Contributed Collections

The ACDC collection contains documents from a multitude of sources, including the archives of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB), the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), and the International Program for Agricultural Knowledge Systems (INTERPAKS). Our most precious source of information, however, is the generous contribution of personal collections by those who care deeply about agricultural communications. The ACDC would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the ACDC collection:

The Eric Abbott Collection

The Eric Abbott Collection focuses on agricultural journalism and mass communication, including research on mass media coverage of scientific innovations. Dr. Abbott is emeritus professor of journalism and communication at Iowa State University. An internationally-honored scholar, he contributed books, book chapters, journal articles, reports, and other materials. They involve subject areas such as development communication, information technologies in agriculture, history of agricultural communication, communication theory, and intercultural communication.

The Robert Agunga Collection

The Robert Agunga Collection includes journal articles, papers, and books. They are dedicated to improvement of communications in agricultural and rural development – and to improvement of education and academic work in agricultural communications. Dr. Agunga serves as an agricultural communication faculty member at Ohio State University. He is active, internationally – especially in Africa – with research and teaching efforts that also involve extension communications and education. He has taught communications and sustainability courses in countries such as South Africa, Zambia, and Ghana.

The Kathleen I. Alison Collection

The co-author and contributor of these documents, Kathleen I. Alison, had long-time experience as management consultant, trainer, and facilitator with public and non-governmental organizations. Her extensive international experience in collaborative problem solving, consensus building, and policy formation can be clearly seen throughout the collection. Examples include reports and articles focused on water and irrigation project management and resource policy from 1989 to 1992. Regions involved include Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the Danube River basin in Europe.

The George H. Axinn Collection

The George H. Axinn Collection reflects the work of an internationally-recognized educator, scholar, and diplomat with roots in communications for agricultural and rural development. Much of his work focused on problems of continuity and change in rural social systems, or the agencies and organizations attempting to facilitate change. His faculty role during more than 50 years at Michigan State University included serving as assistant dean for international programs and studies. He received lifetime achievement awards for his dedication to rural development from the College of Agriculture at Cornell University and the Rural Sociological Association.

The Ovid Bay Collection

The Ovid Bay Collection reflects contributions of a former communications director of the Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, with a background in agricultural journalism. He provided materials from the 1980s and early 1990s. Topics include agricultural science reporting, Extension communications planning, the roles of agricultural communicators, and the future of land-grant information offices. He and his associates pioneered in electronic delivery of extension information. He received the USDA Superior Service Award and the Professional Award, highest recognition by the international Agricultural Communicators in Education.

The John Behrens Collection

John Behrens, long-time professor of agricultural communications at the University of Illinois, contributed throughout the U.S. and globally. As instructional resources coordinator for the College of Agriculture, he helped faculty members improve their teaching through new educational technologies and methods. Internationally, he developed information services and instructional programs for agricultural universities and government agencies in India, Indonesia, West Indies, Pakistan, and other nations. His contributions involve subjects such as audiovisual communication, instructional design, and methods for agricultural teaching and communications.

The Harvey F. Beutner Collection

The Harvey F. Beutner Collection holds papers on farm publications and rural life from an honored faculty member at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington. Professor Beutner taught journalism and literature for more than 20 years. He had a special interest in farm publications, including a collection of poultry magazines. His published works involved characteristics of agricultural periodicals, advertising they carried, and content they provided to serve the interests of farm women. This collection also includes an article about the life and contributions of John S. Wright, founder of Prairie Farmer in 1841.

The George Biggar Collection

The George Biggar Collection features reports, speeches, articles, and other materials he wrote, reflecting the history of farm broadcasting between 1920 and 1964. He was a pioneer farm broadcaster with WLS Radio, Chicago, Illinois, as early as 1924, and became program director. Later he owned and managed WLBK Radio, DeKalb, Illinois. The Biggar Collection reflects the development of new concepts, such as regular farm news updates, weather and market reports, and rural music and entertainment. A native of South Dakota, he incorporated key agricultural journalism concepts during his career.

The Kristina M. Boone Collection

The Kristina M. Boone Collection features journal articles, reports, and other materials involving topics such as extension communications, leadership, audience analysis, media use, and education in agricultural communications. Dr. Boone was lead author of a widely used textbook, Agricultural communications: changes and challenges (2000). She was an agricultural communications faculty member at Kansas State University from 1995-2017, serving as head of the Communications Department for more than 15 years. She is an honored national leader in agricultural and extension communications, and is director of the Agricultural Technical Institute at Ohio State University.

