ACDC News – Issue 13-17

How consumers view nanofood—the case of canola oil

A national online survey among U.S. consumers produced insights about potentials for nanotechnology in food and agriculture. Findings were reported at a conference during August by a team of agricultural economists at the University of Kentucky. Their choice experiment revealed differing responses toward three branches of nanotechnologies, as related to purchase of canola oil:

  • Consumers were willing to pay less for canola oil if it was produced from nano-scale-modified seed (nanoagriculture).
  • They were willing to pay less if the final products were packed with nanotechnology-enhanced packaging technique (nanopackaging).
  • No significant difference appeared in willingness to pay for oil that was designed with health enhancing nano-engineered oil drops, which would require interaction with the human digestive system (nanodrops).

“Findings from this study will help bridge the gap between scientific innovation and public policy and social-economic concerns,” the researchers concluded.

You can read the conference paper, “Public acceptance of and willingness to pay for nanofood: case of canola oil,” at:

Country journalists “honing their lie detectors”

Recent research in rural Australia reveals that country newspaper reporters continue the process of selecting and rejecting information, even in today’s fast-paced, anonymous online environment. Researcher Josie Vine analyzed 10 regional non-daily newspapers in Victoria. Findings prompted a conclusion that the country journalists selected and rejected information based on news values that support economic, political and social progress in their local communities.

They “have not lost sight of their primary strength—local reporting.”

You can read the abstract of this article, “News values and country non-daily news reporting,” at:

Please check with us at for help in gaining full-text access.

What farmers are asking about cover crops

Thanks to Tamsyn Jones of Practical Farmers of Iowa for alerting us to a new resource about research needed to advance cover crop adoption in agriculture-intensive regions. This research commentary appeared in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development . Authors Sarah Carlson and Ryan Stockwell observed that researchers for the most part are not keeping up with farmers’ innovations on cover crops nor on providing the information sought by farmers.

The authors identified 11 questions farmers are asking about costs-benefits, seeding methods, crop mixes, environmental impacts, and other aspects of cover crops. In addition, they identified nine research questions for social scientists. Those involve the sociological and psychological determinants of adoption of cover crops for sustainable farming.

You can read this article, “Research priorities for advancing adoption of cover crops,” at:

Extension agents, agribusiness professionals and USDA market information

We recently added to the ACDC collection results of a study to improve understanding of the current preferences of county extension agents and agribusiness professionals or market analysts for USDA market information in the livestock and poultry sector. Findings indicated that extension agents generally preferred reports that focused on the crop and cattle sectors. Agribusiness professionals and market analysts expressed preference for reports that could be considered leading agricultural economic indicators predicting stocks of agricultural commodities.

You can read this 2013 conference paper at:

Lots of new Extension research in the Australasia Pacific Region

We recently added to the ACDC collection abstracts of more than 40 papers presented at the 2013 international conference of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN). “Transformative change, chosen or unchosen: pathways to innovation, resilience and prosperity” was the theme of this conference at Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand, during August.

You can review the 100-page program and abstracts at:

Kerry J. Byrnes papers processed

The Agricultural Communications Documentation Center is proud to announce that you can now identify online nearly 300 new acquisitions to the Kerry J. Byrnes Collection. The papers of Dr. Kerry J. Byrnes, senior program specialist with the U.S. Agency for International Development, have been processed and can be identified in the BibLeaves database.

Dr. Byrnes is a leading contributor to the body of literature about social and communications aspects of agricultural, rural and economic development. The collection contains theses, dissertations, journal articles, special reports, conference proceedings, manuals and other information. His work with USAID has involved more than 36 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Joyce Wright of the ACDC staff took the lead in this processing effort.

You can learn more about Dr. Byrnes and the collection he contributed at:

You can identify these documents by searching on “Kerry J. Byrnes” in the BibLeaves search system at:

New agricultural communications program leader at Illinois

Professor Lulu Rodriguez, recognized as a gifted communicator, teacher, and scholar, is new director of the Agricultural Communications Program at the University of Illinois. She joined the faculty during September to lead an innovative dual academic program offered by the College of Media and the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES).

Professor Rodriguez brings to this position a strong background in agricultural and rural communications, within the U.S. and internationally.

You can learn more about her here .

Communicator activities approaching

  • February 1-4, 2014
    Research Program, Agricultural Communications Section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists conference in Dallas, Texas. Information:
  • February 10, 2014
    Deadline for research proposals, theses and dissertations
  • April 9-11, 2014
    “A fresh perspective.” 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), in Jacksonville, Florida. Information:

On “agriculture”

We close this issue of ACDC News with a suggestion offered by Larry Whiting, late professor of agricultural communication, Ohio State University:

“We should not be embarrassed about embracing the term agriculture.”

He emphasized how agriculture is much broader than the production dimensions of it.

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

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