Jordan Gaal, a junior from Oconomowoc, Wis., who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences Communication with a concentration in communication strategy, is the 2017 recipient of the Frank Lessiter Ag Media Scholarship. The scholarship is an annual award that recognizes a University of Wisconsin Agricultural and Life Sciences student expressing an interest in agricultural trade media.

“He’s a very impressive and personable young man who has sought out ag experience and joined several ag organizations to advance his knowledge,” says Mike Lessiter, president of Lessiter Media. 

As the vice president of membership of the National Agri-Marketing Assn. (NAMA) Student Chapter in Madison, Wis., Gaal has worked with a team to develop a full-scale, 3-year marketing plan for an agricultural product. He participated in the UW-Madison chapter’s national championship victory at the 2016 marketing competition, and will be on the team defending their title at this year’s competition in May in Dallas.

Gaal served as president of the Alpha Gamma Rho agricultural fraternity in 2016. As president he coordinated the fraternity’s external relations and internal operations, overseeing an executive board of nine members, more than 60 members and an annual budget of $250,000. Since April 2016, he’s served as a representative for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Associated Students of Madison – Student Government. As a representative, Gaal engages students in the college and represents their interests on a 33-person elected student council.

He is also currently the marketing and social media intern for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Career Services as well as the science reporter for the Daily Cardinal student newspaper. This summer Gaal will be a communications intern with Post in Minneapolis.

Created by Lessiter Media president Mike Lessiter in 2013 to honor his father, company chairman and founder Frank Lessiter, the Frank Lessiter Ag Media Scholarship supports a University of Wisconsin-Madison Life Sciences Communication student who is actively pursuing a career in agricultural news media. The annual scholarship is available to undergraduate students majoring in Life Sciences Communication who are nominated by the department.

Previous Recipients

 2013 — Josie Dallam

2014 — Cassandra Endres

2015 — Katlynn Rodgers

About the Department of Life Sciences Communication (LSC)
The LSC department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral education in science communication. An LSC degree prepares students for professional and academic careers related to communicating health, environmental, agricultural and biological sciences in an era of rapid technology change and media convergence. For more information, visit