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This international resource and service from the University of Illinois features concepts, issues, media and methods for human communications related to food and nutrition, farming and rural life, natural resources and the environment, renewable energy, natural fibers, rural development and other aspects of agriculture. Welcome to this interactive website and please check with us whenever we can help you identify and gather information.


Mailing Address

510 Funk ACES Library
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801 

News rss

Jul 7, 2017

Jun 8, 2017

May 7, 2017


Apr 11, 2014

Issue 14-04

Question for environmental journalists: Why not report on the future of food and agriculture?

Chris Clayton, policy editor for DTN/The Progressive Farmer, raised that question in the Fall 2013 issue of SEJournal, newsletter of the Society of Environmental Journalists. He suggested food and agriculture as a way to connect average Americans to climate change, and to how they will have to adapt to it. "After all," he said, "most Americans may not visit the polar ice caps, but everyone needs to eat."

The article identified several possible story angles, sources, and events for reporting on agriculture and climate change. He reminded reporters that they need get out of the office to do so effectively.

You can read the article at: http://www.sej.org/publications/sejournal-fa13/dirt-ag-adaptation

The literature of environmental communication

The International Environmental Communication Association recently published a 68-page bibliography of journal articles related to environmental communications. The publication dates range from 1948 to 2001, with many of the articles published during the 1990s.

You can read this bibliography at: http://theieca.org/bibliographies/literature-environmental-communication

Congratulations at 10th Anniversaries

  • Sara Wyant and her associates at Agri-Pulse celebrate their 10th anniversary. They provide timely agricultural and rural policy news and insights through their comprehensive weekly report and online information from Washington, D.C.
  • Hugh Maynard and his associates at Qu'anglo Communications and Consulting celebrate their 10th anniversary of full-service communications support for agricultural and rural communities in Quebec and across Canada.
  • Chuck and Cindy Zimmerman of ZimmComm New Media celebrate their 10th anniversary of pioneering agricultural communications through innovative uses of blogs, podcasts, and social networking.

Best wishes to all.

Problems in thinking about women and agricultural leadership

A journal article we added recently to the ACDC collection raises questions about tendencies during the past decade to present women as being interested in different spheres of leadership and as having different skills of leadership. The questions arose for author Barbara Pini when she examined the representation of farm women in academic, government, and industry literature on women's leadership in agriculture and natural resource management.

She observed that by unquestioningly adopting a discourse of difference and uncritically representing it as "truth," we may find that we:

  • ignore the experiences of a great diversity of women in agriculture,
  • obscure men who are marginalized within the sector,
  • leave unquestioned the conflation of masculinity and leadership,
  • reinforce stereotypical assumptions about women, and
  • perpetuate the representation of men as leaders as the agricultural norm.

You can read the abstract of this Rural Society journal article, "Sheep, shadows and silly saints," at: http://rsj.e-contentmanagement.com/archives/vol/13/issue/2/article/1160/sheep-shadows-and-silly-saints

Please check with us at docctr@library.illinois.edu for help in gaining full-text access.

Agricultural images in the public domain

Thanks to Greg Brooks and Donna Abernathy of the Cooperative Communicators Association, for calling attention to photos that may serve the needs of agricultural journalists and communicators. Their alert appeared in a recent issue of the CCA Communiqué newsletter.

This collection is maintained by the Public Health Image Library (PHIL) of the U.S. health protection agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photos, illustrations, and multi-media files are organized into special interests. For example, the "Environmental Health" section includes images of:

  • Food, including safe food preparation
  • Fish and fish handling
  • Agriculture, gardening, and pesticides in farming
  • Safety of workers and children
  • Recreation
  • Pet care

Other sections range from "Natural Disasters/Pathogens" and "Bioterrorism" to "Everyday Activities." Most images are in the public domain. You can review the collection at: http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/home.asp

ICTs used most by Extension agents in Oyo State, Nigeria

Radio, television and mobile phones are the information and communication technologies used most by Extension agents to disseminate agricultural information. That report comes from a 2013 article in the International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development.  Researchers recommended greater use of these ICTs, which “are most accessed by all concerned in the study area.”  They also recommended that Extension service providers undergo periodic on-the-job training on the use of ICTs.

You can read the article at: http://www.ijamad.com/vol13no2june2013.htm

Communicator activities approaching

  • April 27-May 1, 2014
    Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education in Miami, Florida. Information: https://www.aiaee.org
  • May 22-26, 2014
    64th Annual Conference of International Communication Association (ICA) in Seattle, Washington. Information: http://www.icahdq.org/conf/
  • May 31-June 3, 2014
    "Strengthening Your Skills in the Steel City." Annual Institute of Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Information: http://www.communicators.coop/2014Institute.htm
  • June 19, 2014
    Reception of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists at the Royal Highland Show near Edinburgh, Scotland. Information: http://www.gaj.org.uk/dates-deadlines
  • June 19-21, 2014
    "Gallop n' Grits." Seminar of American Horse Publications in Charleston, South Carolina. Information: http://www.americanhorsepubs.org/programs/seminars
  • June 24-26, 2014
    25th annual meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Madison, Wisconsin. Information: http://www.agrelationscouncil.org
  • June 24-27, 2014
    Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Portland, Oregon. Information: https://aceweb.org/index.php/en/2014-conference
  • September 4-8, 2014
    "Innovations from a small island." Annual IFAJ Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Aberdeenshire Angus, Banffshire and Moray, Scotland. Information: http://www.ifaj2014.com/action-packed-days

Sharing (beyond today) what you know and do

We close this issue of ACDC News with a headline we saw in a 2013 issue of the Australian Journal of Rural Health:

 "A PowerPoint is for a conference, an article is forever."

That distinction is on our minds each day as we gather information about communications aspects of agriculture. For historical purposes, visuals posted from a PowerPoint presentation are usually only a skeleton of what someone said. So we encourage you to finalize and keep your script during this conference season when you present findings, new techniques and tips for effective communicating. In fact, send it to us at docctr@library.illinois.edu. We will give it a good home. Also, ACDC will provide a valuable platform for sharing your insights with others around the globe and across the decades ahead. Thank you.

Best wishes and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to docctr@library.illinois.edu.