ACDC News – Issue 21-06

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“Very little training exists” in environmental journalism

Researcher H. C. Schmidt offered that conclusion in 2017 after analyzing college-level journalism programs in the U.S. The author’s three-component data collection framework involved all colleges and universities in the United States with journalism or mass communications programs, feedback from about 2,000 student staff members of the campus newspapers at those colleges, and nearly 50,000 news articles from those campus newspapers.

Findings indicated that almost 80% of those programs offered no courses described as directly or indirectly about the environment.  At the same time, almost 80% of the surveyed students said they thought such coursework is somewhat to very important. Also, fewer than 2% of the analyzed news articles in those campus newspapers involved environmental topics, with quality assessed as “generally poor and superficial.”


You can read the research summary of “Training tomorrow’s environmental journalists” in a 2017 issue of Applied Environmental Education and Communication here.

Where honey fits into public trends these days

The 2019 Annual Report of the U.S. National Honey Board includes information about where honey fits into emerging culinary and environmental trends among consumers, retailers, ingredient manufacturers, and foodservice chefs.

“They’re interested in clean-label foods and have a growing passion for discovering new, global flavors,” according to this report. It features the changing honey industry and Board marketing program.


You can read it here.

Three needed research areas to improve discourse and action for reducing food waste and loss

A 2020 article in Food and Foodways documented need and opportunity for food researchers to do so. Through a literature scan, researchers Kelly Hodgins and Kate Parizeau analyzed nine food systems journals, looking for mentions of “food waste” and “food loss.”  They found that “reference to this important topic is growing within food studies but is still a marginal concept.” They cited value in international and multicultural research, “as both waste and food systems vary across place and are deeply embedded in local cultures.”


You can read the abstract with terms and conditions for full-text access and use here.

Cited opportunities for extension services in aiding water-efficient irrigation of cotton

A team of researchers from Texas and Louisiana recently placed special emphasis on opportunities for the cooperative extension service to help cotton growers irrigate more effectively. This emphasis emerged from findings of their producer survey and regression analysis involving 14 cotton-growing states of the Southern Plains region of the U.S.


You can read their article in this 2018 issue of the journal, Water.

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 21-23, 2021

“Elevating Voices.” Virtual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).


July 20-22, 2021

“Breaking New Ground.” 2021 Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:

October 4-6, 2021

Fall Conference, National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in St. Louis, Missouri.  Information:

On writing tight

We close this issue of ACDC News with a Danish proverb that may resonate with agricultural journalists who must wrestle often with the challenge of covering complex topics concisely and clearly. Julie Jensen McDonald included it in her published collection, “Scandinavian Proverbs:”


What you cannot say briefly

you do not know.

Best regards and wishes

ACDC is a resource for you, so please 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 valued international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to

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