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Global Interdependence in Agriculture. Communicating Effectively. Global Interdependence in Agriculture. GOAL To enhance the capacity of university faculty and staff to communicate effectively about global interdependence, cooperation, and development. . National Advisory Committee:

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global interdependence in agriculture

Global Interdependence in Agriculture

Communicating Effectively

global interdependence in agriculture1
Global Interdependence in Agriculture


  • To enhance the capacity of university faculty and staff to communicate effectively about global interdependence, cooperation, and development.


National Advisory Committee:

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Florida A&M University

Michigan State University

Pennsylvania State University

University of Florida

University of Minnesota

Washington State University

The Aspen Institute


global interdependence initiative
GlobalInterdependence Initiative:
  • What does this mean for the university community?

Extension -- Teaching -- Research

  • How can the findings of the GII project be adapted to meet the needs of our institutions and clientele?
  • Reviewed the GII findings and the Toolkit developed by the FrameWorks Institute
  • Developed a new tool:

“Global Interdependence in Agriculture: A User’s Guide for Effective Communication”

  • Sharing and testing this tool
communicating effectively
Communicating effectively...
  • articles
  • speeches
  • reports
  • presentations
  • program planning
  • partnerships
  • community outreach
we want to use frames that
We want to use frames that...
  • Convey a sense of respect for all peoples

and cultures

  • Promote cooperation
  • Motivate people to get involved
  • Dispel common myths:

--the U.S. does it all

--Americans are smarter

--it’s global mayhem out there

--U.S. aid is wasted

--aid only helps our competitors

talking agriculture exploring frames
Talking Agriculture...Exploring Frames

Moral Norms

  • Solving world hunger is the “right thing to do”
  • Making the world a better place for future generations


  • Agriculture and the environment are linked
  • Preserving the natural resource base for food production (soil, water, plant and animal species)
  • Preserving the environment for future generations

Adapted from Frameworks

Mentoring for Autonomy (not teachers)

Americans as mentors

Farmer to farmer

Utilizing U.S. expertise to solve global problems


Working together to ensure global food security

Partnerships between universities and agricultural and community groups

Common Groups

Farmers, agriculturists, rural, mountain, ethnic links

Adapted from FrameWorks

a new frame
A new frame ….

Mutual Benefits

  • Solving world hunger is a “win-win” scenario
  • International cooperation benefits developing countries AND the U.S.
Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development

50 case studies

mutual benefits

why this frame might work
Why this frame might work...
  • Describes the benefits in general terms -- not narrow self-interest
  • Can be used with moral norms frame

It’s okay to reap benefits as long as you’re “doing the right thing” too.

  • Fits well with other positive frames -- environment, partnership, mentoring
  • Dispels myth that aid only helps competitors
  • Emphasizes global interconnections
metaphors are an important part of frames
Metaphors are an important part of frames --
  • Part of our everyday communications
  • Packed with meaning and connections
  • Some frames are essentially defined by metaphors --

Countries as “neighbors” in the world “community.”


What does this metaphor tell us?

  • Nobody likes a nosy neighbor
  • Good fences make good neighbors
  • Neighbors help in times of crisis

To mobilize support in a crisis situation, the neighbor metaphor could be effective, but it does not elicit support for long-term engagement.

Adapted from FrameWorks

metaphor families

Identified by Cognitive Linguist, Pamela Morgan

  • Competition
  • Cooperation
  • Interconnection
competition metaphors
Competition Metaphors
  • Two or more competitors reaching for the same goal; only one can win
  • races, combat, war, team sports, winners and losers, predators and prey.
  • don’t promote cooperative or global systems thinking; promote self-interest frame

A senior U.S. diplomat resigning his post due to opposition to war with Iraq:

“My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.”

cooperation metaphors
Involve two or more entities that choose to work together to attain the desired goal

family, friends, team players, partnerships, community groups

promotes cooperative thinking

consider the implications of each metaphor

“It’s time for a global barn-raising”

Cooperation Metaphors
interconnection metaphors
Interconnection Metaphors
  • All parts are equally important and necessary to the whole
  • people, animals, plants, environment, machines, buildings, fabrics, webs, networks
  • Leads to “systems” thinking -- global connections


interconnection metaphors1
Interconnection Metaphors
  • Sowing the seeds of promise
  • Harvesting the fruits of our labors
  • Planting, growing, cultivating, etc.
  • Weaving fabric of a global society
  • Pieces of a quilt
  • Building a strong foundation
  • Web of life
  • Circles, wheels, networks
message checklist
  • Begin with words or visuals that highlight the global environment and get people thinking about interconnected systems. Segue into your specific topic.
message checklist1
Message Checklist
  • Appeal to moral values and the desire to make the world a better place now and for future generations. This is a powerful frame that can set the stage for the discussion of specific issues.
message checklist2
Message Checklist
  • Try out the mutual benefits frame.

Explore the benefits to all parties and draw connections between them.

message checklist3
Message Checklist
  • Pay attention to your metaphors - use cooperation and interconnection metaphors rather than competition metaphors.
  • Agriculture as a global system
  • planting, seeds, growing, cultivating, harvesting, fertilizing (interconnection, living system metaphors)
message checklist4
Message Checklist

Define the situation:

  • Clearly state the problem
  • Show the big picture
  • Identify a solution or opportunities to improve the situation
  • Identify host country problem-solvers
  • Clarify who is responsible for fixing the situation
message checklist5
Message Checklist
  • Focus on your role as a partner or mentor. Avoid reinforcing the idea that the “U.S. does it all.”
  • Highlight the good work of host country communities and work groups.




the listener hears
The listener hears...
  • Whew -- the problem is solved,

end of story

  • Individual problem requiring an individual response
  • Incompetent/uneducated mother
  • American saves the day
what the listener did not hear
What the listener did not hear...
  • The big picture -- the large issue:
    • scope of problem --how widespread?
    • lack of basic health services
    • education issues
    • lack of opportunities for young women
    • access to clean water
    • impact of marketing infant formula in poor countries
  • Solutions -- what could be done on a community level to solve the problem?
  • Local people helping to solve problems
message checklist6
Message Checklist
  • Talk about “global” rather than “foreign” issues, emphasizing connections rather than differences. Use caution with the term “globalization” -- a very charged term.
  • Emphasize similarities -- avoid dwelling on the exotic.
message checklist7
Message Checklist
  • Replace the unwanted frame --

don’t deny it.

When you counter a perception or frame, present your case without restating (and reinforcing) the false perception or unwanted frame.

“It is a common perception that helping farmers in poor countries grow soybeans or vegetables, results in increased competition for American farmers, but that isn’t necessarily true…”

“Watching the nightly news, one gets the impression that the world is just one big dangerous and chaotic place, and there is little we can do to make it better. This just isn’t true…”

message checklist8
Message Checklist
  • Make sure visuals, titles, announcements

reinforce positive frames.

message checklist9
Message Checklist
  • Explain numbers in terms that the audience will understand and can relate to situations in their everyday lives.

For approximately $7 billion we could make basic education accessible to every child in the world


For less than the price of what Americans spend each year on cosmetics, we could make basic education accessible to every child in the world. (FrameWorks)
  • Nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.00/day -- the price of your morning coffee and donut.
  • A $4.00 mosquito net can prevent millions of people from contracting malaria. Yet, that $4.00 is out of reach for most of those who need it. To us it is a meal at McDonalds; to them it is two full days’ wages. (FrameWorks)
message checklist10
Message Checklist
  • Tell people how they can get involved or get more information about a particular project, university efforts, or global issues in general.

Global Interdependence in Agriculture: