ACDC News – Issue 16-10


Gathering history of the GM crops debate in the UK

Writing in Nature News, Prof. Vivian Moses of King’s College, London, recently announced an emerging archive. It is being developed to preserve the history of debate in the United Kingdom over genetically modified crops. These resources currently cover the period 1975-2012 and are being collected at the Science Museum in London. The 10 collections identified on the website are from UK scientists and others involved in research, policy and other aspects of GM crops. These materials take many forms. They include media interviews, press clippings, audio tapes of broadcasts, reports and lectures, souvenir items and other communications aspects.

You can read the article, including detailed contact information, here .

Several local story ideas for covering food waste

We recently added to the ACDC collection a brief article by Rian Bosse in the website of the National Center for Business Journalism. Here are some of the ideas offered for local media coverage involving food waste:

  • What environmentally-friendly restaurants are doing to reduce their waste
  • Steps that local supermarkets are taking to do the same
  • What local governments are doing to promote recycling, composting and reduction of food waste

You can read the article, “Food and money: the big problem of wasting food,” here .

Take the spotlight off causes of climate change

That message came from a recent analysis of how climate can be communicated to the agricultural sector. A team of university researchers approached the analysis through a review of research and a survey among climatologists in the Midwest U. S.  Findings led them to encourage climate scientists to emphasize direct impacts of climate on agricultural management systems, providing information that is location-specific and operation-specific. They suggested that by using the concept of adapting to changing conditions, climatologists can minimize the trust-eroding controversy associated with climate causality.

You can read this 2015 article, “Climatologists’ communication of climate science to the agricultural sector,” here .

Some encouraging news
How U.S. consumers have been rating the food industry

Recently we added to the ACDC collection the summary report of a Gallup poll released August 15. It revealed that U.S. consumers consider three sectors of the food industry among their four top-rated business sectors. Respondents were asked to indicate whether their overall view of various business sectors was very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative and very negative.  Here are responses to the four top-rated business sectors:

Restaurant industry:               66% total positive – 7% total negative
Computer industry:                 66% total positive – 13% total negative
Grocery industry:                    54% total positive – 18% total negative
Farming and agriculture:        55% total positive – 20% total negative

The Federal Government emerged as the worst-rated sector.
You can read the full summary of results here .

Thanks to a new contributor

We express appreciation to Paul Hixson, whose contribution of agricultural communications materials was processed recently into ACDC. Paul is retired from his position as chief information officer of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His earlier experience included long-time service, including leadership, in the Office of Agricultural Communications (now Information Technology and Communication Services) in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. He has had a wealth of domestic and international experience in this field.

Paul’s contributions include valuable historical and reference materials related to:

  • Administration, training activities, newsletters and other resources of the International Program for Agricultural Knowledge Systems (INTERPAKS)
  • Helping establish an academic program in rural communication at Bogor Agricultural Institute, Indonesia
  • References involving media and methods for Extension communications

You can identify these materials by using the ACDC search system at . Go to “Start your Search” and enter “Paul Hixson Collection” in the search box. The list of citations will appear.

At our 35 th anniversary:

How many authors are represented in resources of the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center?Currently, 34,786 persons are represented as authors of literature in the ACDC collection.

Surefire tool for impressing others with our writing

A classic resource for “writing to impress” came into ACDC recently, as part of the new Paul Hixson Collection. It dates back to 1977 and the author is not identified. However, we all may find it helpful, even today.

The author created an Extension Phrase Generator which “can be of great help when your copy seems too simple, or when you don’t know what to say, but you want it to sound good.”

As a service to readers, the ACDC team now offers this wonderful tool – a surefire way to generate great copy for your Extension (or other) writing. You can retrieve the Phrase Generator here for your impressive writing ahead. Have fun.

Communicator activities approaching

October 21, 2016
Deadline for Professional Development Proposals and Poster Abstracts for the Agricultural Communications Section of the 2017 Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) meeting on February 4-7 in Mobile, Alabama USA

October 30-November 3, 2016
Professional Development Conference of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association in San Diego, California USA

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

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.

Early guide to poultry confinement

We close this issue of ACDC News with some advice offered in the February 23, 1906, issue of Wallaces Farmer .  A subscriber talked about the value of giving chickens room to run in the farm yard.

“A yard full of a dozen hens and roosters ought to be 30 feet by 150 feet for the best results.  A hen would pine away in a yard any smaller.”

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