Blog 3: Why Do We Conduct Agricultural Communications Research?

Happy Labor Day. You certainly are not expected to read or comment on this on the holiday. However, I thought I would go ahead and post in case some of you wanted to use your day off to post.

You may have noticed that I did not respond to your posts in week 2. I may pop in and comment to make clarifications in discussions, but I will predominantly let the discussion happen among you from here on out.

Today, I want to talk about why you should care about agricultural communication research. You clearly care at least a little about agricultural communication research and theory or you wouldn’t be in this class.  I know this week’s readings may not have been page turners, but chapters two and three of your text provide some important foundation information for how we will investigate theory in agricultural communication.

As we discuss the importance of agricultural communication research, it is difficult to separate the values we associate with agricultural communication research. It is important for researchers to strive for a lack of biases in their research. A lack of biases make research and theory more valuable. However, as we have discussed agricultural communication is an applied discipline. We conduct research and build theory in order to solve problems in agricultural communication. Based on chapter two of your text and my discussion here, what axiological view does agricultural communication research take? Is this a positive or negative thing?

In agricultural communication, we often seek to address research questions or objectives through an epistemological lens. We try to understand how people know or don’t know about agriculture and its value in our society. We often research methods for exposing people to agricultural knowledge and understanding in explicit and tacit ways. As we try to understand how people respond to agriculture and policy related to agriculture and natural resources, we regularly investigate phenomenons and human decisions related to those. Critical theories seek to change the world, which is something we often try to do in agricultural communication, I believe figure 2.4 in your text describes this process well and will help you understand theories as we discuss them.

The terms in chapter 3 are important for understanding and interpreting research. I don’t intend to repeat all of the terms here, but know they are an important foundation as we continue to explore theory. Let me pose a few more questions for our class discussion. How might someone develop a campaign to improve agriculture’s public image from a scientific/objective paradigm approach? How would this campaign look if designed according to a humanistic/subjective approach?  How would you operationalize the concept of agriculture’s public image in order to conduct a quantitative survey?

23 thoughts on “Blog 3: Why Do We Conduct Agricultural Communications Research?

  1. It could be said that agriculture communication research takes the axiological view that the agriculturalist is “king” and everyone else is a consumer that is generations removed from the farm. The approach today seems to be a small population of production agriculturalists rallying together to remind their neighbors of the rich heritage of American agriculture and demand for global agriculture. As a generational production farmer, this approach doesn’t seem like a bad thing. My family desperately needs the consumer to understand and put value on the family farm and the products that we produce. As an agriculture educator, teaching today’s youth and molding tomorrows consumers, I see some negatives to this approach. Our value on the heritage of agriculture “limits what we may be able to see,” as the book describes. We limit our ability to deliver messages appropriately to the consumer audience. We get caught up in the heart-string message, getting side-tracked from the unified message our agricultural family needs to design and boast.

    Someone might develop a campaign to improve agricultures public image from a scientific/objective approach through large scale television or internet commercials. This campaign will connect to a large number of the same type of audience member, all doing a similar activity. The commercial may play repeatedly or at the same times of day on the same channels or webpages, continuing to deliver the same message to the same audience. It could be a short and sweet commercial that solicit a response on social media or on a website from the audience member.

    A campaign designed for a humanistic/subjective approach may be designed to allow an audience member to interact with the member of the agriculture community face-to-face. Knowing that “reality and meaning are personal,” making a truly personal connection may be the best way to shift the individuals definition of truth and value. This could be something like a “meet your farmer” campaign.

    The concept of agricultures public image could be proved in a quantitative survey to collect data regarding an audience member or consumers response to a video campaign. The survey may ask questions regarding the viewers changed perceptions of local, national or global agriculture. It may clarify areas where the individual is still unclear or untrusting of the agriculture industry. The results could be used to develop a more successful and productive set of marketing campaigns, new products, etc.

    1. Janae,

      I really like your ideas for a quantitative survey. I think measuring change in perceptions is just as important as measuring the perceptions themselves, which is something I hadn’t thought about. I think in agriculture we have this view that people sometimes don’t respond to our stories or campaigns. Measuring that response would definitely be beneficial to the industry to provide some insight as to where we should go with our messaging to resonate with our audience.

