ACDC News – Issue 08-19

Giving consumers a lively look at their local food sources. Thanks to Warren Clark of CCI Marketing for calling our attention to some innovative agricultural television programming in California.  It comes from an “Eye on the Bay” series hosted by Liam Mayclem of KPIX-TV, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose.  You can view online the lively approach he and his associates used in their October 7 program about beekeeping, family dairy farming, olive ranching and organic egg production in that region.

Posted at . Use the site search system, entering this title: “Farms and Ranches”

“Chicken Soup” advertisement proves a winner. An agricultural advertisement known as “Chicken Soup” was the winner during October of national honors in the Creative Excellence in Business Advertising (CEBA) awards program.  This ad, created for Pfizer Animal Health by Martin Williams Advertising, Minneapolis, Minnesota, placed first in the category of single ads of one page or less in a program with an annual budget up to $100,000. It featured the headline: “If chicken soup did the trick, we wouldn’t be talking.”

The ad, which ran in selected farm periodicals, was part of a campaign that also earned radio honors earlier this year in the National Agri-Marketing Association “Best of NAMA” recognition program.

Title: Cowboy wisdom hits the airwaves

View the ad and campaign information online at

Will ICT only widen the digital divide? “Pessimists who claim ICT [information and communication technologies] will increase still further the divergence between rich and poor countries are misinformed,” according to a representative of the United Nations Capital Development Fund.  In a 2006 analysis that we added recently to the ACDC collection Adam Rogers, head of communications and public information for UNCDF, pointed to progress being made.

He also argued that these technologies are most effectively leveraged when:

  • The focus is on poverty alleviation and not on ICT itself (the task, not the tool).
  • ICT components are kept simple, relevant, practical and local.
  • ICT practitioners are involved in the design of ICT strategies.
  • There is significant community involvement.
  • New solutions are built on what is already in place.
  • There is a focus on training to ensure success and sustainability.
  • There is a plan to replicate and scale up the project if it is successful.

Title: ICT will ultimately bridge the digital and poverty divides

Posted at

Seeing genetically modified crops through different lenses .  “Developing” and “developed” countries see GM crops through importantly different lenses, according to a meta-analysis of seven databases containing 43 studies about mass media coverage, public knowledge and attitudes toward GM crops.  Researchers Eric Abbott and Lulu Rodriguez also found complex differences among “developing” countries.  They offered three recommendations for agricultural communicators who are preparing messages for audiences in any country:

  1. Beware of generalizations about GM crops across countries or continents.
  2. Be cautious about embracing results of hypothetical studies asking consumers whether or not they would buy GM foods (either directly, or if they were priced more cheaply, or had a specific benefit or risk).
  3. Strive to help mass media balance the dialogue about GM crops.

Title: Genetically modified crops in developing countries

For full-text access, contact lead author at

The Farmer Field School approach helps Danish dairy farmers. The FFS approach to agricultural improvement involves a process in which farmers share and use their own knowledge and experience to solve problems they are encountering.  It is used widely in agricultural development programs.  And recently we added to the ACDC collection a case example in Farmers Weekly (UK) about how FFS helped Danish dairy producers reduce their use of antibiotics.

“Over a period of one year, four farmer groups, each consisting of approximately six farmers, set to task.  Each month, each group met on a different farm to discuss a particular problem that had been identified by the host farmer.  Through a process of discussion and examination of farm records, aided by the presence of a facilitator, the groups were successful in reducing antibiotic usage by approximately 50%, with no discernible negative impact on health and welfare and a tangible improvement in the farm environment.”

Title: Farmer Field School approach halves antibiotic use in dairy cattle

Posted at:

Boosting knowledge and easing concerns about food irradiation. An Extension team in Texas used experiential learning techniques that increased knowledge levels and reduced negative perceptions among participants in a short course.  We added this report recently from a recent issue of the Journal of Extension .

Participants in the short course at Texas A&M University included food safety regulators, Extension educators, a food processor and port authority staff member.  Here are some of the experiential learning methods used:

  • Presentations by experts
  • Tours
  • Group discussions
  • Taste tests
  • Radioactive exposure tests

Title: Increasing positive perceptions of food irradiation

Posted at

Communicator activities approaching

January 19, 2009
Deadline for submitting abstracts for presentations at the 7th World Congress of Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources to take place June 22-24 in Reno, Nevada USA.
January 20-22, 2009
Knowledge “Share Fair” to showcase examples of good knowledge sharing practices in agricultural development and food security.  Hosted by five international agencies and held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam. That sentiment remains strong in the minds of many Americans, according to a recent national survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society.  Findings showed that:

  • Less than 10 percent understood how many bison remain in the United States.
  • More than 74 percent believe that bison are an extremely important living symbol of the American West.
  • More than half view the bison as a symbol of America as a whole.

Posted 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.