ACDC News – Issue 10-02

Big lovers of fast food. The first 2010 issue of British Food Journal included an article that sheds light on the dramatic increase in fast food consumption in the U. S. during the 1990s. Authors used government survey data to analyze demographic and socioeconomic factors that influenced this growth. Findings revealed that fast food consumption:

  • Increased until consumers reached age 20-30, then decreased
  • Increased as household income grew to about $50,000-60,000, then decreased
  • Decreased as household size grew
  • Was highest among males living outside central cities of the Midwest and South

Contact us here if you wish to gain access to this article, or request it from the publisher here .

Presentations at the 2009 ACE/NETC conference . We are adding to the ACDC collection about 30 presentations from the recent conference of these two partnering organizations: ACE (Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences) and NETC (National Extension Technology Conference). Sessions ranged across international communications, leadership and management, marketing, media relations, photography, publishing, research, video, web content and design, and writing. A few samples of presentations you can review online:

  • Issue management
  • Media usage by farmers and ranchers
  • Wrangling scientific writing
  • Trends in agricultural communication research
  • Creative commons licenses
  • Writing and editing effective web content
  • How a web page is seen
  • Three options for sharing presentations online

View sessions online here .

You can now read the Journal of Applied Communications online . It is available in full text from ACE. Until now, only the abstracts have been available online. Articles in the latest issue feature:

  • Case study on use of blended e-learning tools
  • An educational partnership for genetics outreach
  • Voter confidence in the agricultural industry
  • Educational efforts to serve producers with disabilities
  • Organizational learning in response to an anthrax outbreak
  • Readership of extension publications in digital and printed formats

Read them here .

A research review: information needs and seeking patterns in developing countries. A recent article in the International Information and Library Review reported results of a literature review of studies done on the information needs and information-seeking behavior of rural and urban residents of eight developing countries. Among the findings and conclusions:

  • “Basic human needs make up the majority of information needs across all countries investigated.”
  • “Lack of education remains the primary obstacle to meeting the information needs of the working poor in developing countries.”
  • “The disparity in information needs between urban educated and non-educated citizens compared to those who live in rural areas in developing countries is staggering.”
  • “Informal information networks are by far the most preferred means of gathering information that individuals feel is reliable and authentic.”
  • “While extension workers and rural libraries are considered to be good options for finding good-quality information, they are not as heavily relied on.”
  • “A digital divide continues to exist in an increasingly digital information world.”
  • “In rural communities, the public library could become an important resource center because it is through the library that citizens will be able to take control of their lives and careers by becoming more knowledgeable.”

Citation: Information needs and information-seeking behavior
Author contact: Renee Dutta at

Media guidelines from Chuck Zimmerman . We have added to the ACDC collection a summary of five useful guidelines that Chuck Zimmerman of ZimmComm New Media offered in AgWired early in 2009. He noted there has been a lot of talk about how the media room of today should be configured and managed. “I just thought I’d throw out some ideas to help move the conversation along.”

Citation: Media room guidelines
View his suggestions here .

“Makeover” TV concept not always for home building and decorating . A Kenyan television series introduced recently uses the makeover principle to show smallholders how to improve their livelihoods. Writing in the February 2008 issue of Developments , Louise Tickle described how “Shamba Shape-Up!” explores “some of the typical problems encountered by smallholder families on the outskirts of Kenya’s towns and cities,” then “brings in a crack team of experts to sort them out smartish.” The word “shamba” means “smallholding.” By the end of the third series, five million viewers had watched the half-hour program.

Citation: 30 minute makeover
View this report online here .

Communicator activities approaching

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.

Ah, to be a tech rep . We close this issue of ACDC News with an agricultural example of why we should tip our hats to the “customer care representatives” who field questions from computer users. This is a real exchange, as reported on

Tech rep: What’s on your screen right now?”

Caller: “A stuffed animal my boyfriend got me at the grocery store.”

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.