ACDC News – Issue 22-03

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120 Years and Counting

 Congratulations to Successful Farming magazine staff members as they observe 120 years of serving families who make farming and ranching their business.

The December 2021 issue noted that founder Edwin T. Meredith launched SF in 1902. “He was given the deed to a failing newspaper as a wedding gift with a note attached: ‘Sink or swim.’ … “We’re proud to uphold the tradition of serving American farmers and ranchers with every issue.”

The University of Illinois Library and those of us in ACDC are pleased to help preserve and make those issues available for historical research, as well as document the life and influential career of Meredith as publisher and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Access to and use of libraries and the internet among ag academics and extension workers in South Africa

We recently added an article about this topic in the February 2022 issue of Library Philosophy and Practice. Researchers selected a sample of extension workers and agriculture academics from the University of Zululand to address this matter.

Findings revealed that internet facilities were not adequate in extension offices in rural areas, leading to minimum use of them. Also, most extension workers did not have access to library facilities and seldom used them as information sources. Academics used the internet regularly. They had high access to libraries but made little use of them.

The authors offered suggestions for improving access and use of both information sources.


You can read the e-journal article here.

Changing rural community journalism in areas of declining population

A survey of county commissioners, chamber of commerce executives, and journalists in western Kansas (U.S.) examined perceptions and attitudes toward change in a region of declining population. Findings reported by David Guth in the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies showed a strong preference for locally generated news content and a belief that rural journalists should be both objective and community boosters.

“There was skepticism towards the Internet as a source of local news.”


You can read this article here.

Environmental impacts of U.S. food waste

 We are adding to the ACDC collection a recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the environmental impacts of food loss and waste. More than one-third of the food produced in the United States is never eaten, according to the analysis. And food waste is the “single most common material landfilled and incinerated…”

According to the report, each year U.S. food loss and waste embodies, for example:

  • 140 million acres of agricultural land, an area the size of California and New York combined.
  • 9 trillion gallons of blue water, equal to annual water use of 50 million American homes.
  • 779 million pounds of pesticides
  • 14 billion pounds of fertilizer


You can read the full EPA report here.

How ag media are covering soil conservation practices

 A University of Wisconsin research team recently completed a study of online news stories about soil conservation in the four most-read agricultural print media outlets in Wisconsin.  Researchers focused on 10 soil conservation practices and examined 68,401 stories in those periodicals between 2002 and 2020.

Practices of tillage agriculture, manure management, and grazing appeared most often.  During recent years, numbers of stories about other practices such as cover crops grew significantly. Extension and the federal government were cited most frequently in stories.


You can read a summary report here

Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with the contact information you can use for details.


March 30-April 3, 2022

Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) in Houston, Texas. Information:


June 6-9, 2022

Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Information:


June 12-14, 2022

“Reimagined: And all that jazz.” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:


June 27-July 3, 2022

“Smarter Farming and Food Production for Green and Sustainable Growth.” 2022 World Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Vingsted, Denmark. Hosted by the Danish Food and Agricultural Journalists.



July 16-20, 2022

“On Point.” Agricultural Media Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sponsored by the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Connectiv Agri-Media Committee, and Livestock Publications Council (LPC).


What we really need

We close this issue of ACDC News with an insight from poet R. M. Ryan:


“What we really need are poems to polka to.”

Offering information and best regards

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. You are welcomed to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valued international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, 510 ACES Library, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to