ACDC News – Issue 07-24

“Farming fills my belly; journalism – my heart.”

That perspective comes from Shree Padre, agriculturist and innovative agricultural journalist in India.  Originator of a widely-recognized farmer-to-farmer periodical, Adike Pathrike, Padre explained his perspective in an article we have added to the ACDC collection:

“I take up issues that have positive and constructive messages.  Without farming background it is difficult to do justice to the latter.  In our country, the greatest tragedy is that the ones with practical knowledge never write.  Being a farmer, I know the needs of fellow farmers regarding information, what is practical for us and what is not and about farmers’ interests.”

Title:  Farming fills my belly
Posted at

Farmers sharing photos – online.

Farmers Weekly Interactive (United Kingdom) is inviting readers to upload their own photos to share with other farmers. A picture gallery provides space.  You can see current samples at:

Recognizing innovative use of multimedia for rural health.

A paper reporting innovative use of information technology to improve health among indigenous residents of rural Australia recently won the prestigious Queensland Government Industry Prize.  This honor was awarded during the 13th International Conference for Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM07) in Brisbane, Australia.

The paper describes HITnet, a long-term multimedia health promotion strategy for serving information-disadvantaged indigenous populations.  The program has evolved through three phases:

  1. Pilot project involving use of touchscreen technology, with audio feedback, in two Aboriginal communities.
  2. Measuring health and technology-related outcomes from use of kiosks in four communities.
  3. National expansion of an interactive multimedia health network, involving multimedia and web-ready product, with touchscreen kiosks.

Title:  Pride and performance
Posted at

More shoppers reading food labels.

Nearly three in five New Zealanders are now reading ingredients labels as they grow increasingly concerned about food safety.  This finding comes from a 2007 study commissioned by the Food Safety Authority.  Compared with results of a similar survey in 2003, it revealed a 10 percent increase in the number of people likely to study ingredient labels.

What food safety issues concerned respondents most?

  • Salmonella (nearly 75 percent)
  • Antibiotics in meat (67 percent)
  • Campylobacter, foodborne bacterial disease (63 percent)
  • Use of pesticides to grow food (62 percent)
  • Genetically modified foods (56 percent)

Title: More shoppers read the labels
Posted at > title search

Signs of “extremely fragmented” communications within the food chain.

Research reported in the British Food Journal revealed a serious information gap between the British agri-food industry and consumers.  Authors used an information audit to analyze communications activities of the industry. Then they used primary research to assess information needs and knowledge levels among consumers.  Findings revealed fragmented delivery and lack of needed resources within the agri-food sector.  Consumers, in turn, received messages “not giving them a clear reason to consider the implications of their purchases for the British farming industry and the environment.”

Title: Reconnection in the UK food chain

“An unflinching account at what farming takes – and, more important, what it gives back.”

That is how a New York Times reviewer described a rural documentary that is getting international acclaim. “The real dirt on Farmer John” is a portrait of Illinois farmer John Peterson’s roller-coaster ride for survival. A real-time documentary, it was shot over a 25-year period.  Among the reactions expressed in media reviews:

  • “…a palimpsest of images depicting the struggle between tradition and modernity.” (New York Times)
  • “What a blessing this film is, for everyone who’s chosen the road less taken and even perhaps for anyone who’s stood in their way.”  (Newsday)
  • “A loving, moving, inspiring, quirky documentary.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

This documentary has won more than 30 film festivals in the U. S. and internationally. You can learn more about it at

Thanks to Neil Inall of New South Wales, Australia, for reporting to us about this film.

Rural communicator activities approaching

February 3-4, 2008
Agricultural Communications Research Papers presented at the 2008 conference of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists in Dallas, Texas.

February 13-15, 2008
“Experience ICT Africa.”  Continental information and communications technologies conference sponsored by the NEPAD Council (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

March 9-15, 2008
“Global entrepreneurship: the role of international agricultural and extension education.” Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) at E.A.R.T.H. University, Costa Rica.

Season’s greetings at the 10th anniversary of ACDC News.

It hardly seems possible that 10 years have passed since we posted that first issue of ACDC News in November 1997.  We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you some highlights from the research, news and views we see while collecting information about agricultural journalism and communications, internationally. Thank you for your interest and encouragement through these years, and best wishes to you during this holiday season.

Rural computer language for cold-season survival.

We close this issue of ACDC News with several more computer terms we have seen roaming the Web with a touch of rural flavor.  These feature cold-weather survival skills:

Log on:  Making a wood stove hotter
Mega hertz:  When you’re not careful getting the firewood
Floppy disk:  What you get from trying to carry too much firewood
Windows:  What to shut when it’s cold outside

Do you have thoughts, examples or suggestions related to any topics featured in this issue?

Please send them to us by return e-note.
Get in touch with us:

  • When you cannot locate information you need about communications, as related to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural affairs in any part of the world.
  • 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.

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

Best wishes and good searching.

December 2007

Updated on