ACDC News – Issue 16-05

Centennial issue of JAC published

Here are research and professional development articles published this month in Volume 100 Issue 1 of the Journal of Applied Communications . JAC is published by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE):

  • “A review and evaluation of prominent theories of writing” by Holli R. Leggette, Tracy Rutherford, Deborah Dunsford and Lori Costello.
  • “Agricultural communications: a national portrait of undergraduate courses” by Karen J. Cannon, Annie R. Specht and Emily B. Buck.
  • “Agricultural communications: perspectives from the experts” by Fawn Kurtzo, Maggie Jo Hansen, K. Jill Rucker and Leslie D. Edgar.
  • “Coming of age: how JAC is reflecting a national research agenda for communications in agriculture, natural resources, and life and human sciences” by Lulu Rodriguez and James F. Evans.
  • “Let’s get theoretical: a quantitative content analysis of theories and models used in the Journal of Applied Communications,” by Lauri M. Baker and Audrey E. H. King.
  • “Literature themes from five decades of agricultural communications publications” by Bo/David Williford, Leslie D. Edgar, K. Jill Rucker and Stuart Estes.
  • “The spirit lives on: communication seminars as a surprisingly hardy, valuable, and promising heritage of NPAC” by Kerry J. Byrnes and Jim Evans.

You can read these articles by open access at

What happens when consumers view a video showing livestock slaughter?

The video increased slaughter acceptance in an experiment reported recently in Science Communication . Researchers used a 20-minute video showing the entire slaughter and meat fabrication process of cattle and swine. They employed a pre-post design among college students not majoring in animal science.  Findings revealed that:

  • Students became more positive toward livestock slaughter, even those with high affinity for protecting animals.
  • Their expectation of transparency in the livestock industry was high before and after seeing the video.
  • While they viewed the term “slaughter” as clearer (even more so after the video), they felt more comfortable with the term “harvest.”

This article is not available by open access.  You can request access to the full text from the contact author at , view the publisher’s abstract here or check with us at for help.

Even small farmers need crisis communication

That is the title of an article we have added to the ACDC collection from Communication Currents , published by the National Communication Association. This case study is part of a 2015 article in the Journal of Applied Communication Research by Kendra Lancaster and Josh Boyd. In it a fourth generation family farmer faced a huge threat to his business when an activist group posted a video showing instances of abuse to his dairy cattle. The report traced his actions and identified three steps used to address the crisis.

You can read the case study here .

The source article in the Journal of Applied Communication Research is not available by open access.  However, you can read the abstract here or check with us at for help.

Fewer rural Americans use smartphones to access public transit information

Only 10 percent of adult rural smartphone owners in the U. S. use their phone frequently or occasionally to get public transit information. This compares with 34 percent of urban smartphone owners and 22 percent of those living in suburbs. These findings were reported in April 2015 by the Pew Research Center.

Among all smartphone users, 67% use their phone at least occasionally to get turn-by-turn navigation while driving. “Indeed, 43% of smartphone owners say turn-by-turn navigation is the only transit-related function they use on their phone at least occasionally.”

You can read the report here .

Career experiences of women editors in Appalachian communities

Interviews with women editors of West Virginia newspapers examined (a) how they described their paths to current positions and (b) how they viewed the role of the regional culture in shaping their careers. Among the findings in this Community Journalism article:

  • “The insider/outsider effect was indeed described as significant, yet the role of sex played a distant second to that of membership in the Appalachian community.”
  • “The sense of community they described was found in functions of community boosts, complications, and reciprocity. It was tempered by their various insider and outsider statuses, drawing from barriers, integration and womanness.”

You can read the article here .

Communicator activities approaching

June 4-7, 2016
“Get up and GROW in the big O.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association in Omaha, Nebraska. Hosted by the North Central Region of CCA.

June 6-9, 2016
“A byte of paradise.”  Annual conference of the National Extension Technology Community (NETC) in Kissimmee, Florida USA.

June 9-13, 2016
“Communicating with power.” Annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Fukuoka, Japan.

June 13-16, 2016
Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Memphis, Tennessee.

June 16-18, 2016
“May the horse be with you.” Annual seminar of American Horse Publications (AHP) in Orlando, Florida.

June 21-23, 2016
Annual meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Words to be banished in 2016

Wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University in Michigan are alerting us to words that should be banished this year “from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.”  This year’s list is culled from nominations received by peeved word-watchers. We note that some words on the 2016 list appear frequently in agricultural communications (including some of our own).  Among them:

So – Answering a question by beginning with the word “So.”
Conversation – As in “Join the conversation,” a popular invitation in online publications.
Stakeholder – Now being broadened and watered down.
Secret sauce – Overused metaphor for business success, based on the fast food industry.

You can learn more about these and/or submit your own nominations here .

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 and valuable 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