ACDC News – Issue 05-01

Happy New Year

And welcome to this first 2005 issue of news from the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. If you are new to ACDC News we hope you find it interesting and useful.

The ACDC collection topped the 27,000-document mark on January 3.

It keeps growing in size – and in value to professionals, teachers, researchers, students and others interested in communications, as related to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural matters, globally. The amount of such information “out there” continues to surprise, inspire and challenge us.

“Deep” subject indexing adds power to your scouting.

  • Want to monitor attitudes? More than 2,400 documents provide survey results about attitudes of consumers, farmers, journalists, scientists and others regarding agricultural biotechnology, food irradiation, environment, animal rights, nutrition labeling, livestock diseases and other issues. To identify them: On the Database Search page of this ACDC web site, use a Subject search on the term “attitude”
  • Interested in effective rural-urban interactions? You can identify more than 500 documents about this subject in the ACDC collection. Use a Subject search on the term “rural-urban communication
  • Want updates on the information sources of farmers, extension workers, agricultural reporters and others? To identify more than 1,100 documents about that topic use a Subject search on “information sources”
  • Interested in “farm journals” (more than 1,100 documents), rural “radio” (more than 1,700 documents), agriculture-related “advertising” (more than 1,800 documents), “media effectiveness” (more than 1,300 documents) or agriculture-related uses of the “Internet” (more than 500 documents)? Use Subject searches on terms within the quotation marks above.

Some recent documents in the ACDC collection are available online, in full text. However, most materials are not. If you lack local access to documents that interest you, contact us by e-mail at and we will help. All are available here.

Following are a few samples of documents added recently to the ACDC collection:

Will agricultural e-commerce lead to greater openness and competition?

An analysis of the ornamental horticulture industry has led to a conclusion that “it is still far too early to predict.” This case study reported in a 2004 book, The ICT Revolution, examined the $7.7 billion global trade in cut flowers, foliage and plants. Authors reported that interest so far in a new business model using the present distribution chain streamlined by the Internet is “scant.” Few buyers have signed up for online auctions, they found. Arranging lines of credit, foreign exchange, and insurance at various auctions – necessary for selling online – has proven time-consuming and costly.

“If the physical chain, with its interdependency, remains dominant and e-commerce only intensified pre-existing developments in the industry, the barriers that producers in developing countries have to surmount to directly access consumers remain staggering.”

Reference: ICT revolution
Author: Cohen, Daniel

Coming scandal in organic foods.

“Look out for coming scandal in surging organic foods,” read the headline of an Advertising Age column – 34 years ago. In December 1971, columnist E.B. Weiss predicted a chain of events leading to regulations whereby “organic farms will be certified and inspected regularly. There will be regs in packaging and marketing.”

Reference: Look out for coming scandal in surging organic foods
Author: Weiss, E.B.

U.S. organic farmers are dissatisfied with the extension service. 

That message appeared in a 2003 journal article about responses to a national survey among U.S. organic farmers. Demand for organic information is growing rapidly, but organic producers (63% of whom are full-time farmers) are finding limited help from extension.

They “probably know more than the local extension advisor about the agroecology determining the success or failure of the organic system.” Authors urged extension to support on-farm experimentation, help producers monitor organic regulations, aid farmer-to-farmer interaction and test farm-based theories in scientifically rigorous settings.

PDF posted at:

ACDC Reference: Improving extension effectiveness for organic clients 
Authors: Lohr, Luanne

Information issues in the “deskilling” of farmers.

Anthropologists are noting concerns seldom heard in discussions about the effects of agricultural biotechnology. These concerns strike close to the interests of communicators.

“American history shows how closely agri-biotechnology can be linked to farmer deskilling,” noted Glenn Davis Stone in a Current Anthropology article. “…research is needed on how agricultural biotechnologies may already have caused deskilling and how information flow may be further impeded with genetically modified seeds.”

PDF posted at:

ACDC Reference: Both sides now: fallacies in the genetic-modification wars
Author: Stone, Glenn Davis

Who’s going to pay? 

Will I have a voice? Will my data be kept confidential? These questions reflect major concerns of U.S. livestock producers about the lively topic of animal identification. Results emerged from a recent survey about the National Animal Identification System being implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state animal health agencies. Specifically, producers registered these as biggest concerns:
Funding 20 percent
Producer participation 17
Data confidentiality 15
Data collection and housing 11

Reference: Confidentiality and data housing
Posted @

Encouraging words we appreciate.

Thanks to all who shared with us reactions such as these during recent months:”Thank you for your prompt help.”
“Congratulations! Your website looks wonderful.”
“Good issue, as usual – and liked the profiles on people who have been contributing.”
“The books you suggested were wonderful.”
“I am grateful for your kind reply. I am going to explore the option you suggested.”
“Your service is a wonderful outlet for grad students like myself.”

Communicator activities approaching

February 1, 2005
Deadline for electronic submissions of research papers to be presented at the
Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources,
and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), San Antonio, Texas, May 31-June 4, 2005.
Information by e-mail:

February 5-9, 2005
Agricultural Communication Section, annual meeting of the Southern Association
of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS), Little Rock, Arkansas.

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As Year 2005 begins we want to tell you how much we appreciate your interest in this free e-newsletter. We hope it is helpful, interesting and convenient for you. However, we do not want to send something to you that you would rather not receive. So at any time please let us know if you would like to be removed from the list. You can do so by contacting us here at the Documentation Center:
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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 we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to

Ag Com Documentation Center,
510 LIAC, 1101 S.
Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801)
or electronic form (at )

January, 2005


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