Agricultural Communication
Utah State University


Check Out My Vitae

About Dr. Hall

I am an associate professor and program director in agricultural communication at Utah State University. I teach agricultural communication courses and graduate courses. My appointment in Extension focuses on local food marketing and agricultural communication. Most of my research explores how knowledge, attitudes, psychographics, barriers, benefits, communication strategies, and other factors about food marketing and agricultural practices influence the behaviors of farmers, consumers, and policy makers. Hobbies include gardening, eating local food, camping, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Teaching

Teaching Portfolio

My teaching portfolio showcases my teaching responsibilities, philosophy, methodologies, outreach, assessment, teaching goals and evidence of student learning in my classes. Please click on the button to access the content.
Teaching Portfolio

National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow

As advisor of the National ACT, I work with the national officers on professional development activities, member relations, and sponsorships. We plan the professional development activity during the National ACT meeting during Ag Media Summit. We have 20 chapters across the country with more than 400 members.

Advising USU's Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow

Utah State University formed a chapter of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow in 2014. Members participate in professional development, community service, fundraising and fun activities to network with peers and professionals.

Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers

My undergraduate researchers become colleagues who work alongside me and contribute ideas to address problems that determine what programs and communication strategies can effectively inform individuals about agricultural issues.

Mentoring Philosophy

The College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences selected me as the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year for the 2017-2018 academic year. Check out this video about my students' experiences in conducting research.

Research Interests

My research focuses in two areas included in the National Research Agenda for the American Association for Agricultural Education. The majority of research projects discover how agricultural communication and Extension programs can impact local communities through the local food movement (farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, farm stands, online farm sales, farm to school sales, & direct-to-retail businesses). Read more about my research interests.

Research Related Awards

  • Outstanding Thesis, Association for Communication Excellence Conference, June 2019
  • Outstanding Student Research Proposal, Association for Communication Excellence Conference, August 2018
  • Distinguished Research Poster, Western Region Conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education, September 2017
  • 2nd Place Research Poster, Western Region Conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education, September 2017
  • Distinguished Research Poster, Western Region Conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education, September 2016
  • NIFA Partnership Awards Nomination, United States Department of Agriculture, 2013
  • Outstanding Research Paper, Association for Communication Excellence Conference, June 2013
  • 1st place Research Poster, Western Region Conference of the American Association for Agricultural Education, April 2012

Extension

I have an Extension appointment in agricultural communication and marketing in which I share experience and research results about farmers’ knowledge of marketing strategies for their direct marketing businesses (farmers markets, farm stands, community supported agriculture, farm to school). In February 2017, I testified during the Utah House of Representatives Natural Resources, Agriculture & Environment Committee hearing in support of HB 121 Local Food Advisory Council. This section highlights three of my programs.

Fostering Utah Community Supported Agriculture

Despite the growth of Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in Utah, research indicates a lack of information and training exists to educate (a) growers about different CSA models, development of a business plan, marketing efforts, and CSA management decisions, and (b) the general public about CSA programs. The project goal and objectives are to expand and promote CSA models through training, education, and networking for Extension agents, growers, and consumers throughout Utah. Project impacts and outcomes included the following:

  • Delivered training to 17 county Extension agents during the Southern Region Faculty Meeting in Nephi, UT & to 28 county Extension agents during the Northern Region Faculty meeting in Kaysville, UT.
  • Delivered 1-day training and tours to 55 agricultural educators who are interested in urban agriculture and CSAs as ways for their students to use school gardens and green houses to grow and sell produce through a CSA.
  • Published 7-module curriculum (workbook, worksheets, and PowerPoint presentations) for growers, Utah Extension agents and agricultural education teachers so that they could use the information to develop or expand CSAs. The curriculum has been downloaded 107 times from Utah State University Digital Commons website since the training.
  • Hosted 1 training in Moab for 10 growers from Central and Southern Utah. The growers participated in the training presentations and activities, toured the CSA at the Youth Garden Project, and asked questions to a panel of 2 CSA growers from Moab.

Utah Farm-Chef-Fork

Utah Farm-Chef-Fork was envisioned in 2012 and since then has connected hundreds of farmers with chefs across the state in an effort to reduce food miles and enhance farm security. It is a Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Specialty Crop funded program that is a collaboration between the USDA, Utah State University Extension Sustainability, and Slow Food Utah. The goal is to enhance community vitality and reduce food miles by connecting Utah producers and restaurants.

  • We conducted 6 one-day farmer/chef workshops and 6 mingles statewide, with 172 farmers, 73 chefs, and 24 educators participating.
  • In 2013, mingles were jointly sponsored and promoted by Slow Food Utah groups across Utah and provided farmers, ranchers, and small food processors the opportunity to display their products to chefs and specialty store owners in attendance.

Social Media Marketing for Local Food Businesses

I delivered 10 informal presentations to Utah farmers on how to market their products online and through social media.

Service

Utah FFA Ag Comm CDE

I serve as the state supervisor for the Utah FFA Agricultural Communications Career Development Event, which prepares high school students for careers in journalism and communications. Teams consisting of four members participate in a simulated news conference, then use the information collected to complete practicums including journalistic writing, opinion writing, web design, and video production. The students' work is judged, and the winning team represents Utah in the national contest during the National FFA Convention.

Utah Farm to Fork Task Force

Farm to Fork is Utah’s arm of the national Farm to School Movement. The task force is a group of professionals who are passionate about bringing food from local farmers to Utah’s institutions (schools, child care centers, hospitals, etc). We meet quarterly to report on our farm to school activities and shared projects. Farm to school programming looks different in different locations, but it always includes at least one of the following elements:

  • Educational activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition
  • Local food served to students
  • Students engaged in hands-on, interdisciplinary learning through gardening

Local Food Advisory Council

I was appointed to the Local Food Advisory Council, which is made up of state legislators, farmers and ranchers and organizations connected with food and agriculture. The council was created in response to increasing interest and support for local food by the public. The purpose of the council is to contribute to:

  • building a local food economy;
  • benefitting the state by creating jobs;
  • stimulating statewide economic development;
  • circulating money from local food sales within local communities;
  • preserving open space;
  • and fostering the viability of family-owned farms.

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