ACDC News – Issue 15-04

Issue 15-04

Processing of a unique V1N1 collection completed. Whew!

We are pleased to announce that processing of a new Volume One Number One Collection of Agricultural Periodicals is completed. ACDC graduate assistant Amanda Marolf began the effort in 2013 and graduate assistant Kelsey Berryhill completed it. This major effort involved processing premier issues of 592 agricultural journals and farm papers. Most were published in the U.S. They span a 166-year period, from 1842 to 2008.

John Harvey, veteran agricultural journalist and communicator, contributed 372 of them in 2012, plus hundreds of special editions, catalogs, reports, rare serials and other items. Jim Evans here at the University of Illinois contributed 220 V1N1 issues last summer, plus selected anniversary issues and special editions. Altogether, their contributions total more than 1,800 items.

Would you like to get acquainted with this unique resource?

The ACDC is excited to provide a home for this one-of-a-kind collection. It offers a great view of innovation, creativity, and change in agricultural publishing across the decades. Most Thursdays, the ACDC Twitter page ( @ACDCUIUC ) features an item for “Throwback Thursday,” so make sure to check that out as well. Please let us know if this V1N1 collection can help you or someone you know with a project or search. Our staff will be happy to help! Please contact us at with any questions or comments.

Departure of an innovative UK agricultural editor

Early this year we noted on the website of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists an article about leadership changes at Farmers Weekly . They involve the departure of Jane King as editor and editorial director of Farmers Weekly Group. She led what was described as “a complete revitalisation and repositioning of the magazine” during her 10 years of editorship. We were among those who watched that dynamic, innovative process with interest. Best wishes to Jane and to new editor and editorial director Karl Schneider.

You can read the news article, “Leadership changes at Farmers Weekly,” on the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists website .

How small-market rural media are adapting to new media

A 2010 article added recently to the ACDC collection examined how small-market rural media were trying to survive under tough economic conditions, using new media as part of their strategy.  Researchers Cindy J. Price and Michael R. Brown interviewed managers of small market newspapers, television, and radio groups to explore three questions:

  1. Are rural media managing their resources differently than before?
  2. Are rural media transitioning to online media content?
  3. What do rural media managers see for their organizations in the future?

Results showed that “most media are struggling, but also find that local media are in a good position to make their new media content viable for their local audiences.”

You can read the article in The Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy .

Using Flickr™ for deeper insights about managing natural resources

Researcher Sheila Barry used the photo-sharing website, Flickr™, to discover public values, interests, and perceptions about cattle grazing on public lands. Reporting recently in Environmental Management , she described use of this social media tool among recreationists in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

She concluded that the shared photos and comments revealed views, interests, and concerns that seldom show up at public meetings, hearings, or through surveys. For example, positive views expressed users’ enjoyment of the pastoral scene, recognition of “happy cows,” reduced fire risk and enhanced wildflowers.  Negative views revealed some fear of cattle among the park users and concern about manure, especially among users with dogs. Findings identified ideas for improving public information efforts.

You can read the article here .

World’s first weather report?

Oriental Institute scholars Nadine Moeller and Robert Ritner may have identified the world’s oldest weather report.  A new translation of the inscription on a 3,500-year-old Egyptian calcite statue known as the Tempest Stela suggests that it is an account of a huge volcano explosion on Thera, now the Greek island Santorini.  The researchers’ article appeared in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Near Eastern Studies . You can read the story via JSTOR .

Two influences of big data in the future of agriculture

A recent article we are adding to the ACDC collection described two examples of how big data, combining with genomics, are shaping agriculture (and academia).

  • Crop scientist Matthew Hudson envisions locally optimized agriculture using big data that individual farmers have uploaded to the cloud, involving robotic planters and harvesters. “The result will be precision agriculture to optimize what genetic traits are grown on which farms, and maybe even in different parts of fields, as well as optimizing fertilizer and seeding rates at very high precision.”
  • He also expects big data to spur new levels of collaboration between agriculture’s academic disciplines. “More and more, historically different academic disciplines will have to start collaborating to try to move with the potential of these new technologies.”

You can read the article, “Big data’s role in the future of agriculture,” in the University of Illinois’ College ACES Magazine on page 30.

Communicator activities approaching

April 26-28, 2015
Annual meeting of North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D.C.

April 27-May 1, 2015
Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (IAIEE) in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

April 27-29, 2015
“Washington Watch” of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Washington, D. C.

May 21-25, 2015
“Communication across the life span.” Sixty-fifth annual conference of the International Communication Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

June 23-25, 2015
“Rocky Mountain High – ARC” Annual conference of the Agricultural Relations Council in Denver, Colorado.

Figuring big profits in farming

Thanks to John Otte of Farm Progress for sharing a “high finance” thought that will close this issue of ACDC News.  Once seen in a farm magazine, the story goes something like this. John recalls:

“Farmer was rounding up old self feeder, corn cultivator sweeps, old woven wire fence, parts of an old side delivery hay rake. Took the truck load to the junk dealer. Got $13.87 cash. Which he ciphered was very close to $15,895 short of what he paid new for all 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