    2. Janae,

      I also have to agree on liking your idea for a quantitative survey. I think that measuring the changes in perceptions rather than the perceptions themselves is a great idea. Giving our industry a measurement rather then just our thoughts of what the perceptions are on would help us target the need which in return would help us educate our consumers in a better fashion.

      1. Your ideas for a quantitative survey is amazing, Measuring changes in perceptions rather than just perceptions is a brilliant idea. Having the data will help what target market to go after through social media campaigns.

  2. When I think of axiological views within agriculture, I think of a very similar approach to what Janae mentioned. I think that we often take stance of almost “us against them”. “Us” being agriculturalists and “them” being consumers. I think that there are positives and negatives that can be attributed to this view. I think that when we use this view to unite producers with a common goal of educating and empowering consumers to make informed decisions about the products they are consuming it is extremely beneficial to both producers and consumers. On the other hand, I feel like sometimes this view is misguided and can lead to tensions rising between producers and consumers when consumers feel belittled and confused when conversations go above their understanding and people don’t bother to explain the agriculture “lingo” to them. I think that we have to take a systems approach like what is discussed in the book. The book mentions that, “if one member [of the family] changed her or his behavior, the of the system would change.” I think that we should use this approach in agriculture and instead of trying to educate mass amounts of consumers, if we all simply educated a few family members and friends then they would be able to spread that influence to their family and friends.
    A campaign designed from a scientific/objective paradigm approach could be to promote agriculture within the mass media. This may be through articles and stories written in large scale magazines or tv commercials telling the story of agriculture in an attempt to shape people’s views.
    A campaign designed from a humanistic/subjective approach would focus more on a personal relationship with consumers. This approach would focus on getting to know the consumer and what is important to them about their food such as their health goals, do they have children, do they care about their food being local, how does price play a role, etc. The consumer would then be educated in an individualized approach that talks about why agriculture is important to them specifically and how it ties into those important factors that we learned about them.
    I think the best way to conduct a quantitative survey on agriculture’s public image would be to start off with a survey asking consumers to rank their confidence, opinions, and understanding of multiple parts of agriculture, with a few examples being how agriculture effects them, supply and demand of products, government regulations, etc. I think these survey results should then be compiled to find out areas that consumers are struggling the most and then use those to make informational material to supplement consumer knowledge. Then I think there should be a follow up survey that asks how to supplemental material helped or hindered the consumers understanding.

    1. Tabitha,

      I enjoyed reading about your quantitative survey. I agree with you that it would be most beneficial to gain an understanding of the areas that consumers struggle the most with when it comes to agricultural education and build from there.

      I was also reading your comment about having a smaller approach with our family and friends. This made me think and question how effective this method would be or if it would turn into a world-wide game of telephone. I think that most of our family members would have a closer relationship to agriculture, but the further we spread the information to those who may not be too familiar with agriculture, would it even be the same information by the time it got to the umpteenth person, or would the information have been twisted based on prior beliefs? It would be neat to see this in action and how it would all work. It definitely made me think.

  3. When thinking about the axiological view agricultural communications research takes, I really focused on the idea of value-laden research. I think in agriculture, most people are extremely passionate about the work they do. There are also a lot of topics in ag that come with two opinionated sides. With these sides come inherent values or biases that are hard to strip away when conducting ag communications research. While I haven’t noticed it being addressed in the industry, I think ag communications research should take the axiological view that recognizes the values and worldview of the researcher are always present in research, especially since agriculture is a topic that usually brings strong opinions.

    I think this view has both pros and cons. Trying to eliminate bias is always a good thing, so this axiological view may be a negative if it becomes an excuse for researchers who don’t try to reduce their bias. On the other hand, if this axiological view causes researches to be more transparent and admit their bias and their values on the topic being researched, it would be a positive for those reading their studies. The methodology might make more sense or be more clear if we can keep the bias of the researcher top of mind.

