Agriculture Communication


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New Accessories for the Camera You Carry Everywhere

Smartphone Tripod AdaptorSmartLav MicAg Communication has new smartphone accessories available for checkout that will help you record professional-looking videos with that powerful video camera you sometimes use to make phone calls.

The new SmartLav microphones with extension cables can provide broadcast-quality audio to your smartphone or tablet.

Ag Comm also has two new wireless microphone systems available for checkout. Although these don’t work with your smartphone, they will work with camcorders and provide excellent sound quality while giving you and/or your subject the freedom to move around during the recording. The two options are the AZDEN system and Sennheiser system.

Lastly, there are smartphone holders and adapters to connect your phone to a tripod to eliminate shaky video and give your video that higher quality look.

Contact Scott with questions about any of this equipment or Elizabeth to reserve it.

, Electronic Media Specialist, 701-231-7086; , Administrative Assistant, 701-231-7881

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Using a Projector with Windows 7

Especially around conference time we often get asked how to use Windows with a projector. Most often, this question arises when someone is attempting to give a presentation but cannot get it to display from the projector. The reason is that Windows does not realize you want to use an additional display device other than your notebook screen.

To fix this, first make sure the video cable from your computer to the projector is inserted firmly on both ends and that the projector is turned on.

Next, bring up Windows’ display options by pressing the Windows key (located between the left Ctrl and Alt keys) and the P key at the same time. In the screen that appears, you will have four options: Computer Only, Duplicate, Extend and Projector only.

display optionsIn most cases, we recommend you select Duplicate. This will show the same presentation on both the notebook computer and the projector. However, if you wish to use PowerPoint to display on the projector while utilizing its presenter tools on the computer, you’d want to select Extend instead.

Once you’ve decided on the option you need, left click to select it. Give the computer a few seconds to make the adjustments; you may see your screen flash or flicker. Now you should see your image start to appear from the projector. If the projector has been on but not displaying an image previously, it could take a few moments for the bulb to warm up and the image to become bright.

For additional information, Microsoft has an instructional page that provides a brief tutorial video on this process. Due to their use of Silverlight (the Microsoft alternative to Adobe Flash), the page may be best viewed using Internet Explorer.

Jerry Ranum, Jon Fry and Blair Johnson, Desktop Support Specialists; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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Ag Communication Infographics Webinar Available

Infographics were the focus of the monthly Agriculture Communication webinar on March 16, 2016. Dave Haasser and Kelli Armbruster teamed up to share information about how using infographics can help your target audience notice and better understand your information.

Dave taught participants graphic design concepts to remember when creating infographics, and Kelli demonstrated three online programs (Canva, Piktochart and to make infographic creation simple and professional.  

Want to know more about using and creating infographics but didn’t get a chance to watch? The infographics webinar is available to watch online.

, Graphic Designer, 701-231-8620; , Information Specialist, 701-231-6136

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Link to Another Website in Ag CMS

During the Ag CMS preconference training for Support Staff Conference, someone asked how to add a link to the Spring Fever webinars on their website.

Rather than making your own Spring Fever page with a link to the state site, you can link directly to the site by using the Add New>Link item type in Ag CMS. There's no need to re-create information that already exists. In fact, it can reduce your online searchability if you duplicate content that's already out there. Plus, why do all that work when it's already been done? If it's already online, link to it unless there's a compelling reason you need to localize it. 

There may be some instances where you want to make your own page to personalize and then link out to the main site. For instance, counties that do Nourishing Boomers programming add specific information about their meetings and contacts but link out to the main site for educational content. The Barnes County Boomers page is an example.

Other examples include:
Morton County website links directly to the Farm Management website
Extension website links directly to the Extension YouTube channel (“videos”)
Plant Sciences links directly to the Foundation Seed Stocks website

Linking to another website is more direct for the audience to reach and many times there’s no need to create your own page when you can link directly to information that’s already online.

If you have questions about how to add a direct link to your website, please contact me.

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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New Portable Wireless PA System Available

Ag Communication recently acquired a new smaller and more portableWireless PA System
wireless PA system. The rechargeable PA speaker is less than 12 inches
tall and comes in a small carrying bag that includes two wireless lapel
mics, two wireless headset mics, a wall charger and a car cigarette lighter cable for charging on the go. 

For more information see the Equipment Checkout page.

, Administrative Assistant / Conference Coordinator, 701-231-7881

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Write the Right Word: Accept or Except

“Accept” and “except” are another case of two words that sound the same but don’t mean the same thing and can’t be used interchangeably.

Accept means to receive. For example, “I accept the nomination to run for treasurer.” It also can mean to understand or believe, and agree or consent to something. “I accept that I am not able to run as fast as I once did.” “I accept this agreement because it will settle our dispute.”

Except means to exclude or not count. For example, “I picked up everything from my desk except the vase of flowers.” It also can mean otherwise or but. “The dike is solid except for a 5-foot section near the left side of the house.”

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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Associated Press -- and Ag Comm -- Update Some Styles

Ag Communication in general follows the "Associated Press Stylebook" for news releases and publications. Since the general mass media want articles written in AP style, Ag Comm provides our news releases to them in that format. That's why we use sugar beet as two words, no Ph.D. or Dr., email without the hyphen and no comma before the conjunction (usually "and") in a simple series.

