ACDC News – Issue 10-04

63 case studies feature innovative ICT projects. A report from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa highlights 63 innovative farmer advisory services, using information and communication technologies. Featuring a wide range of agricultural topics, they fall into these categories:

  • Voice information delivery services
  • Radio broadcasts and dial-up services
  • Extension services based on mobile phone and database monitoring
  • E-learning for basic skills, including video-based approaches

View the report online here .

Farming scholar studies risk communications in six countries. We have added to the ACDC collection a recent report by David Cussons, a producer in Western Australia. He carried out this study through the Farming Scholars program of Nuffield Australia. His travels took him to Japan, England, Sweden, USA, Canada and New Zealand where he conferred with dozens of communicators and others. We were pleased to host him in the Center during his U.S. visits.

Case examples and insights highlighted in his report undergird his six recommendations about risk communications in agriculture. Among them:

  • Understand the demographics of the public
  • Improve the selection and training of agriculture spokespeople
  • Embrace the latest social media techniques
  • Use electronic traceability to promote agriculture

Read the report here .

$500,000 agricultural promotion campaign boosts incomes $2.9 million. We see relatively few research efforts that identify the economic impact of specific agriculture-related promotion efforts. That’s why a report from two Clemson University economists caught our eye recently. C. E. Carpio and O. Isengildina-Massa evaluated the impact of the South Carolina agricultural promotion campaign after its first season (2007). Analysis of the survey data revealed that consumer demand for state-grown produce increased by 3.4 percent, increasing producer surplus by an estimated $2.9 million.

Read the paper by visiting this web site , then searching on the title: “Measuring the potential economic impact of a regional agricultural promotion campaign”

“Make every Pakistani a blogger.” That was the advice of Ghazala Khan in a recent blog about the challenges that print and broadcast journalists face in covering rural and remote areas of that nation.

“Here mobile phone companies, NGOs and civil society should provide a platform to the locals to use texting and camera phone video to report from rural areas. … Citizen journalism is so easy to implement, and this would empower the people.”

Read the commentary here .

Winners honored in “Future of Family Farming” photo contest . Photos from the Philippines, Nigeria and Rwanda earned top recognition recently in a contest focused on sustainable agriculture. The contest was sponsored by ILEIA Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture, based in the Netherlands. An independent organization, ILEIA aims to enhance knowledge on small-scale sustainable agriculture, particularly in developing countries.

View the winning photos here .

More than matters of science and emotions. A commentary we added recently from Drovers emphasized several dimensions to agriculture’s interactions with consumers about animal welfare and other issues. Writing after the passage of Proposition 2 in California, Suzanne Bopp said that producers across the country are likely to hear the call for more industry outreach and consumer education efforts. She emphasized:

“The case cannot be made with science alone – those arguments failed against Proposition 2. These judgments fall into the realm of ethics and values. Yet those things have not been much discussed of late. We’ve improved safety, efficiency and traceability, but not consumer trust.”

Read the commentary here .

New Student Photo Gallery on the ACDC web site. We are pleased to call attention to a new online gallery of photographs taken by students in an agricultural photography course here at the University of Illinois. Agricultural communications faculty member Bob Siebrecht teaches this popular course, which has been offered for about 40 years. It uses methods that uniquely help students learn to “see” in new ways, with special emphasis on revealing the diversity of agriculture and rural life.

The first photo featured in the Gallery was taken by L. Brian Stauffer. You can learn about the course and see Brian’s photo here .

Communicator activities approaching

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
“From America’s Heartland to the Rest of the World.” 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.

May 4, 2010
Midwest Regional Design and Writing Workshop for members of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Takes place in West Des Moines, Iowa USA.
Information: Jennifer Bremer at

May 5-6, 2010
“Desert Discoveries.” Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Tucson, Arizona USA.

June 14-17, 2010
“Meet us in St. Louis.” Annual conference of the Association of Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in St. Louis, Missouri USA.

Easier than ever these days. We close this issue of ACDC News with a remark offered at a recent communications research conference during discussion about new social media:

“It’s gotten easier to be stupid and evil in public.”

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.