Monday, February 25, 2019 at 5:24 PM

was when the very first Buff Brief was sent out from the Dean’s Office. During March, please join us in reminiscing

how much has occurred in the past five years.

As part of celebrating the Buff Brief,

we would like to take a minute to highlight

 the previous editors of the newsletter!

Dates To Remember

March 26: "How to Prepare for Success as a Doctoral Student"

Information Session

Aubry Heinrich, Spring and Summer 2019 Editor

B.S. Agricultural Media and Communication '21

My role in the College office was the first professional position I had obtained. The pitch I gave for the Buff Brief was the first time I had ever presented a project as a working professional. I am thankful for my time working in the college office, and for the exposure to such experiences. As a student worker, I was given the opportunity and the tools to succeed in ways outside of the classroom. Rebekah Bachman, Dr. Kevin Pond and several others were excellent mentors to learn from. This experience gave me confidence in myself as a professional.

It is easy for me to admit when I started the Buff Brief I was completely ignorant of the amount of work that goes into mass mailing. As it progressed, both Rebekah and Dr. Pond showed me grace in the learning process, and I grew as an editor.

The time I spent working with the Buff Brief gave me a healthy respect for writing and editing a newsletter. As a result, I absolutely look at grammar more intensely! 

I always enjoyed the "Stellar Students" section of the newsletter.

I loved highlighting and celebrating my classmates. 

I am thankful for the many wonderful opportunities I was given while in this role. It truly made a positive impact on my life. 

Aubry now serves as Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) Texas Panhandle

and Kansas Member Communications Area Manager.

Zach McMeans, August 2019 - January 2021 Interim Editor as Needed

B.S. Agricultural Media and Communication '17

My time with the Buff Brief helped me appreciate the value of paying attention to small details. There is so much that goes into the Buff Brief, from content to formatting that most people will never know; however, making one mistake is broadcasted out to a list of thousands. Knowing the impact that had on my credibility has stayed with me in how I perform my daily tasks today.

I did not appreciate the work that went into putting together a weekly newsletter before working on the Buff Brief. I have such an appreciation for the work that goes into producing the content each week. I also have a much deeper appreciation for grammar. Mrs. Rebekah Bachman is ruthless with the red pen when it came to editing, but I have much appreciation towards her enforcing high standards. Her tenacious approach towards grammar forced me to become a better editor, and enforced the idea that when you set the bar high, those around you must rise to that standard. It is something I have tried to implement in each role since then.

It wasn’t my idea, but we started putting in more graphics with college specific information, ie. Graduation numbers, enrollment by major, gender, department, etc. I was always so impressed when I would see the graphics.

The easy-to-read way to digest that information was beneficial to me!

I love the addition of “A Moment with Mrs. Bachman!”

I have used many of those videos to build dialogue with my team.

I appreciate the work that goes into the Buff Brief.

Thank you for your continued diligence in keeping your subscribers informed with what is going on

in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences! As both an alumnus and former employee

of the College, I love keeping up with the achievements of the faculty, staff, students, and fellow alumni!

Zach nows serves as a Service Manager for Cintas, where he is responsible for the recruitment, retention,

and development of 20 Service Sales Representatives and manages a portfolio of around 2,300 customers. 

Kylie (Scott) Diaz, October 2019 - April 2020 Editor

M.S. Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science '23

My brief 7-month role as the Buff Brief editor was what introduced me first to email marketing and content strategy. It challenged me to think critically about both content and design, expanding my skills to incorporate everything from clever copywriting to collecting newsworthy stories as a journalist would. Since my current role now revolves around how I use these skills to optimize content for a tailored audience's user experience, my time with the Buff Brief was incredibly helpful in launching my career in agricultural marketing and communications!

Copywriting was not my strong suit to start with, but Mrs. Bachman's guidance and extreme patience saw me through as I grew to become more meticulous in my grammar and sentence structure. Building an email that was to be sent to a large email list required a sense of absolute perfectionism, something that is very expected when working for critical clients in the marketing world. 

I helped transition the Buff Brief from being built in Mailchimp to Constant Contact. There were a lot of limitations the previous email builder design-wise had and I wanted the Buff Brief to feel a little more dynamic and customizable. I was incredibly excited and proud after I had presented the new opportunity to the Dean's Team and they all agreed to the change!

