ACDC News – Issue 99-11

New literature about risk communications in agriculture.

Here are titles of recent documents we have added to the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center:

  • “Scare stories do us all harm”
  • “Monsanto ads censured but safety claims backed”
  • “A mutable feast: will the fight over gene-altered food products leap across the Atlantic?”
  • “Support continues for consumer food safety education”
  • “Farmers likely to be targeted in next food protest” (Canada)
  • “GM backlash leaves U.S. farmers wondering how to sell their crops”
  • “Public reaction to genetically-modified foods in the UK”

Folk media alive and well, with a modern twist.

Storytelling, music, puppetry, drama, dance and other folk media have long been recognized throughout the world as effective ways to teach. (You can see dozens of samples by searching on the “traditional media” subject term in the ACDC collection.) An extension food toxicologist at the University of California is using a folk approach with electronic technology. Dr. Carl Winter records and performs musical parodies of popular songs with a food safety/science twist. Here are a few examples of songs on his latest CD:

  • “I sprayed it on the grapevine” (to the tune, “I heard it through the grapevine”)
  • “Food busters” (to the tune, “Ghostbusters”)
  • “You’d better wash your hands” (to the tune, “I want to hold your hand”)
  • “USDA” (to the tune, “YMCA”)
  • “Food irradiation” (to the tune, “Do the locomotion”)

You can get details about this novel communications effort at the following URL:

New food safety information service announced.

The Food and Drug Administration has opened a new Outreach and Information Center to help inform the U.S. public about food safety.

Public information line: 1-888-SAFEFOOD

Center welcomes student assistant.

Rosie Subat, agricultural communications senior from near Yorkville, Illinois, joins the ACDC staff this month as a part-time student assistant. Rosie is completing the news-editorial option of her major, with special interest in photography. She will help identify, gather and process documents for the collection, as well as handle requests from clients.

Unusual communications experiences this summer.

Paul Hixson, administrative coordinator of the Center, got two valuable intercultural experiences recently.

  • As a vacationing volunteer, he worked with his son and others on an archeologist team that is doing mapping and preliminary exploratory excavations in the ruins of a large, ancient Maya city, Chunchukmil, in the northern Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. He helped create a video to explain the significance of this site to local residents.
  • Later he worked for two weeks with the faculty at Sitting Bull College on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. He helped the faculty explore possibilities for expanding the distance teaching program of the College.

Internet use among rural community leaders.

Thanks to Professor Kris Boone for contributing a report about recent research among chamber of commerce directors, city mayors, county commission chairmen and business executives in 684 rural Kansas communities:

Ron Wilson and Kristina Boone, “Internet use among community leaders in rural Kansas.” Report of Progress 838, Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, Manhattan, Kansas. July 1999. 17 pp.

Results showed that nearly 62 percent of respondents said they used the Internet in one form or another. The most common use of the Internet was for finding information, with e-mail a close second. Researchers suggested that the Internet offers a significant opportunity for rural communities in reaching and serving clientele, distance learning and electronic commerce.

Farm broadcasts of nearly 60 years ago preserved.

The National Association of Farm Broadcasters archives now has examples of 1941 farm radio programs that can be heard by anyone interested. Details are available from NAFB Historian Dix Harper at The organization also welcomes samples of other early farm broadcasting.

Can we help in your research, teaching or other day-today projects?

Please let us know if we can help you, your associates, your clients or your students find information. Examples: literature searches for research projects, how-to information about various kinds of communications skills, career information, explorations of issues and trends in agricultural communications. We do our best to provide helpful, timely service.

Professional meetings approaching.

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

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

October 3-6
“Image and Imagination,” North Central Regional Workshop, Agricultural Communicators in Education, at Madison, Wisconsin. Features hands-on intermediate photoshop workshop, creativity workshops and tours, and strategies for enhancing personal and professional effectiveness.

October 21-22
Regional workshop, Cooperative Communicators Association, at Doubletree Club Hotel/Riverport, St. Charles, Illinois. Features employee communications, communicating about mergers, and uses of digital technology in communications.
Information: Lisa Gunlock at

November 10-14
Annual conference, National Association of Farm Broadcasters, at Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Missouri.

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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