    In order to develop a campaign to improve agriculture’s public image from a scientific/objective paradigm approach, I think it would need to focus more on the agreed upon facts of the industry. The way I see it, an objective view takes opinions out of the picture. Focusing more on science and truth telling could debunk some misconceptions in the industry and improve the public image.

    On the other hand, taking the campaign in a humanistic/subjective approach would focus more on farmers telling their stories. I think these would include more opinions and would be more personal, as described in the book. I think subjective views include individual interpretations. In this case, it could be the views and interpretations of farmers about what is happening on their farms.

    One thing I think that is important to keep in mind is that both approaches would have pluses and minuses. I have seen campaigns take both routes. Some people argue with the science presented and some argue with the views presented. Overall, I think it takes a good mix of both to gain the most attention.

    In a quantitative study, I would operationalize the concept of agriculture’s public image by creating a value scale. By having participants rate different aspects of agriculture on a scale from least to most favorable. I think this would be one of the easiest ways to put a number on how people feel about agriculture.

    1. Brandelyn,

      I didn’t initially think if value-laden research perspectives, but I definitely agree with you! Also, I really enjoyed you idea for the scientific approach. I think using science and telling truth rather than just conveying the same old story could be very beneficial to the agricultural industry! I especially think that it could be good to start with some widely known facts that are not as debated such as how many people one farmer feeds, how many acres of land are farmland, etc. I then think once you established you base, we could focus more on talking about “hot topics” such as genetic modification and large scale farm operations from that same scientific and fact driven perspective.

    2. Brandelyn,

      I really like your idea of creating a value scale to operationalize the concept of agriculture’s public image. While still being a quantitative measure, measuring perceptions as least to most favorable still measures the opinion of the surveyed instead of just the factual knowledge. I think that kind of measure could also be used in a variety of campaigns, including a change in perception study as mentioned in several other posts.

      Favorability measures are also very pertinent to the general dynamic of agricultural communications today. We know that in some cases consumers do not respond well to hard science, and even if they know the facts, their veiws might still be unfavorable. However, using your scale idea before and after communications campaigns could teach us about what works to improve consumers’ perceptions of the industry.

  4. As I think of axiological views within agriculture, I too have very similar ideas of Tabitha and Janae. I think as producers of agriculture we need to take a step back and put ourselves in the consumers shoes. With the information we as agriculturists share with the consumers, is it a quality product that is educated them in a way that doesn’t make them feel dumb because they don’t know or are the products shared information driven that isn’t giving bias to one side or the other. I think it is important to provide the hard facts as this is the best way to give the information without bias. Tabitha mentioned the use of “lingo” and I would have to agree that in agriculture we have so many common terms or acronyms such as GMO, EPD, and many more that can confused someone that doesn’t understand them and could cause them to have a negative attitude toward the information being presented. The passion that agriculturists have should be shared with the consumers in a way that gets them excited for the industry as well.

    To develop a campaign to improve the image of agriculture to the public through a scientific/objective paradigm approach, this could be done through a few different outlets. I understand this method as taking the facts and presenting them to the public whether through a commercial or some sort of mass media outlet. By taking the bias or personal opinions out this would give the “facts” to the consumers in which they could make their personal opinion on the situation.

    By creating a campaign through a humanistic/subjective approach this would involve more agriculturalist sharing either their stories or experts sharing their information with the public. This would give a personal approach which in some instances make a personal connection with a consumer as there might be something they can relate with which makes them process the information in a better way.

    When looking at giving a quantitative survey to collect data this could be done with similar ideas to Janae. By having the consumers answer questions as a response to a video campaign this would give the agriculture communications industry an idea of what areas should be covered more and which areas the consumers are more educated or have less negative perceptions of the agriculture industry. Through the use of creating a campaign, running a survey, modifying campaign, running a survey, and modifying to get the results that are beneficial to the industry would be a use of how a quantitative survey could be used.

  5. It is naïve to believe that even the noblest and most scientific research is free of bias or values of the researcher. Research is conducted in the first place because the researchers believe, at the very least, in the value of science and using it to learn and better the world.
    I believe agricultural communications has an axiological viewpoint that heavily emphasizes the existence of researcher values. Agricultural communication research is often conducted in order to make ag communication more effective, so the idea of improving the researchers’ field is a value that cannot be removed from the research. If agricultural communication is more effective, the agriculture industry can be improved as well through more public understanding of the industry.

