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ACE Update – October 2016

  • President: An Update from the Fall Board Meeting
  • ACE Development Fund Project Highlights
  • 2016 Marks 35th Anniversary of Agricultural Documentation Center
  • October 19 ACE Issues Management Webinar: When Birds Made Us Batty
  • The Journal of Applied Communications

President: An Update from the Fall Board Meeting

The Big Easy.
New Orleans.
Site of the 2017 annual ACE conference.

The ACE board of directors is required to have two face-to-face meetings a year, at the annual summer conference and a fall board meeting. The fall board meeting has traditionally taken place at the ACE President’s home university, but this year tradition was broken by meeting at the location of ACE’s next annual meeting.

Check out the Hotel Monteleone. You’ll be there in June. The video is a little long but just short snippets will provide the hotel ambiance and customer service.

The board used a large portion of one morning to determine the process by which the future management of ACE will be decided. An ad hoc committee is gathering information on possible management models, from an executive director model such as ACE is now operating under, to a management organization and whatever other model might be considered.

It is an information gathering committee only. The committee will provide a report to the board at the end of December. The current timeline calls for a board decision in March about which management model will be selected, with possible interviews at the June annual meeting and a final decision at the fall board meeting in 2017.

Here are a few other items from the meeting:

  • Professional Development Director Beth Raney submitted her resignation, effective December 1. Beth is retiring from her position at Penn State.  Thank you, Beth, for all your contributions to ACE!
  • Victor Villegas, professional development director-elect, at Oregon State University, is stepping in to fill Beth’s position.
  • The new ACE website is scheduled to be up and running by March, if not sooner.  Marketing Director Elizabeth Gregory North of Mississippi State University has formed a task force to provide input on its design, and her office at MSU will put those into visual form.
  • President-elect Suzanne Steele provided an update on the 2018 ACE joint conference with Ag Media Summit. The meeting is in Phoenix in July 2018. A specific location is expected soon.
  • ACE will form a social media strategy. Learning Community Director Mary Wirth led a discussion that provided concepts. Now, the hard work begins of putting strategic concepts into action.
  • Dennis Thomas, as marketing director-elect, moved into the director position when Elizabeth Gregory North was elected vice president. He has formed a committee to brainstorm ideas marketing ACE.
  • Membership Director Beth Forbes is creating a membership strategy and met via Webex with ACE state representatives October 11 to help develop ideas.
  • Past President Brad Beckman and other ACE officers reviewed the bylaws and ACE Constitution, as required. Modifications to further clarify meaning and intent will be offered to the membership for approval.

No other agricultural communications association has the breadth and depth of ACE. I’m proud to be a member!

– Steve Miller, ACE President

Apply for ACE Professional Development Grants

You could receive up to $1,500 from the ACE Development Fund for a learning or professional development project. Nominations will be accepted from November 1 through December 2, 2016. The application form is online in the Professional Development section of the ACE website.

To apply, you must be a member of ACE for at least three years. Proposals should include a professional development plan, anticipated outcomes, and how the grant will enhance personal professional development. It should also include your ACE service and activities and how the project will benefit ACE and the profession.

Award recipients will be notified by December 15.Recipients will also submit a final report after the project is completed and share results with members at the ACE annual conference or through an ACE webinar.

More information on judging criteria is on the website. Along with the completed application should be a written endorsement from your administrator. Please submit applications by December 2 to Donna Sheffield at dsheffie@ksu.edu

Below are highlights of previously funded projects:

Communications for Spanish-Speaking Workers

Ariel Ginsburg wanted to learn more about the information needs of Latino farm and horticultural workers. An ACE professional development grant gave her an opportunity to ask them directly.

“Spanish-speaking workers make up the majority of the labor force in Oregon’s agriculture and horticulture industries, yet few publications and multimedia materials are designed to meet their vocational and linguistic needs,” said Ginsburg.

The Oregon State Extension and Experiment Station Communications publishing team has been pushing to get more educational materials to be made available in Spanish.

“We have been experimenting with different approaches — side-by-side translations and separate publications — without any real idea of what formats different Spanish-speaking learners were interested in,” she said.

With the development grant, Ginsburg and research partners Dio Morales and Dr. Luisa Santamaria are conducting focus groups to talk directly with workers to find out how they prefer to access information,what information they find most useful, and how Extension can provide those materials.

“With the proliferation of media for delivering educational content, we’ve been especially interested in what devices the different groups in Oregon actually prefer to use,” she said.

How to Capture High-Quality Video

Scott Swanson and the videographers at North Dakota State Ag Communications will produce a video demonstrating basic shooting techniques and tips for Extension educators, university faculty and staff, and others who may have limited video experience. The 10-minute HD video will be distributed by ACE to Ag Communication chairs and department heads and the Extension Video Producers group as an educational resource to share with faculty and staff.

