ACDC News – Issue 04-15

Covering “the quirky side of farming life.”  

That’s how newspaper reporter Richard Chin put it in a feature article about Farm Show, a farm paper published in Minnesota. “It focuses almost entirely on new and sometimes wacky equipment, inventions, products, problem-solving ideas, money-saving shortcuts and money-making schemes invented for and often by farmers…. Imagine, in other words, a combination of Popular MechanicsConsumer Reports and Ripley’s Believe It or Not for the combine and tractor set.”

In any case, Farm Show has about 175,000 paid subscribers and has been doing its thing for 27 years. This feature described the development, operations and editorial approach of it.

Reference: Use a title search (Farm Show newspaper) or author search (Chin) for the full citation. The report was posted

Wireless broadband for isolated rural communities  

A 2003 report from the Alliance for Public Technology and the Benton Foundation included news about a wireless broadband service for 152 communities across Alaska. Most of them could not access the Internet via local dial-up service. This technology is similar to commercial quality WiFi, where the signal is pushed out from a central point and accessible via wireless connections in the surrounding area. “The wireless platform is a critical component in serving these Alaskan communities.”

Reference: Use a title search (Broadband world) for the full citation. The report was posted on

Six theses and dissertations added.  

We have added to the ACDC collection six recent theses and dissertations that involve the communications aspects of agriculture, food and natural resource management. They include:

  • Chad S. Davis, Cognitive and affective responses of West Texas Hispanics/Latinos to agricultural news: a comparison of four English and Spanish presentation methods. Dissertation for Doctor of Education, Texas Tech University, Lubbock. 2003.
  • Jason D. Ellis, High school students’ perceptions of food safety. Thesis, Master of Science, Iowa State University, Ames. 2003.
  • Susan Grantham, An ounce of prevention: the effects of critical thinking disposition and message frames on behavioral intent for low-involvement risks. Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy, University of Florida, Gainesville. 2003.
  • David H. Segrest, Jr., Evaluating the effectiveness of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Hueco Tanks State Historic Site orientation/conservation video. Thesis for Master of Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock. 2003.
  • Leslie A. Simon, The assessment and design of an agricultural communications curriculum at the masters level: a Delphi study. Thesis for Master of Science, University of Florida, Gainesville. 2003.
  • Kamy R. Williams, Areas of food safety concerning Lubbock, Texas, residents and their preferred information sources.Thesis for Master of Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock. 2003.

Reference: Use title or author searches for the full citations. The Documentation Center has these in print, but not electronic, format.

Also, here are 10 ACE research papers  

Presented at the recent Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) conference in Nevada:

  • Eric A. Abbott, An in-depth look at Internet adoption and use by Iowa farm families: implications for communicators.Contact:
  • Robert Agunga, James J. Connors and Hsing-Ying Chen, A study of the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Ecological Paradigm Model. Contact:
  • Steven G. Hill, Metaphoric criticism as a tool for agricultural communicators: archetypal and conceptual metaphoric theory. Contact:
  • Lisa K. Lundy, Tracy A. Irani, Ricky Telg and Nick Place, Are we on the right road? A formative evaluation of the Roadmap to Effective Distance Education Instructional Design. Contact:
  • Emily B. Rhoades, Scaling the rural-urban digital divide: agricultural trade magazine publications’ use of the Internet to reach rural audiences. Contact:
  • Amanda Ruth, Denise Bortree, Ross Ford, Saundra Braun and Kelly Flowers, A new direction for agricultural media relations: meeting journalists’ information needs through the Web. Contact:
  • Amanda Ruth and Emily E. Eubanks, Reporting mad news: framing of the mad cow media coverage. Contact:
  • Ricky Telg and Tracy Irani, Integrating critical thinking into agricultural communication curricula. Contact:
  • Mark Tucker, Stan Ernst and Coreen E. Henry, Demystifying the puzzle of applied communication research. Contact:
  • Larry R. Whiting, Mark Tucker and Sherrie R. Whaley, Level of preparedness for managing crisis communication on land grant campuses. Contact:

Reference: Contact authors (above) or check with us at the Documentation Center about gaining access to abstracts or full texts.

Ahhh. The functional food advertisements of yesteryear.  

An article that we added recently to the ACDC collection from Media History Digest helps us understand early years of food advertising. The featured food advertisements trace back 217 years. Some of the more interesting ones from the late 1800s offered great medicinal values. Would they be called “functional foods” today? For example:

  • A “new waste-repairing bread and gem flour for dyspepsia, diabetes, lung troubles and nervous debility.”
  • A baby food “already digested” for babies to “maintain their vigor in the summer months.”
  • Imperial Granum, the Great Medicinal Food. “A superior nutritive in continued fevers and a reliable remedial agent in all diseases of the stomach and intestines.”
  • An improved root beer. “…a delicious temperance beverage. All admit of its superiority for weak and sickly children.”

Reference: Use a title search (Food ads of yesteryear) or author search (Reitz) for the full citation.

Communicator activities approaching:

September 26-29, 2004
“Tippecanoe and Technology Too.” National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) will take place at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

September 30-October 3, 2004
Annual meeting of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation in Windsor, Ontario.

October 17-20, 2004
Annual convention of Communication Officers of State Departments of Agriculture (COSDA) in Nashville, Tennessee.

October 20-24, 2004
Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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 Center510 LIAC Library1101 S. Goodwin Avenue Urbana, IL 61801 or electronic copies to:

August 2004


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