    As in any other scientific research, axiological bias can be both positive and negative. Insertion of the views and values of researchers can, as the book states, cloud the view of the researcher and prevent them from seeing issues in their own discipline, causing them to blame flaws on “the other side.” Agricultural communications researchers are sometimes guilty of this, blaming issue in the discipline on the generational gap between producers and consumers, or the fact that people without a connection to agriculture “just don’t get it.”

    However, strong values on behalf of the researcher can lead to more motivated and focused research, which can further the discipline as a whole. Agricultural communications researchers, like most people involved in the agricultural industry, care a lot about promoting agriculture to the general public and producing advances that can help feed a growing world. If agriculture communications are more effective due to value-driven research, food and fiber production and science can be promoted and improved, helping the population as a whole.

    To develop a campaign to improve agriculture’s public image from a scientific/objective approach, one would first have to conduct an experiment using the traditional predictive statement hypothesis with two clear variables. Based on the results of the study, the campaign would be structured to reflect the results of the(proven or disproven) hypothesis in practice. However, conducting this kind of study on a subjective concept like agriculture’s public image would be extremely difficult, because operationalization for quantitative study would eliminate a lot of the complex variables that build the public perception of agriculture. Operationalizing the concept of agriculture’s public image could be done on a very small scale with a very exact population, such as asking a group of inner-city citizens with no connection to agriculture a series of yes or no questions. However, this survey would give only very limited and vague information, which would limit the uses of whatever communication campaign could be built from the study.
    If the campaign were designed from a humanistic/subjective approach, more variables and populations could be studied using a more qualitative approach. Qualitative research often makes more sense for developing communications campaigns, especially on abstract ideas like agriculture’s public image, because it can cover a wider population and give more specific information than a survey. The communication campaign based on this kind of study would be potentially wider reaching and more personable to audiences due to the subjective and personal information yielded from qualitative research.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      I agree it’s hard to be unbiased in research, especially agriculture communications research where the whole goal is the convince other’s of the value of agriculture. I do think it is harder for agriculture communicators to remain unbiased or limit their personal opinions in research because agriculture is an industry we all feel strongly about and there are often very differing views on each topic.

  6. I think it’s hard in agriculture communications research to be completely unbiased, but like Elizabeth said, that is a challenge in all industries. Agriculture communication studies often look at how to better education the public and different sectors of society on agriculture topics, so the whole goal in most research projects is convincing the public that agriculture is valuable. I do think researchers who are passionate about agriculture would supply more thorough investigation and data collection, but they must be careful not to let their own personal values and opinions show in the final research.

    To develop a campaign to improve agriculture’s image through a scientific/objective approach, positive facts that have been proven through research would need to be shared through some media outlet. The more the general public encountered these ads, they would start to make their own judgments based on the facts presented.

    If you were creating a campaign through a humanistic/subjective approach, you would want more of that personal touch than compared to the scientific/objective approach. I think that sometimes having the general public meet local producers helps them better understand the truth behind agriculture. It seems like for every fact in the media about agriculture, there are ten false statements out there. By making a personal connection with a producer, I think the public would be more open to believing what they say and what that producer can show them.

    For a quantitative study, there would need to be some survey given to the public to gauge how they feel about agriculture or different areas of the industry. I agree with the rest of the class that a sliding scale would be an efficient way to measure this.

    1. Lexi,

      I really like your idea of having the public meet with local producers for a humanistic campaign. I had not previously thought of this, but this would be a much better idea for a targeted group rather than just farmers sharing their story and sending that message all across the nation. I wonder how this would work in an urban setting? maybe the meet and greet could be partnered with a farmers market either before or after it opens.

