ACDC News – Issue 09-21

When producers consider growing biofuel crops . Recent research among crop growers in Oklahoma identified two barriers to energy crop production, in the minds of producers:

  1. Lack of markets (biorefineries)
  2. Information about producing biofuel crops

Most growers (75 percent) were familiar with the biofuel industry, mainly through two information sources: television news and newspapers. Also, most (75 percent) said they were interested in converting cropland for biofuel production. Authors of the research report recommended an educational campaign focused on biofuel crop production practices and marketing.

Citation: Stake in the bioeconomy
Posted at

New strategic plan for communicating about food risks . The Food and Drug Administration recently released a 46-page strategic plan that defines risk communication for the future, identifies underlying principles of risk communication and sets strategic goals.

During the year ahead, the organization intends to:

  • Enhance the science that supports effective risk communication
  • Expand FDA capacity to generate, disseminate and oversee effective risk communication
  • Optimize FDA policies on communicating risks and benefits

Posted at

Covering rural health issues high in the Andes. “…just as Garfinkel learned the power of silence with the monks, so did I among the Peruvian women.” Journalist Rebecca Rivas offered that observation after her experience in producing a documentary during 2004-2006 examining the interface of maternity traditions and institutional medicine in rural Peru. “Listening and simply being present became my most helpful tool in reporting in rural Andean communities.”

“It is a wise journalist who can flow like water through the world’s inner workings. One day, I hope to be that journalist.”

You can read a report of her experiences in an article, “Capturing life at 12,000 feet,” that she wrote for the Global Journalist. Also, you can view her video on YouTube.

Citation: Capturing life at 12,000 feet
Posted at:

A new dimension of agricultural narrowcasting. Specialized, topic-centered agricultural broadcast services (such as the Tobacco Radio Network) have been on the scene for decades. Now the podcasting technologies are creating businesses for some innovative agricultural broadcasting entrepreneurs. Chuck Zimmerman of ZimmComm New Media interviewed one of them recently – Glenn Hebert, owner of the Horse Radio Network, based at Jefferson City, Missouri. Hebert produces and airs 10 podcasts a week about various sectors and interests of the horse industry. His business model involves selling advertising and voicing commercials for sponsors.

During the interview he emphasized a unique feature of podcasts. Unlike broadcasts, podcasts can be archived and retrieved for easy future access. Like agricultural broadcasts, podcasts require effort. “It takes time,” Hebert explained.

You can hear the interview at:

“Where do you find this information?” We often get that question from those who use resources in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. And there is no easy answer because the sources of it are so scattered. Here are some of the unlikely periodicals in which we have found information about agricultural communications during recent months:

Men’s Health
Toxicology Letters
Acta Tropica
Environmental Hazards
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Weed Technology
Structural Safety

Please keep an eye open for literature about this field of interest. We will appreciate learning of it, wherever it originates. Your alert can come to us at:

Communicator activities approaching

January 25, 2010
Deadline for submitting research papers, research proposals and theses/dissertations for the 2010 Conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). The conference takes place June 14-17 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Information: Emily Rhoades at

April 17-21, 2010
“Between passion & press ure” 54th Annual Congress, International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) hosted by the Belgian Association of Agricultural Journalists at Ostend, Belgium.

April 21-23, 2010
“Celebrating success in America’s heartland” 2010 Agri-Marketing Conference sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA

April 26-29, 2010
XIIIth World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) in Montpellier, France. Organized by Agropolis International.

Agricultural “Word of the Week.” Recently we came across this term – ECOBUAGE – in the digital repository of the State Library of Pennsylvania. It was used in an 1848 book by Campbell Morfitt, Manures, their composition, preparation, and action upon soils. Ecobuage is described as the process of “burning organic matters of the soil upon their own locality, especially when they are poor in nitrogenous principles.” Farmers practice(d) it by setting fire to fields when the grass is dry enough to burn. The object: “…set at liberty, by a slow decomposition, the principles contained in the vegetable matters and thus render them available to the soil.”

You can view this document online at > Search on the title. The description of ecobuage is on pages 59-60.

What agriculture-related term might you nominate as Word of the Week? Send it to us 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.