ACDC News – Issue 19-05

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Unintended consequences of rural images on social media

We have added to ACDC a case report of unintended public kickback from rural images posted on social media during the historic drought in Australia during 2018.  A Queensland grazier and her friend used Facebook to build public awareness of the devastating effects on livestock and to invite feed for calves. They got a wide range of responses – from sympathy and offers of help to a complaint about animal abuse, plus an investigation by Biosecurity Queensland for concerns over animal welfare.

You can read the story here.

New case study on the economic value of agricultural education and promotion

It involves an economic analysis by the Florida Tomato Committee to evaluate the effectiveness of education and promotion expenditures.  Here are some of the findings:

  • Average sales revenue increased by $7.52 for each dollar spent on these programs during 2011-2016
  • “Accordingly, it appears the promotion and education program has added value to producers of Florida fresh market tomatoes”
  • “Other U.S. producers also gain from this program with spillover effects increasing the value of all U.S. grown tomatoes by $0.69 for each dollar spent on promotion by Florida growers”

You can read this 2019 conference paper here.

A food-oriented short course features learner-driven teaching

We have added to the ACDC collection a book chapter describing a two-week course that featured an engaging, learner-driven approach to teaching about food.  It did so within the context of social justice and sustainability, introduced through use of charrette and knowledge mapping. Author Michael Berger wrote a case report entitled, “Learner-driven teaching for international, global problems” for the 2019 book entitled Promoting biodiversity in food systems (CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida).

Check with us at for help in gaining access if the book is not available to you.

Communicating to exploit agricultural laborers

Cluster effects and intense inter-employer communication can be effective drivers of underpayment of agricultural laborers, according to findings reported recently in the Journal of Cleaner Production.  Researchers observed in a vegetable region of Spain that markets dominated by few employers are more prone to exploiting workers. Also, “labour exploitation flourishes in communities of like-minded companies that do not care about mainstream norms.” They observed that this pattern can thrive if the cluster is homogeneous in terms of wage level and if it is isolated from law-abiding employers.

You can review the abstract of this article in the Journal of Cleaner Production here. Contact us at for help in seeking full-text access.

Beer marketers battle over anti-corn syrup commercials

This is a case example of complexities in advertising about food and health. The Yahoo News report introduces a law suit by beer giant MillerCoors about competitive television advertising claims used in the complex world of differences between corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup.

You can read it here.

Who suffers from weak linkages between agricultural research and extension?

A 2018 journal article about the adoption of soybean production in India reported evidence that adoption of improved technologies did improve crop yield and farm profit. However, the benefits largely remained confined to economically well-off, better-informed, educated large farmers. Authors called for strengthening linkages between research and extension systems.

This theme sounds familiar to many who have offered that advice in many settings and across the generations, based on research and experience. For example, the ACDC collection contains hundreds of documents about this specific challenge and goal. Such documents in the collection trace back nearly 70 years- and our collection is by no means complete. The goal remains, around the world.

You can read this research report here.

Communicator events approaching

May 24-28, 2019
“Communication beyond boundaries.” 69th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Washington, D.C. 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
“Communications connections.” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in San Antonio, Texas USA. Information:

July 27-31, 2019
“Global connections in America’s heartland.” International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress and Ag Media Summit (AMS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Joint meeting of AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network, Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the Connectiv Agri Media Committee, and the national Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Combined AMS and IFAJ information available at

September 12-13, 2019
“Extending horizons: Extension’s role in climate, rural industry, and community challenges. Conference of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Information:

Another plea for tight, clear writing

We close this issue of ACDC News with a follow-up to last month’s thought about scrubbing academic jargon. It was attributed to Mark Twain in a recent book, Writing successful science proposals (2018).

“I didn’t have time to write an article, so I wrote a book.”

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