ACDC News – Issue 18-07

A tsunami of change facing Big Food

“Barely 100 years old, the grocery store model is becoming obsolete, and with it the organization of the food value chain must be re-written.” Researchers Kate Phillips-Connolly and Alden J. Connolly offered that perspective in a recent article published in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. In “When Amazon ate Whole Foods,” they observed that access to more information opens more options (and opportunities) to buyers and suppliers all along the food value chain.

You can read the article here.

The Agricultural Communicator’s Creed

The ACDC collection contains “The Journalist’s Creed (1922),” “The Editor’s Creed (1955),” and “My Creed (1911).” However, until recently we weren’t aware of “The Agricultural Communicator’s Creed.”  It is now part of the ACDC collection and was written by Dr. Delmar Hatesohl, professor emeritus of the University of Missouri. He wrote it in 1990 while working with associates at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Nairobi.

This creed identifies 12 responsibilities of those in the agricultural communicator role. You can read it here. Thanks to Dr. Hatesohl for this valued contribution. And we welcome your thoughts about how it fits today’s role of the agricultural communicator.

Findings of the 2018 Food and Health Survey from IFIC Foundation

We have added to the ACDC collection a 63-page report of findings from research among American consumers about health and diet, food components, food production, food safety, and food insecurity. The International Food Information Council Foundation sponsored it.

Key findings:

  • Consumer confusion remains entrenched
  • Context can influence the consumer’s judgment of healthfulness, even when the nutritional facts are the same

You can read the survey report here.

Social media and civic participation: creating engagement – or hierarchies?

While social media have been heralded to diminish power relations and hierarchies, the Facebook platform reproduces existing divides and power relations.  That observation emerged from a case study in Sweden involving civic volunteering during a refugee crisis. Reporting in the journal New Media and Society, researchers Anne Kaun and Julie Uldam concluded:

“This is evident in the case of volunteer activism, for example, between coordinating administrators, donors and volunteers and migrants.  Especially, migrants are rendered marginalized and in some cases even voiceless.” Authors emphasized that hierarchies are not created by social media per se, but by a combination of ways in which they are used, the discourses they propagate, and the power relations in which they are embedded.

You can read the article here.

We topped 45,000 documents last month

A recently-contributed 1976 farm magazine article accounted for that milestone. Really? And what was it? It reported results of a seven-state survey about consumer attitudes toward dairy farmers and products.  You can learn more about it by going to the ACDC search engine and entering ACDC_D09612 in the search box.

Such insights from more than 40 years ago add depth and value to research and understanding about consumer trends important to food and agriculture. That’s a special role of ACDC.

Communicator events approaching

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). Information:

September 20-22, 2018
“The changing face(s) of agriculture.” Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF) in Winnipeg, Manitoba Province, Canada.

October 3-7, 2018
Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Flint, Michigan, site of the most serious drinking water crisis in modern U.S. history.

October 12-16, 2018
“ScienceWriters2018.” Meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in Washington, D.C. Information:

A dining lesson for us all?

This issue of ACDC News has included a sprinkling of food news. In that spirit, we close with a bit of eating advice from Hilaire Belloc (1897):

The Vulture eats between his meals
And that’s the reason why
He very, very rarely feels
As well as you and I.

His eye is dull, his head is bald,
His neck is growing thinner.
Oh! What a lesson for us all
To only eat at dinner.

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

Click Here for a printer-friendly PDF of this newsletter.