ACDC News – Issue 99-09

Information sources of large producers.

A recent national study by the Gallup Organization shows how large U.S. producers are gathering and using information for their farming operations. During early 1998 about 1,200 respondents provided feedback such as:

  • Information sources that they use (farm publications, direct mail, meetings and seminars, farm shows, electronic information sources such as DTN, radio, television and the Internet)
  • Industry sources that they use (local or farmer dealers, local veterinarians, local cooperatives, regional distributors, manufacturers and others)
  • Use of computers, modems, e-mail, the Internet and home pages
  • Current issues and concerns on their minds

The study was funded by a grant from 11 participating members of the Agricultural Publishers Association. Here is the citation:

  • Gallup Organization, “Trends in Agriculture Study: Large Producer Scorecards: Technology Trends and Industry Ratings, Benchmark Wave.”” April 1998.

This document is on file in the Documentation Center. Also, you can see it online at:

Selected highlights from four other studies about information sources are available on the Agricultural Publishers Association web site.

Brief summaries involve:

  • A 1993 study by Purdue University
  • A 1994 Farm Media Report
  • A 1995 survey by Rockwood Research Corporation
  • A 1996 Starch FARMS study conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide

A rural communicator from Australia reviewed hundreds of documents 

At the Center during the first two weeks of July. The visitor, Liz Kellaway, is general manager of Turnbull Porter Novelli, a public relations firm in South Australia specializing in serving agricultural clients. A 1999 Churchill Fellow, Liz is studying rural communications through visits to seven countries. Her research in the ACDC collection emphasized communications techniques used to drive technology transfer in commercial and public sectors of agriculture. We enjoyed her visit and were pleased to support her studies.

Interested persons are welcomed at the Center 

And can tap a variety of services. Users often report that within a few hours or days they can easily review more agricultural communications literature than they could find through longer searches by other means.

Condolences to the family of Francis C. Byrnes

81, a pioneering agricultural communicator who died July 5 at his home in Reston, Virginia. Frank’s international career involved work in nearly 60 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. His leadership in educational communications traces back to the National Project in Agricultural Communication (NPAC), an initiative that had great impact in the U.S. and beyond. Even decades later, NPAC is cited as a landmark effort. In 1986 he received the first Award of Excellence in International Affairs ever presented by the Agricultural Communicators in Education organization.

The Documentation Center has benefited directly from Frank’s interest and support. During recent years he contributed a variety of agricultural communications documents from his personal library.

Do you know of a turntable that will play 16-inch acetate records?

If so, the National Association of Farm Broadcasters welcomes information from you. NAFB has received several 16-inch records that feature farm broadcasts aired as early as 1941. These historical recordings need to be dubbed to audiotape or other current format. If you know of an operating turntable, please get in touch with Jim Evans at the Center.

Credibility of research information from land grant universities

Was on the mind of Jack Sperbeck, University of Minnesota, last month when he accepted the 1999 Professional Award of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE). In particular, he raised questions about the impact of private sponsorship that, increasingly, supports research at land grant universities. An example cited: How should communicators in those institutions respond to requests that they submit story drafts, scripts or publications to funding organizations for approval? He emphasized the importance of operating in ways that maintain public trust and confidence.

A copy of his presentation is being processed into the Center. Search online under author or title (1999 ACE Professional Award—Acceptance Speech).

Professional meetings approaching.

Here are the approaching meetings of several professional agricultural communicator organizations:

July 28-31
Agricultural Publications Summit at Denver, Colorado. Joint conference of American Agricultural Editors’ Association, Livestock Publications Council, Agricultural Publishers Association and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.

August 1-3
East Region Meeting, National Association of Farm Broadcasters, at Decatur, Illinois.
Information: Jim Fleming at 217-428-1050

August 14-19
Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Copenhagen, Denmark. Theme of the Congress is “Producing for the world.”

September 16-19
Western Regional Workshop, Agricultural Communicators in Education, at Fort Collins, Colorado. Three tracks: educational design, marketing and the WWW.

September 23-26
Conference ’99, Canadian Farm Writers Federation, at Laval, Quebec.

Best regards and good searching.

Please let us know if we can help you find information and/or if you can suggest documents that we might add to this collection.

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