ACDC News – Issue 18-12

Information threats to precision agriculture

“Adoption of information security standards for precision agriculture is important for the future success of precision agriculture,” according to a 2018 report we have added from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. This 25-page report, prepared through the 2018 Public-Private Analytic Exchange Program, examined three areas of threat:

  • Threats to confidentiality
  • Threats to integrity
  • Threats to availability

It sketched hypothetical threat scenarios, offered best practices to protect and build resilience into precision agriculture, and highlighted four areas of needed research.

You can read the report here.

Rural women, globally, call for more
training and public awareness

Findings of a new survey among 4,160 rural women on five continents showed that they are overwhelmingly proud to be in agriculture, feel widespread gender discrimination, and want more training in technology.  Corteva Agriscience released the findings in celebration of the recent International Day of Rural Women.

What do they believe will help remove the obstacles?

  • More training in technology (cited by 80%)
  • More academic education (79%)
  • More support – legal and otherwise – to overcome discrimination (76%)
  • More public awareness of the success women are achieving in agriculture (75%)
  • More public awareness of gender discrimination in agriculture (74%)

You can read a two-page summary here via AgriMarketing Weekly.

A 2018 framework for farmer adoption
of best management practices (BMP)

Researchers reporting in Sustainability reviewed findings of BMP adoption studies from developed and developing countries since 2008.  They used findings to suggest a conceptual framework for BMP adoption decisions. It emphasizes the importance of scale, the tailoring or targeting of information and incentives, and the importance of expected farm profits. Findings included the need to incorporate social norms and uncertainty into decision making.

Authors also suggested that more research is needed on uses of social media and market recognition approaches (such as certificate schemes and consumer labeling) to influence BMP adoption.

You can read the journal article here.

A new treasure trove of
agricultural communications research

ACDC online visitors now can identify 118 newly-entered resources about agricultural communications research from 1981-1995. Those were years of dramatic change in twin revolutions involving communications and agriculture.  Thanks to Prof. Eric Abbott (faculty emeritus, Iowa State University) for contributing his NCR-90 materials. ACDC Graduate Assistant Hailley Shaw took the lead in processing it, finishing last month.

NCR-90 was the communications committee of agricultural experiment stations in the North Central Region of the U.S. It served as an early and valuable network for university communicators to share research. For example, they reported results of dissertation and thesis research, audience surveys, new-media trials, communications campaigns, and program evaluations. Many of the reported studies were never published. They were valuable at the time – and they remain valuable in documenting the development of communications related to agriculture, food, and the environment during that remarkable period.  By providing a forum for sharing research and evaluation, they also helped build the platform for agricultural communications research today.

Read more here.

Looking for online resources about freelance writing?

Janet Rodekohr (faculty emerita, University of Georgia) sifted, sorted, and identified eight online resources for freelance writing during her presentation at the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) Conference at Scottsdale, Arizona, during August.

You can review this annotated list here.

Welcome to our new ACDC student assistant

Our “welcome” mat is out this month for Kimberly Villanueva, who is joining ACDC as new student assistant. Kimberly is a junior in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) with a major in agricultural communications and concentration in journalism.  She is passionate about urban agriculture, food insecurity, and communicating about those topics. Her previous work experience includes database maintenance at the Spurlock Museum on the University of Illinois campus and environmental research at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Communicator events approaching

February 11, 2019
Deadline for full paper proposals for the 2019 Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) annual meeting, June 22-27, in San Antonio, Texas USA.
Information: Prof. Jessica Holt

March 4, 2019
Deadline for poster abstracts for the 2019 Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) annual meeting, June 22-27, in San Antonio, Texas USA.
Information:  Prof. Jessica Holt

April 1-4, 2019
“Linking, innovating, motivation, and engaging for resilient agricultural systems”
Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Educators (AIAEE) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

April 10-12, 2019
“Soar onward and upward.” 2019 Agri-Marketing Conference sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

June 2-5, 2019
“Southern accent on fresh ideas.” Annual institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Savannah, Georgia USA.

A tip for preserving sharp memories

We close this issue of ACDC News with advice offered in a 1966 book, The Cooperative Extension Service. The author was encouraging local extension agents to keep a record of their visits with those they serve.

“The faintest ink is better than the fondest memory.”

Holiday 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.