Himle received the film from Martin Moen, communications director at the Bell Museum. Because of the controversial nature of the film, public relations officers from related colleges and from University Relations came together to plan how they’d notify community and industry contacts.
Since the film criticized common agricultural practices, the officers were planning to call their connections in the industry, including soybean and corn growers associations.
A document included with the storyboard of the film said this practice “informs agricultural leaders about the film’s broadcast so they are not taken by surprise,” and will “minimize negative reactions by agriculture organizations to the film.”
No one from the central University Relations office was able to attend the meeting, so Moen gave Himle and Dan Wolter, director of University Relations, a copy of “Troubled Waters.”
Himle watched the film on Labor Day and said references to commercial organizations, including Organic Valley dairy farms, Thousand Hills Cattle Company and the Walker Art Center, were disconcerting. The organizations were held up as models of environmentally-friendly practices.
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Alex Friedrich reports on higher education issues for MPR News. Among the stories he has covered: the fall of the Berlin Wall, aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, 2003 Moscow suicide bombing and 2004 presidential elections in the Republic of Georgia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s in European political economy from the London School of Economics.