ACDC News – Issue 08-10

Meet a rural broadcasting “bloke on a bike.” You can track the travels of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) rural reporter who has been broadcasting across Australia from a motorcycle. During the early months of this year, Drew Radford of ABC “Country Hour” has been traveling nationwide “on a quest to find the innovative and the interesting, the clever and the just plain strange in rural Australia.”

He is broadcasting using 3G telephone network technology mounted on a motorcycle.  He also is testing a geo-tag 3G phone, which has a 5 mega-pixel camera. The system permits him to upload geo-tagged photos onto the web from wherever he is. You can hear interviews, see photos and watch videos.

Title: Say g’day to a bloke on a bike

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Strong support for country of origin labeling (COOL) . We recently added to the ACDC collection a report of survey research about this subject among a sample of residents in New Jersey. About 84 percent of respondents said they would like markets to provide information about country of origin of fresh produce. The Rutgers researchers found that those who were married, self-employed, had higher incomes or possessed more education were more likely to support COOL.

Title: Country of origin labeling of fresh produce

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Is fast-food promotion a significant cause of obesity? That’s a good question, according to results of a diary survey among a sample of Canadian households. Researchers Timothy Richards and Luis Padilla used econometric analysis to examine data that involved more than 5,600 restaurant visits and 262 individual foods chosen over a five-year sample period. They focused on price-promotion strategies and not mass advertising.

Findings suggested that “the principal effect [of price promotion] is to cause fast food consumers to purchase more often, or buy more on each visit. While this is likely viewed as a welcome outcome by marketing managers in the food industry, from a public policy perspective it provides support for those who argue in favor of regulating the marketing of fast food to groups at risk of obesity.”

Title: Promotion and fast food demand: where’s the beef?

100th anniversary prompts many orange smiles. The “Sunkist Smile” has been generating a lot of camera activity throughout the U. S. You can see some of the results on the web site of Sunkist Growers, a cooperative owned by more than 6,000 citrus producers in California and Arizona. Be prepared to see smiles from babies, puppies, Charlie Chaplin, Mickey Mouse, Superman and a host of others.

“Slice and Click” is the theme of this anniversary contest that began during February and ended in mid-May. Contestants submitted photos of themselves online with Sunkist Smiles (orange wedges in their mouths) and 25- to 40-word captions about why or how they enjoy Sunkist citrus.

The Cooperative Communicators Association newsletter, CCA News , explains: “Some of those images will travel worldwide in promotional materials. And later this year, the Sunkist Smile will be featured on the huge display screen in New York’s Times Square.”

Visit the “Sunkist Smile” at

Caught in the middle: extensionists/advisers and agri-environmental policy. Pressures for standardized, tightly-focused delivery of programs implementing the European Union agri-environmental policy (AEP) may be limiting extension efforts, according to research in England and Finland. Such pressures may also be “failing to bring about the long term shift in thinking and action that will be necessary if farmers are to learn about, and implement, environmental management in any more thoroughgoing sense.”

Those insights come from research findings reported in Sociologia Ruralis . Interviews with extensionists and advisers in those countries revealed two themes:

  • In Finland, some advisers’ desire to cultivate the trust of farmers led them to communicate a vision of AEP as foremost an income support measure and only incidentally environmental in scope and purpose.
  • In England, particularly, bureaucratic desire to program efficiently through “arms length” management by advisers limited their exercise of professional judgment.

Researchers suggested giving extensionists/advisers a much wider exercise of autonomous professional judgment to achieve outcomes that are tailored to specific settings and sensitive to the preferences and knowledge of farmers.

Title: Interpreting and reinterpreting agri-environmental policy

“Communicating science in the evolving world of social media” is the title of a recent article in Food Insight newsletter from the International Food Information Council.  Blogs, vlogs, RSS feeds, wikis, podcasts and other user-generated content provided through Web 2.0 offer “tremendous opportunity for those willing to step out of their ‘first generation’ comfort zones.”

This article describes new efforts of the Council to communicate science using social media.  It also offers guidelines for operating successfully in this dynamic landscape.

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Communicator activities approaching

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.
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. Information:
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.
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).

“Stand by your ham” is the title of a lively YouTube video intended to alert consumers to economic problems in the UK pig industry. Yes, it plays on the popular song, “Stand by your man.” A group of pig producers recorded it recently in a London studio. You can view this “new media” effort in rural-urban communications by going to YouTube , then conducting a site search on the title.

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 .

When you see interesting items you cannot find locally or online , get in touch with us. We will help you gain access.