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Lindsey George Huseman


									Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

Section:      Ag communications

Unit:         Risk/crisis communication

Outline – Based on block schedule with 90 minute class periods

Day 1: Barriers to good communication

Day 2: Risk communication

Day 3: Crisis communication

Day 4: Career interview

Day 5: Project work

Day 6: Presentations

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 1
Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

Section:      Ag communications

Unit:         Risk/crisis communication

Lesson:       Lesson 1: Barriers to good communication

Student Learning Objectives:
   - Students will identify the eight barriers to communication.
   - Students will analyze a conversation about an agricultural industry crisis.
   - Students will define empathy.
   - Students will demonstrate phrases that express empathy.

Time:         90 minutes

Tools, Equipment, and Supplies:
   - PowerPoint presentation with notes
   - Conflict skit scripts, 4 total copies
   - Conflict video - optional

Key Terms:
   - Jargon
   - Selective reporting
   - Empathy

Cauble, Betsy and Janice Dinkel. Guest Lecture. Food Safety and Security: An
Interdisciplinary Approach course. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. 1 June 2009.

Reardon, Mark. Keynote Address. K-ACTE Summer Conference. Hyatt Hotel, Wichita, KS. 4
August 2009.

Derner, Seth and Mark Reardon. Strategies for Great Teaching: Maximize Learning Moments.
Chicago: Zephyr Press, 2004.

LIfeKnowledge V2.0. Lesson HS.59. Demonstrating Empathy.

Interest Approach:
This is modeled after the e-moment used by Mark Reardon “the men of tal” activity. For each of
the 8 barriers, tell the students the number and the phrase with actions. They need to repeat the
words and actions. After a couple, you should review them by going back to the place in the
room where number one was started.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 2
   1. Iggy the iguana is the number one exhibit at the zoo. A new exhibit, made up of blue
      herons called Sel and Tiv just moved in beside Iggy. They have been keeping him up all
      night. The iguana is losing so much sleep at night that a student, after visiting the zoo,
      titled their paper, Ig Snoring during the exhibit information session. For this one, I would
      create an action for iguana; hold up one finger for number one, maybe one for blue
      herons. Sel and Tiv combine to sound like selective hearing (heron).

   2. A man is in his kitchen and he is hungry. He decides to make two PB &J sandwiches…
      He goes to the cabinet but it is bare, he shouts: Why is the jar gone? What does this
      mean? Actions here might be rubbing the stomach, holding up 2 fingers, opening the
      cabinets…jar gone = jargon.

   3. Aladdin has been a successful leader. He now rules over three cities. His favorite is the
      city of Simp. Last night, he surprised Jasmine by showing up at her window with the
      magic flying carpet. She climbs aboard for the night drive. Aladdin shouts: over simp
      we fly! Actions here could be a royal bow or curtsy, showing three fingers, and making
      a flying action. Over simp we fly = oversimplify.

   4. The local news reporter says the world is coming to an end. It is going to be too cold and
      too hot tomorrow. He reports about four car accidents, four robberies, and four murders.
      There is no good news today… I would use actions for too cold and too hot as well as
      holding up 4 fingers. This is all to symbolize focusing on the negative.

   5. King Louie is very old and wise. His grandson is only five years old. Louie tries to teach
      him about Einstein’s theory of relativity. The five year old only wants to watch cartoons.
      For old and wise, you might make an action like an owl or maybe glasses, show five
      fingers, and possible a remote control action. All of this is to symbolize a difference in

   6. The general won six battles in a row. His soldiers all consider him to be a hero. The
      headlines in the paper read – War over, general zings the enemy away. Actions here
      would be holding up six fingers, bowing or posing like a hero, throwing something for
      zings. Over general zings = over generalizing.

   7. A car owner notices that his el camino is making a funny noise and smoke is rolling out
      from under the hood. It dies on the side of Seventh Street. He walks to the Chevy
      dealership and buys a new truck. The next day, President Obama announces the cash for
      clunkers program. He could have saved a lot of money if only it had been sooner.
      Actions could be driving a car, smoke swirling, walking, show me the money, etc. This
      story represents poor timing.

   8. A convict sits in his jail cell. Suddenly a big, hairy, 8-legged spider lands on his head.
      The con flicks the spider away. Actions here could be to illustrate a spider dropping and
      flicking it away… con click = conflict.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 3
When you have made it through all 8 and reviewed them…
Find a partner and practice all eight. Give the students just a couple of minutes.

Great. It looks like you are really getting this. Now, on a piece of paper, draw a large circle.
You should number it like a clock, only using numbers 1-8. Show the students an example on
the board or using the PowerPoint.

Next, beside each number, draw an image that symbolizes each of our eight phrases. This
picture should help you remember the phrase. When it looks like students are ready to move

Share your drawings with those sitting beside you. Only allow a couple of minutes…

Summary of Content and Teaching Strategies:
Today we will be discussing communication. I realize this is a big surprise since this is ag
communications class… We will start with a skit. I need three volunteers. You may want to
take your volunteers to the hall to brief them, but it may also be possible to jump right in. I like
to give students props or costumes to help them get into the roles. As the instructor, I will play
the farmer/rancher. One student is the narrator and the other two students together can be
representatives from the animal health department. Give each student a script. Try very hard to
entertain the audience.

Following the skit, lead a discussion about what went wrong during the exchange.

