ACDC News – Issue 15-06

Recent conference research reports

Here are samples of 13 research papers presented to the Agricultural Communications Section at the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia during January 31-February 1:

  • “Consumer perceptions and knowledge and genetically modified organisms: A case study of the Belgian potato event” by Maggie Jo Hansen and Leslie D. Edgar.
  • “Bringing the farm to the school: Connecting food service directors and agricultural producers through communication” by Shuyang Qu, Laura M. Gorham, Joy N. Rumble and Caroline G. Roper.
  • “Use and trust of media options by Extension personnel” by Quisto Settle, Lauri Baker and Katie Rohling.
  • “Reaching millennials: Implications for advertisers of competitive sporting events that use animals” by Jackie Hill, Mallory Mobly and Billy R. McKim.
  • “Characteristics of U.S. agricultural communications undergraduate programs” by Jefferson D. Miller, Morgan M. Large, K. Jill Rucker, Kate Shoulders and Emily B. Buck.
  • “Writing identity in an advanced agricultural communications media writing course” by Holli R. Leggette, Holly Jarvis and David Walther.

You can read these and other research papers presented at the 2015 meeting here .

What about those front-of-package visuals and claims on snack foods for kids?

Researchers Katie Abrams, Caitlin Evans, and Brittany R.L. Duff addressed that question in a study reported in the April issue of Appetite . They used a focus group study to explore how parents of preschool children make sense of front-of-package visual and verbal claims on packaged food products intended for their children. Highlights:

  • Playful visuals appeal to children but parents associate them with junk food.
  • Health claims, realistic graphics, and natural claims make products seem healthier.
  • Fruit graphics meant to communicate flavors are instead perceived as ingredients.
  • Parents may make unhealthy food choices as a result of front-of-package information.
  • Parents accept misleading front-of-package claims when making quick food decisions.

Authors observed that the food industry needs better regulatory guidance on how to communicate flavors and ingredients on package fronts in this market segment.

You can read the abstract and retrieval options here or check with us at for help in gaining access.

Too cozy? Ethical concerns about health industry/journalist relationships

A 2015 article in the Journal of Medical Ethics examined concerns about how relationships between health journalists and manufacturers of food and medicines may distort health reporting. Researchers in this Australia-based project used interviews with journalists to explore attitudes about this matter and about protecting the public through greater transparency and external regulation. Findings highlighted several barriers to instituting such measures.

You can read the abstract and learn how to purchase the full article here or check with us at for help in gaining access.

Recognizing 100 years of farm publishing

A new digital exhibit on the ACDC website features the centennial issues of seven hardy agricultural periodicals in the U.S. Six of the seven continue to publish today. The first issues dating back to 1841, they include:

  • Prairie Farmer (1841)
  • Northwestern Miller (1873)
  • Farm Journal (1877)
  • American Fruit Grower (1880)
  • The Farmer (1882)
  • Progressive Farmer (1886)
  • The Furrow (1895)

ACDC staff member Kelsey Berryhill organized this digital exhibit showing the covers of these rare centennial issues. They represent a special part of the new Volume One Number One Collection. You can view the exhibit, “A Century of Publishing: 100 th Anniversary Issues,” at our digital exhibits page.

We are aware, of course, that centennial editions of some other agricultural periodicals exist. We would love to add them to this special collection.  Please contact Jim Evans at if you can help do so.

Agricultural journalist honored in Scotland

The late Joe Watson, former chair of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and agricultural editor at the Press & Journal , recently was honored with the prestigious Ambassador Award of National Farmers Union Scotland.

The award recognizes individuals who have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and value of Scottish farming and food to a wider audience, according to a news report by Peter Hill on the Guild website.

“Joe had an encyclopaedic knowledge of agricultural and food issues and all their complexities,” said the president of NFU Scotland.” His work was highly regarded as providing a balanced and informed view and was appreciated by both the farming community and the Press & Journal ’s wider readership.”

You can learn more about his honor and career at the British Guild of Agricultural Journalist site .

How a state Extension Service delivers internet television

We have added to the ACDC collection a recent report about how the AgriLife Extension Service at Texas A&M University has arranged programming for internet television. Videos from departments, programs, and specialists are gathered in 10 subject categories and distributed through the AgSmart Roku Channel. Video views totaled more than 72,000 between December 2012 and March 2014.

You can read the Journal of Extension article, “Delivering extension to the living room using internet TV,” on their website .

Communicator activities approaching

July 25-29, 2015
“Blaze your new trail.” Seventeenth Annual Ag Media Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sponsored by Livestock Publications Council (LPC), American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) and Agri Media Council of the American Business Media.  Also the annual meeting of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT).

September 24-27, 2015
Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF) in Calgary, Saskatchewan, Canada.

October 14-18, 2015
“Agribusiness – our life, our story.” Annual Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Hamilton, New Zealand.

November 10-12, 2015
“Managing change innovation and action in an ever shrinking world.” Conference of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Adelaide, South Australia.

Favorite newspaper names with a rural flavor

Recently we learned of a journalist who collects unique newspaper names.  Here are a few of publisher Ken Blum’s favorite names that capture a feeling of “rural.”

  • The Big Pasture News , Grandfield, Oklahoma
  • The Mountain Ear , Nederland, Colorado
  • The De Queen Bee , De Queen, Arkansas
  • The Wiregrass Farmer , Ashburn, Georgia
  • The Gleaner , Henderson, Kentucky
  • The Plainsman , Hugo, Colorado

You can see some of his other favorites here .

Please let us know of other newspaper or other periodical names with a rural flavor. Send them to

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