The John Brien Collection

The John Brien Collection addresses need for communication in agricultural research and extension. University-based in Australia, Dr. Brien contributed and helped identify journal articles, book reviews, papers, and presentations dating from 1960. He held the first agricultural extension faculty appointment at the University of Sydney during the 1970s to early 1990s. With doctorates from Macquarie University (New South Wales) and the University of Queensland, he consulted and conducted extension and communication research throughout Australia, and internationally. He was honored with the Award of Excellence in International Communication from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences.

The Claron Burnett Collection

The Claron Burnett Collection features work of one of the nation’s most influential authors of college texts in agricultural journalism. Agricultural news writing, with Dr. Burnett as lead author, was published from 1959 to 1981 (five revised editions) and was followed by Writing for agriculture: A new approach using tested ideas (1990). The collection also features his additional research and reporting about agricultural writing, photography, art, and visuals. With a doctorate from Oklahoma State University, he served on the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Journalism, University of Wisconsin, starting in 1955. His responsibilities mainly involved teaching and extension.

The Francis C. Byrnes Collection

This is one of the most extensive contributed collections in ACDC, totaling nearly 800 documents. They represent career activities of a pioneering communication scientist and consultant across more than 60 years. Dr. Byrnes applied communication as a behavioral science in support of agricultural research, extension, education, and development in the U.S. and beyond. Some contributed materials reflect his service as founding assistant director of the landmark National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC) during the 1950s. Other materials involve his communication leadership at international agricultural research centers in the Philippines and Colombia, as well as projects throughout the world with the International Agricultural Development Service. He was recognized with numerous awards.

The Kerry J Byrnes Collection

The Kerry J. Byrnes Collection includes more than 160 documents from a long-time international development specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Byrnes also served the International Fertilizer Development Center, World Bank, and consulting firms such as Chemonics and Winrock. From the late 1960s, his projects responded to needs of universities, national and international organizations, and non-governmental organizations in more than 37 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Materials reflect activities such as strengthening food security, building trade capacity, training, preparing case studies, and evaluating rural development projects. He was presented the USAID Administrator’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award in 2014. collection.

The Warwick Easdown Collection

The Warwick Easdown Collection holds a variety of documents on extension practice, learning projects, and computer and internet services for practical rural use and complex agricultural applications. A native of Australia, Dr. Easdown received his doctorate from the University of Illinois in agricultural extension education. His career has taken him from employment as head of communications at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya to India as the South Asia regional director of the World Vegetable Center (previously Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC ).

The James F. Evans Collection

The James F. Evans Collection features documents contributed by a long-time agricultural communications faculty member at the University of Illinois. They involve a collection of Volume One Number One issues of agricultural periodicals, plus other materials Prof. Evans authored or gathered. They address topics such as agricultural communications education and research, communications planning, history of the discipline, theories used, development-related communications, role of agricultural journalists and communicators, and rural-urban communications. His career information, teaching and research files, program activities, and other materials are maintained as the James F. Evans Papers in the University of Illinois Archives.
Visit “Archived Collections” on this website for a description of the V1N1 collection.

The Eldon Fredericks Collection

The Eldon Fredericks Collection contains 75 contributed documents, about one-half of them involving the historic National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC). Some were collected and saved by a colleague, Prof. Ralph Reeder.  Professor Fredericks’ career included leadership of the agricultural communications programs at the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, and Purdue University. He was a national leader among agricultural communicators in education and an innovator in use of new information technologies. Some materials feature early use by Extension of electronic file transmission and the Internet. They also involve storing, searching for, and retrieving agricultural information electronically.

The Claude W. Gifford Collection

This extensive collection was contributed to the University of Illinois Archives by a nationally-honored agricultural journalist and communicator. It includes biographical notes and commentaries, books, magazines, reprints, articles, drafts of story ideas, meeting and conference reports, presentations, recorded speeches, photographs, audio tapes, scrapbooks, USDA histories, and other materials. Mr. Gifford served as associate editor of Farm Journal (1948-71) and director of information, U.S. Department of Agriculture (1971-77) and Office of Information/Communication/Public Affairs (1978-1998). As assistant extension editor (1947-48) at the University of Illinois early in his career, he taught the first agricultural broadcasting course at the University. Finding aid:

The James E. Grunig collection

The James E. Grunig Collection features chapters, articles, and reports related to public relations theory, education, and practice. Professor Emeritus Grunig of the University of Maryland is recognized internationally for his theory of the four models of public relations, and other contributions. He is author or co-author of 12 books. His contributed materials in ACDC reflect his research on public relations practices and on science communication involving agriculture and environmental publics. His early research and experience included economic decision making among farmers and rural development in Latin America.

