ACDC News – Issue 06-03

On farmers knowing less and less. 

Industrialization of agriculture and other forces are boosting concerns about farmers knowing less and less in the scheme of things. For example, concerned observers note that increasingly, producers understand less about a total process and become more dependent on the few who understand it as a whole.

A growing body of literature about this issue often speaks in terms of the “deskilling” of farmers and loss and underuse of “traditional knowledge.” You can track some of this interaction by conducting Subject searches in the ACDC database, using terms such as deskilling and traditional knowledge. Here are a few sample documents that include references to farmer deskilling:

The impact of agricultural biotechnology on social cohesion
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Biotechnology and agricultural skilling in India
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Opening spaces through relocalization: locating potential resistance

“I am at a loss about where to begin.” 

This college student who contacted us recently was preparing a speech on the topic: “Agriculture and the media: how should our story be told?” We may have overwhelmed her with suggestions because rural-urban communicating and media coverage of agriculture are strong suits in the ACDC collection.

Here are some of the terms we suggested for an online Subject search, using the Database Search page of the ACDC Web site:
“rural-urban communication”
“media effectiveness”
“media relations”

Are we blowing food safety out of proportion?

Jon Bell, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, United Kingdom, recently said he does not believe so. Presenting the Society of Food Hygiene Technology Annual Lecture, he used three case studies to illustrate how the Agency is approaching food safety issues:

  • BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) or mad cow disease in cattle
  • Sudan 1, a non-approved red azo dye that has turned up in some imported spices and oils
  • South Wales E.coli outbreak

Title: Are we blowing food safety out of proportion?
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Clear Channel defends remote news.

That headline topped an event summary we added recently from the Institute of Rural Journalism and Community Issues, University of Kentucky. The summary covered a panel discussion at the 2005 annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Two executives of Clear Channel Communications and a University of Colorado faculty member took part.

The discussion touched on a 2004 instance in which the central production hub system used by Clear Channel resulted in late coverage of important local news (including forest fires and weather warnings) by an unnamed Clear Channel radio station. Executives of the group placed blame not on the system but on poor program execution at the station. One executive noted that “any one of the company’s 900-plus local program directors can decide what stories go on the air.” They also cited advantages of the hub concept.

Title: Clear Channel defends remote news
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Agricultural journalism has come of age in the Philippines

According to a news report we added recently, Reporter Rudy A. Fernandez cited examples of ways in which agricultural journalism has become “a big plus factor in the country’s efforts to push farther the frontiers of national development.” A professional organization, the Philippine Agricultural Journalists Inc., has contributed in this process, according to the report.

Title: Agri journalism in RP comes of age 
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How you can gain access to documents. 

When you search the ACDC collection you should be aware that it often can serve you mainly as an alert system – a starting point. For a variety of reasons, citations often will not give you full-text electronic access. For example, they may have been published under copyright or prior to digital formatting. So here are some strategies you can use to gain access to documents you identify through your ACDC searches:

  • Check the “Notes” section of the citation. Sometimes/Increasingly we can provide URLs that link you to the full-text document.
  • Check to see if your local library or reference center subscribes to the journal involved or has the book or report on the shelf.
  • Try title searches on search engines such as Google.

No luck finding them locally or online? 

Please send us the titles and document numbers. All are available here in the Center or elsewhere within the University of Illinois Library, so we can help you gain access to them. Depending on the number and size of documents, copyright regulations and other factors, we may be able to scan them for electronic transmission or photocopy them for delivery to you by mail or fax. Services such as these are available on a cost-recovery basis. You may be able to borrow books of interest through interlibrary loan services.

Communicator activities approaching

February 15-16, 2006
“Food Labelling Conference 2006” in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Organized by the Dutch Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sport and the Food Standards Agency ( United Kingdom ) with support of the European Commission. Features presentations from the food manufacturing, food retail, consumer and small business perspectives.

March 1, 2006
Registrations due for the 2006 conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education in Clearwater, Florida, May 14-17, 2006.

March 6-8, 2006
“Practice change for sustainable communities.” Conference of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia.

March 23-25, 2006
Spring meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council in Memphis, Tennessee.
Information: Jeri Mattix Omernik of Rocky Mountain Marketing Communications at:

Some rural computer language.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a few computer terms featuring rural definitions that roam the Web.

Download: Getting the firewood off the pickup
Mega Hertz: When you are not careful downloading
Hard drive: Getting home in mud seasons
Byte: What black flies do
Main frame: The part of the barn that holds the roof up

Title: Humor 153: rural computer language
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Best regards and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas for the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communication 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

February, 2006


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