ACDC News – Issue 15-11

Issue 15-11

During this season of thanks and year-end reviewing, we want to express our appreciation to you for your interest in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. You add much to the value of it.

Thank you for your words of encouragement from around the world – for opportunities to serve you and help you gather information for your projects – for your ideas and suggestions – for interesting documents and collections you provide or call to our attention – for collaborating with us on research and writing projects – and for your friendship. We enjoy serving and working with you in the vital mission of improving communications related to one of our societies’ most basic enterprises.

Critical questions for Big Data

That is the title of an article we added recently to the ACDC collection from the journal, Information, Communication and Society . Authors Danah Boyd and Kate Crawford posed five provocations about the “massive quantities of information produced by and about people, things, and their interactions.”

  • Big Data changes the definition of knowledge.
  • Claims to objectivity and accuracy are misleading.
  • Bigger data are not always better data.
  • Taken out of context, Big Data loses its meaning.
  • Just because it is accessible does not make it ethical.

You can read the article here .

Drivers, barriers and directions for reducing use of antibiotics

Veterinarians serve as key influencers of antibiotic use by dairy farmers in England and Wales, according to a 2015 research report.  Here are kinds of information the researchers recommended supplying to veterinarians for use in consulting with producers:

  • Data on cost savings that might be obtained from reduced antibiotic use.
  • Role that sub-optimal use of antibiotics has in causing antibiotic resistance.
  • Advice on best practice in antibiotic use.
  • Assurance that there are low risks to animal welfare from reduced antibiotic use.

You can read the abstract of this article, “Factors affecting dairy farmers’ attitudes towards antimicrobial medicine use in cattle in England and Wales” here .  Or check with us at for help in gaining access to the full report.

Wellbeing – more than GDP

Jeff Campbell, manager of the Forest and Farm Facility, made that point in an article we added recently from the AgriCultures Network. The Facility is a partnership of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“Working together is a motivating and powerful approach to getting things done,” he said. “This holds true for my own approach to life; for the work of the millions of forest and farm families stitching together complex livelihoods and ecosystems at a landscape level.  Local indigenous peoples, smallholders, female farmers and forest dependent peoples have the knowledge and history, the culture and the potential to maintain and revitalise vibrant rural landscapes – we must trust and support them.”

He emphasized that the complexities of ecological and cultural land use patterns increase our adaptation to climate change, diversify local livelihood possibilities and contribute to a more resilient approach to food security and nutrition.

You can read the article, “Listen and trust,” here .

“Following the herd: Why pastoralism needs better media coverage”

That is the title of a briefing paper we added recently to the ACDC collection. Mobile/Nomadic pastoral communities have existed for centuries throughout the world. Many have shifted to sedentary crop-livestock farming. Using content analysis of stories in Kenya, China and India, researcher Mike Shanahan identified significant knowledge gaps and inter-country differences in how journalists perceive and portray pastoralists and pastoralism.

“Journalists, researchers and pastoralist communities need to improve media coverage of pastoralism, and by doing so highlight pastoralism’s potential contribution to sustainable development in a changing climate.”

You can read this brief report from the International Institute for Environment and Development here .

Discovering new sources .

You may be interested in some of the journals from which we have identified agricultural communications literature for the ACDC collection during recent months. The great scatter of literature about agricultural communications continues to impress and amaze us.

New Genetics and Society
Ecquid Novi – African Journalism Studies
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
Journal of Medical Ethics
Economic Sociology
Food Science and Technology
Asia Pacific Media Educator
Journal for Critical Educational Policy Studies
Preventive Veterinary Medicine
International Journal of Consumer Studies
Public Perspectives
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability

Communicator activity approaching

January 29, 2016

Deadline for research papers to be presented at the annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), in Memphis, Tennessee during June. Papers are invited from faculty members and/or graduate students. Information: Jill Rucker at

Out of balance

We close this issue of ACDC News with a comment by Alissa Quart in her 2015 book of poetry, Monetized .

Too many words
Not enough ears

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 .