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Covered Plants

Reframing in the West.

This page is for a project currently underway. New information, tools, and additional resources will continue to be shared here--please continue to check back to stay connected with our work and our progress as we aim to bring FFNP findings to our peers on the West Coast.

Agronomist Farmer

About the Project


Bridging the Communication Gap: Toward a More Informed Public Understanding of Sustainable Farming

This project analyzes the gap between the public understanding of “sustainable farming,” and that of agricultural experts. Using a process called “Strategic Frame Analysis,” we create and test effective language and tools, and design trainings to help farm/food advocates communicate more effectively. 

To ensure that findings are useful in the Western US, project leaders will engage with Western growers and practitioners to pinpoint current needs and challenges in explaining and elevating sustainable agriculture. Communications strategists and educators will use what we learn to design communication trainings and build a toolkit of communication resources.

Watch the video below to understand more about the Farming and Food Narrative Project:


Practice applying framing recommendations to your communications with these resources.

This set of worksheets was developed by FrameWorks Institute for use at the Innovative Agricultural Communications Workshops in Newport, Oregon and Pacific Grove, California.

Worksheets were created to aid communicators in the application of FFNP recommended framing strategies to public-facing messages, either during or after the writing stage. These tools are meant to be applied and overlayed together in communication pieces--by deploying multiple framing strategies in concert, communicators strengthen the publics understanding of the complexity of farming.

Practicing Recommendation 1: Start with farming, not food.

Practicing Recommendation 4: Use the Tightrope metaphor to spark thinking about the balancing act that farming requires.

Practicing Recommendation 2: Make the story about interconnection.

Practicing Recommendation 5: Use the 4Bs to tell science rich stories.

Practicing Recommendation 3: Link on-farm practices and the policies that shape them to concrete societal benefits.

Practicing Recommendation 6: Speak directly to historical and contemporary social inequities and discrimination.

Tomatillo Plant
Lettuce Farm



This project is nested within the national scope of the Farming and Food Narrative Project. Below are supporting resources to better understand the underlying research and framework that supports the SARE-funded work.

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The Landscape of Public Thinking About Farming: Mapping the Gaps between Expert and Public Understanding  (2019)

Understanding the Conversation about Farming: An Analysis of Media and Field Communications  (2020)

Reframing Farming: Strategies for Expanding Thinking About Agriculture (2022)

Reframing Farming and Food Narratives Webinar (2023): The project team reviews the need for reframing agricultural narratives, shows the research process, highlights some of the dominant cultural models people have on farming, and shares FrameWorks Institute's final recommendations. This webinar served as a first step introduction for those who attended the 2023 workshops in Oregon and California.

Project Partners

Oregon State University

Red Tomato

FrameWorks Institute

Create | Act

Workshop Cosponsors

University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

University of California Statewide IPM Program

Oregon State University 


Western Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) Research & Education Grant Program

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2020-38640-31523 through the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under project number SW21-928. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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