ACDC News – Issue 19-07

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Covering “Farm Wars” in Arkansas

A podcast during April from the Center for Investigative Reporting examined how use of a weed-killing chemical, dicamba, is stirring conflict in Arkansas. In a program series, “Us and Them,” reporters Trey Kay and colleague Loretta Williams reported on concerns among farmers, commercial firms, public agencies, weed scientists, home gardeners, environmental groups, and others. The report was produced in collaboration with the Food and Environmental Reporting Network.

You can listen to this 51-minute investigative report here.

How consumers in France and Israel view natural food

Here are several findings and recommendations from this recent article in the Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies:

    • Generalized distrust appeared in both countries towards certain industrial manufacturing processes and/or farming techniques
    • Perceptions of natural food differed between the countries and seemed both socially and culturally embedded.
    • Findings show the advantage of pursuing research in the sociology of food that does not compartmentalize means of production on the one hand and consumer practices on the other, but rather reconnects the two.

You can read the article here.

Organizations in hiding

That is the title of a recent article in the Electronic Journal of Communication. It involved outsider perceptions of the appropriateness, effectiveness, and motivations for organizations to conceal themselves. Researchers focused on a broad spectrum of 14 positively- to negatively- valenced organizations. An environmental advocacy organization, Earth First, was among them.

You can read the article here.

A food waste reduction campaign worked (kind of)

We have added to the ACDC collection a 2019 journal article that reported results of a food waste reduction campaign in a university dining room.  Authors tested how such a campaign may influence wastage in an all-you-can-eat setting.

“Results revealed that the campaign had a modest, though insignificant, impact on waste behavior, but there were changes in students’ beliefs related to food waste, which may be an important first step in achieving behavioral change.”

You can review the abstract of this article in the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling here.

Contact us at for counsel about gaining full-text access.

Preserving 11 million feet of newsreels

Newsreels enthralled movie goers until the 1960s and may be long gone – except for their amazing content and historical value. We learned recently that 11 million feet of them now live at the University of South Carolina in its Moving Image Research Collections. Donated by 20th Century Fox in the early 1980s, it is the largest set of newsreels freely available online, with thousands of stories meticulously organized and described.

We mention this resource because it represents potentials for researchers interested in the historical aspects of communications related to agriculture, rural life, and rural-urban interactions.  Newsreels covered all kinds of topics – serious and light, anywhere in the world, rural and urban. Scholars estimate that at least 40 million people in the United States and more than 200 million people worldwide watched newsreels each week in the late 1930s.

You can learn more in the 2019 Humanities article which we identified recently.

Also, you can visit the Moving Image website at:

“The magic of wireless”

When we read these words today, our thoughts turn to wireless internet, cell phones, and such. However, this title appeared in the May 6, 1922, issue of the Canadian Countryman. It referred to the latest in scientific invention at that time: the radio.

“With it it is possible to sit at home and listen to concerts given hundreds of miles away. For some weeks past one of the daily papers in Toronto has been holding radio concerts which have been enjoyed by people all over the Province of Ontario. The value to farmers of the radio telephone cannot be estimated at the present time, but that it will be great cannot be doubted.”  Indeed.

You can read this article here. It is in the “Reflections – Farm and Food History” section of

Communicator events approaching

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:

October 9-13, 2019
“Headwaters to the Plains.” Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists at Fort Collins, Colorado USA.


October 11-12, 2019
Seminar of the Swiss Agricultural Journalists at the guest house Probstenberg, located between the municipalities of Welschenrohr and Seehof, Switzerland.


November 11-13, 2019
Professional development conference of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association at Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.


November 13-15, 2019
“Farm broadcasting: the engine that drives agriculture.” Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.


December 6-7, 2019
“Pluralistic extension for enhancing farmers’ income through reaching the unreached.” National seminar organized by Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth and Maharashtra Society of Extension Education at Maharashtra, India.


Giving thought to the human side

We close this issue of ACDC News with advice expressed in 1986 by Rosalyn Rappaport, an extension worker in the Caribbean and Africa:

“It pays to give as much thought to the human setting of the information as to its technical content.”

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