Live Green and Prosper Community Education and Outreach Initiative

Final Report for CS10-077

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2010: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Principal Investigator:
Erica Duarte
Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council - WCTE
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Project Information

Abstract:

The Live Green and Prosper Community Education and Outreach Initiative began in September 2009. The initiative has allowed WCTE to become a trusted partner in the agricultural community by creating links between community organizations directly involved in sustainable agriculture, community leaders, government agencies, and local farmers. During the second phase of the initiative, it was our goal to use the partnerships we have formed as a platform to further strengthen the connections we’ve made. With the grant received from SARE, WCTE was able to continue to be an active resource working to advance economic sustainability for family farmers by teaching regional agriculture producers about digital media and free public media resources as well as teaching a new generation of young people to support the local food movement through our on air broadcast of Live Green Tennessee; our distribution of the Local Table magazine as a print media resource; and by our community outreach efforts.

Introduction

WCTE has just completed the second phase of a five year initiative with the purpose of working with community partners to expand local markets, raise consumer awareness, and advance economic sustainability for agriculture industries thusly impacting communities in rural Tennessee.

The focus of this project was to utilize WCTE’s produced series Live Green Tennessee and its subsidiary website, Facebook, You Tube, and print media resources to do direct marketing of agriculture commodities and green/renewable technology throughout the State of Tennessee. Furthermore the project was designed to teach local farmers how to use online digital media and social media in marketing.

Broadcast & Print Media:
WCTE worked with agricultural related organizations (Tennessee Department of Agriculture: Pick Tennessee Products, Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program, UT Extension, Tennessee Farm Fresh, and Tennessee Technological University’s College of Agriculture) to produce stories showcasing local producers and themes associated with agriculture for the program, Live Green Tennessee, produced by WCTE and broadcast free throughout Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky in digital transmission via antenna, cable and satellite network providers reaching WCTE’s broadcast audience of 1.3 million people. WCTE worked with Lisa Shively publisher of the magazine Local Table: a guide to food and farming in Middle Tennessee as a print media resource. WCTE utilized this resource for promotion of local agriculture and distributed the magazines free during all education and outreach events. Furthermore, WCTE utilized our own program guide Close Up for the same purpose and also distributed the magazines free during all education and outreach events.

Online Digital Media:
WCTE developed the initiative as a multi media campaign utilizing local farmers to produce “Life as a Farmer” stories about agriculture in rural Middle Tennessee. WCTE worked with Tennessee Technological University’s Business Media Center, USDA Rural Development and Lisa Shively Publisher of Local Table magazine in the establishment of a two courses to teach local agricultural producers how to utilize digital/social media in advertising and marketing.

“Life as a Farmer”
By working with Lisa Shively, producer of the Local Table, WCTE selected six farmers to be the pilot group of farmers who took the first digital media class. Each farmer was given a flip video camcorder and was provided with free training courses that taught the use of the camcorder and the online You Tube Video Editor.

“Digital Media for Farmers”
Building on the work WCTE did with the “Life as Farmer” group we were able to create a second workshop for farmers that focused on the study and practice of how to use social media for marketing. Students learned introductory skills using Facebook as a marketing tool.

Project Objectives:
  • Create stronger links between producers, key consumers and resources on a local level through an effective network of community partners mobilized through WCTE.
    Create innovative content and publish it through digital media platforms (website, Facebook, You Tube, and broadcast/print media outreach to make agriculture visible within the community.
    Be an active educational resource working to advance economic sustainability for agricultural producers by teaching them about digital media and how to utilize digital media in marketing and advertising.
    Grow both the initiative and the understanding of sustainable agriculture by recruiting a new generation of local foods enthusiasts.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Jimmy Allan
  • Scott Chadwell
  • Billy Foster
  • Beverly Hall
  • Hal Harder
  • Melinda Keifer
  • Cynthia Kent
  • Becky Magura
  • Bonnie Massa
  • Wayne Moss
  • Kelsey Scott
  • Lisa Shively
  • Mark Shuart
  • Jamie Trevathan
  • Wendy Williams

Research

Materials and methods:
  • WCTE PBS held quarterly Partner Meetings in January, April, July, and October.
    Through direct links and feeds, WCTE was able to automatically share fresh content from our partners and other sources around the web with the WCTE/livegreen website.
    Utilized partner Lisa Shivley (Publisher of Local Table Magazine) to obtain the pilot group of agricultural producers for “Life as a Farmer” and “Digital Media for Farmers” classes.
    Educated producers about online direct marketing techniques by holding digital media based classes for agriculture producers.
    Made using multi-media as simple and easy as possible by creating an instructional tutorial/manual.
    Utilized local, state and community agricultural organizations to obtain local producer/agriculture related stories for the twelve episode educational broadcast of Live Green Tennessee season three.
    Used social media platforms to distribute original content and build connections and relationships between consumers, producers, public services, teachers, parents, young adults, kids, and other PBS stations.
    Used the WCTE/livegreen website to feature the stories of community based organization leaders and individuals by hosting embedded video segments from our Live Green Tennessee series and our farmer produced “Life as a Farmer” segments.
    Worked with Lisa Shively (publisher Local Table) to distribute the Local Table Magazine free throughout our community.
    Distributed agricultural video segments throughout WCTE’s multi-media network; website, Facebook and You Tube.
Research results and discussion:

WCTE continued to expand our promotion of agriculture into our live broadcasts and community events.