Exploration of Digital Asset Management Systems

From video and infographics to actual data, many institutions struggle to manage and archive digital assets. Team leaders Kris Boone and Gloria Holcombe at Kansas State University, hope to identify a user-friendly system to allow writers,graphic designers, editors, photographers, and videographers to share digital assets such as images and videos to maximize resources and boost efficiency.

This project will survey institutions to determine what asset management systems are being used and how well they work.

- Donna Sheffield, Development Officer

2016 Marks 35th Anniversary of Agricultural Communications

Documentation Center

ACE members have received a note of thanks from the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, now observing a 35th anniversary. This international resource has had important connections with ACE throughout the years.

Today, ACDC is part of the University of Illinois Library and affiliated with the Agricultural Communications Program. It hosts nearly 43,000 documents about agriculture-related communications in 210 countries and 82 languages. The documents represent 34,800 authors (including many ACE members) and include more than 19,000 journal articles, 1,500 books and materials in many other forms.

“At this special time, we are mindful of major partnering with ACE,” says Jim Evans, a life member of ACE and volunteer associate in ACDC. For example:

  • At least 28 ACE members have contributed personal collections of documents to ACDC, including 12 contributors who served as president of ACE. 
  • The collection contains more than 900 documents involving ACE, including a special collection from the ACE-led National Project in Agricultural Communications.
  • It contains more than 1,300 articles published in ACE periodicals across the decades.
  • It hosts an oral history section based on research funded by ACE.

Evans says in this unique collection, “agriculture” is defined broadly to include the farm-to-fork food complex, natural resources, natural fibers, renewable energy,rural affairs and other aspects. “Communications” is defined broadly to encompass all means of human interaction. Every document includes elements of both.

An online bibliographic search system helps professional journalists and communicators, researchers, teachers, students and others identify information often not found through general web searches. Information in it ranges from the latest news, research and issues to the historical origins of this field.

"We are hardly scratching the surface of potentials for serving ACE members and others,” says Evans. “Hearty thanks for 35 years of partnering. Who knows what possibilities are ahead?”

You can reach him at evansj@illinois.edu and visit the ACDC website.

ACE Issues Management Webinar - When Birds Made Us Batty

Join us October 19 at 3 p.m. ET to learn how Michigan State University helped 4-H’ers become part of the solution during the avian influenza crisis of 2015. The team will walk you through its award-winning entry in the ACE Issues Management category, and offer tips on how to strengthen your own entries.

I hope you’ll also consider inviting other ACE members (and non-members) to this opportunity.
Log on info is below. Topic: ACE Issues Management Webinar -When Birds Made Us Batty Time:

Oct 19, 2016 3:00 PM (GMT-4:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://msu.zoom.us/j/969223716

Or join by phone: +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 558 8656 US Toll
Meeting ID: 969 223 716

International numbers available: https://msu.zoom.us/zoomconference?m=PEDP9tEu1Tn6Pz419bX9fLn04r0jrDVv

Or join from a H.323/SIP room system:
Dial: (US West) or (US East)
Meeting ID: 969 223 716

Beth Stuever, ACE Leadership and Management LE Vice Chair
Michigan State University

The Journal of Applied Communications

If not already, check out the latest online edition of the Journal of Applied Communications (Vol. 100, No. 3).

Below are highlights from three articles in the most recent edition:

Expo Milano 2015: The Overview, Issue, and Future for Agricultural Communicators

Abigail Borron and Jessica Holt

Expo Milano, held in Milan, Italy in 2015, hosted individuals from 140 countries discussing food sustainability issues. Events like this provide agricultural communicators the opportunity to take part in discussions and better understand public perceptions of food production on a global level. The article’s authors state that the goal of events like this is not to learn how to win arguments about food, but rather to improve discussions that will garner increased consumer trust and understanding about food production. Link to full article.

Testing the Usability of Communication Materials through Heat Maps in Online Survey Platforms

Laura M. Gorham, Shuyang Qu, Ricky W. Telg,and Alexa J. Lam

Heat maps allow agricultural communicators to evaluate materials such as websites and fliers, gather users’ feedback, and identify strategies to improve educational materials. This article provides one way for practitioners and researchers to use this data to better understand how audiences use content, and improve the development of these materials. Link to full article.

Fairgoers’ Attitudes Toward Youth Livestock Exhibits at the California State Fair

Krista Anderson-McCoon, Dwayne Cartmell, and Robert Terry, Jr.

Today, agricultural experiences for many consumers are limited to local, county, and state fairs. With this in mind,this study sought to determine the attitudes of fairgoers regarding youth livestock exhibits in California. Researchers found fairgoers had more positive attitudes toward animal agriculture after viewing livestock exhibits. These findings suggest youth livestock exhibitors should be prepared to discuss their livestock projects with fairgoers. By being open and transparent about their projects, youth can play a role in increasing agricultural literacy among consumers. Link to full article. 

Send submissions, upcoming webinars and ideas to forbes@purdue.edu. Contributors this issue: Steve Miller, Holly Young, Courtney Meyers, and Donna Sheffield.

Copyright © 2016 Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences. All rights reserved.

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