  7. Like many of my classmates, I would agree that it is difficult to eliminate all bias from agricultural communication research. From my perspective, research is something that stems from a person’s own ideas or passions which would, in turn, have biased information within the research in some shape or form. When educating consumers about agriculture through a scientific/objective approach, one of the greatest challenges will be to differentiate the various kinds of research. To clarify my previous statement, research is ever changing and quite diverse depending on who is conducting the research. I recall the red meat debate where one research study determined that red meat was bad for a person’s health while another research study determined that it was good for a person’s health. As a consumer, I would be very confused which research to believe. As much as I’d like to say and believe that agricultural research should eliminate all bias, the fact of the matter is that, regardless of how factual and truthful the research is, some consumers may not believe it. With this challenge in mind, agricultural research could be shared through multiple media methods and as long as the information shared on these platforms is consistent, it would (hopefully) be more effective than the red meat debate as previously mentioned.

    A few others in class mentioned that one way to combat the challenge of agriculture’s public image is to get consumers more involved in agricultural practices and visually see what techniques farmers and ranchers use in their operations on a day-to-day basis. A good humanistic/subjective approach on a large scale level would be highlighting our every day farmers/ranchers and showing consumers parts of their operation that will help them better understand the source of their food. This could be an extension or replication of how Temple Grandin conducted her glass walls project of packing plants for poultry, beef, lamb, and pork. This information would have to be put into simple terms which can be understood by individuals from all backgrounds. This method would not change everyone’s mind about agriculture, (those with preconceived notions), but at least consumers would have both sides and be able to form their own opinions having both perspectives.

    Lastly, a quantitative study that I could see being valuable is a survey administered to all school aged individuals (elementary through college age) asking their perception of various sectors of agriculture. Creating scale type questions will allow researchers to gauge the level of knowledge and comfort that these individuals have with agriculture. From here, agricultural educators would have a better grasp on the areas that need taught more than others. School aged participants would be an easier audience to target and would result in a large sample. Educating people while they are young and are more open minded would be more effective in my opinion than trying to reach adults with prior thoughts and beliefs which they may not be willing to change.

  8. When thinking of axiological views with agriculture, I have similar ideas of Tabitha and Janae. In agriculture we all care about what we do and advocate for what is right or wrong. Sometime s though as producers we overwhelm consumers with quality information they may not understand. Tabitha mentioned the term “lingo” and I would agree there are so many terms in agriculture for example EPD, BW, WW, or GMO that may confuse people that understand them and could turn into a negative impact.

    In order to develop a campaign to improve agriculture’s public image from scientific/objective paradigm approach, I think it would need to focus on the true facts of agriculture. Telling the truth through pictures shows common misconceptions of the agriculture industry. Onetime on FaceBook I think it was Iowa Farm Bureau did a video on common misconceptions of agriculture.

    If you were creating the campaign from a humanistic/subjective approach would involve farmers and ranchers sharing there story and information to the public. As described in the book this approach would be more personal.

  9. When I consider an axiological view related to agriculture I think back to what Dr. Baker stated at the beginning of the semester. Agriculturalists can often develop an outward superiority to those removed from agriculture. There have even been times when I too must admit to being guilty of this. In this light it would clearly have a negative connotation It is important for producers to think in terms of a consumer. We wouldn’t consider ourselves unintelligent because we don’t know rocket science, we would just recognize that it isn’t our expertise. We must remember that just because a consumer isn’t an expert in our field, does not mean that they are less than, they are just not yet educated about agriculture (think back to why strategic communication is so important in these instances). The systems approach reminds me of a ripple effect. When one of us has knowledge we desire to share what we know (typically if even just to prove we know more). This model, at its simplest and purest form would at least shorten the gap between producer and consumer.

    When it comes to campaigns to aid agriculture my mind is obviously drawn towards the personal, humanistic aspect. Putting a face to the products that consumers buy, in place of the factory farms they are mislead about, someone previously mentioned dairy ad campaigns in a previous weeks thread. That is a great example of what it looks like to make agricultural products more personal for the consumer that is buying them. When it comes to humanistic/subjective I love the concept of farm-to-table gatherings, putting producers and consumers directly across the table from each other while they enjoy the commodities that they are often misinformed about would allow for great open dialogue and discussion in a setting that isn’t scientifically stuffy or pressured.

