ACDC News – Issue 97-01


This news page, through which we will keep you posted on developments in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC) and in other matters of possible interest to agricultural communicators. In fact, we hope this page can become an interesting meeting place for agricultural communicators who work in various countries and various parts of the career field.

To that end, we invite your news, comments and questions about the literature of agricultural communications and, more broadly, about developments in this important professional field.

The online thesaurus offers easier, more-thorough searching.

A newly-added thesaurus is helping users of this collection find subject-matter terms more easily. It’s a comprehensive thesaurus (more than 1,000 terms), so you can find citations about many topics related to agricultural communications. If you decide you want to search by subject, simply enter “Begin the actual search” and click on the thesaurus hot button.

Remember that you can conduct cross-subject searches. For example, you can use our search engine to identify literature about “campaign planning” related to “food safety” or “water quality.” If you get stumped in your search, let us know by e-note and we’ll help you find what you want.

Thanks to these professionals

Who have contributed literature to the Documentation Center during recent weeks: Francis C. Byrnes, Harold Guither, Dick Lee and Bill Ward. Together, they have added more than 100 excellent documents to the collection.

For example, documents from Frank Byrnes total more than 50 items that he wrote between 1954 and 1993. The documents, all of which involve communications related to agriculture, include journal articles, conference papers, reports, presentations and book chapters.

This is a valuable addition, especially as Frank has been a pioneering agricultural communicator throughout his career. First recipient of the Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) Award of Excellence in International Affairs (1986), he has specialized in communications related to agricultural development. He worked with communications programs of the International Rice Research Institute, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, International Agricultural Development Service and Winrock International, among other organizations. He also served as associate director of the National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC).

His literature, therefore, involves topics such as roles and strategies for communications in agricultural development, dilemmas of agricultural consultants abroad, scientific communication, communications training, the role of indigenous knowledge and grassroots participation, and operation of agricultural communication units.

A balanocarpus tree?

A web site identified as “agricultural communications” is apt to get some unusual questions. Maybe our most-unusual recent request came from someone who was searching for information about the balanocarpus tree. We referred this question to a forestry specialist.

When you see agricultural terms

(such as “cattle” or “crops”) in our thesaurus you can assume that the documents you find through your online search will relate to the communications and human aspects rather than to the technical aspects of those topics. Similarly, when you see communications terms (such as “media effectiveness” or “video”) you can assume that the documents you find will relate to their use in agricultural settings. Every document in this collection contains two elements – human communications, as related broadly to agriculture. That’s why the collection is special.

Need help in your search?

Let us know. Often, we can help you get on the track you want to follow. And if your search is complex – your time limited – we can conduct a custom search for you on a modest, cost-recovery basis. The Center staff includes folks who are familiar with literature about agricultural communications and who are skilled in information searching. For example, Center Coordinator Jianhua Dong is an experienced librarian and a doctoral candidate in library and information sciences. Professors Bob Hays and Jim Evans are long-time faculty members in agricultural communications at the University of Illinois.

Have you any agricultural communications documents to recommend or contribute? If so, let us know and we will follow up with you.

Thanks – and good searching.

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