ACDC News – Issue 09-07

French television ads feature farm jobs . “L`agriculture, des métiers à la mode” (farming jobs are in fashion) is the theme of a television advertising campaign in France to attract people into agriculture. It is sponsored by an agricultural organization, FNSEA, and we became aware of it through an item in the Farmers Weekly Interactive (UK).

These six brief spots are not your usual rural promotions. When you watch them online you should be ready for “How’s-that-again?” images such as baled-hay earphones and a purple sheep.

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Ten new agricultural communications research reports . Faculty members and graduate students presented 10 research reports at the recent annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are the topics addressed in the Agricultural Communications Section:

You can review these papers at:

Rural learning from a hole in the wall. School-based education is outside the domain of this Center, but implications of educational researcher Sugata Mitra’s “hole in the wall” experiments in remote sectors of India extend far beyond the classroom. In fact, as you may know, “hole in the wall” experiments inspired the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” winner of four Golden Globe Awards.

What happens when you install an internet-connected computer and touchpad in a hole in a wall of a remote village or urban slum area? No teacher or advisor on hand. No curriculum. Just leave it there.

“Minimally invasive education” and “outdoctrination” are terms Mitra uses to describe this insightful approach to learning in a digital era. It uses the power of collaboration and the mutual curiosity of children, complementing the framework of traditional schooling.

You can view a conference presentation in which Mitra described his remarkable experiments and the results of them:

Here are other resources that may interest you:
Essay by Sugata Mitra about the wall project:
Hole in the Wall website:

Eating on cruise control . The obesity epidemic is driving public health researchers to entertain the idea of focusing less on nutrition education and more on shaping the food environment. What about viewing eating as an automatic behavior, over which we have limited control? Writing in Preventing Chronic Disease , Deborah Cohen and Thomas Farley cited studies indicating that eating should be so viewed. For example:

  • Eating begins without conscious intent, often simply because it is mealtime.
  • People generally are not aware of how much they are eating.
  • The natural trajectory of eating is for it to continue.
  • People are less likely to stop eating because they were full than because no food or drink remains,

Authors also reported research pointing to “high levels of food marketing, accessibility, and quantity as the ‘toxic environment’ at the root of the obesity epidemic.” In this environment, they said, educational or motivational approaches to reducing consumption will continue to fail.

Citation: Eating as an automatic behavior
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Communicator activities approaching

April 19-21, 2009
Annual spring meeting of North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D. C.

May 12-14, 2009
“Celebrating deep roots, strong branches, new heights.” Twentieth anniversary meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May 24-28, 2009
“25 years of strengthening international agricultural and extension education.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Puerto Rico.

May 27-29, 2009
Fourth international conference on ICT for development, education and training in Dakar, Senegal.

June 6-10, 2009
“When tillage begins, other arts follow.” ACE.NETC.09 sponsored by the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) and the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), in Des Moines, Iowa USA.

June 13-16, 2009
“Branding communications with a kick.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

June 25-27, 2009
“Free rein in the Big Easy.” Annual seminar of the American Horse Publishers (AHP) organization in New Orleans, Louisiana.

How to visualize the disappearance of farmland: a fresh photo idea. Photographer Scott Strazzante’s creative approach to visualizing rural-urban change earned “News Gem” honors during 2008. “Jon Marshall’s News Gems,” presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, are described as representing the best of American journalism. Here’s what earned the photographer that recognition:

“Six years ago photographer Scott Strazzante chronicled the dismantling of a family farm on the outskirts of metropolitan Chicago. Strazzante revisited the same plot of land where a subdivision now stands. With “Another Country” in the Chicago Tribune Magazine , he brilliantly juxtaposes pictures he took of the disappearing rural life with photos of the suburban present.”

Citation: Farm meets the subdivision

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.