ACDC News – Issue 18-06

Building on the fragile construct of trust

We recently added to the ACDC collection the report of a Germany-wide online survey that involved public trust in farmers regarding animal welfare. Findings by researchers at the Technical University of Munich suggested that value similarity was the most impacting factor for social trust.

Authors suggested that communication should underline similarities between consumers and farmers. “…the presentation of farmers in the public should be such that consumers can reckon more value similarity with farmers. Furthermore, there is a need for farmers to know the values and goals of consumers. This knowledge would allow them to better act in accordance with the wishes of consumers.”

You can read the 2017 conference paper here.

Financial returns to social media marketing in the Green Industry

A team of university researchers recently assessed the economics of social media marketing in the fast-growing environmental horticulture industry. Using a survey covering 153 cities in six U. S. states, they found that using social media marketing an additional day per week resulted in $8,401 added sales per year for small firms (less than $100,000).

Authors concluded that “the importance of the perceived usefulness in adoption suggests that nursery owners and operators should be educated on the value of using a new media marketing technology to increase the rate of adoption among firms of this category.” They advised putting emphasis on rural nurseries that are particularly sensitive to the competition of mass merchandisers.

You can read the 2017 conference paper here.

75th anniversary of the Delta Farm Press

Congratulations to the folks at the Delta Farm Press in celebrating 75 years of service in the Mid-South region of the U.S. Executive Editor Hembree Brandon, Editor Ron Smith, and associates tracked that adventure in a special April 20 issue. This venerable weekly began humbly in 1943 as a four-page supplement to the Daily Press newspaper, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Local journalism doing incredible work – and more vital than ever

Reporter Kathleen McLaughlin of The Guardian recently cited examples of “great journalism by reporters who know their subjects and communities well and have covered these issues extensively.” Those examples involved community journalism in Texas, Georgia, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Montana.

Noting the financial pressures facing local media, McLaughlin offered this advice: “The simple solution lies with you, dear reader. Find a news outlet valuable to your life and pay for it. Plain and simple. It’s not a long-term solution, but we need people to stop expecting the news to be the same as air and sunlight – absolutely free.”

You can read the article here.

 Food and the “big tech” threat

We recently added to the ACDC collection a 2017 book that includes a perspective on threats to the food enterprise (among others) and how independent media should address them.  In World without mind: the existential threat of big tech, author Franklin Foer examined what he termed a revolution in who controls knowledge and information. He said “…media must denounce their most recent phase…to lead a rebellion against the processed, ephemeral, speed-based writing encouraged by the tech companies.”

You can review the publishers’ introduction here. Check with us at for help in gaining access to parts that may hold interest for you.

 Thanks and best wishes to two ACDC associates


Prof. Pat Allen, long-time administrative coordinator of ACDC, retired last month. He served in that responsibility as librarian of the Funk ACES Library. It supports the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, plus other University of Illinois academic units with related subject interests. His leadership and constant support have helped this specialized international resource grow steadily and broaden in service.


Elizabeth's Picture


Elizabeth Ray has completed her master’s degree in Library and Information Science after serving as ACDC graduate assistant since September 2016. She has been instrumental in efforts such as gathering and processing resources into the Center, enhancing the website, serving inquiries from users, and mentoring student assistants.


Hailley Shaw continues as ACDC staff associate


We are delighted that Hailley is continuing her association with ACDC this year through a half-time appointment following completion of her master’s degree this spring. She brings more than a year of ACDC experience to this responsibility.


Communicator events approaching

June 20-21, 2018
“Step into the Winner’s Circle of Agricultural Public Relations” Annual meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Louisville, Kentucky.

July 11-15, 2018
“Dutch Roots: small country big solutions” 2018 World Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in The Netherlands. Information:
August 4-8, 2018
“Everything under the Sun” 20th annual Agricultural Media Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. Participants include AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network; Livestock Publications Council (LPC), Connectiv Agri-Media Committee; Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE); and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT).

 The farmer’s lights

We close this issue of ACDC News with a Farm and Fireside epitaph about the farmer’s work. It appeared (page 149) in N. A. Crawford and C. E. Rogers, Agricultural Journalism. A. A. Knopf, New York. 1926.

Here lies a farmer. His work is done.
Earth he tilled by the light of the sun.
The peace of the stars was his of nights.
He lived according to his lights.

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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