(Alternative: if you have access to a video OR can make one: We will start with a video. As
you watch this video, you should think about what went wrong during the conversation shared by
the two people. Show the students the video illustrating a beef producer finding out that there is
a case of BSE and his herd is affected. Following the video, lead a discussion about what went
wrong during the exchange.)

Following the discussion, present the following information by using either PowerPoint or the
board. While covering this, reference situations in the video or even real life experiences.

Slide 1, 2: There are 8 barriers to good communication.
    1. Ignoring information and selective reporting: sometimes selective hearing
    2. Use of jargon: confusing, FFA jargon
    3. Oversimplifying: versus complex thoughts and ideas, context, relationship
    4. Focusing on negative: people give more weight to negative – just watch the news
    5. Different status of the sender and receivers
    6. Over generalizing: done without looking at all information
    7. Poor timing: affects positive and negative how a message is received
    8. Conflict: individuals misunderstand each other, can be managed

These are things that we all need to consider when communicating – not just with agriculture,
with anything.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 4
It is important for communicators to exhibit empathy. What is empathy?

For a second, close your eyes… and picture a baby that is just learning how to walk. The baby
falls, nothing serious, just a gentle fall on the very cushioned diaper. The baby is not hurt and
begins to go on its way… until it looks at his mother and sees the concern on her face. The baby
begins to cry. This mother has just shown sympathy. Who can give us an example of a
sympathetic approach to the baby? Examples can include: panic, oh, gasping, etc.

An empathetic response to the baby’s fall, on the other hand, is one of understanding and
encouragement. A result of this statement usually reassures the child and ends in the baby
thinking about it and then carrying on their activity. Who could give us an example of this type
of response? Answer might include: oops, your ok, bonk, let’s try it again, These are said with a
smile and upbeat voice.

Sympathy and empathy are both ways to react to other people. Both are positive human
behaviors. However, in many circumstances, including the example in our video, empathy
actually helps people more than sympathy. In our story, sympathy made the baby feels as if the
incident was worse than it really was.

Here are a few notes for your notebooks:

Slide 3: Definition
    - Empathy is being able to understand people’s feelings and situations without involving

When you approach someone, the first words out of your mouth determine if you are being
empathetic. Sometimes emotions are hard to control when someone is going through rough
times. We are going to look at how to start conversations on an empathetic note that shows
understanding, but also encouragement.

Slide 4: Phrases that show empathy
    - I see
    - I realize
    - I know
    - I imagine
    - It appears
    - It looks like
    - I appreciate
    - It seems
    - I understand
    - I am aware

Let’s pretend that we have two friends. One has stubbed his toe and the other did not make the
cheerleading team that she tried out for. In your notes, respond to each of these situations with
empathetic phrases. Give the students some time… some examples are: I see that your toe hurts,

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 5
would you like to ride to lunch with me? I know that you are upset about not making the team,
but now you will have more time for FFA and basketball.

If time allows, you may also have the students practice being empathetic by dividing them into
partners, and having each student draw a situation from a hat. This could also be done during
the next class period as a review/interest approach.

Party Host “Who’s Line is it” e-moment
To review our information from today’s lesson, we will be playing “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?”
Has anyone seen this show? … Tell us about your favorite part. Today we’re going to use one of
my favorite parts called the Party Host. Here is how it works: one person will serve as our party
host. The goal of the host is to determine who the guests are. Individually, our guests will enter
the room illustrating a barrier of communication. Our party host will need to guess which barrier
they are by asking questions and interacting with the guests. Who would like to be the first host?

Position the party host in the front of the room. Take 4 students to the hallway to give them
instructions and their assigned barrier. Allow these students a couple of minutes to think about
what they are going to say… You may want to play music in the classroom to give it more of a
“party” feel. When all participants are ready, the host will greet each guest at the door, visit
with them for a minute, and then another guest will enter. For more information, read about the
party host e-moment in Mark Reardon’s book, Great Strategies for Teaching.
Let’s being our party. Please get guest one. Proceed until all guests are in the room.

Party host, which communication barriers have came to your party as guests?

Continue this until you have covered all barriers or until all students have been able to
participate. It may be repeated multiple times.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 6
Communication Barriers Skit Script

Narrator: A farmer is minding his own business on his beautiful farm. He is watching the cows
graze on the green pastures. Suddenly…      AHD Reps bust in the door, LOUDLY.

Rep 1: Mr. Farmer, we have a problem. One of your cows tested positive for BSE and we are
going to have to shut you down.

Rep 2: Yes, sir, this is a big problem.

Farmer: What do you mean that you tested one of my cows? And, the test was positive?

Rep 2: That’s exactly what we mean.

Rep 1: We are going to have to quarantine your herd and possibly put them all down.

Farmer: You will do no such thing. What gives you the right to come onto my property and tell
me what you are going to do with my animals?

Rep 1: We are from the Animal Health Department. We take our orders from the governor.

Rep 2: We even get to wear these neat badges.

Rep 1: So, sir, if you don’t mind we would like to take a look around your facilities.

Farmer: Mind?!?!? Of course I mind. No government employee is going to come on to my farm
and take away my animals. Can you prove that it was my cow? What if she contracted BSE
from somewhere else after she left my farm? No… you are not going anywhere.