    A survey that could tie into this concept or idea could be conducted both before and after the farm-to-table event. Questions could be asked about perceptions of agriculturalists, food products, buzzwords such as gmo, a survey could even be conducted with the producers about how they feel they are perceived by the general public. Questions could be asked in the format of ranking feelings towards different topics (ex: agree, somewhat agree, indifferent, etc). The survey could be repeated after the event to measure the impact of the event on both producers and consumers.

    1. Shaylee,

      I absolutely LOVE your idea of a farm-to-table survey to acquire information about consumers. The only challenge I see here is gathering a functional sample group, but still an amazing idea. We actually do something similar in my home county, where we invite local government officials to a dinner provided by local producers and engage with them in a dialogue about the impact of agriculture in our county. It is typically a very successful event, and could clearly be expanded upon to aid in research efforts! This was a very unique idea.

      Rachel Waggie

      1. You are so right about the functional sample group! I feel like that is part of the trouble when trying to create any kind of dialogue between producers and consumers, finding a feasible way to actually do such a thing! Even with all of the strategic communicating that we do, it doesn’t mean that dialogue is any easier to create or carry out!

  10. The axiological view agricultural communication uses is critical theory. As of lately, most of the agriculture communications research has been trying to figure out why people make the food choices they do or combating the anti-agriculture organizations. These areas of research at their core are trying to create social change. In order to create a social change, axiology uses peoples’ values within research. This type of research would most likely use farmers stories mixed in with researched facts in order to create social change. I personally would think this is a pro to most people, because it is not your typical quantitative research article that is hard to read and understand.
    An ag comm campaign that is created through a scientific/objective approach would focus on researched facts. An example of this would be how many seed companies are trying to combat the anti-GMO project propaganda by using social media to bring to light short, easy to digest research facts about why GMOs are not harmful.
    If this campaign was going to be created through a humanistic/subjective approach, there would be multiple stories from farmers talking about their personal and family journeys as farmers who not only provide for their families, but provide for the world and care for the environment and the land.
    The best way to operationalize the concept of agriculture’s public image in a quantitative study is to create a survey where consumers rate their opinions about different aspects of agriculture. This will allow the researcher to assign a numerical value to a typically qualitative area style of study.

  11. Agriculture is a challenging industry to analyze. There are so many parts and sectors and links in the chain to be considered. Without a doubt, our industry is as axiological as they come. Because we are dealing with live subjects, whether that is food animals or consumers of our product, we have to care a little extra about our studies and research. As communicators, we often are sharing information with consumers, and since we are all in an agricultural communications course, I assume we are “pro-ag” and will present research as such. Our view is positive in that we care so deeply about the subject; however, I can see the flip side of this coin as well. We can be “blinded” by bias towards our industry. It’s important that we sometimes take a step back and look at the bigger picture: is what we are learning through research something we should continue to support and promote, or is it time to find a better way of doing things?

    An objective and scientific campaign for agriculture would, theoretically, be pretty straight-forward. List hard facts with multiple sources in an aesthetically pleasing way for the public. You won’t have much luck attracting public attention with a research paper. Make pretty charts and graphs, add “cute” graphics and avoid large amounts of text in one area. We want to engage the public and give them easy-to-digest numbers and figures that they can relate to. Social media continues to be an excellent outlet for information, but procuring advertising spots in popular magazines and road signage are also effective communication channels for delivering a simple message with memorable figures.

    On the other hand, if we were to take a more humanistic approach, we would aim to appeal to the consumer’s emotions. Telling personal stories, identifying the producer of a food product and cute animal and farm family pictures are excellent ways to connect with consumers. Blogs and social media accounts are very popular for famous agricultural “celebrities” such as Dairy Carrie, The Pioneer Woman, the Peterson Farm Brothers and Courtenay DeHoff, to name a few. The California Milk Processor Board hit it out of the park with the ever-popular “got milk? ®” campaign. Some people would drink lead paint if Taylor Swift told them to. The “got milk?®” campaign could be expanded upon by adding quick facts in the advertisement as well. A few ideas that come to mind right away include explaining that dairy cows are fed special diets called total mixed rations (TMR) to meet their elevated nutritional requirements; in addition to calcium, milk provides magnesium, selenium, riboflavin and vitamins B12 and B5; and cattle produce 83 percent of global milk production, followed by buffaloes (14 percent), goats (two percent), sheep (one percent) and camels (0.3 percent). These are fun yet educational facts that will educate consumers and stick with them.

