510 ACES Funk Library
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Feb 10, 2014
USDA Crop Progress reports "have substantial information value."
That evaluation came recently from researcher Georg V. Lehecka, who analyzed how corn and soybean futures markets react to crop progress information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His analysis covered the period 1986 to 2012. Findings suggested that:
You can read this research report at: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/handle/142491
"It is going to be great! All natural ingredients."
So read the caption of a New Yorker cartoon in which three witches were standing around a steaming cauldron of witches' brew. This reference from more than 30 years ago caught our attention recently in a 1982 lecture by Professor Richard Wilson of Harvard University.
"A number of people argue that natural foods are better and our problems of cancer and so on arise from artificial chemicals," he noted. "It is conventional wisdom to ridicule this. This ridicule is illustrated in a New Yorker cartoon showing that natural ingredients were used for witches' brews as well as for honest men's sustenance." Natural phenomenon may wipe out the human race, he added.
It is important, he concluded, to understand a proper flow of information in reaching decisions about risk. "Risk analysis is an aid to a decision and should not be a decision in itself."
Please check with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in gaining access to this lecture, "Traps and errors in risk analysis."
Call for addressing restrictions on agricultural photography
Thanks to retired agricultural journalist Fred Myers for a thoughtful response to our recent item in ACDC News about restrictions being considered and placed on photographs taken in public places.
He suggested that all agricultural journalists should be aware of what has already happened and is about to happen in the rest of the communications environment, then take a proactive stance against unreasonable measures that would unduly restrict them from gaining important access. "This subject deserves a sense of urgency from everyone in ag journalism."
You can read his full response here.
Images of agriculture featured in recent research
Three articles in the third 2013 issue of the Journal of Applied Communications examined consumer perceptions about food, plants, farming and agriculture. Other articles in the issue addressed topics such as morale within a natural resources public organization, teaching multi-media communications skills, and reaching those who grow coffee in India.
You can read these articles in Issue 3 of Volume 97 at: http://journalofappliedcommunications.org
How consumers decide about buying Fair Trade coffee
A team of researchers at the University of Kassel (Germany) used an Information-Display-Matrix experiment to trace the information-gathering behavior and final purchase decision of a sample of consumers. Among the tested product attributes, here are the four that proved most important:
Consumers in this experiment searched information extensively and applied strategic approaches in their searches.
You can read this report at: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/handle/135778
Welcoming new ACDC Director Lura Joseph
Professor Lura Joseph is new director of the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. She began this part-time appointment January, 2014. It accompanies her part-time service as Content Access and Research Services Librarian in the University of Illinois Library.
Lura brings to the Center a rich combination that encompasses physical sciences, information sciences, and human interaction. Following her undergraduate degree in anthropology, she earned graduate degrees in geology, psychology, and library and information studies. She gained professional experience in petroleum geology, then found career interest in library and information sciences. Combining those areas, she served as physical sciences librarian at North Dakota State University before she joined the Library faculty at the University of Illinois in 2001, serving as head of the Geology Library until it closed in January, 2011. ACDC associates are delighted to welcome her in this important leadership role.
"I am looking forward to serving in this new capacity," Lura states. "It complements my experience and interest in grey literature (literature that is difficult to identify and access), indexing of scientific literature, creating and maintaining electronic bibliographic databases, and providing reference services."
Communicator activities approaching
The flipside of an information-rich world
We close this issue of ACDC News with an insight provided by H. Simon more than 40 years ago, when computers appeared on the horizon.
"In an information-rich world, a wealth of resources creates a poverty of attention."
Best wishes and good searching.
Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to email@example.com.