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Standards and Guidelines

I’m excited to introduce a video series, called Homegrown, that NC State Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) have created to reconnect people with the food, landscapes and agriculture of North Carolina.

The primary objective of Homegrown is to raise the awareness and value of Extension, particularly among new audiences in our urban/suburban communities of North Carolina. The series features short, informative YouTube videos that present practical solutions – backed by science – to timely, relevant issues impacting our audience.

Every month, Homegrown shares new videos highlighting tips and tools from Extension’s subject-matter experts. Segments illustrate “how-to” guidance and information on home horticulture and gardening; N.C. agriculture and our food systems; and the safe preparation and preservation of the foods we love.

I appreciate your participation and support of the program, and encourage you to take advantage of Homegrown resources while helping promote the series in your local efforts. Review this page for an overview of Homegrown and the video standards and guidelines.

Rich Bonanno
Director, NC State Extension
Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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Video Guidelines

Homegrown will produce at least three (3) new videos per month – one for each main segment category – with final video topics determined by a program planning committee with input from employees and viewers.

Video Topics Criteria

Homegrown addresses consumer needs by leveraging our Extension network of expertise; our goal is not to provide program overviews, but to present practical tips and tools that will benefit people in their daily lives. We provide “everyday solutions for everyday lives.”

We’ve developed a topics rubric, or checklist, to help guide our videos.

When considering a story or topic idea for Homegrown, always start by running it through these questions to determine if a topic is a good fit:

  • Do we have a simple, research-based solution to offer from an Extension/CALS expert?
  • Is the topic relevant to adults with young kids in an urban/suburban area? Does it address their needs or interests?
  • Does the topic offer a clear, relevant consumer benefit?
  • Can they easily apply the solution in their everyday lives?
  • Are people talking or thinking about the topic (is it timely)?
  • Can the topic be categorized into Kitchen, Farm or Garden?

    If you answered “No” or “I don’t know” to any question, please continue refining the topic before submitting.

Ready to share a segment idea for Homegrown? Submit your topics here!

Segment Categories

Segments are grouped into three categories: In The Garden, In The Kitchen and On The Farm.

  • In The Garden videos help guide green thumbs with seasonal tips from Extension’s horticultural experts and NC State Extension Master GardenerSM volunteers on establishing and maintaining gardens, lawns, landscapes, and house plants. We’re also refreshing existing Almanac Gardener videos, which will be incorporated over time, and we expect the content categories to grow moving forward.
    • Sample Topics:
      • Home gardening
      • Landscapes
      • Houseplants
      • Urban horticulture
      • Weed control / pest management
  • In The Kitchen topics focus on safety practices for food preparation and preservation, tips for cooking nutritious and seasonal local foods, and even the occasional “celebrity” chef sharing their favorite N.C. foods and recipes alongside our Extension specialists and county agents.
    • Sample Topics:
      • Food safety
      • Food preservation
      • Cost-conscious nutrition
      • Recipes
      • Healthy cooking and eating
  • On The Farm segments introduce N.C. agriculture and the diversity of crops, ag technology and farm operations across the state. We’ll show you the life cycle of the foods you love, from the farm to your family’s table, including feedback from the farmers who produce the food and products that impact our daily lives.
    • Sample Topics:
      • Farm-to-fork process / Food life cycle
      • Agricultural production (small- and large-scale operations)
      • Animal care and welfare
      • Antibiotics, GMOs, hormones
      • Food and market terms (e.g. all natural, grass-fed, organic/conventional, local)
      • Farmer stories (Extension clients & partnerships)

Length and Tone

  • Videos are roughly 2-3 minutes (usually no more than 5-6 minutes)
  • Address a very specific and timely topic of importance to North Carolinians
  • Keep the messaging simple, conversational and to the point
  • It’s still OK to have fun – Homegrown videos should be engaging, vibrant and social-friendly
  • Get your shoes muddy! Capture on-site footage, interesting visuals and take viewers to places they might not otherwise see

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Submitting Segment Ideas & Videos

Follow the link below to let us know if you would like Homegrown to address a specific topic in one of our videos. Please share as many details as possible, including the Extension expert(s) that would be featured, topic overview, potential dates and locations, and the target timeframe to launch the final video.

If you already have a video that you’d like us to consider featuring, include a link in the contact form to view it on YouTube, or let us know who to contact to access the video.

When creating or submitting your own videos, be mindful of the Homegrown video guidelines summarized on this page, as well as our NC State Extension brand standards.

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Meet the Homegrown Team

A Homegrown planning team meets regularly to review content and production plans, develop marketing and promotional efforts, and chart the course for this groundbreaking Extension video series. The team collectively guides the direction of the program to ensure alignment with Extension/CALS strategic priorities and to help drive long-term success for Homegrown.

  • Chris Liotta and Keeshan Ganatra, Video Production – our seasoned video crew is responsible for shooting, editing and managing post-production aspects for all Homegrown segments, including posting videos to the Homegrown YouTube channel.
  • Justin Moore and Julie Hayworth-Perman, NC State Extension Marketing – Justin and Julie oversee and guide the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of Homegrown. They work in tandem with the planning committee and NC State Extension / CALS Comm. leadership to define and drive program objectives, coordinate production, support content development and market Homegrown to internal and external stakeholders.
  • A collection of additional Extension and CALS talent contribute to various Homegrown efforts, from website features and educational resources, to content development and strategic marketing. The Homegrown team extends a special thanks to these folks who provide immense value to the program.

Marketing Resources

Discover additional tools to help you promote Homegrown and raise awareness of Extension in your community through this series.

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