Bureau of Education and Communication
Overview of Bureau Activities for 2000-2001
Florida Market Bulletin
Print, Video and Radio Production
The Bureau of Education and Communication is responsible for educating and informing consumers and helping coordinate the communication efforts of the Department through news releases, brochures and other publications, exhibits and displays, and graphics presentations, the Internet, and other multimedia productions. Bureau productions are a major component of the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign (FAPC), which assists the stateís agricultural community in expanding markets and promoting and selling Florida-grown products.
During fiscal year 2000-2001, the bureau issued more than 80 press releases to inform the public about various regulatory and promotional activities of the Department. Additional publications regularly produced and distributed by the bureau include the Departmentís Annual Report and the Departmentís employee newsletter Open Lines.
In addition, the bureau produced numerous brochures, booklets and other printed materials pertaining to the varied activities of the Departmentís 12 divisions. The bureauís graphics section was involved in the production of more than 120 major/intermediate projects and an additional 150 ancillary projects. The bureau also responds to inquiries from the public, and mails out publications and other informational and promotional materials upon request.
Major graphics productions included: numerous printed components for the "Dive In" aquarium fish campaign; a magazine insert for the Ag Institute of Florida; workbooks for the Florida 4-H Foundation; a consumer survey data report and point-of-purchase materials for exporting citrus to China; wildfire/arson billboards, ads, flyers and posters; point-of-purchase materials for the "Florida Sun Fresh" tomato campaign; posters and brochures warning of foot-and-mouth disease; a seafood handling guide; and an oyster report.
The bureau produces and disseminates informational, educational and promotional audio and video productions, such as television and radio public service announcements, radio programming, television news segments, documentaries, and training videos.
The 2000 Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards video documentary details the progressive environmental efforts of Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd., of Palmetto, and Evans Properties of Vero Beach.
Numerous television public service announcements and promotional spots were produced on such issues as:
-- Wildfire prevention, with messages urging residents to exercise caution with trash fires, and to report arson or suspicious activities.
-- The Citrus Canker Eradication Program in South Florida, with messages urging residents to make sure their lawn service company is following proper decontamination procedures, and urging them not to move fruit from within the quarantine zone.
-- The No Sales Calls List, a program in which consumers can prevent unwanted telephone sales solicitation calls.
-- The Florida State Fair in Tampa.
Agricultural producer assistance videos and television spots produced during the fiscal year included:
-- Aquarium fish instructional/training video for retail sales staff at businesses that sell aquarium fish and aquatic plants.
-- Floridaís seafood industry television PSA, explaining how the efforts of Floridaís fishermen provide consumers with a generous supply wholesome seafood..
-- "Chill It or Grill It," a television spot promoting consumption of Floridaís harvest of spring vegetables.
-- AgVenture Services video promoting a hay bale nutrition system developed by a member of the divisionís agricultural economic development program.
-- Propane gas video for use at trade shows and other promotional events.
-- Equestrian program video outlining the potential for an equestrian program at a state university.
-- Future Farmers of America video of state officers.
A major documentary video, "Grazing on the Florida Landscape: A Discussion of Public-Partnership," was produced by the bureau in conjunction with several agricultural associations, governmental agencies and a university. This video outlines the history and environmental, agricultural, economic and social implications of leasing public lands to cattle owners for grazing purposes. Sponsors of this documentary included: Southwest Florida Water Management District; South Florida Water Management District; Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Florida Atlantic University; 6th Contracting Squadron, U.S. Air Force; Florida Farm Bureau Federation and Affiliates; Florida Cattlemenís Association; Florida Section, Society for Range Management; and the Office of Agricultural Water Policy, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Radio programming during the fiscal year included promotional spots for the Florida State Fair, as well as public service announcements promoting the WIC/Farmersí Market Nutrition Program and community farmersí markets.
The Departmentís advertising and marketing efforts for calendar year 2000 were recognized by the professional advertising community through the presentation of 11 Addy Awards, which recognize excellence in creativity, originality and creative strategy in print and electronic media. The Department received three gold awards, six silver awards, a best of show award, and a silver district award. Winning entries included: the "Florida Forests Forever" campaign; the "Turn Pro" propane gas campaign; the "Florida Sun Fresh Tomato" campaign; the "Dive In" campaign; the "China Consumer Research: A Path For Florida Citrus" consumer survey data report; the "Florida Bistro" cookbook; and a series of colorful seafood recipe brochures featuring numerous species Florida finfish, shellfish and aquaculture products.
Promoting Florida Agriculture on the World Wide Web
The Bureau of Education and Communication designed and maintains the Division of Marketing and Developmentís Internet web site, www.fl-ag.com . The site contains information and materials that help Florida farmers more effectively market their commodities. These marketing tools include trade leads, market prices, information about export assistance programs, agricultural statistics, weather reports, license and bond requirements, agricultural classified ads, and more. The web site also helps inform consumers about the wholesomeness, variety and availability of Florida agricultural products. This is done by providing nutritional data, recipes, seasonal availability information, food safety tips, and more. The web site fosters the notion that the more consumers know about the many agricultural commodities grown in Florida, the more they will choose to buy products that are "Fresh from Florida."
An educational web site for students is also found at florida-agriculture.com. "Planet Ag" contains information to assist students in selecting a topic and carrying out their science fair project. The site provides students with an explanation of the scientific method, from choosing a topic and stating a hypothesis, to deciding on a procedure and recording the results. It also provides a sample project for students to review, a look at previous winnersí projects, and links to other agriculture- and science-related sites. Planet Ag also provides an overview of the importance of agriculture to Florida, and examines career possibilities in agricultural science, offering suggestions to students on courses to take in high school and college. The goal of Planet Ag is to encourage todayís bright young students to become interested in agriculture and its role in our planetís future.