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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

Sanders Presents Science Communication Strategies with UC Davis CLEAR Center

Dr. Katie Sanders, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Food Systems Communication at NC State University, presented at the 2023 Swine Education and Outreach Professionals Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 24th, 2023. Sanders spoke alongside Joe Proudman of the UC Davis CLEAR Center. Their talk, titled “Expanding Impact by Expanding Your Reach,” centered on the role of science communication in enhancing consumer trust in agricultural research for communication and outreach efforts across the pork industry. Sanders and Proudman offered swine education and outreach professionals a communication training to help enhance the impact of work done across RPTC focus areas, including raising pigs, consuming pork, and caring for the planet. 

 

Sanders began the discussion outlining US consumers’ declining trust in agriculture and science, followed by strategies for effectively communicating with diverse audiences. She outlined how communicating with diverse audiences is like hitting a moving target, but that strategies such as audience analysis and values-based communication can improve message delivery.  

Bull's eye image
Excerpt from Sanders’ talk on communicating with diverse audiences.  

 Proudman extended the discussion by detailing his experiences as an agricultural journalism professional. He expressed the importance of communicating stories as a way to connect people to food and the environment. Proudman left the crowd with inspirational words to incorporate into their practice: “Be authentic. Be simple. Speak bullishly.” 

 

Image of why stories are important
Excerpt from Proudman’s talk on using stories to connect people to food. 

Collaborations, Networking, & Future Directions 

Sanders networked with other RPTC members as well as developed new relationships with UC Davis CLEAR Center that will hopefully enhance the work being done within the consortium. Additionally, Sanders was able to connect with members of the Real Pork Scholars program face-to-face, in what is traditionally an online program. Other speakers at the conference included Bill Even, Chief Executive Officer of the National Pork Board, and Ray Starling, President of the North Carolina Chamber Legal Institute and author of Farmers Versus Foodies: A Look at the Outside Forces Forging the Future of Farming and Food. We hope these connections will yield fruitful collaborations in the coming years to expand the reach and impact of RPTC. 

 

Acknowledgments 

The authors would like to thank the National Pork Board for providing funding for Sanders and Proudman to speak at the 2023 Swine Education and Outreach Conference. 

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