ACDC News – Issue 97-03

Thanks to Delmar Hatesohl,

Retired agricultural journalism faculty member, University of Missouri, for contributing additional documents to the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center this month. Some of these materials were prepared to help Extension professionals carry out effective meetings: planning meetings, helping speakers be effective and introducing speakers. One item produced for the MidAmerica International Agricultural Consortium (MIAC) explains how to be an effective consultant on international development projects. And one, entitled “Care and feeding of references,” is a guide for job-seekers.

Changes and challenges in rural communities

Are the main focus of about 30 documents that were contributed this month by Phillip J. Tichenor, communications faculty member at the University of Minnesota. These new additions, written by Professor Tichenor and his associates from the 1950s through the 1980s, emphasize development trends and issues in rural U.S. communities, including implications for rural families. Some documents report on studies of farmers’ attitudes toward government policies and land use. Others feature farmers’ media use and information sources, as well as farmers’ adoption patterns.

If you are interested in checking on these documents, let us know by e-mail reply. They aren’t yet searchable on the web database, but we can help you gain access to them if you want to see them.

Can anyone suggest a source

Of current lists of agricultural software distributors? If so, please let us know and we will pass the information along to an online inquirer. Thanks.

We are pleased that searchers from 29 countries used this web site 

During November 1997. Our goal for the Documentation Center is to help bring together, for easier access, the widely-scattered literature about agricultural communications in all parts of the world. Literature in this collection now features agricultural communications in more than 90 countries, but we have only begun to tap the potential.

You may have ideas and suggestions 

About how the Center can help gather and make available the agricultural communications literature from more countries. We would be pleased to learn of your needs and ideas. Some interesting partnerships might emerge.

Agricultural information in Hungary. 

We were pleased this month to help a searcher locate journal articles about agricultural information systems and services in Hungary. The searcher found citations for these articles through an online search of our collection, then located the articles in a local library.

When local libraries can’t help you in such situations, please let us know. We can provide photocopies of desired documents (as copyright policies permit) or otherwise help you gain access to them.

Rural communications problem:

High school agriculture teacher to student: “What do you know about nitrates?”
Student: “Well, they’re cheaper than day rates.”

Do you know of other humorous “rural communications problems?” If so, let us know. We’d enjoy hearing from you and passing them along.

ACDC News – Issue 97-02

About 100 agricultural communications documents

Are being added each month to the Documentation Center database. However, we are facing some delay in getting those citations incorporated into the web database for online searching. Thanks for bearing with us as we work to overcome this bottleneck. If your search doesn’t reveal the documents that you want, please let us know by e-note and we will help you look.

A study of uses and potentials for the internet

In rural Australia is among our recent additions, thanks to the generosity of Warwick Easdown of the Gatton College, University of Queensland. He compiled it during the latter half of 1996. It is published as “The role of the internet in rural communities,” Occasional Paper Volume 4, Number 2, 1997, Department of Natural and Rural Systems Management. 60 pages. (Documentation Center Number C08717)

The conclusion notes that, in Australia, rural communities have been minor players in internet use so far. “It is…important that rural communities be supported to develop local uses for the internet and that rural service organizations and educational institutions take the initiative to supplement existing services or develop new services using the internet. Participation in this medium by rural communities will then help to shape its evolution in Australia” at a stage when the internet still offers a wide range of futures.

Is the NPAC literature being lost?

Robert Jarnagin, a veteran agricultural communicator, raised that concern recently. He was referring to materials produced through the National Project in Agricultural Communications, a widely-respected professional education program in the U.S. during the 1950s.

Jarnagin noted that “..while I greatly appreciate the effectiveness of our new technologies, I am so afraid that our present workforce become so enamored of machines that they forget the people involved in communication. Interpersonal communication is a human behavior, and its effects must be measured in terms of behavioral change.”

