University of California APMP

San Joaquín, Stanislaus & Merced Counties

NACAA Communication Awards

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding participation in the CAFAS / NACAA "Communication Awards" program.

1. If I am not a member of CAFAS / NACAA, may I participate?

As long as you become a member before you send your entry, yes, you may.

2. Where do I send my CAFAS / NACAA memberhip fee?

In 2008, send $65 to CAFAS c/o Sonya Varea Hammond to:

County Director
University of California Cooperative Extension
County of Monterey
1432 Abbott Street
Salinas, CA 93901

3. What are the rules and the required forms?

These change from year to year. To check the latest rules and forms, see your The County Agent magazine, or go to: communication awards program rules. You can also try NACAA home page and go to professional development.

HINT: These rules sometimes change a little from year to year. Check the general rules as well as the specific ones for your entry area. For instance, in 2001, a general rule was introduced that required that a copy of the abstract be included in an attached disk. Even though the original work may have been developed in earlier years, if you have used it in the 12 months ending March 15 of the year you enter, it qualifies. Do not forget to paste the entry form to the front of the folder, with all the required signatures, as well as securing the disk to the folder. These details may become important if you win and your materials are forwarded to the regional or national contests.

4. Who do I mail my entry to?

Mail your entry, so it arrives on or before March 15 of the year you are entering (entries received after that date may not be considered for the communication awards), to:

Gregorio Billikopf
University of California
3800 Cornucopia Way # A
Modesto, CA 95358

Phone (209) 525-6800; FAX (6840)

5. What happens if I win?

The State Winners are announced and entries forwarded to compete in the Regional, and perhaps National Contests. All State finalists receive a certificate. Regional finalist receive a certificate and a plaque. National Finalists receive a Plaque and $250. National Winners receive a plaque and $500. But $ awards are only given if you collect them at the national meeting. So clear those dates when you apply :-).

6. Any hints on how to do well?

Most of them can be summarized under “reading the score card” to see how your entry will be judged.  The other suggestion is to follow the entry instructions carefully.   

  • Make sure that all elements to be judged in the scorecard are present.  Otherwise, the judges will be forced to give you zero points for that category.  For instance, in the personal column entries in 2004, there were up to 10 points awarded for the quality of the original copy sent out as part of the article release.  If you mailed in everything except that article release, no matter how excellent your entry was, there would be ten points deducted from the maximum possible score.    

  • Follow the instructions carefully, such as pasting the application form to the front of a folder, taking off the folder tabs, including a computer disk with the abstract as an attachment to the folder (creating a pocket for the disk), use a separate photocopy of the entry form for each category you enter in, use a separate disk containing an abstract for each entry, and so on.  Some of these details may make a difference at the national level, between first and second place.

  • One of the scorecards asks the question, “How long will the material hold the attention” of the viewer, listener or reader?  This is an excellent question to ask in every category you enter.  Such things as white space, pages that are not crowded, and quality of the printing process, can make a big difference in written materials.  Equivalent quality issues in radio and TV productions are just as critical.  Attractive, sharp pieces make a big difference in how long someone may read or listen to something before putting it down.  Once you do get someone’s attention, of course, if the research, article, radio clip, and so on, does not contain well-presented research-based material, it will do us little good to have an attractive package.  I think as educators, we know that when we give presentations we must not only have good stuff, but we must be able to deliver it in an effective manner.

  • Controversial topics are very interesting.  However, the materials will be more effective if they present the perspective of both sides of the argument well, even if the author makes his or her own preferences clear.   

  • PowerPoint presentation with suggestions on how to do well when entering the communication awards. view or download powerpoint.    

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Agricultural Labor Management E-mail:

Gregorio Billikopf Encina
University of California
Agricultural Extension
(corner of Service and Crowslanding Roads)
3800 Cornucopia Way, Suite A
(First floor in Stanislaus Building)
Modesto, California 95358

(209) 525-6800

16 January 2008