ACDC News – Issue 10-14

New survey: How U. S. farmers and ranchers gather information. We recently added to the ACDC collection a summary of findings from a 2010 survey of media use among more than 1,200 owners, operators and/or managers of farms or ranches in the U. S. The survey, conducted by Readex Research through support from ABM Agri Council, analyzed producers’ use of 14 media channels. The channels ranged broadly across dealers, farm shows, meetings, agricultural periodicals, agricultural radio/television programs, newspapers and digital, mobile and other media.

You can view a presentation that summarizes methods and results here .

No need for badmouthing other parts of the industry. “We’ve all seen these kinds of statements,” said John Maday of Drovers in a commentary we added recently to the ACDC collection:

  • “Our beef isn’t pumped full of antibiotics and hormones like all that other stuff.”
  • “Our milk comes from happy cows, not the ones raised in torturous, polluting factories.”

“It doesn’t need to be that way,” he suggested. “Today’s consumers want choices, and some are willing to pay premiums for attributes that help them feel better about their food purchases. … So if consumers want brown eggs, sell them brown eggs. But market them as brown eggs, not anti-white eggs.”

You can read this commentary here

Differences in how rural and urban residents use social media. Rural people articulate far fewer friends online, according to results of a study reported recently by researchers Eric Gilbert, Karrie Karahalios and Christian Sandvig. Also, those friends live much closer to home than do the online friends of urban residents.

In addition, results indicate that “the groups have substantially different gender distributions and use privacy features differently.”

You can review the research paper here .

Only four uses for the telephone . ACDC contributor John Behrens has a revealing experience to share about how his farm family members used their hand-crank telephone when he was a youngster on the Illinois prairies during the 1920s.

“Our telephone had only four uses,” he explains.

  • Calling the doctor
  • Calling the vet
  • Calling “Fire!”
  • Calling Grandpa about when to cut hay

Please alert us at if you recall – or know of – other early experiences with telephones when they came to farm homes.

Caution about promoting agricultural entrepreneurship . C. C. de Lauwere raised a caution flag in a new book, Ethical futures: bioscience and food horizons. Citing results of research among pig and dairy farmers in the Netherlands, de Lauwere reported that agricultural entrepreneurs do not automatically contribute to ecological sustainability – people, planet and profit.

The author suggested that policy makers who think they can stimulate sustainable agriculture by promoting agricultural entrepreneurship should be aware of this.

Contact us at if you would like further information about this report.

Those free farm caps – keeping brands secure. An article in Adotas , journal of interactive advertising, used farm tractor caps as an example of forging long-term relationships and “keeping brands secure in insecure times.”

Author Ernie Mosteller asked: “How is the tractor hat different from giving a customer a branded digital…something that makes their life just a bit easier and connects them with your brand? Not much, in my opinion.”

You can read this article here .

Thanks and best wishes to Anna Pederson , valued associate in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, as she completes her graduate studies this summer. During the past three years Anna has served as half-time graduate assistant in the Center while she studied in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. An honors graduate in English from the University of Maine, Anna came here in August 2007 with five years of experience working in academic and public libraries. Among the many ways in which she contributed, she:

  • served as webmaster of the ACDC site and enhanced the features of it
  • identified and processed hundreds of documents into the collection
  • carried out customized searches and provided documents to users
  • completed a resource for orienting new personnel to procedures in the Center

Communicator activities approaching

September 1-3, 2010
Annual Conference of the Association of Food Journalists in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA.

September 30-October 2, 2010
“Big land. Big sky. Big business.” Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

October 1, 2010
Deadline for papers to be presented in the 2011 Agricultural Communications Section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists conference, Corpus Christi, Texas, February 5-8, 2011. Two categories – research papers and professional papers – are invited.
Information: Click on “Call for Papers for 2011 Meeting.”

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.

November 10-12, 2010
“Beyond the microphone.” Sixty-sixth annual conference of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.

The smells of barbecued steak from a billboard. T hat’s nothing. Thanks to ACDC contributor Don Schwartz for calling our attention to place-based food marketing tools that are even more creative than the billboard we mentioned recently in ACDC News. He passes along word that’s on the Web about a grocery store with impressive features such as these:

  • An automatic water mister in the produce section is accompanied by the distant sound of thunder and the smell of fresh rain.
  • In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks and brats.
  • When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and smell fresh-cut hay.
  • As you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle. The air is filled with a pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

Have you shopped there yet?

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.