Field to Film: Career Snapshot
About The Project
The Arkansas soybean industry contributes $2 billion annually to the state. Every soybean farmer pays into the commodity’s Checkoff program. Those funds are administered by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB), which invests in research, promotion and education.
When leaders of agriculture advocacy groups reported students becoming less interested in agricultural careers, we developed a strategy with the ASPB to address the issue.
We conducted primary research via interviews with agriculture educators and an electronic survey with high school counselors in Arkansas. Ag educators revealed a steady decline in the number of students planning to pursue careers in agriculture, including students who belonged to pro-agriculture organizations like the FFA. The educators told our team that parents of these kids failed to see agriculture as a viable career option for their children. In fact, parents who held jobs in agriculture actually felt that an Ag career was a step down for their children.
The Field to Film: Career Snapshots series demonstrated to Arkansas students that working in the agriculture industry doesn’t just mean “going back to the farm,” but can be a career path that requires many different skills. Our team recruited and showcased young professionals in the series based on research that noted high school students related better to professionals close in age.
A challenge we faced was parents discouraging their children from pursuing agriculture because blue-collar dress codes were interpreted as unsuccessful among them. We overcame this by featuring professionals who were contributing to agriculture through a variety of work environments, including white-collar.
We embedded each video on the board’s website under the Students section and archived the entire series there. We promoted the series through the board’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels to drive views and website traffic, where we featured the series on the board’s homepage.
Finally, we distributed the series as a YouTube playlist to FFA state administrators for easy sharing with students and faculty via their own digital channels. The entire series included research, creative concepts, video production, editing, social media support and website development.
The career snapshot series is the most successful student communication tactic the board has implemented to date. In total, the six videos produced in state fiscal year 2018 for Field to Film: Career Snapshots clocked more than 4,000 views in the first nine months of the fiscal year. One of the videos ranked as the third most visited page on the entire website in state fiscal year 2018.