    Agriculture’s public image could be assessed through a number of mediums. My go-to is a survey asking consumer’s which areas of the industry concern them most, and finding out what they may already know. I would also gather information that is being distributed through general news outlets about current events in the agricultural industries. For example, a hot topic right now are the nuisance lawsuits against hog farmers in North Carolina. These families are viewed as monstrous factory farms when in reality, they are a part of the measly two percent of our population that are still directly involved in agriculture, doing what they have done for decades now to provide food for an increasingly ungrateful population. A few key Facebook pages and organizations have come together to advocate for these families that are losing their entire livelihoods, and the stories and photos will break your heart. It’s great that I see them and am able to share these stories, but how do we get these humanistic campaigns in front of the people that truly matter – the consumer. Where is the disconnect coming from, when there are so many opportunities for education about the production of our food? Analyzing news broadcasts, newspaper articles and other publications will allow us to see the fears and confusion that circulate freely among consumers.

    -Rachel Waggie

    1. Rachel, when I think about your scientific campaign my mind instantly moves towards an info-graphic! I believe we are making some for this class if I am not mistake. I think I missed the mark with my first blog response this week regarding scientific campaigns. My mind thinks in a primarily relational way, despite my background in animal science, but an info-graphic is a quick and easy way to relay information to the public!

  12. The word “paradigm” is widely used in science, technology, the educational system and without a doubt in agro communication. Immediately come to mind meanings as a series of rules, methods, work styles, thought, ideology among others. In a way, the set of these brief definitions could globally delimit this word, whose meaning encompasses so much that it would be difficult to define it in one or two lines.

    In this matter, Kuhn mentions that when paradigms enter into a debate about the choice of the best paradigm, their function is necessarily circular. That is, to argue in the defense of such paradigm, each group uses its own paradigm – we must keep in mind that those who propose competing paradigms practice their professions in different “worlds”. Finally, the group that best persuades the rest of them with a solid theory and with a better explanation will succeed.

    Kuhn argued that a natural science scientist, has a greater rigidity with respect to a social scientist, because it was formed with textbooks (current paradigm) that replaced the creative scientific literature that made them possible. Therefore, why should a student of agriculture read the original works of Darwin, Einstein or Humboldt if this would mean a lack of focus on the current problems of their particular science? Although, this training and education has been immensely rich if we compare it with that received by a social scientist, who in his training surely inquired about the original sources of his field of knowledge. Therefore, he would have immense variety of problems (different paradigms) that the members of his group have tried to solve over time.

    We consider the humanist paradigm as a theory that recognizes the individual as an entity that is characterized by being different in its way of being, thinking and acting with others and emphasizes the nonverbal experience and the altered states of consciousness as a means of realize our full human potential. The Humanist Paradigm in this case is centered on the consumer. The agro-journalist allows clients to learn, having a respectful relationship. Some characteristics of the agro-journalist is that he should put himself in the place of the consumer, be sensitive in terms of their perceptions and feelings, should create an environment that gives confidence, not being authoritarian or egocentric.

    The interview is one of the main techniques used in social research, because it is a very effective tool for the production and collection of information. It consists of a ‘face to face’ dialogue between an interviewee and the researcher who orients the speech with a predefined purpose. From the unstructured interview, in which the researcher simply proposes a topic and, from it, lets the conversation flow, up to the questionnaire, with standardized interrogation and response procedures.

    One of the fundamental advantages of the interview is the possibility of capturing a lot information in depth and detail from the words and approaches of the people who share the same social scenario, in addition to making it possible to describe interpreting aspects that are not directly observable (feelings, impressions, past events …). But some disadvantage is that makes difficult to compare, especially in excessively open interviews between different informants.

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