I love the "At a Glance" summaries at the top of the email that tell readers what they can expect to see in the Brief without scrolling. The "Dates to Remember" are also highly useful to students wanting to stay in-the-know with important deadlines and college events. You are doing a great job, keep it up!

Kylie is currently an Associate Content Strategist for Signal Theory, a brand development, marketing,

and design firm that drives marketing effectiveness through the lens of human behavior.

Emily Merrill, Summer 2021 Editor Intern

B.S. Agricultural Media and Communication '21

My role with the Buff Brief allowed me to grow what I call my “professional backbone.” I became more confident in myself and in my work. I also handle a lot of news writing now in my career, so writing for the Buff Brief had prepared me well for that.

This role didn’t really change the way I look at newsletters or news media.

I had held news writing positions before with The Prairie News at WT and then continued in news writing in my career with press releases. I have always looked at grammar intensely, but I do format everything I write to avoid hanging words or words that stand alone at the end of a paragraph.


The Buff Brief was still decently new when I was an editor, so there was not much changed that happened. One thing that I did love about the Buff Brief was “Buffs on the Move” where we would showcase faculty, staff and students participating in events outside of Canyon or Amarillo.


I wish I would have thought outside the box more for story ideas. I was always afraid of my ideas not going over well that I stuck with what was safe.

Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences has so many hidden treasure stories

that I didn’t search very often. 

Although my time as editor was short lived, I learned a lot of lessons within my experience writing the Buff Brief. It has helped me professionally and improved my confidence,

not only in my career but also in my personal life.

Emily is now the Marketing and Communications Coordinator

at the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas.

Ellis Vidmar, May 2020 - August 2022 Editor

M.S. Agriculture '22

My leadership with the Buff Brief taught me to be diligent in getting information. The more information- the better! It prepared me in my professional role to do the same, only now it is for event planning/coordinating. I have learned that it’s best to over-communicate than under-communicate. This affected my time as a graduate student because I was always in the know of what was going on, which at times was a double-edged sword. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. 


I’m not a grammar buff, it’s not my strong suit. However, quickly after becoming the editor I found my “voice” or writing style that I hadn’t discovered before being the editor. During my time at Colorado State University, I was tasked with creating newsletters without a platform, such as Constant Contact; this forced me to deep dive Into formats of other successful newsletters. Now I feel like I am nit-picky about grammar AND formatting with all the newsletters I subscribe to. None of that would’ve been possible without the Buff Brief!


I implemented themed months, Department wide infographics, “Why we celebrate” for holidays, and “A Moment with Mrs. Bachman.”

I also changed the way “buffs on the move” looked from the previous editor – which I regret doing because it was tedious and created more work for me each week.


I appreciate the “dates to remember” section. When I was editor, it was an uphill battle to keep our readers informed of upcoming dates and events. 


To this day - I still open the Buff Brief at 6:00 a.m. every Monday! As editor, I ALWAYS checked to make sure it was scheduled for Monday at 6:00 AM on Sunday nights…. (once I was ½ an hour late and was MORTIFIED! Our readers take notice when It doesn’t arrive on time!)


No matter how quickly you may read the Buff Brief, know that It took a diligent editor to produce It…and WEEKLY at that. It’s a tough task, and it's not for the faint of heart. Sometimes I had to pester Dr. Pond for a “Pond’s Ponder,” other times he had four ready to go for the month. 


As much as I griped and moaned about the Buff Brief, I truly do appreciate the invaluable experience it gave me for my professional career. After six volumes of being the editor of the Buff Brief, I now appreciate a well prepared and well designed newsletter!

Ellis is now serves as an Instructor of Agricultural Media and Communication & Events Coordinator at West Texas A&M University in the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

A Moment with Mrs. Bachman

Pond's Ponder

March Madness is here, where dreams can become reality!

One of my favorite quotes captures what is possible and why:

“The best teams have chemistry.

They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal glory for a common goal.”

- Dave DeBusschere

There is no reason why we all can’t follow that recipe for success

with our teammates and colleagues!

Enjoy the Madness!

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