ACDC News – Issue 12-06

First fashion brand from rural women. February 15 proved a significant day in the fashion industry of Pakistan as an impressive fashion show launched the nation’s first brand for rural women. It’s called Sughar (translated in English as “skilled and confident woman”) and it involves the work of 500 rural women in two provinces of the nation. Featured products include stylish hand clutches, hand bags, and traditional-cum-modern dresses. Each product depicts a folk story or a tradition that is followed in diverse communities of Pakistan.

A national nonprofit organization, Participatory Development Initiatives, facilitates this social enterprise program. “The fashionable and fabulously designed products were the source of attraction to many who were amazed at the talent and skills of rural women.”

You can learn more about Sughar at

On the changing definition of “agricultural journalism.” William Allen, University of Missouri, usefully traces the roots and growth of agricultural journalism in the new Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication . He describes the uniqueness and importance of agricultural journalism, extending beyond “just good journalism.” the “farm story” has evolved to target urban as well rural areas, and deals with concepts like food, science, or trade.

Check with us at if you lack access to this article.

Careers, commodity websites, social media, “Food, Inc.” featured in JAC . You can read research reports about these and other dimensions of agricultural communications in the third 2011 issue of the Journal of Applied Communications :

  • Tamra Watson and J. Tanner Robertson, “Perceptions of agricultural communications freshmen regarding curriculum expectations and career aspirations”
  • Joy N. Goodwin, Christy Chiarelli and Tracy Irani, “Is perception reality? Improving agricultural messages by discovering how consumers perceive messages”
  • Christy Witt, David Doerfert, Tracy Rutherford, Theresa Murphrey, and Leslie Edgar, “The contribution of selected instructional methods toward graduate student understanding of crisis communication.”
  • Mica Graybill-Leonard, Courtney Meyers, David Doerfert, and Erica Irlbeck, “Using Facebook as a communication tool in agricultural-related social movements.”
  • Kori Barr, Erica Irlbeck, Courtney Meyers, and Todd Chambers, “Television journalists’ perceptions of agricultural stories and sources in Texas”
  • Courtney Meyers, Erica Irlbeck, Mica Graybill-Leonard, and David Doerfert, “Advocacy in agricultural social movements: exploring Facebook as a public relations communication tool”
  • Courtney Meyers, Erica Irlbeck, and Kelsey Fletcher, “Postsecondary students’ reactions to agricultural documentaries: a qualitative analysis”

View them online at

How to research, monitor, and evaluate communication for development . Special thanks to Dr. June Lennie of the Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia) for alerting us to a comprehensive new resource:

“Researching, monitoring, and evaluating communications for development:trends, challenges and approaches.”

Dr. Lennie and Prof. Jo Tacchi of RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) wrote this 153-page report for the United Nations Inter-agency Group on Communication for Development.

The report highlights principles and approaches for effective, appropriate and sustainable research, monitoring, and evaluation of communication efforts in support of development. You can read it at:

Tell kids to do journalism in high school to boost grades and scores. Students in the U.S. who work on high school newspapers and yearbooks get better grades in high school, earn higher scores on college entry exams, and get better grades as college freshmen. Those findings come from research commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America. The study involved more than 31,000 randomly selected students who took the ACT college entrance exams across a five-year period. The findings do not assure causation, but do show what the report describes as strong positive relationship.

High school journalism faces many obstacles, according to the report, due mainly to budget cuts and legal pressures (related to free speech). Rural schools were cited as being among those most likely to cut back on journalism offerings.

You can read the full report at:

Communicator activities approaching.

  • April 16-18, 2012
    “Sustainable Human Development.” The World Information Technology Forum (WITFOR) in New Delhi, India. Organized by the International Federation for Information Processing. Will focus on four key areas: agriculture, education, health and e-governance. Information:
  • April 18-20, 2012
    “Acres of Innovation.” 2012 conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association in Kansas City, Missouri USA. Information:
  • May 21-24, 2012
    “East Meets West for Sustainable Development.” 2012 conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AEAEE) in Nakhon Pathom Province, Thailand. Information:
  • May 28-June 1, 2012
    “That Voodo You Do.” 26th annual National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. Information:
  • June 2-5, 2012
    “Adventures in Communications.” Annual institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Tucson, Arizona USA. Information:
  • June 11-14, 2012
    “Charting a New Course.” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Annapolis, Maryland USA.

To dream the impossible dream. We close this issue of ACDC News with a “hen” story told in 1935 by Victor Hayden, executive secretary of the Agricultural Publishers Association. He offered it in response to a tale circulating in newspaper trade circles. A newspaper was claiming to have issued its first annual farm edition in tabloid form. According to the paper, members of the regular staff produced this 24-page edition in 10 days, along with their regular editorial duties.

Hayden responded with a tale of his own. It involved a farmer’s hens and may speak to motivational appeals we all have heard and endured:

The farmer exhibited an ostrich egg to his hens and told them that, while he wasn’t scolding them for their efforts, they might take this as an example and try to do better.

Best wishes and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. 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 Comm Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to