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Agricultural Communications Documentation Center

A world of agricultural communications information is now at the fingertips of IFAJ members, through the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC).

Learn how other agricultural journalists and communicators tackle their problems, do their work and improve their efforts by logging onto

The ACDC collection is a virtual resource to help you in agriculture-related journalism and communicating. Examine specific communications skills, such as reporting, editing, photography, audio-video and design. Look more deeply into particular channels for communicating – personal, group or specific mass media. Does agricultural journalism in particular parts of the world interest you? The ACDC collection probably can help you.

Use ACDC to explore the unique professional issues of this field, to plan and carry out stronger communications programs, and to focus your efforts on top-priority goals.

The following guide is designed to help you navigate through the ACDC collection. It will help you learn some searching tools that will open the door to a valuable resource.

Beginning your search

  1. Go to the ACDC Web site :
  2. Click on “Database Search” (an option in the left column of the home page)
  3. Choose how you wish to search: Title, Author, Subject or Journal

Read a brief tutorial about each field. Within the search box:

a. Click on Title to read the tutorial. Then click Back to the search page.
b. Click on Author to read the tutorial. Then click Back to the search page.
c. Click on Subject to read the tutorial. Then click Back to the search page.
d. Click on Journal to read the tutorial. Then click Back to the search page.

Subject searches may often be your most useful approach

On the search page, place your cursor in the open boxed area to the right of the wording, Subject Term(s). You are now ready to enter the term or terms you wish to use.

What subject term or terms should you use?

You can use a variety of subject search strategies, depending on your interests. For example:

Sample agriculture subject terms

  • Food safety
  • Diet
  • Conservation
  • International trade
  • Labeling
  • Animal rights
  • Organic
  • Bird flu
  • Irradiation
  • Beef
  • Fruit

Sample communications subject terms

  • Writing skills
  • Internet
  • Farm journals
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Rural-urban communication
  • Risk communication
  • Extension communication
  • Photography
  • Information sources
  • Media effectiveness

Sample countries/regions

  • Europe
  • India
  • Japan
  • Africa
  • Australia
  • Netherlands
  • Latin America

Sample audiences/interest groups

  • Farmers
  • Consumers
  • Women
  • Government
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Agribusiness
  • Extension agents

Sample perspectives offered

  • History
  • Roles
  • Accuracy
  • Trends
  • Outlook
  • Attitudes
  • Knowledge

Sample aspects of our profession

  • Journalists
  • Careers
  • Communicator effectiveness
  • Ethical issues
  • Communication education
  • Information issues
  • Communication barriers

Here are a few examples of subject searches and cross-searches. Try them if you like.

  • adoption
  • farmers AND information sources
  • attitudes AND consumers AND biotechnology
  • adoption AND internet AND europe

How to gain access to a document you identify in the ACDC collection

  1. Check the Notes section of the citation. If it contains a Web address use that address in your Web browser to try to retrieve the document online.
  2. If the citation shows no Web address, try locating the document on the open Web. Conduct a title search, using a search engine such as Google.
  3. Look for the document locally, in a library or other resource.
  4. Send an e-mail note to the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (docctr(at), providing the document number and title. We maintain copies within the Center or elsewhere in the University of Illinois Library. Copyright and other factors permitting, staff members of the Center can help you gain access by:
  • – Scouting further for it online.
    – Scanning the document and sending it to you electronically.
    – Photocopying it and sending it to you by fax, postal service or other delivery service you prefer.

As you search, keep this in mind about the ACDC collection

  1. We interpret agriculture broadly. This collection encompasses the entire food, feed and fiber enterprise – from farm to fork – including the nutritional, environmental and social aspects of agriculture.
  2. It focuses on the communications aspects of agriculture. You will find no grain prices, export news or pest management practices here.
  3. Every document in it focuses on agriculture-related communicating. You will find no general journalism tips or topics here.
  4. Thank you and please let us know whenever we can help you locate and gain access to information about agricultural journalism and communications.

Joe Zumalt
Carolyn Sanford
Jim Evans
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center
An international resource and service from the University of Illinois

Searchable online at