Marilyn Cummins, Associate Editor

Tim Sherer

Marilyn Cummins

For 30-plus years, Marilyn has worked in all aspects of publishing and marketing communications, from newspaper reporter to magazine editor to advertising executive to university instructor to owner of her own multi-faceted consulting business. She brings a unique ability to understand a client’s business and needs, and then execute top-notch editorial content across all platforms.

As president of Cummins Consulting, her most recent responsibilities included being editor of Newground magazine, a custom publication for Arysta-LifeScience produced by Woodruff Sweitzer in Calgary, Alberta.

Marilyn’s undergraduate degree is in agricultural journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was a National Merit Scholar and won a William Randolph Hearst Foundation News Writing Award for her work on the Columbia Missourian. She worked at The Kansas City Times as a reporting intern for two summers and as a stringer for the paper’s Mid-America bureau in Columbia, Mo., before joining the paper as an agribusiness reporter after graduation. While at The Times, Marilyn and a team she led won the DeKalb Oscar in Agriculture for Non-Farm Media Reporting. She next became managing editor, then editor of Agri Marketing magazine in Skokie, Ill., before moving back to Missouri to be publications manager for Fletcher/Mayo/Associates, overseeing client custom publications including Farm Forum magazine for Case IH.

Marilyn then moved to the Philadelphia area to join The Dudnyk Company, where for more than nine years she managed advertising and integrated communications for clients such as Pfizer Animal Health and American Cyanamid, and founded the agency’s public relations department.

This diverse background was the springboard for her to start Cummins Consulting in 1994, offering writing, editing, public relations, marketing project management, new-business development services and more to a wide variety of clients and publications. In 2000, Marilyn and her family moved to Columbia, Mo., where she joined the faculty of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources to coordinate the Agricultural Journalism program for four years while also doing master’s work in journalism and education. She and her students founded, an independent news website that still serves as a news source for CAFNR students and a learning laboratory for MU Science and Agricultural Journalism majors. The year 2000 is also when she began her 16-year run as manager of the annual AAEA Communications Awards for the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

Marilyn, who is also a musician and visual artist/owner of Invincible Summer Studios, lives in Columbia with her husband, Neal Fandek, and their son, Will Fandek, a vocal performance major at Northwestern University.