ACDC News – Issue 07-01

Happy New Year and welcome to this first 2007 issue of news from the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.

We look forward to helping you communicate effectively and grow professionally in this dynamic field of interest during the year ahead.

Starting the New Year at a new hallmark.

Last month the ACDC collection passed the 30,000-document mark. Who might have believed this possible when the concept of an electronically-managed resource featuring agriculture-related communications began to take shape more than 25 years ago?

  • Our thoughts turn in appreciation to dozens of graduate research assistants, document contributors, associates and other friends who have given generously of their skills, support and encouragement.
  • And our thoughts turn ahead to helping identify and share this rapidly-growing, global body of knowledge that is increasingly essential to societies.

Successful first year of partnership with IFAJ.

Last June we announced a new education partnership with the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.  Since then, our Center has provided a variety of resources to help IFAJ members grow, professionally.

If you are interested in seeing the activities carried out during this pilot phase of the partnership you can use this live link to read the 2006 Review.

Offering virtual tours of Canadian livestock farms.

“Visit a dairy farm without leaving your home,” read the headline of a recent press release from two Canadian farm organizations.  Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) have announced bilingual virtual tours of two types of dairy farms: one featuring a tie stall barn and one a free stall barn. Planners consider them “an important way of making agriculture more interesting and accessible to the general public.”

Visitors can take the dairy farm tours at:

In addition, visitors can take 13 virtual tours of farms that feature a variety of other classes of livestock – from beef cattle to goats and from elk to veal.

Title:  Visit a dairy farm without leaving your home

Budget at least 15 percent for communicating.

“Every protected area conservation project should have at least 15% of its budget designated for communication,” said Marco Sanchez Lira in a paper we added recently to the ACDC collection. Furthermore, “this should be included from the beginning of the project, with the understanding that communication is not the solution to problems arising from specific occurrences but is an integral component of the whole process.”

The paper focused on efforts of the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas in Mexico.

Title:  Strategic communication and visual identity
Posted at:

No real pre-requisites for innovating.

Farmers innovate regardless of their farm size, farming enterprises or amount of farm experience. Viktor Janev came to that conclusion after studying farmer innovation in Macedonia.

His report in LEISA Magazine concluded: “I believe that farmer innovation needs to be seen as the basic cornerstone of any research and extension system.”

Title:  Old skills and new ideas
Posted at

How media portray immigrant farm workers.

A recent article in Cultural Geographies revealed thought-provoking findings about media coverage of farm workers in rural Ontario, Canada.  Several “interlocking narratives” emerged from researcher Harald Bauder’s content analysis of Ontario daily newsprint media between 1996 and 2002:

  • “Offshore workers are represented in the newsprint media as alien elements in the village and agricultural landscapes of rural Ontario.”
  • “On the workplace/living space scale, migrants are valorized as workers but devalued as human beings, making them a desired labour force but unwanted people.”
  • “On the farm/community scale, migrants are depicted as a structural necessity for Ontario’s farming operations and a valuable asset to the local retail sector, but as a nuisance and cultural threat to the rural community.”
  • “On the Canada/homeland scale…the economic inferiority of the country of origin justifies substandard working conditions in Canada as economic opportunities for the foreign workers and as development assistance to the origin countries.”

Title:  Landscape and scale in media representations

Communicator activities approaching

February 5-6, 2007
Agricultural Communications Section of the 2007 Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) conference in Mobile, Alabama USA.
Conference information:
Ag Com Section web site:

March 12-13, 2007
Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) Midwest Region Workshop in Louisville, Kentucky USA.
Information:  Tammy Simmons at 800-357-5232

March 29-31, 2007
Winter meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Appreciating the warm fuzzies.

We always appreciate learning the experiences and reactions of those who use the resources and services of the Center.  Here is some of the recent feedback that encouraged us:

  • “Wow–a lot of info.”
  • “I just want you to know how much I enjoyed the latest ACDC News.  It’s jammed with good stuff!”
  • “This is great.  Thank you so much for the quick response.”
  • “I am sure this database will be helpful in our programming and I have shared it with our staff.”
  • “Thanks for making the effort to keep us all connected.”
  • “I got good materials from the web sites you suggested to me.”
  • “Perfect!  This is just what I was looking for.”
  • “The list of contributors to the collection looks like a Who’s Who of dev comm!”
  • “I have appreciated everyone’s willingness to help a graduate student find the resources I need for my thesis.”
  • “Very cool name by the way – rock on, ACDC”

Please let us know if you would rather not receive ACDC News.

As Year 2007 begins, we want to tell you how much we appreciate your interest in this 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 at  Also, let us know if your e-mail address changes.

Would you like to suggest other possible readers? 

We will be pleased to send ACDC News to your associates or other persons you think might like to receive it.  You can either refer them to us or send us their names and e-mail addresses.

Also, get in touch with us when you see in this collection interesting items you cannot find, locally or online.

Tell us the titles and/or document numbers.  We will help you gain access.
Best regards and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, questions, 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 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 2007

Updated on