ACDC News – Issue 00-01

Best wishes to you as a new year begins.

Those of us in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center will continue to do our best to gather information that can be useful now and in the years to come.

How many years?

We can reach back 100 years and more to find considerable information about agriculture-related communications. Will we be able to do the same 100 years and more from now? If so, what forms will the information take, what technologies will it involve and through what channels will it flow? Depositories such as ACDC face serious challenges in trying to select valuable information from the torrent passing by, then preserve it in ways that can assure it will be available across all of the changes that our future may bring.

Improved access to historical materials about farming and agriculture 

Is available through a new U.S. Department of Agriculture web site. A searchable guide helps users explore more than 200 years of U.S. farming history (1761-1994) in the Agriculture History Collection. Totaling 650 cubic feet, the collection includes a wealth of reports, statistical tables, speeches, biographies, audiovisuals, photos and other materials. Many involve communications. Some examples: attitudes and opinions of farmers, promotion campaigns, newsletters (e.g., Farm Paper Letter), press releases, marketing research, food consumption surveys and campaigns against animal and plant diseases.

The URL:

What ethical issues are reflected in agricultural communications literature these days?

Here are some topics of ethics-related documents that have been added recently to the ACDC collection:

  • Manipulation and interpretation of scientific data (by scientists and others)
  • How much the public should know about agricultural and environmental biotechnology
  • Ownership of agricultural information (e.g., related to precision farming)
  • Ethics of agricultural relations
  • Relationships between agricultural editors and their information sources
  • Influence of advertisers on the editorial content of agricultural publications
  • How the reporting of agricultural college research (e.g., access, completeness, timing) may be compromised by corporate funding

You can identify specific documents by using the term “ethical issues” in an online Subject search of the ACDC collection.

“Can we not all just get along?”

That’s the title of an article by an agricultural public relations professional in the October 1999 issue of ByLine, newsletter of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. Gary Vincent, vice president of public relations at Thomas C. Porter & Associates, has 22 years of reporting experience and 10 years of public relations experience. He says that editors and public relations practitioners can get along and, in fact, help each other be more effective in their work. He offers some guidelines for doing so.

ACDC reference: Use Title or Author search for full citation. Contact the Center if we can help you gain access to the article.

If you have opportunities to talk with young people about careers 

In agricultural communications you should know that a PowerPoint presentation is available online. The Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow organization added it recently to the ACT web site. This presentation deals with the need for agricultural communications as a career field and identifies some schools that offer study programs to prepare for the field. The site:

Professional meetings approaching.

Here are the approaching meetings of several U.S. professional agricultural communicator organizations:

January 14, 2000
Making Lemonade in January.” Risk communication workshop organized by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA). “To help you navigate tricky topics, earn audience trust and squeeze the most from situations gone sour.” Site: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

February 10-11, 2000
Roads to the future.” Workshop offered by the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) for communications and member relations professionals involved in cooperative communications within the Midwest Region. Site: DoubleTree Club Hotel Riverport, St. Louis, Missouri.

March 7-9, 2000
Back to the future.” Annual meeting and professional development conference of Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Orlando, Florida.


Question of the week – about animals communicating.

If a hog loses its voice is it disgruntled?

Thanks for your kind response to improvements made recently in our web site.

We welcome your suggestions about how to make the site more attractive and user-friendly, our service more effective.

Best regards and good searching.

Please let us know if we can help you find information and/or if you can suggest documents that we might add to this collection.

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