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 30th anniversary year in 2016, 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
Forum: Each year, the Brock Center hosts an agricultural and/or communication-focused forum for varying target audiences. Previous forums have included a 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.