Rep 1: Mr. Farmer, we are just here to do our jobs. We are on the verge of a major
catastrophe… this could be the beginning of the end of beef industry as we know it.

Rep 2: Sad day…. Wipes tears from eyes.

Farmer: No, you are not going any further. Get off of my property before I throw you off…
better yet, before I chase you off with my badge… my .22.

Rep 1: We have orders to check this place out so that we can get some information…

Farmer: No, No, No. You are done here. Leave! Start getting physical.

Rep 2: I don’t get paid enough to wear the badge today. I’m out of here.

Rep 1: Fine, but we’ll be back.

Narrator: Well, that looks like it went well.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 7
Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

Section:       Ag communications

Unit:          Risk/crisis communication

Lesson:        Lesson 2: Risk communication

Student Learning Objectives:
   - Students will define risk.
   - Students will identify and list several risks associated with agriculture.
   - Students will examine the need for risk communications.
   - Students will practice the CAUSE model.

Time: 90 minutes

Tools, Equipment, and Supplies:
   - PowerPoint for notes
   - Six pieces of paper with a crisis event such as BSE, FMD, Avian Flu, etc. on each,
       hidden around the room
   - Assortment of ag magazines OR access to the internet for each student

Key Terms:
   - Risk
   - Risk communication

Boone, Dr. Kristina. Guest lecture. Food Safety and Security: An Interdisciplinary Approach
course. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. 1 June 2009.

Derner, Seth and Mark Reardon. Strategies for Great Teaching: Maximize Learning Moments.
Chicago: Zephyr Press, 2004.

Interest approach:
Go Get It Moment

Around the room are six slips of paper that are pink. As a class, you will have two minutes to
locate all six slips of paper and to brainstorm what these phrases have in common.

Give students time to locate the papers and to work together to find things that these phrases
have in common.

All are examples of events that negatively impact agriculture. In ag communications, not all
stories have a happy ending; just watch the evening news when you get home today. Many
individuals in the field of ag communications spend their time educating the public about risks
and battling negative press.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 8
Summary of Content and Teaching Strategies:
Let’s take a few notes to help us better understand risk in the agriculture industry.

Use the PowerPoint or board to make it easier for students to record notes.

Slide 1:Risk
    - Definition: A social constructed concept, hazard exists, ex: uncooked meat; however,
        my feelings determine what I consider to be a risk
    - Can be a precursor to a crisis
    - Can be large or small issue: Avian flu or feedlot odor
    - Risk is a function of hazard x outrage

Slide 2:
    - “Risk communication is the exchange of information among interested parties about the
        nature, magnitude, significance or control of a risk.” H. Dan O’Hair
            o Nature refers to how it works
            o Magnitude refers to how wide spread it is
            o Significance might refer to if it causes an illness or cause economic loss

Slide 3:
    - “Risk communicators need an understanding of communications as a problem-solving
        process.” Kathy Rowan
    - Risk communicators need to listen to the needs of people to give them the information
        that they want and need.

Slide 4:Example of differing views
    - Scientists ranking of food risk: 1 Excessive caloric intake, 2 Microbiological
        contamination, and 3 Natural toxicants.
    - Consumers Ranking of Food risk: 1 Pesticide residue, 2 Food additives that are both
        scientifically low hazards

Slide 5: General perceptions of risk
    - Less risk is associated with:
          o Risk we choose or for which we volunteer
          o Natural risk Natural poison
          o More familiar tasks putting gas in car
          o Less media coverage of it
          o Event far away
    - More control equals less risk

The remainder of the notes could be given using the Little Professor E-moment if time allows.
Time for a small break. Our class is about to become super heroes. Some will be batman – go
ahead and let’s practice flying like batman. Students can do this sitting or standing – just get
them moving a bit. But, not everyone can be batman…instead some will be Spiderman. What
does Spiderman do? Get some suggestions from the students for an action and then the entire
class will do this. To determine which superhero you will be, everyone has 15 seconds to find a

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 9
partner and decide which one of you will be superman and who will be Spiderman. Find those
super partners!

Great. Raise your hand if you are Spiderman. How about batman? I’m going to spend some
time visiting with the batmen of the class. So, Spiderman, you should read your AR book. You
should NOT listen to anything that I am saying. This will be challenging, but block me out.

Batmen, we are going to be taking a few notes. You need to pay close attention to the material.

Slide 6: Rick communicators should use the
    - CAUSE Model
           o Confidence
           o Awareness
           o Understanding
           o Satisfaction
           o Enactment

Slide 7: Confidence
    - The public needs to be confident in the communicator or the organization providing
            o Greatest determinant is concern expressed or empathy or compassion
            o Other determinants include honesty, involvement and expertise

Slide 8: Awareness
    - Are people aware of the hazard or danger?
          o In some cases, strong risk communications should heighten concern – i.e. raise
             awareness to the appropriate level
          o Traditionally, risk communication has been used to calm fears

Now, batmen, here is your test. Using your knowledge and notes, teach Spiderman about the
three slides we have covered. They need to record the information in their notes. Spiderman,
please join us again. Superheroes, share your knowledge!

Allow students about 3 minutes to cover the information. You may want to go back over the
three slides quickly to ensure that the students get the notes that they desire.

Now it is time to switch superhero roles. Batmen, you have a break. Please read your AR books
and tune me out. Spiderman, we will cover some material, which you need to take notes so that
you can teach your partner.

