Agriculture Communication


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Write the Right Word - The Webinar

Not sure when to use a comma? Need help knowing when to capitalize a direction? The "Write the Right Words" webinar can help.
Based on Ellen Crawford’s Let’s Communicate articles, this interactive webinar from February 15, 2017 covers grammar, punctuation, style and more.

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Email Migration Update & More

Upcoming Email Migration

We have not been provided any new information about the migration. We are still under the impression that it will take place during spring break.

The only change we are currently aware of is the requirement to log in with a new username ending with and the associated University System password (same one used to access Employee Self-Service pay stubs and leave balances, and PeopleSoft). The password for this account will need to be reset every 90 days. Email sent to and addresses will be delivered to your new account, so you may continue to publicize your address.

For more information and the latest updates on the migration, please visit the NDSU Help Desk migration page.

Please Be Virus and Malware Aware

Computer viruses can pop up unexpectedly and are capable of more than just a slight inconvenience to you and your data. Recently several organizations, including hospitals and libraries, were forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars to have their computer systems unlocked after malware infiltrated their networks and held their computers and data for ransom.

Here are some tips to help protect yourself:

  • Keep current backups of all important data.
  • Make sure your antivirus program is updated and scanning regularly. Ag Comm Computer Services-supported computers do this automatically.
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in suspicious emails or websites.
  • Don't download and run unknown software.
  • If you suspect your computer might be (or is) infected, please right away.
  • Any time you feel your password may have been compromised (infected computer, clicked on a phishing link, etc.) please change your password right away.

 ,  IT Systems Specialist  701-231-6395

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Continue to Be Vigilant About Phishing Emails

If you receive a suspicious email, do not reply, click on any links or open any attachments.

If you are not sure it's a phishing email, forward it to the NDSU IT Help Desk, to review.

If you've determined it is a phishing email, forward it directly to, which keeps intact important information that may help IT staff identify the source of the scam. Then delete the message.

Did you take bait?

If you think you may have responded to a phishing message or clicked on any links within a suspicious message, please immediately contact the NDSU IT Help Desk at 701-231-8685 or

If you have any questions about phishing, please contact us.

Jerry Ranum, IT Systems Specialist, 701-231-6395
Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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Tips for Recording Presentations

Need some help before recording that guest speaker your office invited? Or maybe folks are asking whether or not the upcoming workshop your county is hosting will be recorded? The following tips will help you record great videos.

  •  Before you start: Get permission from the speaker to record the presentation.
  •  Equipment: You will need a video camera, tripod, microphone (when possible) and headphones to monitor the audio.
  •  Room setup: Center the camera on the screen if there will be a PowerPoint slides. If there is no microphone or speaker system, try to be up close.
  •  Audio: A wireless microphone for the camera will work best. Two great options are available for checkout from Ag Comm – the AZDEN wireless microphone system and the Sennheiser wireless microphone system. If an external mic for the camera is not an option, and the room has a microphone and speakers, try to set up near one of the speakers. If no microphone is available but you are close enough to the presenter, the camera microphone may work in some situations, but you will want to do a test recording to check sound quality.
  •  Test recording: When you feel like you have everything ready, do a test recording of yourself or someone else walking around up front and talking as a presenter would. Then go back to the camera and listen through the headphones to determine if your setup needs to be altered.
  •  During the presentation: Zoom in and focus on the speaker during the introduction and at times when the speaker is talking about something not related to the PowerPoint slide. When the speaker is referring to PowerPoint slides, zoom in on the screen so it fills the video window and stay on it so the viewer doesn’t miss something. A good example can be found here.

 , Electronic Media Specialist, 701-231-7086

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Write the Right Word: Punctuation in Quotations

Don’t get confused when using punctuation in quotations. Here’s an easy rule to remember: Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks.

For example: “This year’s wheat harvest was above expectations,” Carrington producer John Smith said. “The growing conditions were exceptionally good.”

However, placement of other punctuation, such as colons and question marks, depends on the context. They go outside the quotation marks unless they are part of the quote.

Here are some examples:

  • “How long is the movie?” he asked.
  • Who wrote “War and Peace”?
  • “This year, I’m going to plant three crops: wheat, corn and soybeans,” the producer said.
  • To reduce your risk of developing a foodborne illness, the Partnership for Food Safety Education has four “easy-to-follow practices”: clean, separate, cook and chill.

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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Find Something Quickly in Your Ag CMS Site

Ag CMS has been around for more than five years. Many of us have a lot of content in the site and it may be difficult to track files down. Here's a quick way to do so: Select All items and use CTRL + F to get to the file right away without having to scroll.

, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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Preparing for Media Interviews

In an interview, do you try to just think quickly to answer the reporter’s questions? Instead, learn how to plan ahead on issues and use your key messages to get across your important points.

In the Jan. 18, 2017, Ag Comm webinar, Kelli Armbruster and Becky Koch shared how to prepare for an interview and tips for the interview itself. The concepts apply to print, radio and TV interviews – and connecting with mass media and the public via social media.

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Your Email Signature Matters

Dancing unicorns. Crazy colors. Funky fonts. Witty quotes. I’ve seen all of these things in email signatures. While it might be tempting to want to jazz up your signature to show off your personality, it’s important to follow the NDSU email signature standards.

When email signatures were originally developed, they were an easy way for people to include their name and contact information at the end of an email. Since then, they’ve evolved into electronic business cards.

If your email signature is consistent and looks professional it will convey that our organization is consistent and professional. Not only will your signature communicate your professionalism to anyone who receives it, but it will also provide instant brand recognition for NDSU.

Much of the work we do focuses on building connections, some of them through social media platforms. If you’d like to add appropriate social media icons to your email signature, Bob Bertsch has developed a tutorial.

If you have any questions about creating your email signature please let me know.

Kelli Armbruster, Information Specialist, 701-231-6136

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Preparing for the Upcoming Office 365 Migration

Our NDSU email service is scheduled to be migrated to the service run by the North Dakota University System (NDUS) during spring break. This migration also will involve other items hosted online, including SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business.

While it is still not known to what extent these services will be affected, now would be a good time to take a proactive approach to the upcoming migration. Performing small, preventative tasks, such as documenting who you've shared your SharePoint and OneDrive folders with, will go a long way in helping you to recreate your shares quickly once the migration is over. Also, writing down a list of the various groups and people in your Skype for Business contacts will provide a comprehensive reference you can utilize to recreate the list once your account has been moved.

Checking Your Share Settings

To see who you are sharing any particular SharePoint or OneDrive folder with, right click on the folder name and click on "Share." A new window like the one below will appear. Click on the "Shared with" option to see a list of everyone you have granted access to.


 , IT Systems Specialist

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Built-in Shortened URL for Ag CMS Homepages

Ag Communication has registered the Internet domain,, to provide a shorter URL for connect people with your website.

Every website in the Ag Content Management System has been setup to be accessible through this shorter web address, so a primary URL like can also be reached from

The shortened URLs only work for the homepage of your website. It will not work for any other pages on your site. So will work, but will not.

Try it with your website. If your website is in Ag CMS, replace "" in yur URL with "" This shortened URL is great for sharing in print, in presentation, on the radio or anywhere you need a web address that's shorter and easier to remember.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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