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K-State Today

November 3, 2020

Two recognized as Communicators of the Year

Submitted by Linda Gilmore

Glynn Tonsor and Gregg Eyestone

The Communicator of the Year Award this year goes to two recipients: Glynn Tonsor, professor and extension specialist in the agricultural economics department, and Gregg Eyestone, Riley County horticulture agent.

The award is presented annually by K-State Department of Communications and Agricultural Education members and the Kansas chapter of the Association for Communication Excellence, the international professional association for extension communicators. Starting this year, two awards were given: one to a specialist or researcher in a tenure-track position and one to an agent or extension professional in a non-tenure-track position.

The selection committee noted both awardees' willingness to be available to answer questions and try new things as they helped people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards were presented Oct. 28 at the Virtual Multi-State Fall Conference, with included research and extension professionals from Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Tonsor, who has been with K-State since 2010, is a regular contributor to the AgManager.info website. His knowledge of swine and beef production was especially valuable during the crisis, and he was a sought-after expert for interviews across the state and nationally. In addition, he prepared several publications and continued his regular communication efforts throughout this time.

Eyestone, who has been an extension professional for 30 years, the last 15 in Riley County, regularly engages the community through a variety of efforts. Along with regular client requests, he coordinates the Riley County Master Gardener program, partners with businesses such as Blueville Nursery for programs, and communicates to the public through articles and radio spots. This year, as the pandemic curtailed many in-person opportunities, he offered weekly Facebook Live videos.

The department commends both awardees for their passion for sharing research-based information and engaging the public. Their efforts are key to reaching new audiences for K-State Research and Extension.