ACDC News – Issue 12-17

“Guess who’s 90?”

Congratulations to the Science and Agricultural Journalism program at the University of Missouri as it celebrates its 90 th birthday this year. A news report we have added to the ACDC collection explains that Dean F. B. Mumford of the College of Agriculture and Dean Walter Williams of the School of Journalism announced this degree in February 1922.

Across the years, the respected Missouri program has prepared young journalists “to explain the complex and fascinating world of science, agriculture, the environment, food, natural resources, and medical and agricultural biotechnology and the impact on society.”

We were pleased to join with alumni, students, faculty and others in a 90 th Anniversary Event in Columbia and Boonville on September 7. You can read a brief report and view a slide show featuring people and activities associated with that program across the decades:

Perils and safe-shooting tips from agricultural photographers

“With agriculture known to be among the most dangerous occupations in the world of work, where does that leave the journalists who cover it?” With that introduction, agricultural photographer Mark Moore recently launched a two-part series to highlight major risks that agricultural photographers face, and to share their tips for working safely.

It has been a special pleasure for those of us in ACDC to collaborate with Mark and seven other talented agricultural photographers in producing this series. Mark coordinated the team which included American Agricultural Editors’ Association members Gil Gullickson, Charles Johnson, Christine McClintic, John Otte, Harlen Persinger, Jim Patrico, and Wayne Wenzel.

Both features contribute to the professional development mission of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and are now posted on the IFAJ website.

You can read them here:

Feature #1 – “One step right and hold on tight. Steady now.”

Feature #2 – “Plant the foot. Get a grip. Careful now.”

Think “rural-urbanism” or “urban-ruralism.”

Traditional concepts of “rural” and “urban” have trouble standing alone in a world of multiple global flows of people, ideas, and fashion. So reported N. V. Pemunta and T. B. Obara, authors of a 2012 article in the Arts and Social Sciences Journal . They observed that individuals “have adopted hyphenated identities.” Their discussion explored dimensions such as these:

  • “Although people migrate, they remain carriers of their culture.”
  • “…even a rural environment is heterogeneous in terms of opinions and viewpoints.”
  • “…culture is not bounded and therefore does not occupy designated spaces.”
  • “The practice of urban agriculture cuts across socioeconomic groups…”

Authors suggested “we constantly need to document the specific impact of local, national, regional and global forces and flows on people’s lives because of multiple connections and not to freeze them in either rural or urban space…”

You can read the journal article at:

Managing the email inbox

Thanks to Kevin Erb of University of Wisconsin-Extension for useful tips about managing the flow of email. He offered them in response to an invitation in a recent issue of ACDC News.

“As a state Extension professional, email is the bane of my existence. I can spend an entire day doing nothing but dealing with issues/questions/follow up via email, and walk out at the end of the day feeling nothing is accomplished. While I do not have control of my inbox yet, some steps I’ve implemented include:

  • Reducing newsletter/clipping service email to the four key ones that I feel are essential to my day to day job.
  • Switching to an email program that allows for fast searching of older messages.
  • Using the “flagging” or prioritizing feature to color code messages that need a response in the near term. This means looking quickly at the email that has arrived each morning and prioritizing the critical things. Creating subfolders for things that need to be kept on file.
  • Devoting a time period each week to ‘cleaning up the inbox.’
  • ‘Disconnecting.’ I do not have a smartphone, and try to eliminate the impulse to keep a 24/7 tab on the inbox.”

How agricultural enterprises in the Czech Republic use social media.

During 2010, researchers at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague carried out the first survey of social networks in the agrarian sector (companies, cooperatives, and farmers) of the Republic. A research paper we have added to the ACDC collection revealed findings such as these:

  • About 95 percent had internet connections at their disposal.
  • Respondents were active on social networks, with Facebook by far the most used.
  • Company presentation is only used to a relatively small extent. Social media were especially used for personal communications, gathering information, and for company communications.

You can read the paper online at:

Calls for animal care—across the centuries.

The lively current topic of animal welfare is not new. We found such a message in an 1871 issue of The Lancaster Farmer , published 141 years ago. Animal welfare was the “bottom line” of an essay by S. P. Eby. Pointing to examples of misuse of cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, and poultry on farms at that time, Eby concluded:

“Practice humanity toward the animals. Teach your children to do so. Let them study Natural History, and learn the bright side of animal nature.”

Check with us at if you would like to read this essay. We processed it into ACDC recently as part of the John Harvey Collection.

Communicator activities approaching

  • November 2, 2012
    Deadline for research posters and innovative-idea posters to be presented in the Agricultural Communications Section, Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) meeting, February 2-5, 2013, in Orlando, Florida USA. Information: Prof. Chris Morgan at or 706-542-7102.
  • November 7-9, 2012
    “Our rich heritage: A bridge to the future.” Annual meeting of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri USA. Information:
  • November 26, 2012
    Deadline for submitting papers for the 12 th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, May 19-22, 2-013. Organized by Working Group 9.4 of the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP). Information:

Not what I meant to say.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a conversation reported by John J. Davis in The Entomologists’ Joke Book (1937):

She: “Where do all the bugs go in winter?

He:  “Search me.”

She: “No, thanks. I just wanted to know.”

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, 510 ACES Funk Library, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to