ACDC News – Issue 10-11

How to build trust in agri-food chains. Christian Fischer of Massey University, New Zealand, recently reported that communications came into the spotlight through surveys in six European countries. Reporting at the 2009 International Association of Agricultural Economists Conference in China, Fischer said he found that effective communications and a positive collaborative experience can significantly improve trust throughout those agri-food chains. Communications “seems to have an immediate impact on trust formation. Moreover, it has been found to be a powerful mediator…”

Personal bonds did not show an impact on trust levels in all situations he observed, Fischer reported. However, they are important when dealing with farmers.

Read this research paper here .

Oh, for the marketer to know the emotions of potential customers . Are these prospective buyers in a social frame of mind? A sentimental frame of mind? Do they want to sustain local agriculture? Do they feel respected? It can make a big difference in what the marketer might say to them, of course. Evidence appeared in results of a recent study reported in the journal, Psychology and Marketing . Researchers at the Universidad Publica de Navarra, Spain, investigated this matter in the wine market.

“…suppliers need to give much greater consideration to consumers’ self-awareness,” they concluded.

Citation title: Using emotional benefits as a differentiation strategy
Contact the publisher at or get in touch with us at for help in gaining access.

Rural radio “squealing into town.” A 2005 article in the San Francisco Chronicle came to our attention recently, featuring a radio station that is new to us. The logo for KPIG-FM, Freedom, California, features a pig wearing sunglasses and doffing a cowboy hat. Reporter Maria Alicia Gaura explained that “The Pig has been a cultural staple of Santa Cruz County since 1988, amusing its intensely loyal audience with a freewheeling format and an endless barrage of pig, pork and swine-themed puns.”

A Wikipedia account emphasizes the local approach of this station: local disc jockeys, sponsors, news and commentary, a free community call-in line for leaving recorded announcements, in-studio live music shows, music festivals and more. The format tends to be folk, country/folk, rock, blues, “and is largely self determined.”

You can read the Chronicle article here .

Why not talk about our failures?, a global network of people using mobile technology for social impact, has been asking that question. In fact, during April it organized the first ever “FailFaire,” where several brave souls reported on failed efforts to use information technologies for development. Case examples included:

  • A project to recycle old cell phones and donate them to Africa
  • A project to help power low cost lighting to the rural poor
  • A UNICEF project to collect 5 million children’s stories

We have added Ian Thorpe’s report of the occasion to the ACDC collection. It describes the occasion, considers the importance of reviewing mistakes and offers six tips on organizing a learning-from-mistakes occasion.

You can read the report here .

New help for using the ACDC collection. You can now view three new tutorials that help you identify and gain access to information in the ACDC collection. Users often remark about how much information is in the collection when they dig into it. The breadth and depth of it often surprise users (and us). So during recent months ACDC Associate Karlie Elliott Bowman has produced three tutorials to help you “learn the ropes” in using the ACDC collection. They are now posted on the ACDC web site, linked from the home page.

Tutorial 1 – “Introduction” to finding useful information. What this unique collection includes, in terms of “agricultural communications.” (2:23)

Tutorial 2 – “Beginning your search.” How to use the “Search for a Document” system, with special emphasis on searching the collection by topic or subject. (8:17)

Tutorial 3 – “How to retrieve documents.” Some of the new documents are available from the Center in full-text digital format. Many are not, of course. This tutorial suggests ways to gain access to whatever document you identify through your search of the ACDC collection. (6:36)

Case example – translating technical language into public language. We have a suggestion if you want to see an example of rigor one can use in this process. The case report appears in an article published in Ecology and Society . Authors identified steps in developing common-language indicators, as related to technical environmental concepts. For instance, how can one translate an environmental indicator, such as “dendrochemistry” or “root ecology” into a common-language indicator?

You can see a fascinating and valuable process here .

Thanks and best wishes to Laura Huston , a graduating senior and part-time assistant in the Center during this school year. Laura was graduated last month with a major in agricultural communications, including an emphasis in advertising and informatics. A native of Roseville, Illinois, she earned her Associate in Arts degree (with honors) from John Wood Community College in 2007. Laura has seen plenty of agricultural communications literature while helping process documents into the ACDC collection. We are grateful for her dedication and assistance.

Communicator activities approaching

July 24-28, 2010
“Rolling on the River, AMS Style.” Ag Media Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota USA.

August 26-29, 2010
Annual Conference of the National Market News Association in Portland, Oregon USA.

September 1-3, 2010
Annual Conference of the Association of Food Journalists in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA.

Interesting word of the month . We close this issue of ACDC News with one of those “What’s this?” words. It caught our eye in a commentary by Diana Sheets about journalism in the age of the Internet. She concluded:

“At best, journalism provides us with an inspired narrative based on verifiable evidence that transforms our understanding of events or ideas. At worst, journalism degrades from news into gossip or propaganda or advertising, threatening to confer little more than the stench of our cultural detritus.”

It’s worth looking up in the dictionary or Wikipedia – and, yes, it has agricultural connections.

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.