Slide 9: Understanding
    - Does the message make sense?
          o This is very audience driven. Some messages may make sense to us, but not to
          o Illustrates the importance of listening to the public.
          o Avoid using jargon – define the meanings and give examples

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 10
           o To further define, develop visual aids and explain them

Slide 10: Satisfaction
    - A satisfactory solution may involve the acceptance of some risk as well as measures that
        people can introduce to reduce risk. Self-efficacy

Slide 11: Enactment
If a solution is satisfactory and the person is motivated to use it, he or she enacts the solution.
     - People are motivated to either control the danger or control their fear.

Spiderman, time for your test. Using your knowledge and notes, teach batman about the last
three parts of the CAUSE model. They need to record this information in their notes.

Again, allow the students 3 minutes or more if needed. Review the slides to ensure that students
have gotten all needed material.

There will always be risk subjects and crises will occur. How they are dealt with will affect the
public’s perception.

Your assignment for next class period is to locate an article that educates the public about a
potential risk in the agriculture industry using our classroom magazines. You need to read the
article and compose a one-paragraph summary of the article. Remember to read and summarize
in your own words, not the authors. This is due at the beginning of the next class period. You
will have time today in class to work on it and we complete our review.

Carousel review

When I say “review”, each of you will find a partner. You will form a circle with the other
groups in the class. Our inside circle, will be facing out. The outside circle will be facing in.
What questions do you have? Review! You made need to help direct the students…

Today we learned about the CAUSE model and how can improve communication. There were
five parts to this model. With your partner, list these five parts. Wait for them to talk… then call
on one student to share their answers.

Outside circle, rotate one person to the right. Discuss the meaning of enactment as it relates to
the CAUSE model. Wait…… then have one student share.

Inside circle, rotate one person to the right. Discuss with your new partner, examples of jargon.

Continue the review as time allows. You can use questions from today’s lesson as well as
questions from the previous lesson.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 11
Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

Section:       Ag communications

Unit:          Risk/crisis communication

Lesson:        Lesson 3: Crisis communication

Student Learning Objectives:
   - Students will explain why crisis causes anxiety.
   - Students will assess vulnerabilities of the agriculture industry.

Time:          90 minutes

Tools, Equipment, and Supplies:
   - PowerPoint for notes
   - Set-up skype interview with Audrey Monroe for next class period. Her email is:
   - Video clips of crisis in the news – see examples in the lesson plan

Key Terms:
   - Crisis communication
   - Vulnerabilities

Boone, Dr. Kristina. Guest lecture. Food Safety and Security: An Interdisciplinary Approach
course. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. 1 June 2009.

Derner, Seth and Mark Reardon. Strategies for Great Teaching: Maximize Learning Moments.
Chicago: Zephyr Press, 2004.

Monroe, Audrey. E-mail interview. 7 August 2009.

Interest Approach:
Begin the class by showing a series of short clips including news footage from 9/11, FMD
outbreak in England, etc. I have used You Tube to locate these. I have searched for Walter
Cronkite announces death of JFK, 9-11 Fox News Complete Coverage, news + foot and mouth
disease, etc.

The video clips that you just watched are all examples of crisis. Remember last time that we
discussed risk and the fact that crisis will occur – they are unavoidable. Today we are going to
focus on communicating after a crisis has occurred.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 12
Summary of Content and Teaching Strategies:
We will start by recording a few notes in your notebooks.

Use the PowerPoint or board to record notes for the students.

Slide 1: Crisis creates anxiety
    - Why? Because of uncertainty
    - Some is our own b/c we don’t know everything – others will be greater

Slide 2: It is important to plan for crisis communication
    - Crisis will occur, guaranteed
    - Time/coordination will be improved. Response will be quicker and the plan will help.
    - May prevent or reduce severity of crisis if communicated well

Slide 3: Assess vulnerabilities
    - Where is the risk?
    - List potential crises, how they could impact the company/group, and what procedures the
        team should follow if crisis occurs

Slide 4: Coordinate
    - Identify resources
    - Collaborate with trusted partners
    - Create contact sheets

Slide 5: Accept uncertainty
    - This is intensified with poor communication in and outside of the company
    - Not listening to needs
    - No awareness or planning for crisis
    - Planning will decrease uncertainty

Slide 6:
    - Providing the public with information does not cause panic
    - Withholding information increases uncertainty and leads to panic
    - No comment is not an option

Slide 7:
    - Be open and honest, communicate concern
    - Acknowledge emotions
    - Give audiences something meaningful to do
    - Create messages that are accessible, understandable, and empathetic

Slide 8: Checklist for messages
    - Strive for absolute candor
    - Apologize for misbehavior
    - Acknowledge uncertainty
    - Acknowledge diversity of opinion

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 13
   -   Share dilemmas
   -   Don’t over reassure
   -   Treat emotions as legitimate
   -   Establish your own humanity
   -   Offer people things to do
   -   Stop worrying about panic

Next class period, you will have the opportunity to meet and interview a person that has a career
based on crisis communication. Audrey Monroe works for the NCBA, National Cattleman’s
Beef Association. Anytime those crises occur, whether it is a beef recall, ecoli outbreak or BSE,
she responds by putting together education information for the media. She was a former Kansas
FFA Member – she went to school at Erie High School… attended K-State and majored in
agricultural communications. She has spent the last three years in Denver with NCBA.

