ACDC News – Issue 02-18

When will I see you again? 

Under-cooked meats straight from the barbecue were the target this summer of a food safety campaign in the United Kingdom. A 30-second TV ad from the Food Standards Agency showed uncooked, pink meat in the middle of a sausage sizzling on the grill. Background music? It was the 1973 Three Degrees hit song, “When will I see you again?” Similar radio ads ran for four weeks.

This campaign responded to results of a 2001 survey — 12 percent of UK consumers said they had food poisoning in the last year.

Reference: Use a title search (“TV ad asks”) for the full citation. The news report about this campaign was posted on

Health concerns of neighbors.

What kinds of health concerns underlie the conflicts and heated debates that have marked the emergence of large-scale swine production operations? A recent article in the Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health reviewed and analyzed research about public health concerns of neighbors exposed to emissions from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Results indicated that concerns involve more than odor.

Reference: Use a title search (“Public health concerns”) or author search (Thu) for the full citation.

Improved public view about swine farmers.

An advertising campaign by the Ontario (Canada) Pork Producers Marketing Board is reported to be influencing public views about how swine farmers are treating the environment. A report in Marketing magazine indicated that “83% of people surveyed see hog farmers as committed to improving the environment on farms, a 17-point shift since the launch of our advertising.” Findings are based on tracking studies from the spring 2002 campaign, first stage of a three-year advertising and marketing strategy.

Reference: Use a title search (“The other side of the story”) or author search (Vidoczy) for the full reference. The report was posted online (August 12, 2002) and archived at:

When the public gets a bigger picture – a longer view – of clear-cutting.

The public generally dislikes this forest management practice. However, findings of a study in Washington State suggested that certain kinds of information about the practice can influence public views. Messages used in the study included information about why cutting is done, what the area would look like in the short term and what it would look like in the long term.

Reference: Use a title search (“Effects of an informational intervention”) or author search (Kearney) for the full citation.

Lost lessons from World War II.

Remove barriers to consumption before trying to change food habits. A recent study reported in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketingunderscored this oft-ignored lesson, and others, through a review of research conducted during World War II. At that time, U.S. citizens were encouraged to incorporate protein-rich organ meats into their diets – meats such as liver, tongue, hearts, kidneys, sweetbreads, pork feet and ox tails. More than 200 studies were conducted to help identify effective ways of adjusting food habits of Americans. Those studies, mostly unpublished, “restructured social norms, changed perceptions of taste, and helped assimilate variety into the U.S. diet.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Changing eating habits”) or author search (Wansink) for the full citation.

“The purpose of college not to advertise the institution.” 

So reported Henry Jackson Waters, president of Kansas State Agricultural College, in a 1916 address to the American Association of Agricultural College Editors. The ACDC collection contains this speech in which Waters argued: “The institution has no right to impose upon the newspapers in any such manner. If you are preparing your reading notices to advertise the institution, you should be required to put ‘advertisement’ at the end of the story and pay the regular rate for the space it occupies. Your business is to disseminate information.”

Reference: Use a title search (“The agricultural college and its editor”) or author search (Waters) for the full citation.

Rural communication – as broad as communication itself?

Harold Hoffsomer used a perspective parallel to that in analyzing the relationship between the academic fields of rural sociology and sociology. Rural sociology, he argued, “is related to the discipline as a whole and to its several component areas.” Similarly, from that perspective, rural communication relates to communication theory, processes, systems and methods as a whole. The unique dimensions of it involve subject content, audiences, settings, approaches and other special applications. Your thoughts?

Reference: Use a title search (“Rural sociology: its origin”) or author search (Nelson) for the full citation.

Favorite music in farm homes (45 years ago).

A 1957 radio listenership study in Iowa revealed big differences in the music preferences of farm women, men, girls and boys. For example, here are the top-ranked “favorite” types of music that each group identified:

Farm women, over 19: Waltzes and “sweet” music 62%
Current popular music 52%
Farm men, over 19: Waltzes and “sweet” music 58%
Western and country music 52%
Farm girls, 13 to 19: Current popular music 88%
Rock and roll, rhythm and blues 72%
Farm boys, 13-19: Rock and roll, rhythm and blues 88%
Current popular music 87%

Reference: Use a title search (“Farm radio audience figures”) for the full citation.

And some favorite stories.

We enjoyed running across a batch of hoop snake, joint snake, horsehair snake and doodlebug tales shared by readers in issues of the Illinois state farm paper, Prairie Farmer, during the 1920s. Here’s an example from one reader: “As I was hoeing corn one day I saw a large hoop snake come rolling toward me. I jumped to one side, but it hit the hoe handle with its horn, and in two hours the handle had swelled until it burst the eye of the hoe. What is your comment on that?” The editor’s reply: “I’m speechless.”

Professional Activities Approaching

October 17-19, 2002
45th Annual Meeting, National Market News Association inPhoenix, Arizona.Information:

November 3-5, 2002
“Marketing – find the right fit.” Marketing superworkshopsponsored by Agricultural Communicators in Educationin Fort Worth, Texas.Information:

November 13-17, 2002
“Experience the magic of farm broadcasting.”Annual convention of National Association of Farm Broadcastersin Kansas City, Missouri.Information:

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 unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 69 Mumford Hall, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form (

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