ACDC News – Issue 08-14

Meteorologists need communicator help? “There are good theoretical arguments for expecting seasonal forecasts to be valuable for agriculture,” say the authors of a new article in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology .  They explain, however, why such forecasts are still the subject of considerable controversy.  Authors recommend ways to improve the reliability of forecasts, including more use of qualitative social science methods “for understanding the determinants of information use and value.”

In so doing, they open the door for communications researchers and professionals to collaborate with climatologists in adding economic value to forecasting efforts.

Title: Economic value of seasonal climate forecasts for agriculture

If you lack access to this journal, contact author:  Francisco J. Meza at

Looking at food safety through YouTube. A review of 76 videos posted on YouTube during a four-week period of 2007 revealed that the information presented about food safety was only moderately credible.  Researchers Emily Rhoades and Jason Ellis suggested that agricultural communicators place attention on two key areas as they consider providing food safety information through new media channels such as video social network Web sites:

  • Increase evidence of content credibility by using information from third-party informants such as interviewees, or by citing non-biased sources.
  • Include a dimension of entertainment in videos to develop and maintain viewer interest, as well as perpetuate video popularity and sharing.

Title: Food tube: online coverage of food safety

For full-text access, contact the lead author at

“World’s longest running rural radio program breaks new ground.” That’s the title of an article in a recent issue of IFAJ e-News , published by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

“The Country Hour,” a long-running rural radio program recognized by the Guinness Book of Records, “is breaking new ground by leveraging the latest technology to stay relevant to its audiences across Australia after more than 60 years.  National rural editor Leigh Radford explains how websites, 3G telephone links, geo-tag phones, blogs and podcasts enable a network of 75 specialist rural reporters to share their distinctly Australian stories on the air, on television and on-line with audiences around the world.”

Title: Longest running rural radio program

Posted at > May-June 2008 issue

How Europeans view farmers, farming and agriculture .  We have added to the ACDC collection a summary of findings from a late 2006 survey by the European Commission among 24,732 citizens in the 25 member states, Bulgaria and Romania.  It reveals views about topics such as:

  • Importance of European agriculture and the rural areas
  • Knowledge, awareness and information about agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
  • Role of farmers in society
  • Trust in sources of information on farming and EU agricultural policy
  • Topics on which the public would like more information

Title: Europeans, agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy

Posted at

Increasingly, local knowledge is being valued.  Then again… We recently added to the ACDC collection “An overview of indigenous knowledge (IK) and how it relates to modern science.” It came from the Science and Development Network, London, England.

This four-page report described how awareness of the value of indigenous knowledge (especially in sustainable development and poverty alleviation) is “growing at a time when such knowledge is being threatened as never before.”  Among the important questions involved:

  • Who owns IK and who may use it?
  • Who decides how to use IK and for what purpose?
  • How should its owners be compensated?

These questions about local and traditional knowledge cut across all societies. And they challenge agricultural development as well as other dimensions of development.

Title: An overview of indigenous knowledge

Posted at

IFAJ reminder to agricultural journalists .  Planners of the 2008 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) are inviting agricultural journalists all over the world to provide information for a special session.  Uschi Raser explains that the session will focus on the topic:  “To whom are agricultural journalists responsible?

Program planners have arranged to carry out an online survey.  Results will be presented at the Congress by Joschi Schillhab from the Opinion Research Center, Oekonsult. If you are an agricultural journalist you are invited to take part in the survey.  Go to:

The Congress will take place in Austria and Slovenia during September 10-14. You can learn more about it at .

Communicator activities approaching

September 10-14, 2008
“From the mountains to the sea.”  2008 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) to take place in Austria and Slovenia.
October 1, 2008
Deadline for submission of papers for the Agricultural Communication Section of the 2009 conference of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists.
Information: > “Call for Papers for 2009 meeting”
October 2-4, 2008
“Growing beyond the ordinary.”  Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF) to take place in Courtenay, British Columbia.
October 15-18, 2008
Annual conference of the Association of Food Journalists in Houston, Texas USA.
November 12-14, 2008
“Making waves, lifting tides.”  Annual conference of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

Farm equipment never sounded so good. If you aren’t acquainted with the video, “University of Iowa Farm Machine Music,” you might want to check it out – even if it is a prank of sorts. A widely circulated e-mail message described it as a collaborative effort between a music conservatory and school of engineering at the University of Iowa. Nearly all of the components came from farm equipment, said the message, and a team invested 13,029 hours in set-up, calibration and tuning before the filming.

Actually, this 3:24 video, “Pipe Dream,” is the creation of a company in Texas with no farm equipment involved. According to information on the web site the graphics and music are entirely digitally synthesized.  “Virtual instruments are invented by building computer graphics models of objectives that would appear to create the sound of the corresponding music synthesizer track.”

View the video at: > Search on “Amazing Music Machine.”

Review a report about the prank at:

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 .

Get in touch with us when you see interesting items in the ACDC collection and can’t gain full-text access through information in the citation, or through online searching.  We will help you gain access.

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