The mission of Cal Poly’s Brock Center for Agricultural Communication is to create a bridge of communication between the agricultural industry, the media and the public.
Established in 1986, Mr. Jim Brock’s vision surrounded his idea:
“Agriculture is the biggest and best industry in the United States. It has set standards of efficiency and high production that have done more than anything else to assure our high standard of living. Its’ very efficiency, however, has drastically reduced the actual numbers of those required to produce our food. As political power is measured by voting strength, the lessened numbers have greatly reduced agriculture's clout. Furthermore, it has become the most misunderstood industry in the country and the constant target for derogatory media comment. Why not try to do something to improve agriculture's badly battered image with the balance of society? No substantial contribution had ever been made for this purpose and we saw an opportunity to, in our small way, do more good than through any other course we could imagine.”
Reaching its 33 rd anniversary year in 2019, the center continues to adapt to the ever-changing world while drawing attention to the “biggest and best industry in the United States,” agriculture. Changes over the 30 years include the use of social media, more sophisticated graphic design, and attention to long-form issue centered journalism. All the while maintaining foundational journalism standards. Voice recordings and sharing agriculture’s story via face to face interviews and being able to articulate an interview into an informative, cohesive and concise story continue to be cornerstones of agricultural communications.
SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Ag Circle Magazine: The Brock Center produces two magazines per year focusing on local, state and national agricultural issues, Cal Poly programs, alumni and events, as well as various features on prominent industry leaders. Copies are distributed to high school agricultural programs, California county farm bureaus and industry professionals.
- Brock Center Blog: The weekly blog highlights a range of relevant agriculture topics as well as Cal Poly events, students and accolades, specifically within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. The blog serves as a great opportunity for new writers to get their work published and learn more about the editing process.
Forum: Each year, the Brock Center hosts an agricultural and/or communication-focused forum for varying target audiences. Previous forums have included communication and social media-based forum led by Sara Quinn from the Poynter Institute as well as a “Meet Your Meat” forum discussing ethics and logistics in the beef industry.
- Brock Center Media Room: The Brock Center is thrilled to open a new state-of-the-art media room allowing students better access to learning about video production, photography and acquiring professional headshots.
- Senior/family photos: The Brock Center associates are available to schedule senior and family photos during the school year. Additionally, the Center hosts a day of photo sessions in the fall for individuals, families and friends.