ACDC News – Issue 99-10

Lively seminar for American Horse Publications members.

A record attendance and a lively program marked the recent AHP Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee. Informative reports on the AHP web site summarize the discussions and presentations about topics such as:

  • “Editors meet freelancers: a healthy exercise in group therapy.” What freelancers wish editors understood. What editors wish freelancers understood. The freelancers’ vision of the ideal editor. The editors’ vision of the ideal freelancer.
  • “Newsletter workshop”
  • “Circulation workshop”
  • “Publishing in the new millenium”
  • “Freelancer workshop”

You can see these summaries at:

Here are some new documents about communications aspects of biotechnology.

We have added them to the Center during recent weeks via the online journal, AgBioForum

  • Industry consolidation, public attitude and the future of plant biotechnology in Europe
  • Exploring the public’s role in agricultural biotechnology research
  • Public and private collaboration on plant biotechnology in China
  • Public/private alliances
  • Partnerships between public and private: the experience of the Cooperative Research Center for Plant Science

Losing history?

An article, “History: we’re losing it,” in the July 12 issue of Newsweek magazine addresses a question that pesters constantly here in the Center. It challenges all who try to gather and store information for access today and in the future:

How can we best preserve information and keep it accessible in the face of deteriorating documents and images, changing information formats, and inaccessible retrieval systems?

Aging print materials and fragile electronic media (such as videotape, floppy disk, CD-ROM) aren’t the only problem, this article notes. Systems used to retrieve information electronically also are disappearing rapidly. What simple, stable formats will survive or emerge?

I keep hoping that someday I will see the farm press become what it ought to have been for a long time,”

Says Fred Myers in a recent column addressed to U.S. agricultural writers and editors. It appeared in the July issue of ByLine Newsletter, published by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

“The mass of dull writing shows that we aren’t thinking enough and doing enough,” he writes. “We aren’t letting our best talents go all the way in pulling out all of the stops.” He calls for livelier headlines, improved graphics and design, more “flash, fire and gut that tugs and pulls at readers… This is the most challenging time in history to write about agriculture.”

Let us know if you would like to see the article and don’t have ready access to it.

Appreciating the written word.

The challenge from Fred Myers reaches us along with a more encouraging message. It comes from a college senior who is preparing to become a professional agricultural communicator and is completing a summer internship:

“Until this summer, I never realized how much I appreciate the written word. I often find myself pondering over a sentence, searching for the perfect word that means exactly what I want to say. What a relief it is when I finally find it. I feel very fortunate to be able to gain experience in the real world and look forward to the upcoming school year.”

A new planning guide for food safety educators

Is offered online by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. It contains media materials, brochures, fact sheets, games, activities and other resources for observing National Food Safety Education Month (September).

You can see the guide at:

Professional meetings approaching.

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

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.

October 3-6
North Central Regional Workshop, Agricultural Communicators in Education, at Madison, Wisconsin. “Image and imagination” theme features: hands-on intermediate photoshop workshop, creativity workshop and tours, and enhancing personal and professional effectiveness.

Remedy for a “bilious temperament.”

Here’s the advice offered to a 56-year-old farmer, J.W.B., whose description of his ailment appeared in the medical advice column of the September 6, 1882, issue of Family Herald newspaper: “ANS: Take of bromide of potash, four drams; infusion of gentian, six ounces. Dose, one tablespoonful three times a day in water.” If you find that it works, you might alert us.

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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