ACDC News – Issue 00-03

New research from agricultural communicators at SAAS.

Here are the titles of some of the interesting conference papers added recently to the ACDC collection. They come from the Agricultural Communications Section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS), which met January 30-February 1 in Lexington, Kentucky.

  • “May I take your order? Marketing Extension information in the commercial world”
  • “The Florida agricultural community’s communications efforts during the 1997 and 1998 infestations”
  • “Lessons learned on the journey to ‘team management’ in the agricultural communications unit”
  • “A working strategy to inform urban public opinion leaders about agribusiness and its impact on economic development: a case study”
  • “Hit me baby! Attracting readers to educational web sites through commercial partnerships”
  • “Effective information campaigns that meet the needs of diverse audiences”
  • “Firefighter public information officers’ communication effectiveness with the media during the 1998 Florida wildfires”

You can view the texts of these and other papers online at

“Making wise choices” was the theme and purpose

Of a 1997 conference about telecommunications and rural community viability. A copy of the proceedings went into the ACDC collection recently as Document No. C10352. You can view the proceedings online at

How to organize dialogue meetings.

Here is an informative source of information about how to achieve dialogue through round table meetings. It comes from “Dialogue in biotechnology,” a report of a workshop conducted in Belgium during April 1998. And it offers specific “how-to” information, organized within a 10-point framework.

The European Federation of Biotechnology Task Group on Public Perceptions of Biotechnology and three other organizations sponsored this workshop. The report can be viewed online at:

Does public information drive private information providers out of business?

Not necessarily, according to four agricultural economists. S. Wu, D. Just, D. Zilberman and S. Wolf presented a paper, “Demand for agricultural economic information,” at the annual meeting of the American Agricultural Economics Association in August 1999.

They found that the government provides the very general information input used by private information providers to bring a specialized piece of information to a specific audience. Intermediaries (such as media, commercial information vendors, commodity associations and brokers) rely heavily on the government for information. However, end users (such as farmers, banks, elevators and input suppliers) do not.

Details are available online at

More interesting quotes in the GMO debate

“Let’s stop eating plants and animals altogether. It’s a shame we did not have this information millions of years ago. It would have been so easy to avoid the perils of life.” Barbara Hohn, Friedrich Miescher Institute, in response to a call for a ban on transgenic crops containing a certain promoter. (Title: Scientists avert new GMO crisis)

“Biotechology isn’t science.” B. M. Alfred, National Post. (Use title search: Biotechnology science)

“I have more respect for a critical, informed opponent than for a blind follower.”

Alan McHughen. (Title: The role of geneticists in the public debate over genetically modified organisms)

Making money communicating with pets.

A three-CD set of calming tunes for pets has been a fast seller since its release in June 1999 by a marketing firm, Incentive Media. Pets hear soft instrumental music blended with pleasant nature sounds. Forbes Magazine considers this business idea one of the most “idiotic” of the year, but more than 50,000 units had sold by year-end.

Is this uptake surprising to agricultural communicators who know how many producers play music to livestock in dairy barns and other buildings?

Professional meetings approaching.

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

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

April 12-14, 2000
“All that jazz.” National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) conference and trade show. Site: Kansas City, Missouri.

May 21-24, 2000
Fast chips and hot salsa.” National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) in College Station, Texas.

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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