She is a wealth of knowledge about the ag industry and crisis communication.

Your final assignment for the unit will be to create a press release and a television broadcast in
response to an assigned crisis. With this in mind, due at the end of the period today, compose 10
questions that you can ask Mrs. Monroe. These can pertain to her job, exciting experiences that
she has had, and you may even want to ask for advice about putting your final project together. I
like having students submit the questions ahead of time so that I can read them and make
suggestions for clarification. Plus, this ensures that they have something prepared so that their
time with Audrey is best utilized.

Using your notes from today, create an eye-appealing poster that gives helpful hints for crisis
communication. Use the comic life program on your computer. You need to include at least five

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 14
Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

Section:       Ag communications

Unit:          Risk/crisis communication

Lesson:        Lesson 4: A career in ag communications

Student Learning Objectives:
   - Students will perform an interview with a professional in the agricultural
      communications industry.
   - Students will use interviewing to gather information.

Time:          90 minutes

Tools, Equipment, and Supplies:
   - Access to internet and skype with Audrey Monroe - Her email is:
   - Audio speakers for the computer for the interview
   - Copies of the final project handouts

Key Terms:


Special Notes: I plan to teach this unit in the spring. My students will have already learned
about writing press releases and practiced this skill many times prior to this unit.

Interest Approach:

Summary of Content and Teaching Strategies:

It is time for our interview. Audrey will start out by telling you a little about herself and her job.
Then, we will open it up for questions. When it is your turn to speak, be sure to introduce
yourself and then ask your questions. Speak very clearly. When you are finished, be sure to
thank Audrey for her help. If you think of another question during this time, please feel free to
ask it. Are their any questions before we get started?

Connect the skype with Audrey. Practice this ahead of time!!! If skype is not accessible,
telephone or email could be used…. The interview will vary in time depending on the number of
students in the class…..

After the interview…. Have the class compose a thank you to send to your guest speaker.

I hope that you have learned much from your interview. I would like to go over the final project
instructions and then you will have an assignment to complete in class dealing with today’s

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 15
Go over the instructions for the project. Discuss any questions that the students may have….

You will have time today and the entire period next time to work on this assignment. These will
be due:                              .

Your in class assignment today is to answer these questions about your interview with Audrey
using complete sentences. You can either post these on the board or put them into a handout. If
you utilize moodle, you could have the students submit their answers online!

   1.   What would you enjoy about Audrey’s job?
   2.   What surprised you the most from the interview?
   3.   What do you think is the hardest part of crisis communication?
   4.   What did you learn today that would help you with the final project?
   5.   After thinking about the interview, if you could ask Audrey one other question, what
        would it be?

As students turn in their assignment, you may allow them to draw their topic for the final project.
You may choose to allow a small number of students to have the same topic, or you may want
each student to have a different one. Some ideas include: A confirmed case of BSE at the local
packing plant, a lunch meat recall, ecoli outbreak at a local restaurant, confirmed case of
salmonella, confirmed case of foot and mouth disease, etc.

From Audrey about her job:
Most of what I do is issue communication (for example, animal welfare, environmental
sustainability, E. coli O157:H7, beef nutrition, etc.). Mainly reactive (aka, negative) issues. Part
of what I do, however, is crisis communication. For example, the beef recall from the Hallmark-
Westland Meat Packing Company in February 2008 was a crisis communication situation. Also,
crisis communication encompasses BSE and FMD, should these animal diseases again become
an issue.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 16
Audrey’s job description:

                             Associate Director, Issues Communication
                            National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

Reports To: Director, Issues and Reputation Management (based in Denver office)

General Responsibilities
The Manager, Issues Communication is responsible for researching, analyzing and communicating a
wide range of issue information to assist NCBA staff and stakeholders. Specifically, the Manager provides
counsel, communication tools and background information to support state partner issue response and
management efforts. The Manager works with a broad cross-section of NCBA staff, third party experts
and agency partners to make information about critical beef issues accessible to industry and consumer
audiences. This position also is responsible for managing specific proactive issue projects from concept
to completion, including directing budget, vendor relationships and agency partnerships.

Specific Responsibilities
    Provides issue and response counsel to state beef council partners and to Issues and Reputation
        Management (IRM) team.
    Directs state issue response by providing recommendations, developing appropriate
        communication tools and training state partners on successful response techniques.
    Assists Vice President, Issues and Reputation Management in communicating issues information
        to state partner and stakeholder organizations by researching and writing issue alerts.
    Manages specific proactive issue projects. Project management includes directing budgets,
        vendor relationships and agency partnerships.
    Analyzes research reports and data for reporting to the appropriate NCBA teams and
        stakeholders; translates scientific and technical information into written resources for a variety of
        audiences including consumers, media and other influencers.
    Oversees creating and updating beef industry issue resources, including fact sheets, letters-to-
        the-editor, media talking points, FAQs.
    Assists in managing the team budget.
    Represents IRM on the Nutrition Strategy Team.
    Supports the Director, Issues and Reputation Management in successfully communicating with
        producer leadership.
    Provides communication counsel to support other NCBA initiatives.

