ACDC News – Issue 12-14

“Startling lack of food knowledge.”

Survey findings among 2,000 young adults (ages 16-23) in Britain led researchers to report “a startling lack of knowledge among young consumers about how our food ends up on the table.” Here are some of the findings of research carried out for the charity, Leaf (Linking Environment and Farming):

  • Four in ten failed to match milk with a picture of a dairy cow.
  • One-third did not know that eggs are laid by hens, and even more are unaware that bacon comes from pigs.
  • One-half did not correctly identify steak as coming from beef cattle.

You can read a summary of findings, as reported recently in the Daily Mail Online via AgriMarketing Weekly, at:

Please alert us to other research findings or case examples of public need for greater understanding of food and agriculture. Send them to us at:

Communicators in agriculture colleges:  “Assert yourself into the decision process.”

That advice comes from Dr. J. Scott Angle, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia. He offered it during June at the annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in Annapolis, Maryland.

He emphasized that few administrators are in a position to think across the full scope of their organizations, and of the state-wide interests they serve. So communicators must advise deans and other administrators, serve as eyes for issues and happenings around the state, find new sources of shared interest, and provide strategic counsel about communicating.

You can read other noted remarks from his presentation here .

How pork producers decide whether to contract.

The decisions pork producers make involve their own characteristics and the nature of their operations, according to findings reported by agricultural economists Jason Franken, Joost Pennings, and Philip Garcia. However, relationships among behavior, risk attitude, and related characteristics are complex and can mask the effect of risk aversion. Here are some of the findings, based on interviews with a sample of pork producers in Illinois:

  • Age and experience make them more comfortable managing price risks without using long-term contracts.
  • Larger (and perhaps expanding) farms with more debt and less capacity to bear risk contract to ensure a stable cash flow.

Authors called for a more complete understanding of the structure of decision making, as a guide to helping producers transfer risk.

You can read their poster presentation via AgEconSearch at:

“Three key areas that many ag communicators seem to forget.”

Thanks to Geoffrey Moss, veteran rural communicator of Wellington, New Zealand, for three reminders; they seem so basic and obvious, but somehow slip through the cracks in our day-to-day rush of moving agricultural information. Here are the three he identified:

  1. Define your target audience. The more specific you can be, the more effective you will be with your messages
  2. Next, find out where they get their information – neighbors, newspapers, radio, extension workers, etc.
  3. And most important, find out what they want to know. What you think they want to know may be of little interest to them.

What else gets forgotten? We welcome your thoughts and suggestions about key areas that somehow get forgotten in communicating about agriculture. Send them to us at: .

More than 6.8 million views of “I’m farming and I grow it.”

This parody music video promoting agriculture has attracted more than 6.8 million views on YouTube. It features a trio of Kansas farm brothers as they sing and show how they “gotta feed everybody,” echoing an LMFAO song, “I’m sexy and I know it.”

You can view it at:

How communication serves social enterprises in the Philippines.

Thanks to Prof. Madeline Suva for alerting us to a new monograph, “Communication in the Social Enterprise: Selected Cases in the Philippines.” Published by the College of Development Communication at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, it features 10 social enterprises. Here are examples of those serving rural interests and needs:

  • Baba’s Foundation, Inc. It helps marginalized sectors of society, including the production and marketing needs of farmers.
  • Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc. It has developed social services (including seaweed farming) to address conservation issues and improve community life.
  • HINIMO, Inc. It works with farmers’ cooperatives to help women and young people earn income by making and selling handicrafts from recycled materials such as old newspapers.
  • KATAKUS Foundation, Inc. It empowers women through appropriate technology in harmony with the environment.

Results showed that communication is viewed as an essential tool and process in these social enterprises. It helps develop and strengthen relations with various stakeholders and helps promote initiatives to the public. Researchers found face-to-face interaction the most commonly used type of communication.

You can read the monograph here .

Communicator activities approaching.

  • 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.” 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 (NAFB) 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, 2-013. Organized by Working Group 9.4 of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP). Information:

Sign language.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a piece of sign wisdom from John J. Davis who reported it in 1937:

When your nose itches, it’s a sign that company is coming,

But when your head itches, it’s a sign that the company has arrived.

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