ACDC News – Issue 02-20

Conference resources from American Horse Publications.

Guest speakers and moderators furnished summaries and handouts from their presentations at the AHP annual meeting this summer in Park City, Utah. Here are some of those resources available on the AHP web site:

  • “45 super publication ideas in only 45 minutes (along with 15 bonuses)”
  • “Small but mighty: workshop for publishers of small publications”
  • “10 strategies to increase readerships”
  • “7 steps to strategic planning for editors”
  • “Marketing research: purposes, types, online tips”
  • “Advertising roundtable: the inner workings of the advertiser’s mind”
  • “Working in the horse world”
  • “Getting started in equine publishing: a workshop for writers, artists and photographers”

Reference: These were posted online at:

Traditional knowledge – scientific or not? 

A research project in India addressed that question recently and came up with a striking answer. Researchers identified 30 indigenous practices used by traditional rice farmers. Then they asked a team of scientists and extension officials from the same region to classify each practice as scientifically “rational” or “irrational.” Findings? ”

It was striking to find that among the thirty resource conserving and risk reducing practices identified it was just to three practices that the scientists and extension officials could not attach any scientific rationality.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Evaluation of indigenous knowledge systems”) or author search (Bonny) for the full citation.

A call for partnership.

Writing in the Journal of Forestry, Robin Wall Kimmerer also reported on relationships between traditional and scientific knowledge, as related to ecosystems in the U.S.

“Although Native peoples’ traditional knowledge of the land differs from scientific knowledge, both have strengths that suggest the value of a partnership between them.”

Kimmerer cited two areas in which traditional knowledge can be especially useful in such a partnership:

  1. Identifying reference ecosystems
  2. Illuminating cultural ties to the land

Reference: Use a title search (“Native knowledge for native ecosystems”) or author search (Kimmerer) for the full citation.

Food biotech debate will become “even more complex.” 

A recent article in the Western Producer (Canada) summarized a report from the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee to the federal government about genetically modified food. “Existing GM varieties and technologies are relatively straightforward and simple to test and assess,” according to the report. Future generations of products will contain more complex gene transfer systems and new products with altered nutritional profiles. They “may require additional regulatory measures by government and may even be the subject of broader public debate to determine social acceptability.”

Reference: Use a title search (“GM food debate expected”) or author search (Wilson) for the full citation. The article was posted on:

Favorite comfort foods.

 “On a cold and rainy afternoon, you decide that a bowl of chicken soup would hit the spot. While eating, you smile as you recall a rainy day long ago when your mother made you the same kind of soup.” That’s how an article in American Demographics introduced a research report about comfort foods – those foods consumed under a specific situation to obtain psychological comfort.

Results of this nationwide survey? “Potato chips top the list of Americans’ favorite comfort foods, followed by ice cream, cookies, and candy.” However, males and females recorded striking differences in their responses, as did respondents of different ages. Authors also described the influence of mood swings and the sources of cravings for certain foods.

Reference: Use a title search (“Taste of comfort”) or author search (Wansink) for the full citation.

Adoption of IT by small and medium-sized agrifood businesses.

A study reported recently in Outlook on Agriculture examined how such enterprises in Wales use information and communication technologies. Respondents reported that 38 percent already had a website and 58 percent were actively planning one. Half of those with websites said their online sales were increasing; half said sales were static. Authors also examined factors that influenced the adoption of such technologies and the kinds of support that small and medium-sized agrifood enterprises need.

Reference: Use a title search (“Social aspects of the impact”) or author search (Sparkes) for the full citation.

New edition of development communication book.

Sage Publications recently published the second edition of:

Srinivas R. Melkote and H. Leslie Steeves, Communication for development in the Third World: theory and practice for empowerment.

The authors set out to “trace the history of development communication, present diverse approaches and their proponents, critique these approaches as appropriate, and provide ideas and models for development communication in the 21st century. They incorporated development communication literature from the 1990s, with special emphasis on liberation theology and empowerment.

Reference: Use a title search (above) or author search (Melkote) for the full citation.

Mark Twain – farm editor.

If you haven’t yet read Mark Twain’s classic description of his experience as editor of an agricultural paper, then we recommend you do so. Choose a day when you need a lift, a new sparkle in the eye. Enjoy this six-page tale about how Twain filled in for a vacationing editor and, after only one issue, created a stir that boosted circulation to record levels. Yet his tenure was brief. The editor returned early to fire him and call his editorials “a disgrace to journalism.” You’ll learn why Twain left unrepentant.

Reference: Use a title search (“How I edited an agricultural paper”) or author search (Twain) for the full citation.

Question of the day for you.

What was the first attempt to form an association of agricultural editors in the U.S., and when?

Send your reply to ACDC News to: ! A free copy of the book, Prairie Farmer and WLS: the Burridge D. Butler Years, will go to the first 10 persons with the correct answer submitted by November 15. (Note: This question is a toughie.)

Professional activity approaching

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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