Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

David Roberts


In his study of Thomas Edison (The Languages of Edison's Light, 1999), professional communication scholar Charles Bazerman investigates how Edison, rather than constructing a document for one specific audience, purpose, and context, instead would use a single written communication to simultaneously address numerous audiences and to mitigate among the audiences' ideological conflicts. In a 1998 speech at Iowa State University, Bazerman labeled this type of communication a document of coordination.;My dissertation takes the concept of documents of coordination and places it within an agricultural context. Specifically, the Beginning Farmer Center (BFC), a program under Iowa State University Extension's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, assists small, family farmers and their operations. However, given the recent, massive agricultural changes and controversies in Iowa, the BFC must tailor its professional communication documents to address not only small farmers but myriad other audiences: The general public, industrial farm operations, education administrators, legislative politicians, etc. Each audience possesses differing ideological and cultural demographics that significantly affect their approach to a professional document.;Given these conflicting audiences, my dissertation studies the impact of documents of coordination published by the Beginning Farmer Center by exploring the following research questions: (1) Within the context of the Beginning Farmer Center, how are documents of coordination defined and how do they function as rhetorical tools? (2) How do documents of coordination perpetuate or resist power structures that are embedded in professional communication? (3) As professional communications, how do documents of coordination reify or challenge the audiences' value systems?



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Adrienne Patrice Lamberti



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

368 pages