ACDC News – Issue 22-05

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Rural worries about new Postal Service delays

We have added a news item from Daily Yonder addressing the possible impacts of recent-approved delays in mail shipments by the U.S. Postal Service.

Since early October, the USPS has been authorized to delay shipments of first-class mail – letters, bills, tax documents, and the like. Deliveries that “normally took three days now take upward of five days.”  The change helps address the rising expenses of the Postal Service. However, author Kristi Eaton reports, “Advocates and researchers who study the postal system continue to worry about the effect the changes will have on rural America.”


You can read more about this rural information issue here.

Checking her career interest in full-time ag freelancing

Agricultural journalist Sabrina Halvorson “decided to spend a year as a full-time freelancer to see what I could learn from that.” Since the 1990s she had freelanced on the side of a full-time job. As her year ended recently, she reported on her experience to Agricultural Communicators Network/AAEA members in the ByLine newsletter. Among the freelancing tips she offered:

  • Don’t wear yourself out. “Work is only part of life.”
  • Find the spices (topics) you like.
  • Find someone to be your cheerleader


You can read her report, “Finding balance in freelancing,” here.

“Making the case for ugly produce”

How should the fresh produce industry communicate about off-shaped carrots and other vegetables? A report of this title in The Packer trade periodical addresses the question. Findings of new university research suggest the produce industry should avoid simply treating them as ugly, inferior food that should be worthless.

“Explaining the value of misshapen vegetables –that they are as healthful as their picture-perfect counterparts and buying them reduces food waste – could help improve sales of ‘ugly’ produce,” said senior study author Brian Roe.


You can read the report here.

Recent recognition in rural community journalism

A North Carolina family with seven decades of outstanding public service has received the 2021 Tom and Pat Gish Award. This award is sponsored by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues based at the University of Kentucky.

Thompson-High family has owned the twice-weekly News Reporter in Whiteville, North Carolina, since 1938. Since then, it “has continued to show courage, integrity and tenacity by holding accountable local public officials – especially those in the criminal justice system – despite significant financial adversity, reader and advertiser boycotts, personal attacks and threats against family members’ lives, and taking smaller profits to better serve its readers, but always looking ahead.”


You can read more about this honored community journalism here.

Is there growth in gardening?

In this COVID era, “the seed aspect is definitely an angle that the business journalist should look at when reporting on this topic.” So advised Kenechi Anigbogu in a recent article from the National Center for Business Journalism. He offered several possible approaches for covering it in any part of the world:

  • Look at the seed retailers to examine trends they are noticing
  • Talk with a horticulturist based in your area of coverage
  • Check the rise of food prices because consumers may look to gardening as a means of beating inflation


You can read the article 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 contact information you can use for details.

June 6-9, 2022

“Culture, Color, Creativity.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


June 12-14, 2022

“Reimagined: ACE 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 21-23, 2022

Agricultural Relations Council (ARC). Annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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).

Information: ­­­https://agme­­­­­­­

July 20-24, 2022

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Information:

October 10-12, 2022

National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). Fall conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


November 16-18, 2022

National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB). Annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:

An Irish blessing

We close this issue of ACDC News with an Irish blessing:

“May the face of every good news

And the back of every bad news

Be towards us.”

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