ACDC News – Issue 04-11


On the lagging access to broadband in rural U.S.

“The incredible growth of Internet access across the country has been fairly even between urban and rural areas,” according to an October 2003 report that we have added from The Main Street Economist. “Growth in broadband use, on the other hand, has been far less even. From 2000 to 2001, high-speed connections grew 9.4% in urban areas but just 4.9% in rural areas. Currently, less than 5% of towns with up to 10,000 residents have access to broadband. And areas that are both small and remote rarely have access to high-speed services.”

The author described several new technologies that may serve as alternatives to traditional wire lines.

Reference: On the “Database Search” page of this web site, use a title search (Update on rural broadband) or author search (Abraham) for the full citation. The article was posted on:

Insights of agricultural editors needed more than ever.  

“The developments in biotechnology only skim the surface of the revolution that is occurring in information,” said Martin Maleska of Primedia Inc. at the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) conference in Kansas City, Missouri, during April. “With the proliferation of information, what’s needed more than ever is the insight of knowledgeable, experienced people, such as our agricultural magazine editors, to help provide insight to our readers as to what that information can mean to them and how they can best use it.”

Elsewhere in the report, editors of some Primedia agricultural magazines offered brief perspectives on the adoption of biotechnology in agriculture.

Reference: Use a title search (Commentary: biotech advantages) or author search (Brandon) for the full citation. The commentary was posted on:

What triggers the media. 

Some stories about food safety and other public health risks “take off” spectacularly in the media. In a book chapter about understanding responses to risk, Peter Bennett cited nine “media triggers” that have been identified by research. Situations that raise questions of blame may be the most important among them, he said.

Reference: Use a title search (Understanding responses) or author search (Bennett) for the full citation.

Ag radio for Afghan farmers.  

Radio remains the most popular and effective means of communications throughout Afghanistan. More than 80 percent of Afghan livelihoods are derived from agriculture. So now, after restrictions of recent years, radio stations of that nation are looking to agricultural programming to help achieve food security, improve nutrition and boost incomes. We have added to the ACDC collection a report of a recent workshop on agricultural journalism for radio reporters in Afghanistan.

Reference: Use a title search (Ag radio reaches out) for the full citation. Posted on:

Testimony to the extension concept.  

L. Mishra, former dean of extension education in India, shared these enduringly timely insights in a 1997 Journal of Extension Education article that we added recently to the ACDC collection:

  • Extension education lives in villages not in the college campus.
  • Extension believes in the group approach and joint effort to achieve goals.
  • A piece of successful extension work acts as a “spark plug” with radiating effect.
  • Extension lives in the heart of people.

Reference: Use a title search (Glimpse of past) or author search (Mishra) for the full citation.

The time is ripe 

To ensure that women in developing countries can enter the information age, according to an international study for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In a 120-page analysis, authors Nancy Hafkin and Nancy Taggart examined gender aspects of the Digital Divide. They identified ways in which new information technologies can improve the lives of women and their families through employment opportunities, political empowerment, reduced isolation and other benefits.

Reference: Use a title search (Gender, information technology) or author search (Hafkin) for the full citation. The study was posted on:

Bringing communications literature into the agriculture mainstream.  

Day by day, year by year, communications is gaining visibility and focus within the body of agricultural literature. We are pleased to report that the Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC) now includes an “agricultural communications” subject area.

AgNIC is a collaborative alliance involving the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, land-grant universities and associations. It seeks to provide access to quality agriculture-related information and resources by the Internet. Several years ago AgNIC approved our proposal to establish and maintain an agricultural communications subject area, with the Ag Com Documentation Center as a key resource. The University of Illinois, as partner site, provides primary support for this subject area.

Take a look at “AgCom on AgNIC” via the search option, using the term “communications.” It features more than 120 live links to sources of information about agricultural communications. And it is a work in progress. We welcome your reactions and suggestions – and your cooperation – in helping users gain easier and greater access to research and other information about the communications aspects of agriculture.

Recognizing contributors.  

The ACDC web site now features communicators who have contributed personal collections to the Center during the past 23 years. Through biographical sketches on individual pages, you can learn about the careers of nine contributors. This project began during March and will continue as we gather information to recognize those who are serving their profession in this important, enduring way.

Reference: Go to the “Our Collection” page and use the live links to visit pages that feature individual contributors.

A salary review  

In closing, here is a question for those interested in the communications programs of U.S. agriculture colleges.

Question: What salaries did agriculture college editors receive in 1920?

Please forward your estimate of average salary level to We will report the answer in a future issue of ACDC News.

Communicator activities approaching:

June 20-24, 2004
“ACE’s High in Nevada.” 2004 International Meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) at Lake Tahoe, Nevada USA.

June 23-24, 2004
Agricultural Communications Summit, held in conjunction with the ACE convention (above). The summit will provide an opportunity for facilitated discussion and planning to position the profession for success in the preparation of tomorrow’s agricultural communicators.

June 23-26, 2004
Summer meeting of National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Information: Pam Jahnke at 608-441-3746.

July 18-21, 2004
NRECA Marketing and Communication Excellence Conference in Columbus, Ohio USA. Sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for electric cooperative marketers, communicators and member services staff.

Best regards and good searching.  

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions 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. Send

  • hard copies to:
    Ag Com Documentation Center
    510 LIAC Library
    1101 S. Goodwin Avenue
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • or electronic copies to:

June 2004


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