ACDC News – Issue 07-09

Creative outhouse – a new category of agri-marketing communications.

“We have nothing against traditional media – but we plan to position ourselves for the migration to experiential marketing.” Gerard Estella of a creative and design firm in Iowa offered that explanation in a recent release published by Agri Marketing.  He was referring to a unique combination of services – events, entertainment and emotion – provided by North 40, Cedar Rapids.

“So much marketing and creative work is done inhouse, we decided to create a new category: the creative outhouse.”  He added that you have to have a sense of humor to be in a creative business.

Title:  Dick Damrow acquires equity interest in creative service firm
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Facing a real risk of information overload.

The agriculture and food industry faces a real risk of information overload in the information age.  So reported Wim Verbeke in an article published in the European Review of Agricultural Economics.  An analysis of case studies led Verbeke to observe:

“It emerges that consumer needs for information cannot be taken for granted.  The provision of ever more and too detailed information entails a risk of information overload, resulting in consumer indifference or loss of confidence.”

The author concluded that “the recipient population needs to be well understood, segmented, identified and targeted.” That conclusion closely matches what professional communicators work hard to encourage.

Title:  Agriculture and the food industry in the information age

Thanks to Professor Delmar Hatesohl

For contributing more than 130 additional documents to the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center from his personal collection.  These materials come from one of the most respected agricultural journalism educators in the U. S., and beyond.  Now retired, Professor Hatesohl served with distinction on the agricultural journalism faculty at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

We will be processing his materials during the months ahead and alerting you to some of them through ACDC News. They range broadly across people, skills, history, issues and trends in this field of interest.  And they add to his valuable legacy of teaching, advising, research and service.

Even when bird flu threatens, it is not enough just to tell people what to do.

Experiences from Cambodia are underscoring this insight that communicators have known for a long time.  Evidence appeared in a research report published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Researchers surveyed knowledge, attitudes and practices among Cambodian villagers in two provinces judged to be at high risk for H5N1 flu. Among the findings:

  • 72 percent understood that avian flu is a fatal disease can be transmitted to humans.
  • 67 percent thought it was unsafe to touch sick or dead poultry with their bare hands – but 75 percent acknowledged having done so.
  • 70 percent knew it was not safe to eat wild birds – but 45 percent ate poultry that had died from illness and 33 percent ate wild birds.

Researchers offered suggestions for addressing this mismatch.

Title:  Avian flu prevention puzzle
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“Farm fresh” helping debase the English language.

We recently added to the ACDC collection a marketing research consultant’s argument that use of such phrases to promote

food products is more than harmless nonsense.  Writing in Marketing News, Thomas Semon said the phrase “farm fresh” is part of a long-established practice of advertisers to use language that doesn’t really mean what it says but sounds good, and is not specific enough to be clearly deceptive.

“It is a pernicious practice in that it teaches people over the long run to ignore or discount what language communicates.”

Title: Watch language when conveying ad message

Communicator activities approaching

May 20-24, 2007
“Internationalizing with cultural leadership.”  Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Polson, Montana.

June 2-5, 2007
“Communicators unite!”  Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Williamsburg, Virginia.

June 15-19, 2007
“A double creature feature.”  ACE/NETC joint conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) and the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

June 21-23, 2007
“Fiesta del Caballo.”  Seminar of American Horse Publications (AHP) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

July 2-5, 2007
“Environmental and rural sustainability through ICT.”  Joint conference of the European Federation of IT [Information Technology] in Agriculture (EFITA) and the World Congress on Computers in Agriculture (WCCA) at Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland.

July 28-August 1, 2007
“Writing, photography, design: the AMS trifecta.”  Agricultural Media Summit in Louisville, Kentucky.  Sponsored jointly by American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Agri Council of American Business Media (ABM) and Livestock Publications Council (LPC).

“Destroyed my career as a livestock photographer.” 

Writing in a recent issue of Farm World, columnist Lee Pitts exposed his foibles and downfalls in trying to photograph livestock.  If you can recall a few slip-ups of your own, you may appreciate his story about one “photo finish” that “exposed my shortcomings and destroyed my career as a livestock photographer.”  The situation involved a winner’s circle photo after a mule match race.

“As I painfully recall, in the photograph the mule’s owner was invisible, the jockey was picking his nose, the mule was relieving himself, eating daisies from the blanket of flowers on his back, had one ear forward and one back and, I swear, was winking at me.”

Unfortunately, the author did not provide a copy of that photo for us to share with you.  However, let us know by return e-note if you would like to read his column.

Title:  Farm animal photography challenging

Please 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

May 2007

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