergraduates as well as graduate students) investigate the food system and rural development. Coordinator Bill Allen leads the group and will also weave in nature and history during the three day journey.
At the end of the trip, each student is charged to review their notes and latch on to just one story that inspires them to dig deeper and learn more.