Candidates must have:
    A proven track record of science and technical writing with at least three years experience as a
      writer, journalist or public relations practitioner and excellent, demonstrable writing and editing
    Demonstrated ability to think critically about a range of scientific subjects including nutrition,
      biology, animal science, human health and the environment.
    A bachelor’s degree in a relevant writing field (journalism, English, communications) or in a
      relevant scientific field (biology, nutrition, physiology, animal science).
    Experience working in a fast-paced, collaborative team environment and ability to get along well
      with all types of people.
    Experience in successfully managing multiple projects and priorities.
    Understanding of the Internet as a research and communications and issues management tool.
    Infrequent business travel may be required.

Preferences will be given to candidates with:
     Agricultural background and a working knowledge of the beef industry.
     Strong project management skills and crisis communication experience.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 17
Risk/crisis communication in agricultural communications final project

1. Press release
- You will draw for a topic. Your press release should respond to this
event. Your goal is to educate the public about what they should do. This
will require you to research on historical cases… you may get ideas from
other press releases. (Be sure to record these in your works cited page!)
- The press release needs to contain at least 200 words. There is no upper
limit on length.
- You need to follow APA format.
- You will be evaluated on content, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Be
sure to keep in mind the topics we covered during the unit. See the rubric
for more information.

2. Television broadcast
- 2 minutes in length (1:30-2:30)
- You will be serving as an expert who was asked to appear on the news to
explain the situation. (You will use the same topic for your broadcast).
- You do not need to turn in a written manuscript, but it would be helpful for
you to have one for your presentation. You may use note cards during the
- You will be evaluated on content and presentation. Be sure to keep in
mind the topics we covered, especially empathy. See the rubric for more

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 18
Press Release Rubric
Student Name:
CATEGORY       16                   12   8   0

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 19
Sentences &          Sentences and         All sentences are    Most sentences are    Many sentence
Paragraphs           paragraphs are        complete and well    complete and well     fragments or run-
                     complete, well        constructed (no      constructed.          on sentences OR
                     constructed and of    fragments, no run-   Paragraphing          paragraphing
                     varied structure.     ons). Paragraphing   needs some work.      needs lots of work.
                                           is generally done

Ideas                Ideas were            Ideas were           Ideas were            The document
                     expressed in a        expressed in a       somewhat              seemed to be a
                     clear and             pretty clear         organized, but        collection of
                     organized fashion.    manner, but the      were not very         unrelated
                     It was easy to        organization could   clear. It took more   sentences. It was
                     figure out how the    have been better.    than one reading to   very difficult to
                     public should                              figure out what the   figure out how the
                     respond.                                   author was            public should
                                                                suggesting.           respond.

Content Accuracy     The document          The document         The document          The document
                     contains at least 5   contains 3-4         contains 1-2          contains no
                     accurate facts        accurate facts       accurate facts        accurate facts
                     about the topic.      about the topic.     about the topic.      about the topic.
Length               The document is at                                               The press release
                     least 200 words                                                  is less than 200
                     long.                                                            words.
Grammar &            Writer makes no       Writer makes 1-2     Writer makes 3-4      Writer makes more
spelling             errors in grammar     errors in grammar    errors in grammar     than 4 errors in
(conventions)        or spelling.          and/or spelling.     and/or spelling       grammar and/or

Capitalization and   Writer makes no       Writer makes 1-2     Writer makes 3-4      Writer makes more
Punctuation          errors in             errors in            errors in             than 4 errors in
                     capitalization and    capitalization and   capitalization and    capitalization and
                     punctuation.          punctuation.         punctuation.          punctuation.

    Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 20
  CATEGORY          12                      9                       6                      0
Accuracy of Facts   All supportive facts    Almost all facts are    Almost all facts are   No facts are
                    are reported            reported accurately.    reported               reported accurately
                    accurately.                                     inaccurately.          OR no facts were
Point of View -     Newscast                Establishes a           The purpose is         It was difficult to
Purpose             establishes a           purpose at the          somewhat clear but     figure out the
                    purpose at the          beginning, but          many aspects of the    purpose of the
                    beginning and           occasionally            newscast seem only     newscast.
                    maintains that          wanders from that       slightly related.
                    focus throughout!       focus.
                    Cohesive newscast.
Awareness of        The student can         The student can         There was some         Limited attention to
Audience            clearly explain why     explain why he/she      awareness of the       audience in
                    he/she felt the         felt the vocabulary     audience, but not      designing newscast.
                    vocabulary they         they chose fit their    all information was
                    chose fit their         intended audience.      delivered clearly.
                    intended audience.      He/she sometimes
                    He/she clearly          explains the
                    explains the            information in a
                    information.            clear way.
Speaks clearly      Speaks clearly and      Speaks clearly and      Speaks clearly and     Does NOT speak
                    distinctly all of the   distinctly all of the   distinctly most of     clearly and
                    time and                time but                the time and           distinctly most of
                    mispronounces no        mispronounces 1 or      mispronounces no       the time AND/OR
                    words.                  more words.             words.                 mispronounces
                                                                                           more than 1 word.
Enthusiasm          Facial expression       Facial expression       Facial expression      Facial expression
                    and body language       and body language       and body language      and body language
                    show a strong           show a strong           show some interest     depict apathy or
                    interest and            interest and            and enthusiasm         boredom with the
                    enthusiasm about        enthusiasm about        about the topic        topic.
                    the topic               the topic               throughout the
                    throughout the          throughout the          newscast.
                    newscast, but it is     newscast, but it is
                    not overdone.           somewhat
Posture and Eye     Stands straight and     Stands straight.        Slouches or appears    Slouches or appears
Contact             looks confident and     Establishes eye         too casual but         too casual AND
                    relaxed. Establishes    contact with            establishes good       establishes little eye
                    eye contact with        audience during         eye contact with       contact with
                    audience during         most of newscast.       audience during        audience during
                    most of newscast.                               most of newscast.      newscast.

     Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 21
Duration of          The newscast was      The newscast was       The newscast was        The newscast was
presentation         between 1.5 and 2.5   between 1.5 and 2.5    between 1.5 and 2.5     too long or too
                     minutes and did not   minutes but seemed     minutes but seemed      short.
                     seem hurried or too   SLIGHTLY hurried       VERY hurried or
                     slow.                 or too slow.           too slow.
Research             Student researched    Student researched     Student researched      Either no research
                     the subject and       the subject and        the subject and         was done or it was
                     integrated 3 or       integrated 2           integrated 1 "tidbit"   not clear that the
                     more "tidbits" from   "tidbits" from their   from their research     student used it in
                     their research into   research into their    into their newscast.    the newscast.
                     their newscast.       newscast.

     Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

     Section:       Ag communications

     Unit:          Risk/crisis communication

     Lesson:        Lesson 5: Crisis response project workday

     Student Learning Objectives:
        - Students will evaluate press releases written in response to crisis.
        - Students will write an effective press release.

     Time:          90 minutes

     Tools, Equipment, and Supplies:
        - Copies of the final project handouts
        - Examples of press releases

     Key Terms:

     “Europe Food Agency Confirms First Case of BSE in Goat.” Food Quality 31
     January 2005. 11 August 2009.

     “Lamb’s Markets Initiates Voluntary Recall of Bulk Peanuts and Trail Mixes Due to Possible
     Health Risk.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 6 April 2009. 11 August 2009.

     Augustine, Marla. “Salmonella Outbreak in Nebraska Source Identified.” Nebraska Department
     of Health and Human Services. 3 March 2009. 11 August 2009.

     Interest Approach:

     Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 22
Have a variety of press releases written in response to ag crisis posted around the room – in
LARGE font.

Posted around the room are press releases written in response to crisis in the agricultural
industry. Spend a few minutes looking at each one. While you read through them, look for parts
that are examples of good communication. Allow the students time to walk around and view the

Working in groups of four… how many? That’s right, four… you are to discuss your findings
and be prepared to report to the class. Give the students a few minutes to discuss.

What did you come up with? Record these thoughts on the board.

Excellent. Today you will be working on your own press releases and short television
broadcasts. Keep all of these items that we recorded on the board in mind as you work.

Summary of Content and Teaching Strategies:
Work-day for project

This should only take a couple of minutes since the students will need time to work.
Put 2 labels on the board, What went well today, and What did not go as planned

Each of you needs to respond with at least one answer in each half of the board. Please be
After all students have written their answers…

Who would like to read our answers? Have a volunteer read each…and respond to those as

Are there any last questions about the project? Remember that the press releases are due at the
beginning of the period and you will present your television broadcast during class. Good luck!

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 23
Europe's food watchdog confirms the first case of mad cow
disease has been identified in a goat in France. This is the first
case of the disease identified in animals other than cattle.
This is the first case of the disease identified in animals other than
The goat had already tested positive for scrapie, a disease similar to
BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), in an EU-wide testing
program in 2000 and had been slaughtered. Further tests triggered
the suspicion that this could be a BSE infection.
BSE, also known as mad cow disease, belongs to the group of diseases
that also include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in man and scrapie
in sheep and goats. These diseases lead to a degeneration of brain
tissue, which takes on a typical spongy appearance.
First identified in 1986 in the UK, 180,000 cases of BSE have since
been diagnosed there alone and only four out of the 25 EU member
states have not yet declared any cases. BSE has affected the entire
beef food chain, from producer to consumer.
A recent report from the European Association of Animal Production
estimates the cost of BSE to EU15 (prior to accession) member states
at more than €90 billion. In addition, the BSE crisis has had a
significant impact on public trust in government and governmental
scientific advice.

