ACDC News – Issue 10-17

New web-based curriculum about farm broadcasting. A new 12-chapter curriculum is available, thanks to agricultural communications faculty members at Texas Tech University with support from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Foundation. Topics include farm broadcasting history, the role of a farm broadcaster, basic radio facts, promotions, writing for radio, farmer demographics and media use, advertising, farm media research studies, preparing a media plan and farm radio media buys.

This resource is available for use in communications courses and other venues. Each chapter includes learning objectives, reading materials and Power Point lecture slides. Most chapters have a video to accompany the reading material.

Everything is contained on this web site:

For further information, get in touch with Prof. Erica Irlbeck at

When brands become virtuous . Research findings that we have added from Context Marketing and Noesis Research suggest that brands are considered virtuous by both being good and doing good. “Consumers do not differentiate between a brand’s being good and doing good when assessing brand virtue.”

Among other insights from the reported research:

  • Virtuous brands engage consumers in ways that matter most to marketers, in building trust and loyalty.
  • Care for the environment is one of the most valued qualifications of a responsible brand.
  • Virtuous brands allow consumers to feel better about themselves.
  • Consumers will pay more for virtuous brands.
  • Women hold brands to higher standards than do men.

You can read the research report, “Brand virtue,” here .

How rural residents use the Internet to learn about local activities. Qualitative and quantitative research led Michael J. Stern and Alison E. Adams to observe in a recent issue of American Behavioral Scientist :

  • Many rural residents know little about local community Web sites and feel it is difficult to find information about local happenings.
  • However, some use the Web to learn about local events and groups (bonding) and these are the same people who connect to interests outside the local area (bridging).
  • The Internet seems a useful tool for activating the active.
  • E-mail use appeared to be more prominent than Web sites for finding out about local and nonlocal events and groups.

You can review the abstract and order the article in full text from the journal publisher here .

An innovative Extension approach serves small landholders . An “experiential learning journey” is showing promise in Australia for meeting the unique extension and information needs of small landowners. This model is described in a presentation we have added to the ACDC collection from a 2010 webinar hosted by the Australasia Pacific Extension Network.

More than 5,000 participants during the past five years have taken part in about 150 workshops used to introduce a five-stage experiential model that employs varied Extension methods. Staff members of the Western Australia Small Landholder Information Service reported that 90 percent of sampled participants in the 2007-2008 program said they used new behaviors that they could attribute to their engagement with the program.

You can review the model and read the research report here .

Tribute to a master agricultural communicator . At the recent passing of Lyle Abbott (age 92) we are pleased to help recognize the contributions of one of the master agricultural marketing communicators in the U.S. During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, he worked with agricultural advertising agencies that helped major clients address a dynamic time of agricultural development in the U.S. For example, at Gardner Advertising, St. Louis, Missouri, he led teams that served clients such as John Deere, Ralston Purina, Eli Lilly and Northrup King Seed.

His many professional contributions included serving on the original Industry Advisory Committee when the Agricultural Communications program was established here at the University of Illinois in the early 1960s. His counsel helped define the direction and values of this program. We are grateful for his service, his example and his friendship.

Fired from city council because of Farmville: the perils of social gaming. Plovidv city council members ( Bulgaria) voted off a member they caught playing Farmville during a council meeting. Gavin Dunaway reported that news in a recent issue of the interactive advertising journal, Adotas .

“Farmville still has that new-fad thrill to it that will fade, but social gaming is certainly now a component of this digital life,” Dunaway observed. He said opportunities in social gaming are abundant, but urged advertisers to discover sustainable and smart ways to engage gamers – beyond trying to take advantage of addiction/obsession.

You can read this commentary here .

Communicator activities approaching

  • November 5-9, 2010
    “Science writers 2010.” Joint gathering of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Development of Science Writers in New Haven, Connecticut. Information:
  • November 10-12, 2010
    “Beyond the microphone.” Sixty-sixth annual conference of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:

Best of the worst crop reporting . Once again, we are forced say that agricultural themes appeared in winning entries of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. This contest, sponsored by the English Department of San Jose State University (California), “challenges writers around the world to compose the opening sentence of the worst of all possible novels.” Rich Cheeseman of Waconia, Minnesota, entered this 2010 winner in the “Fantasy Fiction” category:

“The wood nymph fairies blissfully pranced in the morning light past the glistening dewdrops on the meadow thistles by the Old Mill, ignorant of the daily slaughter that occurred just behind its lichen-encrusted walls, twin 20-ton mill stones savagely ripping apart the husks of wheat seed, gleefully smearing the starchy entrails across their dour granite faces in unspeakable botanical horror and carnage — but that’s not our story; ours is about fairies!”

For added inspiration, you can read all the winning 2010 Bulwer-Lytton entries here .

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.