August News and Research from the ACDC – Issue 22-08

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How free press in nations fits with environment-friendly policy

An international analysis recently addressed this relationship. Researchers Inma Martinez-Zarzoso and Jennifer Phillips investigated it with a global sampling of countries. They used data across the period 1994-2015.

Results indicated that lack of press freedom is negatively correlated with stringency of environmental policies.

You can read this 2020 research report in Environment and Development Economics by open access via Cambridge University Press here.

“The dangers of big data extend to farming”

We are adding a 2022 article of that title to the ACDC collection. Author Kelly Bronson of the University of Ottawa, Canada, noted in a June issue of The Conversation that scholars and activists have spent years exposing dangerous effects of big data practices on individual privacy and civil liberties.

However, she suggested, agricultural data are likely to have far-reaching detrimental environmental and social impacts. She cited examples and proposed that, beyond data analysis and infrastructure, digital democracy calls for a fundamental redistribution of decision-making power from a small number of corporate stakeholders to a wider group of citizens who can help answer questions such as: What kind of food system do we want? Which farming techniques and technologies will help us get there?

You can read this article here.

Disconnect between what consumers say about fresh produce – and what they eat

Findings of a March 2022 national survey by Dole Food Company indicated that almost half of adult Americans mostly ignore the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, despite a widespread acceptance as essential to the health of their families. For example:

• 73% agreed that fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice for their families
• 68% said they think fruits and vegetables taste great
• 51% said they associate eating more produce with positively impacting the environment

However, almost half (48%) said they think the general public is still ignorant about the health and environmental impacts of fresh produce.

You can read a brief summary about the survey here.

Smallholder farmers in Pakistan at the frontlines of COVID-19

An analysis from the early period of COVID-19 sheds light on how these farmers viewed COVID-19, how it challenged them, and what they thought about government lockdown strategies. Researcher Muhammad Ammad Khan conducted research among 384 smallholder farmers in Punjab province. Results revealed:
• The vast majority of respondents were highly aware of the disease
• They had positive attitudes toward the government lockdown strategy
• Some were facing great challenges in access to farm inputs, unavailability of farm laborers, high prices, and selling their farm produce

You can read the 2022 article in the Journal of Rural and Community Development here.

How 18 million Americans could move into rural areas – without leaving home

“About 45 million Americans – 14% of the nation’s inhabitants – are currently classified as living in rural areas. That number could jump to 64 million – an increase of nearly 40% – without anyone moving into a new home.” So reported Devon Brenner and Jesse Longhurst in a 2021 report from The Conversation news service. They were referring to a government proposal to move everyone who lives in places with 50,000 to 100,000 from urban to rural life.

“Making the proposed change would mean 144 areas with populations between 50,000 and 100,000, and the 251 counties they occupy, would no longer be classified as ‘metropolitan,’ but rather as ‘micropolitan’ – and therefore effectively rural.”

In this brief article, authors described some possible social and economic implications of the proposal.

You can read it 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.

September 18-21, 2022
Annual conference of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. Information:

September 21-22, 2022
Professional Development Workshop sponsored by the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

September 22, 2022
“Usage of satellite imagery in agricultural journalism.” Online workshop via Zoom, European Network of Agricultural Journalists (ENAJ). Presenter Jan Labohý is chief executive officer of World from Space.

October 10-12, 2022
“Cultivating. Connecting.” Fall conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

October 13, 2022
Annual Harvest Service and Lunch, British Guild of Agricultural Journalists, in London, England. Information:

October 21-25, 2022
“ScienceWriters 2022.” Meeting of the National Association of Science Writers
(NASW) in Memphis, Tennessee.

November 16-18, 2022
National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB). Annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:

“He can fix it”

We close this issue of ACDC News with a perspective from ever-alert associate John Otte. He called attention recently to something he heard from an acquaintance about special creativity found in many local rural communities.

This acquaintance recalled growing up where the proprietor of a fix-it shop maintained he could fix anything – except the crack of dawn and a broken heart.

Best regards and wishes

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 @ACDCUIUCDocNews22-08. 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