AP continually is updating its style, and here are a few we'll all have to remember:AP logo

internet -- no longer capitalized

oil field -- two words

voicemail -- one word

telephone numbers -- with hyphens rather than parentheses: 701-231-7875

web -- no longer capitalized

, Ag Communication Director, 701-231-7875

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Focus on Mobile

NDSU Extension web site on laptop and on mobile.

A good web strategy should focus on mobile design and usability first. Our priority should be to make sure our websites work well on mobile devices, even if that means the desktop version suffers.

Globally, web traffic from mobile devices has exceeded traffic from desktop devices, but does this hold true for our NDSU Agriculture and Extension sites? The answer is no, not yet.

We looked at traffic from all Ag CMS sites (Extension, REC and academic sites) for 2015 and found 22.27 percent of that traffic came from mobile, 8.1 percent came from tablets and 69.63 percent came from desktop/laptop computers. So why are we encouraging such a strong focus on mobile?

We are encouraging a focus on mobile because of the trends, not just globally, but on our own sites. In 2015, mobile traffic on our sites was up 6.5 percent as a percentage of total traffic from the previous year. Both desktop/laptop traffic (76 percent in 2014) and tablet traffic (6.24 percent in 2014) were down in 2015.

That trend has continued in the first two months of this year.

Desktop MobileTablet
Jan.-Feb. 2015 73.14% 18.67% 8.19%
Jan.-Feb. 2016 68.65% (-4.49%) 23.77% (+5.10%) 7.67% (-0.52%)

This reflects traffic from across all of our sites. Your site may see even more mobile traffic.In 2015, 28.47 percent of traffic that included a visit to a county Extension site came from mobile. Our mobile traffic will continue to grow. We need to organize our web pages to work on mobile devices first, so we are prepared to serve this growing audience.

For help making your website work better on mobile devices, contact us.

, Web Technology Specialist (701) 231-6403' Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Marketing Minute: Sound Agriculture Advice

Sound Ag Advice logoWhen we think of providing education to North Dakotans, we often reach for typical resources such as an Extension publication, news release or research report.

Did you know that there is another way to receive weekly agriculture advice and education?

The NDSU Extension Service produces a weekly radio/podcast segment that features news and advice about agriculture topics that affect North Dakota producers. Sound Ag Advice is the name of the radio segment where we invite an Extension specialist or agriculture researcher to provide the latest industry news and education about his or her field.

The most recent radio segments include:

  • As North Dakota pig producers ride the highs and lows of the current pork market, NDSU Extension Service swine specialist David Newman offers his thoughts on the state of the pork industry and advises producers about risk management related to animal health.
  • How much snow has North Dakota received so far this year? How cold can it get in North Dakota? How does an El Nino weather pattern affect our weather? Adnan Akyuz, North Dakota’s state climatologist and professor of climatological practices at NDSU, answers these questions and more.
  • As the income tax filing deadline draws near for agriculture producers, NDSU Extension Service farm management specialist Ron Haugen discusses some important things to note when preparing your taxes.

Listening to the three- to five-minute segment is a great way to stay up to date on the most current information our NDSU Extension and research professionals are providing.

To receive a once a week email notification when a new Sound Ag Advice segment is available, contact me, or visit the Sound Ag Advice website and follow the Subscribe by Email instructions. Happy listening!

, Information Specialist, (701) 231-6136

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Technology Tidbits

*If you see a Windows 10 upgrade notice on your computer, do NOT click on it or attempt to upgrade at all. This can cause issues or even prevent software or hardware such as printers from functioning correctly. Instead, please contact us for more information and assistance.

*A number of people have been experiencing slowdowns or freezes with their Microsoft Office 2013 programs. In many recent cases, this is due to a bug in an update Microsoft released a couple of weeks ago. While the bug already has been removed from the Windows update server, a few people may have been affected. The issue can usually be reversed by removing the offending update (KB3114717). Here's how:

  1. Click on Start and enter Run in the search box at the bottom and press the enter key.
  2. In the command window type Appwiz.cpl and select OK.
  3. Select View installed updates.
  4. In the list, locate and select KB3114717, and then select Uninstall.

*Have you ever backed up your Favorites from Internet Explorer? All you need to do is copy the files out of your Favorites folder to a backup location, and you are done. But with Firefox and Chrome, it’s not that straightforward.

Here are the steps to make successful backup files for your bookmarks in these two browsers.


  1. Open your Firefox Browser.
  2. Click on the bookmark button.
  3. Select Show All Bookmarks to open the Bookmark Library.
  4. Make sure All Bookmarks is highlighted in the left column and then, at the top of the window, click on Import and Backup > Export Bookmarks to HTML.
  5. Give your bookmark file a unique name and save it.


  1. Open your Chrome browser.
  2. In the top right, click the menu button.
  3. Select Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager.
  4. In the manager, click the Organize menu.
  5. Select Export bookmarks.
  6. Give your bookmark file a unique name and save it.

In either case, we strongly recommend you give the file you save a unique name to identify if you saved it from Chrome or Firefox. This prevents confusion later if you need to restore your bookmarks. For example, instead of “John’s Bookmarks,” call it “John’s Firefox Bookmarks.”

For additional information, including how to import bookmarks back into your browser, see Saving Your Browser's Bookmarks.

Jerry Ranum, Jon Fry and Blair Johnson, Desktop Support Specialists; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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