ACDC News – Issue 16-09

Eight new research reports from ACE

These research articles are in the second 2016 issue of the Journal of Applied Communications , which is published by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE):

  • “A content and visual analysis of promotional pieces used in a communication campaign for the Arkansas [Commodity] Promotion Board.” by Amy Hughes, Tara L. Johnson, Leslie D. Edgar, Jefferson D. Miller and Casandra Cox
  • “Branding the berries: consumers’ strawberry purchasing intent and their attitude toward Florida strawberries” by Taylor K. Ruth and Joy N. Rumble
  • :Managing Extension’s internal brand: employees’ perceptions of the functions and descriptors of Extension” by Quisto Settle, Lauri M. Baker and Scott Stebner
  • “Opening the doors to agriculture: the effect of transparent communication on attitude” by Joy N. Rumble and Tracy Irani
  • “Reaching millennials: implications for advertisers of competitive sporting events that use animals” by Jackie Hill, Mallory Mobley and Billy R. McKim
  • “Student expectations and reflections of a study away course experience to Washington, D.C.” by Courtney Meyers and Shannon Arnold
  • “Teaching convergence in 21 st Century undergraduate agricultural communication: a pilot study of backpack multimedia kits in a blended, project-based learning course” by Jamie Loizzo, Abigail Borron, Amanda Gee and Peggy A. Ertmer
  • “The role of dissonance and schema: an exploration of Florida public perception after the DWH (Deepwater Horizon) oil spill” by Laura M. Gorham, Joy N. Rumble, Kacie L. Pounds, Angie B. Lindsey and Tracy Irani

You can read these articles here .

Words of caution about evaluating food safety education

Caution was the byword from a recent meta-analysis of 79 studies about the effectiveness of food safety education efforts in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Reporting in BMC Public Health , a research team found that “many different education interventions were found to be effective in uncontrolled before-and-after studies.” Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials prompted moderate to high confidence in interventions involving:

  • Community and school-based educational training on behaviours of children and youth.
  • Video and written instructional messaging on behavioural intentions in adults
  • University-based education on attitudes of students and staff

However, “risk-of-bias and reporting limitations and the presence of significant heterogeneity between studies resulted in low and very low confidence in these findings.”

You can read “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of food safety education interventions for consumers in developed countries” here .

The “digital divide” – so faceless, so placeless

“Who are these supposed people without an Internet connection in today’s day-and-age? Where are these places that have been left behind? And is it really that big of a deal?

Megan Tady asked those questions in a blog we added recently from the Free Press website:  The article includes links to a speech and story from a family trying to run a farm on dial-up in rural North Carolina.

You can read the 2010 article here .

Great variation in cellphone ownership in sub-Saharan Africa.

A 2015 Gallup World Poll in 28 sub-Saharan countries of Africa revealed great variation in mobile phone ownership – and “vast disparities between urban and rural communities.” For example:

  • Mobile phone ownership varied from 87 percent in Nigeria to 21 percent in Madagascar
  • Median cellphone ownership was 61 percent in the 28 countries
  • In all but a few countries, urban residents were significantly more likely to own a cellphone than residents of rural areas. The biggest gap was in Sierra Leone where ownership varied from 83 percent (urban) to 35 percent (rural).

You can read the summary report here .

Welcome to a new ACDC team member

We extend a warm welcome to Elizabeth Ray, new graduate assistant in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. She began the appointment this month as she enters the Master of Library and Information Science degree program here at the University of Illinois. In that role, she will serve as assistant manager and web master.

Elizabeth is a 2015 graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She brings to the Center useful experience gained in retail, food wholesaling, bakery management, customer service, data management, image processing and other areas. Activities of ACDC will help her pursue her special interests in archives and archiving.

You can reach Elizabeth at .

A bibliometric analysis opened our eyes – 35 years ago

As we observe the 35 th anniversary of ACDC in 2016 our thoughts turn to a bibliometric analysis led by Chandra Prabha, our pioneer graduate assistant. In 1981 she was a doctoral candidate in library and information science. This analysis involved agricultural communications literature published during a 10-year period (1970-1979). Findings proved to be a real eye-opener for us. Until then, we had little idea of how much agricultural communications literature existed.  For example, findings revealed:

  • A substantial body of literature about agricultural communications existed
  • That body of literature was growing at about 14 percent a year
  • It was found widely scattered. Findings showed that 336 periodicals contained references about agricultural communications during that period. The top-ranked periodical provided only 6 percent of all such articles. The top 10 periodicals provided only 28 percent of all articles. There was no nucleus of periodicals devoted essentially to agricultural communications

Those findings became our marching orders – to help identify, gather and make available this important body of information. They set a vision for what has become the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.

You can read that 1982 journal article here .

Communicator activities approaching

September 21-25, 2016
Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Sacramento, California.


September 29-30
“Vote CCA”  Professional Development Workshop of the Cooperative Communicators Association at the National Cooperative Bank in Arlington, Virginia.
Information: or on Facebook

November 9-11, 2016
Waves of Opportunity.” Seventy-third annual conference of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Stay alert when you interview about fishing

We close this issue of ACDC News with an example of “missed signals” in aquatic communicating:

Visitor:  “Good lake for fish?”
Fisherman:  “Must be. I can’t persuade any to come out.”

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

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