ACDC News – Issue 01-16

Congratulations to Farm Journal magazine on its 125th birthday.

This is a remarkable achievement – a vivid testimony to valued service provided since the first issue appeared during March 1877. More than 9,600 agricultural periodicals of many types have been published in the U.S during the past 200 years. Very few have matched the vigor, service and longevity of Farm Journal.

Interested in learning more about it?

The Agricultural Communications Documentation Center and University of Illinois Library contain a wealth of historical information about this magazine and the people associated with it. Examples:

  • Bound volumes of issues dating back to Volume 1, Number 1
  • Books about it, including the autobiography of founder Wilmer Atkinson
  • A doctoral dissertation
  • Articles, readership reports, content analyses and other information featuring Farm Journal

You can identify such information in the ACDC collection through:

  • Title searches on terms such as: <“Farm Journal”>
  • Author searches on terms such as: <Atkinson>, <Quebral>, <Palmer> or <Harvey>
  • Subject searches on terms such as: <history “farm journals”>

In addition, feel free to check with us. We will help you identify information of interest and gain access to it.

On the importance of agricultural journalism.

Members of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists recently gained a thoughtful perspective on the importance of their work and their shared interests. Writing in IFAJ News from Moldova, Patricia Orlowitz emphasized the importance of agricultural journalism and effective agricultural journalists in a struggling democracy. She challenged members from the 29 nations represented in IFAJ toward:

  • providing examples of good agricultural journalism
  • developing the standards and ethics of good journalists
  • demonstrating how professional organizations such as IFAJ can serve members.

Reference: Use a title search (“IFAJ influences opening”) or author search (Orlowitz) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Negative information outweighs positive in food safety controversies, according to a research report added recently to ACDC.

A study by three economists used an auction-type design to monitor how perceptions of 87 food shoppers changed as they gained new information about irradiated meat. Some of the information in this experiment was positive, some negative. Results “suggest that when advocacy groups indicate that new food technologies are unsafe, consumers avoid these foods even if scientific bodies say the technologies are safe.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Negative information outweighs positive”) or author search (Hayes) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Most Americans aware of (and concerned about) mad cow and foot-and-mouth diseases.

Results of a March 2001 Gallup Poll showed that 77% of Americans had heard a moderate amount or great deal about foot-and-mouth disease in livestock. And 88% about mad cow disease. Of those who had heard about either disease, three-fourths said they were somewhat or very concerned. About one-fourth of those interviewed said they have cut back or stopped eating certain types of meat.

Reference: Use a title search (“Foot-and-mouth and mad cow disease”) or author search (Moore) for the full citation.

Finding nuggets off the beaten path.

We often are surprised where our searches for information about agriculture-related communicating take us. You may be interested in several unlikely periodicals in which we have found articles recently for the ACDC collection:

  • Public Roads
  • Civil Rights Journal
  • Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report
  • Journal of Hazardous Materials
  • Geographical Review
  • Fire Management Today

Please let us know whenever you find agricultural communications information “off the beaten path.” We appreciate your company along the way in helping bring together this widely scattered body of important literature.

Slippage in environmental reporting?

That question arises from a recently added article from Newspaper Research Journal. The article described results of a survey involving more than 500 U.S. environmental reporters. What researchers found: “Many environmental reporters have reduced their own commitment to the [environment] beat, and see their news organizations as doing likewise.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Changing work environment of environmental reporters”) or author search (Detjen) for the full citation.

“Kicking Extension up a notch.”

Extension communicators at the University of Hawaii are using the Internet to provide an innovative Food Network. It features video streaming to show more than 50 Video Cooking Techniques. Jim Hollyer reported on this service in the May 2001 issue of the Information Technology Special Interest Group newsletter of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE). “The clips are presented in Quicktime and RealVideo. They have the text next to the video clip and also have a non-video write-up with still images for those with slow connections.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Bam! The Food Network is kicking Extension up a notch”) or author search (Hollyer) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Food Network is at

New agricultural telecommunications projects funded.

The American Distance Education Consortium (A*DEC) recently announced seven newly funded projects. They involve varied applications of agriculture-related telecommunications.

  • “Dairy beef: maximizing quality and profits”
  • “RadioSource.NET”
  • “Internet-delivery of context-specific food safety modules”
  • “International food law distance education program”
  • “Internet2 applications to enhance the management of natural and agro-ecosystems”
  • “Weed science electronic library modules”
  • “Using advanced Internet technology to promote soil health information exchange”

Reference: Use a title search (“Agricultural telecommunications program projects funded 07/01”) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Professional activities approaching:

September 13-16, 2001
“CFWF 2001: An Atlantic Odyssey.” Meeting of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation at Fredericton, New Brunswick.

October 8-10, 2001
“Agribusiness Forum” in Washington, D.C. Senior agribusiness management, association, government and academia representatives “engaging in a cross-industry dialogue on issues facing our industry.” Communications aspects include discussion of media coverage and activist efforts.

Best regards and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, questions and ideas for ACDC. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents that we might add to this collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 69 Mumford Hall, University of Illinois, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form ( Thank you.

Updated on