ACDC News – Issue 12-13

Battling outbreaks and comparing websites in the new issue of JAC .

You can read research reports about these and other current agricultural communications topics in the first 2012 issue of the Journal of Applied Communications :

  • “Using visual pedagogy to tell our stories” by Chris LaBelle
  • “Salmonella and the media: a comparative analysis of coverage of the 2008 salmonella outbreak in jalapeños and the 2009 salmonella outbreak in peanut products” by Kori Barr, Erica Irlbeck, and Cindy Akers
  • “Preferred information channels and source trustworthiness: assessing communication methods used in Florida’s battle against citrus greening” by Ricky Telg, Tracy Irani, Paul Monaghan, Christy Chiarelli, Michael Scicchitano, and Tracy Johns
  • “From opposite corners: comparing persuasive message factors and frames in opposing organizations’ websites” by Katie Abrams and Courtney Meyers

JAC is an open-access journal published by the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), so you can view these articles online at:

How to address conflicts of interest in public-private partnerships.

  • Disclosing the possible conflicts,
  • Withdrawing from decision processes,
  • Public reporting,
  • Transparency,
  • Whistle blowing,
  • Independent monitoring.

These are among the dimensions covered in an article we have added from BMC International Health and Human Rights . Authors summarized procedures used by health organizations and international agricultural research centers to introduce a range of good practices in this increasingly-important arena.

You can read the article at:

Projects sparked by 300 million wireless subscribers in rural India.

Mobile phone technology is attracting keen interest as a way to cut through language, literacy, and other barriers to provide services such as agriculture, education, healthcare, banking and microfinance, and entertainment. We are adding to the ACDC collection a case report about RuralVoice, one such project based on a Spoken Web technology. Several organizational partners are involved in this field study in villages around Dharwad.

You can learn more about RuralVoice at:

Consumer awareness and feelings about home-country poultry.

More than 80 percent of Ghana consumers who took part in a recent study about poultry choice had knowledge of the country of origin. That finding was reported early this year, based on a market survey among 500 consumers in the Accra-Tema Metro area. More than 70 percent of respondents said they were likely or very likely to choose poultry products from Ghana. However, more than 40 percent expressed desire for products from the European Union, Brazil, and United States. Researchers found country of origin to be important to about 41 percent of the respondents. Product packaging, meat quality, and expiry date anchored their decisions about buying poultry from the U.S.

You can read this 2012 conference paper via AgEconSearch at:

Words to use (and lose) in communicating with consumers.

Those who attended the National Institute for Animal Agriculture conference in Denver, Colorado in March heard several tips for communicating with consumers. Speaker Jim Fraley, livestock program director of Illinois Farm Bureau, used results of recent consumer research in the Chicago area to offer several messaging tips for those who wish to communicate with consumers about agriculture. Among them:

Words to Lose Words to Use

Producer                                           Farmer

Produce                                            Grow/raise

Profit                                               Earn a living

Sustainable                                      Wise use of land/water

Affordable/abundant food                 Healthy/wholesome food

We feed the world                            I grow food for my family and yours

You can read his PowerPoint presentation at:,%20Jim.pdf

Neglected responsibilities for people?

During recent weeks, our thoughts turned to the 150 th anniversary of the Morrill Act in the USA. Signed by Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862, it created a “people’s” college in every state and quietly revolutionized higher education in America. The occasion prompts us to recall a comment that continues to challenge the agriculture-related mission of those land-grant institutions. Charles E Kellogg and David Knapp observed in 1966:

“Although called the ‘people’s colleges,’ the agricultural colleges’ direct focus has been primarily on thing—soil, water, plants, and animals—under the unstated assumption that if these were properly looked after and handled efficiently, human welfare on farms would be served. Yet the recent advances in science and technology have themselves caused problems for people, including people on farms, that are not solvable simply by more and better technology. Have colleges neglected their responsibilities for people?”

Hundreds of research reports that have come into the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center confirm the continuing challenge of that question. Check with us at if we can help you explore and address it.

Remembering a special associate and friend.

The recent passing of Dix Harper stirs special memories of appreciation here in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.

  • Dix worked closely with ACDC through his service as historian of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. He helped establish a home in the University Archives for the historical records of NAFB.
  • He provided long-time service in the respected Oscars in Agriculture program, recognizing excellence in agricultural reporting through radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. With his cooperation, the national winning entries for nearly two decades are now housed in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center for future reference.
  • His professional skills, creativity, generous spirit, versatility, dedication, and integrity provided inspiration for ACDC Associate Jim Evans, among many others. “I was fortunate to have Dix as an associate and mentor early in my career,” Jim reports. “That friendship spanned more than 55 years, and I’m most grateful.”

You can read about his career here .

Communicator activities approaching.

  • August 15-19, 2012
    “Solutions for a green future.” 2012 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) near Stockholm, Sweden. Information:
  • September 5-7, 2012
    Annual conference of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) in Washington, D.C. USA. Information:
  • September 20-23, 2012
    Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation (CFWF) in Winnipeg, Canada. A celebration of soil and water, the building blocks of agriculture. Information:
  • September 25-26, 2012
    “Fertile Ground, Forward Thinking.” New fall conference of the National Agricultural Marketing Association (NAMA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Information:
  • September 27-28, 2012
    Human Choice and Computers International Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. An initiative within the International Federation of Information Processing. Sustainable and responsible innovation, citizen rights and involvement, and implications of social media are among the topics to be covered. Information:
  • October 17-21, 2012
    “Big land. Big sky. Big issues.” Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) in Lubbock, Texas USA. Information:
  • November 7-9, 2012
    “Our rich heritage: A bridge to the future.” Annual meeting of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting in Kansas City, Missouri USA. Information:
  • November 26, 2012
    Deadline for submitting papers for the 12 th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, May 19-22, 2013. Organized by Working Group 9.4 of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). Information:

Plenty of artistic creativity on the land.

Creative murals by rice farmers in Japan came to our attention recently. You can view some of them at sites such as:

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

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