Developing an International Framework and Agenda for Agricultural Communications Research

David Doerfert, James Evans, Dwayne Cartmell, Tracy Irani
2007 Journal of Applied Communications  
Timely, effective research is becoming a vital tool for communicators to use in the dynamic setting of the information age. Increasingly, it can support effective communications and decision-making related to agriculture. The authors report results of their recent efforts as members of a national project to envision a framework and agenda for agricultural communications research during the next 5 years. Noting the emergence and dynamics of the information age, they emphasize the centrality and
more » ... the centrality and resilience of agriculture. They observe how the agriculture-related sectors -food, fiber, natural resources, bio-based energy, nutrition and health, rural development, and others -tend to transform themselves and adapt over time and across societies. Similarly, the roles of communicators are adapting beyond that of the historical "town crier." Increasingly, communicators are helping people gather and share information, deliberate, sort through the mountains of information, select what they need, and make decisions. The authors identify 4 research priority areas and 18 key questions for research that communicators can use to address such challenges. They also suggest agricultural knowledge management as an integrative, international framework for strengthening this research agenda. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License. This professional development is available in Journal of Applied Communications: http://newprairiepress.org/jac/vol91/iss3/2 Timely, effective research is becoming a vital tool for communicators to use in the dynamic setting of the information age. Increasingly, it can support effective communications and decision-making related to agriculture. The authors report results of their recent efforts as members of a national project to envision a framework and agenda for agricultural communications research during the next 5 years. Noting the emergence and dynamics of the information age, they emphasize the centrality and resilience of agriculture. They observe how the agriculture-related sectors-food, fiber, natural resources, bio-based energy, nutrition and health, rural development, and others-tend to transform themselves and adapt over time and across societies. Similarly, the roles of communicators are adapting beyond that of the historical "town crier." Increasingly, communicators are helping people gather and share information, deliberate, sort through the mountains of information, select what they need, and make decisions. The authors identify 4 research priority areas and 18 key questions for research that communicators can use to address such challenges. They also suggest agricultural knowledge management as an integrative, international framework for strengthening this research agenda. Now more than ever, research opportunities are needed to support effective agr icultural communications. Interrelations throughout the food industry -from farm to fork-are becoming more complex and vital. Producers, citizens, and other decision -makers who need information about this broad-based endeavor are becoming more diverse and global. The everincreasing volume of information they require is becoming more speciali zed and changing more rapidly. The emergence of new electronic technologies is creating new channels for information distribution. This dramatic development has not happened suddenly, nor is it confined to agriculture. Since Fritz Machlup's 1962 book The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States, philosophers, business leaders, Journal of Applied Communications I 7 Doerfert et al.:
doi:10.4148/1051-0834.1245 fatcat:zdo3jkv32nambeueerx7hgddqa