Communications Squad

The Communications Squad is a value-added ISA program for farmer members looking to accurately share the story of modern agriculture. The squad meets four to five times per year to receive timely information on the biggest topics in agriculture from in-house and external industry experts.

Media and communications training combined with group exercises meant to foster collaboration and networking mean you walk away with new skills and new contacts with fellow farmers. Expect to be called upon to be a voice and advocate for policy matters, consumer misconceptions and agriculture as a whole. 

The 2021 Communications Squad will allow for a strengths-based approach for farmers with interests outside of media interviews. 

Interested in participating in the Communications Squad?

Fill out the application or contact Katie James.

2021 Dates

February 16: Session I
March 16, 17, 18: Task Force Meetings
June 23: Session II
July 20: Session III
August 24: Session IV


View the 2021 Participants & Task Forces

Aimee Bissell, Bedford; Writing
Klint Bissell, Bedford; Social Media
Ethan Crow, Marshalltown; Spokesperson
Marty Danzer, Carroll; Spokesperson
Jeff Frank, Auburn; Spokesperson
James Hepp, Rockwell City; Spokesperson
Paige Hepp, Rockwell City; Social Media
Morey Hill, Madrid; Spokesperson
Jeff Jorgenson, Sidney; Spokesperson
Rick Juchems, Plainfield; Social Media
Kevin McGrain, Hornick; Spokesperson
Randy Miller, Lacona; Spokesperson
Pat Murken, Story City; Social Media
Laura Myrtue, Smithland; Social Media
Kristin Oberbroeckling, Garnavillo; Writing
Brent Renner, Klemme; Writing
Lori Ryner, Winterset; Writing
Pat Swanson, Ottumwa; Writing
Tarin Tiefenthaler, Carroll; Social Media
Tom Vincent, Perry; Spokesperson
Chuck White, Spencer; Spokesperson

“It's great training for learning "how" to tell the story of farming and to learn the skills to apply to those business, media or personal conversations.” — Tarin Tiefenthaler, 2020 ISA Communications Squad participant

“I’ve gotten to talk with new people and share my story. That’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the Communications Squad.” — Ethan Crow, 2020 ISA Communications Squad participant

Read More

A candid photo of the inaugural Communications Squad, taken September of 2018. From left: Rob Stout, Tom Adam, Jim Fitkin, Dave Struthers, Randy Souder, April Hemmes, Bill Shipley, Lindsay Greiner and Dave Walton.

Pat Murken and Tarin Tiefenthaler collaborate at a 2020 meeting.

Participants Keith Lovrien (left) and Rick Juchems network with Kelly Visser, ISA's Ag Awareness Manager during a 2020 meeting.

The 2019 Communications Squad hears from a panel of farmers well-versed in media interviews.

From left: Dwight Dial, Randy Souder and Bill Shipley listen attentively at a 2019 Communications Squad meeting.

Communications Squad participants lead in a discussion during a 2019 meeting.

Ethan Crow (standing) addresses the Communications Squad during a 2019 meeting featuring Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Bros.

Participants volunteer for the Iowa Food & Family Project exhibit at the 2019 Iowa State Fair. From left: Tom Adam, Jim Fitkin, Randy Souder, Val Plagge, Mark Jackson, Aimee Bissell, Klint Bissell, Rob Stout and ISA Public Relations Manager Katie James

Pat Swanson hosts Reuters for an interview about trade at her farm just outside of Ottumwa, Iowa

Morey Hill hosts Iowa Public Television in his home to discuss soy protein.

Four Communications Squad participants lead a panel for the Iowa Family and Consumer Science Educators Conference. From left: Ethan Crow, Dave Struthers, Brent Swart, Tim Bardole

Robb Ewoldt hosts a reporter from Singapore on his farm in 2019 to discuss trade.