We are pleased to report that NPAC educational materials are an important part of the Documentation Center collection. They include, for example, a full set of Agricom Newsletters (1953-57); AgriSearch reports about group process, learning, psychological barriers to communication, subliminal communication, legibility, use of color and other topics; teaching guides; and a benchmark review of professional training for agricultural journalism. Some of this material arrived recently and is being processed; you can locate some of it online by searching for “National Project in Agricultural Communications” under “title” or “author.”

Here’s a web site

For those interested in the study of the diffusion and adoption of innovations. It’s the site for a diffusion course taught by Everett M. Rogers at the University of New Mexico.

Call for proposals.

Cooperative Communications Association (CCA) is inviting proposals for research to be carried out early next year concerning the impact of cooperative communications on business success. You can see details of the RFP in the CCA web site. Look in the “Cooperative InterNetwork Press Releases” page.

Holiday greetings – and good searching.

ACDC News – Issue 97-01


This news page, through which we will keep you posted on developments in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC) and in other matters of possible interest to agricultural communicators. In fact, we hope this page can become an interesting meeting place for agricultural communicators who work in various countries and various parts of the career field.

To that end, we invite your news, comments and questions about the literature of agricultural communications and, more broadly, about developments in this important professional field.

The online thesaurus offers easier, more-thorough searching.

A newly-added thesaurus is helping users of this collection find subject-matter terms more easily. It’s a comprehensive thesaurus (more than 1,000 terms), so you can find citations about many topics related to agricultural communications. If you decide you want to search by subject, simply enter “Begin the actual search” and click on the thesaurus hot button.

Remember that you can conduct cross-subject searches. For example, you can use our search engine to identify literature about “campaign planning” related to “food safety” or “water quality.” If you get stumped in your search, let us know by e-note and we’ll help you find what you want.

Thanks to these professionals

Who have contributed literature to the Documentation Center during recent weeks: Francis C. Byrnes, Harold Guither, Dick Lee and Bill Ward. Together, they have added more than 100 excellent documents to the collection.

For example, documents from Frank Byrnes total more than 50 items that he wrote between 1954 and 1993. The documents, all of which involve communications related to agriculture, include journal articles, conference papers, reports, presentations and book chapters.

This is a valuable addition, especially as Frank has been a pioneering agricultural communicator throughout his career. First recipient of the Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) Award of Excellence in International Affairs (1986), he has specialized in communications related to agricultural development. He worked with communications programs of the International Rice Research Institute, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, International Agricultural Development Service and Winrock International, among other organizations. He also served as associate director of the National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC).

His literature, therefore, involves topics such as roles and strategies for communications in agricultural development, dilemmas of agricultural consultants abroad, scientific communication, communications training, the role of indigenous knowledge and grassroots participation, and operation of agricultural communication units.

A balanocarpus tree?

A web site identified as “agricultural communications” is apt to get some unusual questions. Maybe our most-unusual recent request came from someone who was searching for information about the balanocarpus tree. We referred this question to a forestry specialist.

When you see agricultural terms

(such as “cattle” or “crops”) in our thesaurus you can assume that the documents you find through your online search will relate to the communications and human aspects rather than to the technical aspects of those topics. Similarly, when you see communications terms (such as “media effectiveness” or “video”) you can assume that the documents you find will relate to their use in agricultural settings. Every document in this collection contains two elements – human communications, as related broadly to agriculture. That’s why the collection is special.

Need help in your search?

Let us know. Often, we can help you get on the track you want to follow. And if your search is complex – your time limited – we can conduct a custom search for you on a modest, cost-recovery basis. The Center staff includes folks who are familiar with literature about agricultural communications and who are skilled in information searching. For example, Center Coordinator Jianhua Dong is an experienced librarian and a doctoral candidate in library and information sciences. Professors Bob Hays and Jim Evans are long-time faculty members in agricultural communications at the University of Illinois.

Have you any agricultural communications documents to recommend or contribute? If so, let us know and we will follow up with you.

Thanks – and good searching.