WCTE raised consumer awareness about local agriculture by distributing the locally produced magazine: Local Table a guide to food and farming in Middle Tennessee and the WCTE Close Up Programming Guide free during all community events attended by WCTE’s education and outreach team.

Community Events Included:
The Upper Cumberland Home & Garden Show
Annual USDA Rural Development Conference
Living Well Festival
Earth Day Festival
Ad Day on Capitol Hill
Jammin at Hippie Jack’s Music Festival
Nature Fest
Windows on the World Festival
Stations of Imagination Festival
Komen Upper Cumberland for the Cure Race Day exhibit
NETA (National Educational Telecommunication Association) Annual Conference

Life of a Farmer classes began March 24, 2011 with an initial four hour training session. Next sessions were held May 2, 2011, and September 6, 2011. During this course WCTE trained a pilot group of six farmers to use Flip Video camcorders and upload videos to You Tube.

Digital Media for Farmers Class was held November 17, 2011. During this class WCTE taught a group of farmers how to use Facebook in marketing their business.

QUANTITATIVE DATA:
WCTE taught 10 farmers how to utilize online digital media.
WCTE produced 12 half hour Live Green Tennessee programs and broadcast those programs to approximately 80% of the Tennessee television audience. Each program featured segments and interviews with local agriculture producers, agritourism destinations, local farmers markets, healthy food preparation, and/or green renewable technology.
WCTE handed out over 600 cooler bags during the educational outreach portion of promotion for local agriculture.
WCTE handed out over 6,000 Close Up Program Guide and over 8,000 Local Table Magazines throughout the Upper Cumberland January 2011 – December 2011.
704 views to videos on the Life as a Farmer You Tube site, but more importantly; the farmers who attended this seminar learned how to create their own You Tube channels to market their farming businesses.
WCTE live green website received over 6,000 page views January 2011 - December 2011.

Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

Participation Summary:

Education/outreach description:
  • Local Table: Guide to Food and Farming in Middle Tennessee
    WCTE Close Up Program Guide
    Cooler Bags with SARE logo
    Life as a Farmer You Tube Operations Manual
    Digital Media for Farmers Class Manual
    Produced and Broadcast twelve episodes of program Live Green Tennessee
    www.WCTE .org/livegreen
    www.youtube.com/user/WCTEFarmer?feature=mhee

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:
With this project, WCTE was able to:
  1. Connect producers, consumers and resources on a local level through an effective network of community partners mobilized through WCTE.
    Make local foods visible within the community through promotion/advertising methods, including online, and the television program Live Green Tennessee.

    Teach important marketing techniques in online marketing to local agriculture producers/farmers.

    Raise awareness of the advantages of communities producing and buying their own food that go beyond taste and freshness to include; economic advantages of circulating money locally, decreasing the use of fossil fuels/foreign oil, and preserving farmland and the protection of natural resources.

    Grow both the initiative and the understanding of sustainable agriculture by recruiting a new generation of local foods enthusiasts.

Recommendations:

Potential Contributions

The resources available to us through our community partners are paramount. We could not continue this work without community partners guiding us and including us in the agricultural that is happening in the region.

The following partner organizations contributed to the success of this project:
SARE
Tennessee Technological University (TTU) College of Agriculture/Waters Organic Vegetable Farm and Oakley Meat Farm
TTU Business Media Center
USDA Rural Development
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Local Table Magazine: A Guide to Food and Farming in Middle Tennessee
UT Agriculture Extension Office
Tennessee Department of Agriculture: Pick Tennessee Products
Farm Bureau: Farm Fresh Program

Future Recommendations

On air, online, in print and in the community, WCTE is our region's premier storyteller and convener. WCTE is the ONLY television station, public or commercial, in a 75-mile radius of Cookeville, TN, making it a strategic partner with education, health services, government, arts and music. WCTE's signal reaches 1.3 million throughout middle Tennessee with over the air broadcast, cable and satellite services. With a 30+ year history of service to the Upper Cumberland and all of middle Tennessee, WCTE partners with leaders in local education, business, agriculture, economic development, public safety, music, art, theatre, athletics and tourism to provide much needed resources to the citizens we serve. It is our future recommendation that public television always be a funding priority so that we may continue to serve the people in our communities.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.