Bureau of Education and Communication
Overview of Bureau Activities for 1998-1999

Florida Market Bulletin

The Florida Market Bulletin is a primary vehicle for keeping Florida’s farming community informed of issues affecting the state’s agriculture industry and the Department. This agricultural newspaper has been published regularly by the Department since 1917. In addition to disseminating agricultural news and information, the Florida Market Bulletin provides a forum by which Florida residents can advertise to buy or sell agriculture-related items through its classified advertising section. During the 1998-99 fiscal year, 4,993 classified ads appeared in the Market Bulletin, which is published monthly and serves approximately 19,000 Florida farming households.

Print, Radio and Video Production

The Bureau of Education and Communication is responsible for educating and informing consumers and coordinating the communication efforts of the Department through news releases, brochures and other publications, video and radio productions, exhibits and displays, graphics presentations, the Internet, CD-ROMs and other multimedia productions. Bureau productions are a major component of the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign (FAPC), which assists the states agricultural community in expanding markets and promoting and selling Florida-grown products.

During fiscal year 1998-99, the bureau issued approximately 125 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 Departments Annual Report; the Consumer Interest newsletter, which deals with consumer education and product safety issues; the Consumer Watch product safety and recall notices; and Open Lines, the Departments employee newsletter. In addition, the bureau produced numerous brochures, booklets and other printed materials pertaining to the varied activities of the Departments 11 divisions. The bureau also responds to inquiries from the public, and mails out publications and other informational and promotional materials upon request.

The Bureau of Education and Communication 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 internal training videos. Agricultural producer assistance videos produced during fiscal year 1998-99 dealt with a variety of topics, including: the economic impact of Floridas wood products industry and the importance of properly managing the states forests; alligator products retail sales training assistance; the expansion of a greens-producing farming cooperative assisted by the Departments AgVenture Services program; and preparation of Florida farm-raised clams. The 1998 Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards documentary details the progressive environmental efforts of the Longino Ranch in Arcadia and V&W Farms, Inc., in Avon Park. The bureau also produced television public service announcements on such issues as: forest products and properly managed forests; wildfire/arson prevention; fireworks safety, and the Florida State Fair. Radio programming included promotional spots for Florida strawberries, tomatoes, Florida winter fruits and vegetables, and the Florida State Fair, as well as public service announcements promoting the WIC/Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

Marketing Florida Agriculture on the World Wide Web

The Bureau of Education and Communication designed and maintains the Division of Marketing and Developments 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."

Planet Ag

An educational web site for students is also found at www.fl-ag.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 winners 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 todays bright young students to become interested in agriculture and its role in our planets future.

1997-1998 Overview
1996-1997 Overview
1995-1996 Overview

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