AgriLife Research writer to receive national recognition


ACE Writing Award of Excellence goes to Kay Ledbetter of Amarillo


Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576,

Contact: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608,


AMARILLO – Kay Ledbetter, aTexas A&M AgriLife Research communications specialist at Amarillo, has been selected to receive the 2014 ACE Award for Excellence in Writing.

Kay Ledbetter  (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

Kay Ledbetter
(Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

“Awards of Excellence exemplify excellence in a specific Special Interest Group and Kay’s nomination certainly highlights both her leadership in Texas A&M AgriLife Research work and in ACE,” said Becky Koch in her congratulatory letter confirming the honor. Koch is North Dakota State University at Fargo’s ag communication director and president of ACE, the abbreviated acronym for the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences.

Ledbetter will receive the award during the association’s annual conference, which this year is set for June 24-27 in Portland, Oregon. The 300-member professional association is international in scope and is comprised of communicators, educators and information technologists. In her nomination of Ledbetter, Natalie Hampton, North Carolina State University department Extension coordinator and ACE writing specialist interest group chair, noted that Ledbetter has been in the writing business more than 30 years, 23 at the Amarillo Globe-News, a daily newspaper, and almost 10 years with AgriLife.

“As a ‘one-woman band’ communication shop for the Amarillo and Vernon units of Texas A&M AgriLife, Kay provides a multitude of services to personnel who rely on her to help get their message out,” Hampton wrote. “Kay is involved with many different communications projects, which aside from writing news releases, includes working with print and electronic media, taking photos, shooting video, providing editing assistance for the seven-member AgriLife Communications state news team, conducting media training and developing various marketing efforts.”

All told, Ledbetter writes more than 150 news releases for statewide distribution annually for her AgriLife clientele, comprised of 150 researchers, specialists and county agents in the Texas Panhandle and Rolling Plains, as well as in two departments located on the Texas A&M University campus at College Station.

Hampton said Ledbetter’s ACE contributions include service as chair of the Media Relations and Writing Special Interest Group, offering training sessions at national conferences and webinars,and serving as the association’s Texas representative.

“Kay has also been nominated for consideration for vice president of ACE,” Hampton said. “She is currently serving on the conference planning committee for 2014, and is chair of the Professional Development Committee for the conference.”

Ledbetter has been recognized previously by the association with the group’s Media Relations Special Interest Group Award of Excellence in 2011.



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