ACDC News – Issue 00-22

“Somewhere between the hubris and the cold shoulder.”

That’s how N. Chowdhury recently described the potential of the new information and communications technologies for Internet-based commerce. Chowdhury explores the role of ITCs in a concept paper for the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Reference: Use a title search (“Information and communications technologies”) or author search (Chowdhury) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Interested in campaigns (other than election-type)? 

The ACDC collection now contains more than 200 documents that relate to agricultural information campaigns of various types. Here are sample campaign topics featured in documents added since the first of this year: biotechnology, animal rights, organic foods, BSE, environment, crop disease and marketing of extension information.

Reference: You can identify campaign-related literature in the ACDC collection by using a subject search on terms such as “campaigns” and “campaign planning.” Also, check the “Agricultural Communications Case Studies” link on our “Useful Links” page.

Payback to U.S. dairy farmers from generic advertising.

Between September 1984 and September 1996, U.S. dairy farmers gained more than five times their increased costs under the national dairy advertising programs for fluid milk and cheese. This finding, and others appeared recently in FoodReview, a periodical of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other results cited:

  • Generic advertising under the national dairy advertising programs boosted demand for fluid milk by six percent, for cheese by two percent.
  • This higher demand boosted average farm-level milk prices almost four percent higher than they would have been without the advertising programs.
  • The estimated average farm-level milk prices received by dairy farmers with and without the advertising programs were $13.05 and $12.59 per hundredweight, respectively.

Reference: Use an author search (Blisard) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Putting our unsustainable past behind us.

In a report about sustainable development, J. Murdoch and J. Clark call for a broadened view about the relative value of scientific and other, more tradition-oriented, kinds of information.

“We can begin to imagine sustainable development in terms of a hybrid which explicitly combines the human and the non-human and refuses to accept the ‘Great Divide’.” They suggest that “sustainable knowledge” must be a mixture of the social, the scientific, the local, the technical, the natural, the Western and non-Western – and perhaps even the magical – that refuses a priori to privilege science. “Only when that task has been undertaken will we have begun to put our unsustainable past behind us.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Sustainable knowledge”) or author search (Murdoch or Clark), for the full citation.

Off the beaten path.

Our search for agricultural communications literature takes us along fascinating, sometimes-productive and often time-consuming trails. For example, here are some of the scholarly journals from which we have identified and collected such literature during the past week: Geoforum, Journal of Information Science, Development and Change, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Telematics and Informatics, Biotechniques.

Much of the information that we find comes from more traditional sources. However, you can see that our searches range widely. They must, in fact, because literature about agriculture-related communicating is so widely scattered. We hope that we add value for you through our efforts off the beaten paths. And a detective spirit in us finds pleasure in the surprises they produce.

Would you like to help scout?

Please let us know if you would like to help scout for agricultural communications literature. Your efforts might focus on:

  • specific localities of interest to you (e.g., your state, nation, region)
  • communications aspects of specific agricultural subject areas (e.g., rural development, biotechnology, dairy, forestry, horses, environment, organic farming, sustainable agriculture)
  • communications topics and settings of interest to you (e.g., extension communications, agricultural writing or photography, campaign planning, Internet, distance education, event planning, advertising, media selection, risk communicating)
  • selected information sources (e.g., government agencies, NGOs, interest groups, universities/colleges)
  • selected offline or online sources (e.g., specific trade magazines, scholarly journals, newsletters, newspapers or web sites that you read and wish to monitor)
  • specific audiences of interest to you (e.g., farmers, farm women, agribusiness, food industry, agricultural scientists, extension agents)

If you were interested, you could be an important contributor to the ACDC collection, as well as to this entire field of interest. And a global network of contributors/partners, as envisioned, could really multiply the thoroughness and value of it. Get in touch with us at

Boo! Those environmental scares, such as predictions of world food shortages.

They stir up the public, but do they lead to change? What part do the media play in them? The journal Environment and Development Economics hosted a forum on the subject during late 1998. We have included in ACDC some communications-related articles from that forum.

Reference: Use title searches for full citations of articles such as:

  • “Environmental scares: plenty of gloom”
  • “Do environmental scares provide information?”
  • “Environmental scares, science and media”
  • “Environmental false alarms and policy implications”

Approaching professional event:

January 27-31, 2001
Agricultural Communications Section will report research during the 98th annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) in Fort Worth, Texas.

Reminder of the day:

“Information is not the same as knowledge, not to speak of wisdom.”

A. Ventura, 1997

Best regards and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, questions and ideas for ACDC. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents that we might add to this collection. We welcome documents in hard copy or electronic forms. Thank you.

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