ACDC News – Issue 05-06

Digital can of worms.

That is the title of an article we added recently about Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, “known as a disruptive technology in the telecommunications industry.” This less-expensive alternative to traditional telephone service is cited as presenting a host of problems for local cities and counties, including rural areas.

“Cities and counties stand to lose billions of dollars in rights-of-way and franchise fees if VoIP remains unregulated and displaces traditional telephone service. Additionally, the technology does not connect seamlessly to emergency call centers; law enforcement agencies cannot tap into it; and users do not have to pay into the Universal Service Fund USF, which subsidizes telephone service in rural areas.”

Reference: Digital can of worms
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Rural community celebrates arrival of telephone service.

Mink, Louisiana – one of the nation’s last rural areas without regular phone service – finally got connected during late January.

According to an Associated Press report, “BellSouth Corp. spent $700,000…to extend about 30 miles of cable through thick forests to Mink, about 100 miles south of Shreveport .” The community of 15 households is in the Kisatchie National Forest near the Texas line.

Reference: Tiny Louisiana community finally gets telephone service.
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 Students launch new international exchange.

Agricultural communication students from Canada and the U.S. joined forces in piloting a new international exchange from February 19 to March 5. This program, reported in a recent news release, involved Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) members from the University of Guelph and the University of Florida.

“No matter which side of the border you’re on, we must communicate with each other,” said International ACT President Kim Waalderbos, referring to shared challenges facing agriculture.

Reference:Exchange program connects future leaders For more information, including daily diaries from the exchange, visit:
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When activists confront food companies.

A recent article in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics shed light on that scenario. Using a game theoretical model of sequential bargaining, researchers examined the strategic interaction between food companies and activists. They observed:

“In a rather confined set of circumstances, findings indicate it is always in the best interest of the food company to comply with activists’ demands. More frequently, however, there will be cases where compliance is not optimal…”

Reference: Activists and corporate behavior in food processing and retailing .

A great year for collecting documents.

We think any year is a great year for collecting information to improve agriculture-related communicating. However, 2004 seemed particularly noteworthy here. Our review of progress during 2004 revealed what may be record-breaking progress in the ACDC collection. Among the steps forward:

  • The collection grew from 24,500 to 27,000 documents, roughly twice the long-term average.
  • These numbers, in combination with deep subject indexing, are helping generate powerful searching opportunities for users. For example, by the end of 2004 users could identify more than 1,000 documents each about important subjects such as extension communications, food safety communications, farm journals, rural radio, agricultural advertising, usage of new information technologies in agriculture, and development-related communications.
  • Our staff monitored 18 national and international conferences to identify more than 100 timely research reports.
  • The Burton Swanson Collection, which we finished reviewing and processing, added more than 700 valuable documents to the ACDC database.

Plenty of communicator activities approaching

April 10-12, 2005
Annual meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D.C. USA.
Information: >

April 19, 2005
“Spring Fling.” Professional development program of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Phoenix, Arizona USA.

April 20-22, 2005
“Blazin’ horizons.” 2005 Agri-Marketing Conference and Trade Show of National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Phoenix, Arizona USA.

April 29- May 2, 2005
Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Memphis, Tennessee USA.

May 15-21, 2005
“Globalization of information: agriculture at the crossroads.” Eleventh World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists and biennial conference of the U.S. Agricultural Information Network in Lexington, Kentucky USA.

May 31- June 4, 2005
“Ideas and missions/Ideas y misiones.” Joint conferences of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), National Extension Technology Conference (NETC), International Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) and Extension Video Producers (EVP) in San Antonio, Texas USA.
Information: >

June 4-7, 2005
“Mile high energy: reaching your communications peak.” 2005 Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Denver, Colorado USA.

June 9-11, 2005
“Horse by Northwest.” 2005 Seminar of American Horse Publications (AHP) in Seattle , Washington USA .

Ungrammatical, cheap, absurd. 

We close this issue of ACDC News with a cautionary note. It is for rural and other communicators tempted to complacency by the marvels of flinging words and images, worldwide, from centralized (often downstaffed) information centers. And it comes from a 1923 book about country journalism.

The little home paper comes to me,
As badly printed as it can be;
It’s ungrammatical, cheap, absurd,
But how I love each intimate word.

Reference:The country newspaper

Best regards and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas for ACDC. Feel free to invite our assistance 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 .
March, 2005
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