Indeed, the newly created European Food Safety Authority, that made
the goat and BSE announcement this week, was at the hub of Europe's
white paper on food safety. Cleared in the 1990s, the legislation found
its roots in the string of food safety crises, such as BSE, in Europe.
While it has been established that small ruminants can also be infected
in experiments with BSE. Up to now, there are no signs of natural
infection. The feeding of meat-and-bone meal - linked to BSE
development in cattle - is under discussion as the possible cause of the
only confirmed case of BSE infection in the goat.
The goat in question was already born before the entry into force of
the ban on the feeding of meat-and-bone meal. It was slaughtered in
2002. Other animals in the herd were also examined, but they all
tested negative.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 24
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- April 6, 2009––Lamb’s Markets of
Wilsonville, Oregon is voluntarily recalling bulk peanuts and trail mixes
in response to the recall of peanuts manufactured by Peanut
Corporation of America (PCA), because the peanuts may have been
contaminated with Salmonella at PCA's Georgia and Texas facilities.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal
infections, particularly in young children, the frail or elderly, and
persons with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected
with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be
bloody), nausea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain. In rare
circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism
getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses,
such as arterial infections (i.e. infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and
Bulk peanuts and trail mixes were distributed in the self-serve bulk
section of Lamb’s Markets retail stores located in Portland, Tigard,
Lake Oswego and Wilsonville, Oregon. The following products were
sold between Jan. 1, 2007 and Feb. 13, 2009 and do not have UPC
  Glory Bee Foods Conventional Peanut Splits, Honey Roasted --
     Bulk Bin No. 8434, labeled "Honey Roasted Peanuts"
  Glory Bee Foods Organic Peanut Splits, Dry Roasted, No Salt -
     - Bulk Bin No. 98944, labeled "Organic Dry Roasted, No
     Salt Peanuts"
  Glory Bee Foods Organic Peanut Splits, No Salt -- Bulk Bin No.
     98426, labeled "No Salt Peanuts"
  Glory Bee Foods Peanut Splits, Dry Roasted, No Salt -- Bulk
     Bin No. 8426, labeled "Dry Roasted, No Salt Peanuts"
  Glory Bee Foods Peanuts, Granulated, Dry Roasted, Medium --
     Bulk Bin No. 9066, labeled "Granulated, Dry Roasted,
     Medium Peanuts"
  Glory Bee Foods Peanuts, Raw Redskins -- Bulk Bin No. 8076,
     labeled "Raw Redskin Peanuts"
  Aunt Patty’s Organic Cascade Trail Mix -- Bulk Bin No. 9005,
     labeled "Organic Cascade Trail Mix"
  Aunt Patty’s Mt. Hood Trail Mix -- Bulk Bin No. 8101, labeled

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 25
      "Mt. Hood Trail Mix"
  Bulk self-grind peanut butter made from above peanuts -- Bin
     No. 98944, 98426
No known illnesses have been reported to date in connection with
these products. The recall was initiated after it was determined that
the bulk peanuts and trail mixes received were manufactured using
Peanut Corporation of America peanuts. For more information about
salmonella, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
website at Lamb’s Markets has informed FDA of its
actions and is fully cooperating with the Agency.
Lamb’s Markets proactively and voluntarily removed these products
when it became aware of the potential for contamination on Feb. 13,
At Lamb’s Markets, we take the safety of customers and the integrity
of our products very seriously. Anyone who purchased the recalled
products can return them to any Lamb’s Markets for a full refund.
Customers with questions should contact Lamb’s Markets at 503-636-
5417. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 26
       Salmonella Outbreak in Nebraska Source
Lincoln—The number of salmonella cases in eastern Nebraska initially
detected last week has increased, according to the Nebraska
Department of Health and Human Services. So far, there are
approximately 14 lab-confirmed cases, with 4 considered probable
ones and an additional 8 to 10 suspect cases identified on the basis of
reported symptoms. 
 The outbreak preliminarily has been linked to
a source—alfalfa sprouts from a local grower, CW Sprouts from
 Last week and over the weekend, public health workers
have been interviewing individuals involved in the outbreak, as well as
people in a control group that helps interviewers determine the food
source. The interviews led epidemiologists to conclude that sprouts
were reported in a high number of food histories of ill people, thus
there was a strong association with sprouts.
 CW Sprouts has been
very cooperative and is acting with an abundance of caution to
voluntarily recall their sprouts.
 The FDA and CDC are involved. FDA
is doing an investigation at the company to determine conditions that
may have lead to the contamination as well as determine distribution
of the product. Nebraska health officials from the Department of
Health and Human Services will work with the Nebraska Department of
Agriculture Laboratory to try to isolate salmonella from existing alfalfa
seeds and sprouts to determine how the contamination
 Salmonella is a bacteria. The serotype of salmonella in
these cases is called saintpaul, a relatively rare kind. Samples have
been sent to the Minnesota Public Health Laboratory to determine if
they share a DNA fingerprint. This evaluation will conclusively show if
all the cases are linked.
 Meanwhile, DHHS and local health
departments—the Douglas County Health Department, the Lancaster
County Health Department, the Sarpy/Cass Department of Health and
Wellness—are continuing to conduct interviews.
 So far, two people
have been hospitalized and released.
 Symptoms include fever,
diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, nausea, fever and aches, and may include
vomiting. It can be contagious.
 Preventive measures include
washing produce and cooking eggs and meat until done.
information on salmonella, go to the DHHS Newsroom .

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 27
Lindsey (George) Huseman Curriculum

Section:       Ag communications

Unit:          Risk/crisis communication

Lesson:        Lesson 6: Crisis communication project presentations

Student Learning Objectives:
   - Students will perform a television broadcast in response to a crisis.

Time:          90 minutes

Tools, Equipment, and Supplies:
   - Copies of the final project rubrics
   - Theme song to Rocky or some other song that could be used to motivate a ball team.

Key Terms:


Interest Approach:
After the bell rings, start the theme song from Rocky… allow the students to move around if they
choose to.

Now that we are all pumped up, let’s get started. First, please bring your press releases to me.
After all are collected…Now we will start the presentations.

Summary of Content and Teaching Strategies:
You may choose to have the students record +/- comments for each student. Challenge them to
come up with 2 + and 1 room for improvement comments. They can write these on squares of
paper so that they can be handed to the students before they leave the class.

Evaluate students using the rubric.

Celebrate the completion of the projects with snacks… free time…a field trip outside… whatever
it is that your students enjoy.

Huseman Curriculum, 2009, Page 28

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