ACDC News – Issue 16-12

Warm holiday greetings

As this Illinois prairieland settles in for winter season, we extend warm holiday greetings to you. Thank you for your interest in efforts here at the University of Illinois to identify and share useful research, news, and perspectives for strengthening communications related to agriculture, broadly defined and globally.

Here are some holiday ideas from decades ago

Check our new digital exhibit, “November and December holidays from American agricultural publications.” Looking back to 1902, it catches Christmas memories, poetry, recipes, ads for holiday gifts, and do-it-yourself holiday crafts and gift ideas. They come from our new Volume One Number One Collection of Agricultural Periodicals. ACDC crew member Elizabeth Ray developed this special holiday feature.

You can view the 14-slide digital exhibit here .

Announcing the 2016 “Word of the Year”

Those involved in agricultural/rural communications can relate to the new “Word of the Year” announced recently by Oxford Dictionaries. It is:

post-truth (adj.): relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.

The folks at Oxford Dictionaries may have identified “post-truth” as a fitting choice in a year of major political upheaval. However, it also resonates with those involved with interactions related to food, energy, environment and other agriculture-oriented endeavors. The bottom line: it identifies new challenges and needed skills for those who wish to communicate effectively in these complex matters. It presents marching orders for those who teach agricultural communications.

You can read a brief report of the announcement from here :

 Three concepts of food

An interview by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) sketched three concepts of “food,” as described by Beverly Bell. She is coordinator of Other Worlds, a women-driven education and movement-building collaborative. “Harvesting justice: Transforming food, land and agriculture” is a program area of the organization.

Here are the descriptions she offered:

Food security – “Everyone has the right to adequate quantity of food, to quality of food and to have food on time, that is, when people are hungry and need it.”

Food justice – “Looks at structural racism in the food system, and looks at the need for local community-controlled production for local consumption.”

Food sovereignty – “The right of all people and all nations to have access to their own food, grown domestically to support local production. Food that is agro-ecologically grown, that supports the environment – not undermines it, as industrial agriculture does. Food that looks at questions of inequity and ensures that small farmers and normally excluded communities actually have what they need to grow, which also means the right to land, the right to water, etc.”

You can read the article here .

 The changing role and work of agricultural journalists – a report of nearly 30 years ago

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of Mary Thompson of the Farm Foundation in providing a 1987 report to the Newspaper Farm Editors of America. “NFEA in a Changing World” is the title of this 98-page addition to the ACDC collection. Here is how author Lee Egerstrom described the purpose of it:

“This study attempts to define the components of modern newspaper farm writing, determine how it is done at different newspapers and who directs it, and provide some suggestions for NFEA to take a more important role in shaping agricultural journalism.”

Check with us at if you are interested in learning more about this report of historical interest.

 Fighting the “yuck” factor in eating insects

Providing information about the benefits of eating insects raises intention to eat them – and intention carries over to behavior. Those findings emerged from an experiment in Denmark and Italy. Video interviews informed 282 participants about the individual and societal benefits of introducing insect proteins into human diet. Participants then responded to items about their familiarity with the practice and their intention to follow it. After that, each received a chocolate bar enriched with proteins from crickets. Telephone interviews two weeks later provided follow-up information about consumption of the bars and intentions for consumption of insect-based food. The effects of information from the videos were significant in terms of both intention and behavior.

This 2016 article, “The effect of communication and implicit association on consuming insects,” is not available in full text by open access. You can read the abstract at , Check with lead author Fabio Verneau at about full-text access or contact us for help at

 Communicator activities approaching

January 27, 2017
Deadline for research papers to be presented at the 2017 meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) on June 12-15, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. At least one author must be an ACE member.
Information: Research Director Courtney Gibson at

February 15-18, 2017
“Innovative approaches to Extension for upliftment of poor and tribal farmers.” 6 th International Conference of the International Society of Extension Education (INSEE) in Dawn, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

April 2-8, 2017
2017 World Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Gauteng and the West Cape, South Africa.

April 22-29, 2017
33rd Annual Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.

 Recognizing our careers

We close this issue of ACDC News with the inspirational remark of a new agricultural communications student in college. She was harking back to her 4-H speaking experience at age 8:

“I have been an agricultural communications major for 10 years, but didn’t know it until recently.”

 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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