ACDC News – Issue 10-01

Two new studies of computer and Internet use among U. S. producers . You may be interested in these reports we added recently to the ACDC collection:

1. “Farm computer usage and ownership.” Survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. August 2009.

View the 28-page report here .

2. “NAFB Internet usage study.” Telephone survey by Ag Media Research during August and September 2009. Developed and funded by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

View the summary presentation here .

Read a summary news release here .

Telling agriculture’s (or someone’s) story. A new feature from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) highlights 40 examples of rural-urban communications approaches used by organizations to advance their interests and views. Authors Jim Evans and Owen Roberts explore “how point-of-view communicators can contribute in the complex maze of rural-urban issues and relations.” This fifth feature in their series examines techniques such as these used around the world:

  • Events and occasions
  • Media-based efforts
  • Action groups
  • Educational approaches
  • Partnering with media
  • Local farm initiatives

You can read this feature on the IFAJ web site.

How a small newspaper uses social media in a rural area. Mark Coddington and Stephanie Romanski of the Grand Island Independent (Nebraska USA) recently used a podcast to discuss creative uses of the Web and social media. The Independent (20,000 circulation) serves a city of 45,000, along with 16 rural counties around Grand Island. Presenters described their experiences with tools such as Twitter and CoveritLive to get news faster, extend their presence, humanize the paper and build trust. One example involved live reporting from a “Rural Harvest Days” event.

Listen to their podcast here .

“Enormous gaps in technological achievement remain” among nations of the world, according to a recent World Bank report: Global economic prospects 2008: technology diffusion in the developing world . Authors of the 224-page volume noted the promise of diffusion through new information technologies such as mobile phones and, to some extent, computers. However:

“Even upper-middle-income countries have less than one-third of the level of Total Factor Productivity (TFP) of high-income OECD countries, and low-income countries have only 7 percent. The gap in TFP levels between high-income countries and Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa has widened since 1990. Moreover, the gap between major centers and lesser cities and rural economics remains large even in the most successful countries.”

View the document online here .

Winning with a shot in the dark. Jason Jenkins of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives earned national “Photographer of the Year” honors recently for a shot in the dark. His photo, “Gigging by Firelight,” was recognized by the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA). He had joined a small group of fishermen for an evening of following a fishing tradition of the Missouri Ozarks culture, using all-traditional equipment.

View the photo and description online here .

“Americans oppose most farm subsidies.” That is the title of a research summary we added recently from the Program on International Policy Attitudes, University of Maryland. A nationwide survey during March-April 2009 revealed that 61 percent of citizen respondents said they oppose U. S. subsidies going to large farming businesses. Only 36 percent said they favor such subsidies. This pattern was similar among Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

However, 77 percent said they favor subsidies to small farming businesses (those under 500 acres). They expressed support for such subsidies in farm states (79 percent) as well as non-farm states (75 percent).

View the citation here .
View a summary of findings online here .

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

February 6-9, 2010
Research and professional development meeting of the Agricultural Communications Section, Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists in Orlando, Florida.

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.

“Would you and your beautiful daughter like some mountain oysters?” This may not be the ideal way to improve rural-urban relations, columnist Lee Pitts confided in a Farm World column we read recently. He has been urged out of the PR circuit, it seems, after the response he got to this question from a visitor named Reginald – and after his wife’s efforts failed to undo the public relations damage he had done. “…I do miss serving the townies fresh fried mountain oysters and then watching them turn green when I tell them what they are,” Pitts admitted.

Citation: Playing nice with the “townies”
Search here on “mountain oysters” to learn about them.

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.