• Ag Communications

    The event will consist of two parts; 1. Communications Project Proposal and Presentation, and 2. News Writing and News Broadcasting Practicums.

    I. Communications Project Proposal and Presentation

    1. 1. Each team will prepare a communications project proposal for their chapter explaining the communications activities planned to publicize an event or issue. The topic will be chosen by the chapter team from the theme of possible topics as provided. These topics will rotate as follows:
    2. 2000-2004: Innovative ag practices, management, or marketing tools; Financial risk management using options and/or futures; Efficient water use with irrigation systems in your county; rotational cropping systems for pest control; sustainable agriculture.

      2001-2005: Localized national events; National Ag Week; Earth Day; Vocational Education Week; National FFA Week.

      2002-2006: Ag or consumer issues; Water quality in your county and agricultural stresses; safe food handling in the home; safe agricultural practices at harvest; promoting ag literacy.

      2003-2007: PALS; SAE; Activity Banquet; Food for America.

      2. The proposal should be a maximum of 12 double-spaced typed pages on 8.5"x 11" white paper. Staple the proposal .in the upper left hand corner. Do not bind or place in folders, binders or covers. A cover page should give the title of the communications proposal, chapter and state, team member names and date. The following should be addressed in the proposal:

      1. • Rational for selecting the project, including background information that helps provide the judges with an understanding of the project and the situation or local where it will be implemented.
      2. • Objectives of the project (what it is to accomplish)
      3. • Audiences to be targeted with this project.
      4. • Key messages or themes to communicate to the audiences.
      5. • Media selected to accomplish the project. (Brochures, newspapers, radio, etc.)
      6. • Budget to produce and place communications materials.
      7. • Criteria upon which project will be evaluated (these criteria should result in some indication of how well the project accomplishes the stated objectives)

    3. The Team will then present their communications project to a panel of judges, with a maximum time limit of 15 minutes. Each team member must participate in the presentation. The equipment provided would be an overhead projector, slide projector, easel, TV/VCR, and screen for presentations.

    II. News Writing and News Broadcasting Practicums

    1. Two team members will be responsible for preparing news stories for print, and two will be responsible for preparing 2-minute radio broadcasts.

    1. 2. NDSU Ag Communications Faculty will host a mock news conference with a faculty member speaking on a timely agricultural topic. Students will be allowed to take notes, and after the speakers remarks, contestants will have the opportunity to ask questions.
    2. 3. News writers will then be excused to a campus computer cluster to prepare a news story concerning the topic discussed at the news conference that is worthy for a publication with an ag producer target audience. Contestants will be given one hour to complete this activity. Judges will then evaluate the printed news releases. A.P. stylebooks, dictionaries and thesauruses will be made available for use by all contestants.
    3. 4. News broadcasters will attend the same news conference and have an hour to develop a news broadcast of about two minutes in length. These broadcasts will be spoken into a microphone that projects through a speaker in another room, where the judges will evaluate the broadcast, and may also record the broadcasts in the event they may need to re-evaluate them.
    4. 5. Judges will be NDSU communications and local media professionals. Three will be needed for the News Writing Practicum, Three for the News Broadcasting Practicum and Six for evaluation of the Communications Proposal and Presentation.
    5. 6. Individual scores will not be tabulated.
    6. 7. Team scores will be tabulated and ranked. The high team shall be eligible to represent North Dakota in the national FFA Ag Communications career development event. Team tiebreakers include: 1. Team Presentation Score; 2. News Writing Score; 3. News Broadcasting Score.