ACDC News – Issue 01-13

“Food safety a growing concern in most of the world.”

That is the title of a survey report added recently to the ACDC collection. Majorities of respondents in 19 of 34 countries surveyed by international market research firm Ipsos-Reid said they feel that their food is less safe than it was 10 years ago. Women in every country surveyed were substantially more likely than men to hold that feeling.

Reference: Use a title search (above) or author search (Ipsos-Reid) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

How to not say what you’re not going to not say and not say it.

Confusion in the biotechnology “debate” may arise not only from differing perspectives, logic, clarity or grammar. A paper presented at the 2001 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science illustrates “how organization, style, and diction convey values and emotions that can undermine intended meaning.” Researcher Steven Katz used rhetorical analysis to study a speech offered by former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman about biotechnology. Findings revealed that a presentation intended to be optimistic about biotechnology actually conveyed strong elements of pessimism.

Reference: Use a title search (“A rhetorical analysis of language”) or author search (Katz) for the full citation.

Dirty Dining series in Canada earns recognition.

An “eye-opening series which exposed major problems with food safety in [Toronto’s] eating establishments” recently won an award from the Canadian Association of Journalists. The award for computer-assisted reporting went to Robert Cribb, Toronto Star. His coverage led to “an improved inspection and grading system and the closing down of eateries that didn’t meet stiff standards.”

Reference: Use a title search (‘Dirty Dining series wins”) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

How broadcasters use farm advisory panels.

A recent article in the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Chats newsletter described how farm advisory panels can help broadcasters deal with fast changing environments. Don Wick of WCCO Radio, Minneapolis, Minnesota, said he has used advisory panels for nearly 20 years and found they have made him a better farm broadcaster. He explained the operations of the station’s current 12-member panel and offered suggestions for using this form of “homegrown market research.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Farm advisory panels”) or author search (Wick) for the full citation.

Two expanding issues for U.S. agricultural communicators.

Recent news reports in Successful Farming magazine highlighted two communications-related issues of growing concern to producers:

  1. Quality and usefulness of market price information. An article describes the April 1 start of mandatory price reporting as a “fiasco.” Features of the new price reporting policy prompted one university agricultural economist to comment that under the new system “we know less about hog prices than at any time in at least 20 years.”
  2. Efforts of producer bargaining groups. Effective communications strategies become vital as more bargaining groups form to negotiate with processors and other buyers for improved prices. All parties to such negotiations can benefit from the insights and experiences of professional communicators. For example, as one cited source put it: “The idea of an adversarial relationship is a poor way to do business.”

Reference: Use title searches (“Repairing shattered price transparency” and “As markets turn a cold shoulder to farmers”) for the full citations.

Recent additions about market price reporting.

Following are the titles of some documents added recently to the ACDC collection involving this subject:

  • “Beef underreported”
  • “Beef snafu: USDA ‘probably not liable'”
  • “Perversion of mandatory price reporting shows extent of packer power”
  • “Repairing shattered price transparency in livestock”
  • “Mandatory price reporting: the matrix begins”
  • “Potential benefits of mandatory price reporting”
  • “Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act”
  • “Meat packers object to some price reporting”

Reference: Use title searches or a subject search on terms such as “market information” to see citations of these and other documents.

On target? Agenda for U.S. extension services and agriculture colleges.

More than 35 years ago Paul A. Miller, president of West Virginia University, offered seven suggestions that “should become the grist for policymaking and planning” by colleges of agriculture and their extension services.

  • “The old categories of rural and urban no longer are useful in planning the future of the agricultural colleges.”
  • “.the intellectual fiber of the colleges must move to the conceptual level of relating the natural and social sciences at the point of man in his environmental setting.”
  • “The colleges must be willing to become innovators with reference to their own institutional reform.”
  • “The historic inclusion of agricultural extension within the agricultural framework must be terminated in favor of giving strength to radically new conceptions of the public university.”
  • “Similarly, the field of home economics, where it continues as an adjunct of the colleges, must be encouraged to seek a more stimulating climate for the significantly different route it must take.”
  • “National planning must assume a division of labor among the colleges of agriculture.”
  • “The support base for the colleges” needs to widen.

Any reactions today, especially in terms of the communications aspects?

Reference: Use a title search (“The rural lag”) or author search (Miller) for the full citation.

Broadband access in rural areas – in order to survive. 

Small businesses “will require broadband access not only to be more competitive, but also in order to survive.” That was the message of Michael Cook, Hughes Network Systems, during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing during May. And he added: “For those located in rural areas – something like 50% to 70% of the land area of this country – there will often be only one solution – satellite delivered broadband service.” He offered policy recommendations for development of interactive broadband satellite technology as a way to “eliminate the digital divide.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Eliminating the digital divide”) or author search (Cook) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Americans not enthusiastic about cloned livestock.

A national survey during April among U.S. registered voters showed that two-thirds find it not acceptable to use cloning to reproduce livestock. Opinion Dynamics conducted this survey.

Reference: Use a title search (“Do you think it is acceptable”) or author search (Opinion Dynamics) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Professional activities approaching:

July 28-August 1, 2001
Joint meeting of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) and the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) in Toronto, Canada.
Information: 1-4, 2001

Agricultural Publications Summit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joint meeting of American Agricultural Editors’ Association, Livestock Publications Council and APA: the Association of Leading Ag Media Companies.

September 8-12, 2001
2001 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists at Savonlinna, Finland.

September 13-16, 2001
“CFWF 2001: An Atlantic Odyssey.” Meeting of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation at Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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 them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 69 Mumford Hall, University of Illinois, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form ( Thank you.

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