ACDC News – Issue 19-03

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Do agricultural knowledge transfer services add profit for farmers?

Yes, according to recent findings in Ireland. Results reported early this year in the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension showed that farmer clients using such services gained a 12.3% benefit to their margin per hectare during the recession period 2008-2014.

Authors also cited evidence revealing the importance of considering the ratio of clients per adviser. Farmers’ margins per hectare declined by 0.2% for each additional client assigned to the adviser.

You can learn more about this research report here.

What customers value about farmers’ markets: insights from hashtags

A 2018 article in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review examined experiences of farmers’ market customers through their self-expression on social networks. Researchers at the Czech University of Life Sciences analyzed contributions to the Instagram social network based on the #farmersmarket hashtag during a single day. Six major linked hashtags were identified: #Organic, #Fresh, #Food, #Local, #Vegan, and #Healthy.

Authors noted that results of this study provide insights into consumer values and behaviors in the farmers’ market context and will be of practical use for future marketing and management.

You can read the article here.

Comparing rural-urban trust of individual news organizations in the U.S.

A new national poll for Columbia Journalism Review provides insight about the extent to which rural and urban U. S. citizens personally trust or distrust reporting from 26 news organizations. The graphic reveals considerable similarity, along with some trust gaps.

You can view results of this rural-urban comparison here, plus other aspects of public confidence in specific news organizations here.

Community newspapers need to explain “How we work”

Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, offered a foundational commentary which we are adding to the ACDC collection. His thoughts apply beyond rural journalism, but clearly encompass it.

Here are some of the thoughts he emphasized:

  • Many community newspapers are disengaging from their audiences…at a time when they need to be more engaged than ever. There’s a war on journalism, and it’s not just being waged in Washington, D.C.
  • At a time when Americans are more dubious than ever about sources of information, newspapers remain the primary finders of fact. But for some reason they have been bashful about making that their brand, or even thinking of themselves as having a brand.
  • If I were running a newspaper today, its home page would have a button labeled “How We Work.” … It would take readers to a page explaining the paper’s purpose and the ways it tries to achieve it. Shorter versions of it would run in print every day, usually on the editorial page. [It] would start by explaining the different forms of information media, to help readers understand the different and special roles that newspapers play in our society, and the challenges they face.”
  • We need more letters from the editor, not just statements of editorial principle, but explanations of how and why we do certain things. If we demand transparency from officials and institutions, we must practice it ourselves.

You can read the commentary here.

Get a century-spanning view of community journalism in the U. S.

A comprehensive monologue by Prof. Beth Garfrerick came recently into the ACDC collection, with our expression of appreciation to the author. The title is: “Twentieth Century weekly community newspapers in the United States.”

More than 100 pages in length, it provides an expansive history that specifically focuses on the rural and small-town community weekly – “warts and all.” She took a deep interest in rural and small-town weekly newspapers as a master’s and doctoral student at the University of Alabama, as well as a former small-town daily newspaper reporter.

Check with us at if you are interested in gaining full-text access to it.

Photography – a language that doesn’t need translation

An inspiring story in NeimanReports (February 2019) highlights the remarkable career of a Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado. Author Anthony Feinstein emphasized Salgado’s unity of effort, spending years on single themes such as Migrations (refugees suffering in times of conflict), Workers (exploited in toxic power plays) and Genesis (healing the land).  His photographs reveal depth of field and thought, along with richness of image “with their subtle gradations of shadow and light.”

You can read this article here, including a sample of Salgado’s photography.

Communicator events approaching

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. Information:

April 10-12, 2019
“Onward Upward.” 2019 Agri-Marketing Conference sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA. Information:

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

June 24-27, 2019
Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in San Antonio, Texas. Information:

A reminder about local news media

We close this issue of ACDC News with a thought expressed in 2001 by British MP Austin Mitchell when addressing the UK Newspaper Society: “A local newspaper is a community talking to itself. Without that the community would be deaf and dumb.”

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 international 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