ACDC News – Issue 08-08

Could cloning generate something like the biotech “frankenfood” saga? An article in The Economist addressed that question soon after an endorsement by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration early this year. The endorsement declared food derived from the offspring of cloned cows, pigs and goats to be safe for human consumption.

This article identified three reasons to think that food from clones need not spark the same kind and level of concern among consumers as had the arrival of biotechnology in agriculture more than a decade ago.

Title: Son of Frankenfood?

Posted at:

On the birth of Frankenfoods and the power of metaphors. We recently added to the ACDC collection an article in PR Reporter that describes the origin of the word, Frankenfoods. Author Jay Byrne of v-Fluence Interactive Public Relations also explored food-related wording used in verbal battlefields related to biotechnology and organic methods of producing food.

“Language counts,” he concluded.

Title: Attack of the killer labels

Posted at:

European citizens express their views about animal welfare . “Attitudes of EU citizens towards animal welfare” is the title of a March 2007 report of research by the European Commission. According to the conclusions:

  • There is a considerable interest in animal welfare standards. On average, citizens rated the importance of the welfare of farmed animals at almost 8 on a maximum scale of 10.
  • Most expressed some willingness to change their usual place of shopping in order to purchase products more friendly to animal welfare.
  • They expressed need for improved information about welfare conditions that lie behind the products seen on shelves. Labeling was identified as particularly important.
  • Most said they believe that animal welfare standards in individual EU countries have improved over the last decade.
  • Citizens consider farmers to be best-placed to ensure these welfare improvements.
  • Television is the source by which citizens said they would most like to receive more information about this subject.

Title: Attitudes of EU citizens towards animal welfare

See the report at:

Communicators offer winning tips for judging dairy cattle. Thanks to staff members at AgriMarketing magazine for alerting us to sure-fire tips for winning the annual Hoard’s Dairyman cow judging contest. These techniques came from the creative staff of Charleston/Orwig, a marketing communications firm headquartered in Wisconsin dairyland.

You can see this video at:

Go to Archives > March 2008 > Scroll to “Making the grade.”

“It may be time to drop the term ‘precision agriculture’.” Prairie Farmer columnist Willie Vogt offered that thought in a recent issue. He cited a specialist in emerging technologies who suggested that all agriculture is precision agriculture. The specialist was referring to the increased use of technologies for autosteering, grid soil sampling and use of management zones for managing crop fertility.

Title: Rethinking the role of precision

Contact us by return e-note if you would like to see this column.

Nine new agricultural communications research papers . Here are nine papers presented in the agricultural communications section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists. This meeting took place during February in Dallas, Texas.

  • “Usability evaluation of an online media resource guide” by Cindy Akers, David Doerfert, Todd Chambers, Kim Cooper and Chad Davis
  • “Research themes, authors and methodologies in the Journal of Applied Communications : a ten-year look” by Leslie D. Edgar, Tracy Rutherford and Gary Briers
  • “A curriculum for university agricultural communication programs: a synthesis of research” by Tammy M. Ettredge, and Kimberly A. Bellah
  • “UF’s [University of Florida’s] scientific thinking and educational partnership: an approach for genetics outreach” by Lisa Hightower, Ricky Telg, Courtney Meyers, Tracy Irani and Maria Gallo
  • “A national evaluation of the beef cattle industry’s use of communication channels to obtain information regarding food safety” by Moriah Jennings, Todd Brashears, Scott Burris, Cindy Akers and Mindy Brashears
  • “Feeding the debate: a framing analysis of the news media coverage of organic food” by Courtney Meyers and Katie Chodil
  • “Examining JAC: an analysis of the scholarly progression of the Journal of Applied Communications ” by Traci Naile, Tanner Robertson and Dwayne Cartmell
  • “Louisiana consumer perceptions of environmental practices in farming” by Robert J. Soileau and Joe W. Kotrlik
  • “Usability evaluation of the Cotton Economics Research Institution web site” by Samantha D. Yates, Cindy Akers and Erica Irlbeck

You can review these papers at:

Communicator activities approaching

June 10-13, 2008
“Talk to the hand.” ACE ’08 conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences, in Traverse City, Michigan.
June 19-21, 2008
“Break from the gate in 2008.” Seminar of American Horse Publications in Saratoga Springs, New York.
June 21-24, 2008
“Hook, line and sinker: restock your communications tackle box.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Portland, Maine.
July 14, 2008
“Meeting information and knowledge needs of farmers in Africa through e-Agriculture.”  Seminar of the African Chapter of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) in Lusaka, Zambia.
June 23-27, 2008
“Bridges to the future.” Tenth conference of the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Network and the Swedish Research Council to be held in Sweden and Denmark.
July 26-30, 2008
“10th anniversary Ag Media Summit.” Joint meeting of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Livestock Publications Council (LPC), ABM Agri-Council, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) and Ag Relations Council (ARC).

Instant messaging in agriculture . Writing in Southwest Farm Press , Ron Smith observed that a system of abbreviated messages might help farmers as they communicate by instant messaging. Kids do it, he said (e.g., ur for you are). Why shouldn’t busy farmers have a specific language to handle the technical aspects of daily life and work? Here are some of the examples he offered:

Lgf – let’s go fishing

Lgfn – let’s go fishing now

Cro – cows are out

Tnd – truck in ditch

Gtnrn – getting any rain?

Title: Abbreviations might help ag

Best regards and good searching . Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas for the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to .

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