ACDC News – Issue 99-13

More than 40 documents that Mason E. Miller contributed recently are being processed into the ACDC collection.

They come from the personal library of one who has effectively stimulated and strengthened agricultural communications research throughout his career in academic and government service. These documents include reports, articles, discussion papers and other valuable materials published between 1963 and 1982. Almost all are new to the ACDC collection and not easy to locate elsewhere.

Among the topics: social science research on development, consequences of innovations, group methods to actualize human potential, international communication policy and flow (bibliography), social action in community and area development, technical writing for scientists and women’s role in farming and agriculture (bibliography).

During the weeks ahead you will be able to identify these within ACDC through an online Title search using the topic titles listed above. For a complete listing of Mason Miller’s contributions to this collection, use an Author search (Miller).

Suggestions for aspiring communicators.

Here are titles of several presentations offered November 5-6 during a career-oriented workshop for Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) members. Students from Purdue University and the University of Illinois took part in this workshop on the University of Illinois campus. We are depositing the discussion materials used by professionals who led the sessions. Titles to request from ACDC:

  • “Finding your niche in ag advertising”
  • “Where do you fit in ag PR?”
  • “Developing your broadcast portfolio”
  • “Print portfolios: the best opportunity to sell your talents”

We also hope to collect materials presented during career sessions about agricultural writing, editing, photography and “online” technologies. Let us know if you would like to see some of the timely suggestions offered during this workshop.

What’s the current public image of America’s farmers and ranchers?

ACDC has obtained the summary of a nationwide consumer survey commissioned during 1999 by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Results suggest that “consumers typically rank farmers high for positive attributes and in overall job performance.” Some of the attributes examined: contribution to society; innovativeness; care about the quality and safety of food produced; care about water quality, farm animals and the land; production of genetically-modified food crops.

Title to request from ACDC: “American Farm Bureau Federation: farmers again rank high with American consumers”

Are writers evaluated on quantity?” 

That’s the title of an article in the current issue of ByLine, newsletter of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. Author Jodie Wehrspann reports the results of her national survey among U.S. editors of magazines and newspapers. She found that half of the editors surveyed use quantitative evaluations. However, the ability to generate a lot of copy quickly was not so important to them relative to other measures such as accuracy, clarity, proper grammar/syntax and ability to generate useful story ideas.

Title to request from ACDC: “Are writers evaluated on quantity? If so, how?”

Women: untapped information source.

The October 1995 issue of 2020 News & Views(from the International Food Policy Research Institute) suggests that women may hold the key to feeding the world by 2020. However:

“Women may be a storehouse for a lot of knowledge and indigenous information that we’re not tapping into,” according to one speaker at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Bejing, China, during 1995. The article also highlights other gaps and opportunities that were discussed.

Online access:

Approaching deadline for proposals.

November 19 is the deadline for submitting proposals for papers to be presented at the National Extension Technology Conference May 21-24, 2000. Details are available at:

A toxicology and risk communication symposium is scheduled

For November 17 at the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland. The National Capital Area Chapter of the Society of Toxicology hosts this one-day symposium. It may interest scientists and other professionals who have a stake in effective risk communication. Information:

Watching our kitchen sink.

A reader of the New Scientist has heard that dishwashing liquid contains substances that cause feminization of alligators. In response, however, another reader writes: “After extensive investigation at great personal risk, we have established that all the alligators entering our kitchen sink are already female. The males, like their human counterparts, shun the washing up. Hence we believe that this environment poses no threat.”

Another writer, from the Soap and Detergent Industry Association, assures that dishwashing liquids in Britain contain neither estrogen mimics nor carcinogens.

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.

Updated on