The Harold Guither Collection

The Harold Guither Collection includes more than 40 documents, many related to public issues and policies related to agriculture. An honored emeritus faculty member in agricultural economics at the University of Illinois, Dr. Guither brought to that discipline his early career experience in agricultural extension communications. Articles in this ACDC collection feature his research involving how the views of special interest groups affect agricultural policy and how attitudes toward agricultural and food policy issues are formed by diverse stakeholders. Other materials feature farmer decision making, agricultural history, and other topics.

The Dixon Harper Collection

The Dixon Harper Collection focuses on agricultural broadcasting. His writings reflect perspectives of a long-time farm broadcaster and former president, historian, and honoree of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB). His articles, speeches, and other materials address farm broadcasting in terms of mission, history, trends, forces for change, careers, and professional growth. His career extended across employment with radio/television stations and multi-state networks. Other career experiences included agricultural advertising and farm magazine publishing. In 1998 he was inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame, having held membership in the organization for 65 years.

The John A. Harvey Collection

This contribution anchors the unique “Volume One Number One Collection of U.S. Agricultural Periodicals” in ACDC. John Harvey contributed 477 of those examples of innovation in agricultural publishing across a century and a half (from the mid-1800s). He also contributed 32 special editions of agricultural periodicals and 295 other issues. His career involved working on the editorial staffs of the Missouri Farmer, Successful Farming, Reiman and Associates, and Farm Journal. In 1980 he became public affairs manager of DuPont Ag Products until 1993 when he formed his own company. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 from the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. Visit “Archived Collections” on this website for a description of the V1N1 collection.

The Delmar Hatesohl Collection

The Delmar Hatesohl Collection holds a variety of documents written by Professor Emeritus Delmar Hatesohl. He is former associate agricultural editor and coordinator of the academic program in agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri. His materials in this collection center on agricultural writing skills, the value of listening, and (reflecting his services abroad) communications in support of agricultural and rural development. Dr. Hatesohl helped students found the national Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) organization in 1970 and served as president of the Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) organization in 1975-1976.

The Paul Hixson Collection

The Paul Hixson Collection adds to historical literature in this field, mainly about the interdisciplinary International Program for Agricultural Knowledge Systems (INTERPAKS), based at the University of Illinois. He contributed reports, journal articles, project files, brochures, guides, speeches, and other materials dated 1940-1996. He served as information specialist and later as assistant dean and director for Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Later, he was invited to serve as Chief Information Officer of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Theodore Hutchcroft Collection

The Theodore Hutchcroft Collection includes more than 140 reports, articles, proceedings, and books involving communications in agricultural and rural development. His writings span topics such as effective communications in agricultural development projects, media relations, global food challenges, and relationships between scientific societies and agricultural higher education. Dr. Hutchcroft received his Ph.D. in education from Iowa State University. His professional experience ranged broadly across international agricultural research organizations based in various countries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National 4-H Foundation (including assignment in Costa Rica), and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST).

The Robert Jarnagin Collection

The Robert Jarnagin Collection contains journal articles, conference papers, and reports on the development of extension and on the history of the American Association of Agricultural College Editors (AAACE). The latter was subject of his master’s degree at the University of Illinois. As a staff member in the Office of Agricultural Communications, he took active part in ACE when that office served as national headquarters. His materials also involve the role of agricultural communicators, farmer readership of agricultural information, and the National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC).

The K. Robert Kern Collection

Dr. Kern’s materials involve journal articles, papers, mission reports, and an autobiography. Topics range across research needs and directions in agricultural and extension communications, role and preparation of agricultural communicators, communications support for national agricultural research systems, and communications campaign planning for environmental awareness. His career began with two years as assistant farm adviser in Illinois. A respected thought leader, he served for 30 years on the information staff at Iowa State University, including service as Extension Editor.  As professor of journalism and mass communication he advised master’s degree candidates. Later, he consulted in more than 40 countries on five continents.

The Eugene A. Kroupa Collection

This collection features materials contributed by a former agricultural journalism faculty member at the University of Wisconsin; then owner of one of the state’s first full-service marketing research firms. His undergraduate and master’s studies at the University of Illinois focused on agricultural economics, plus courses in agricultural communications, agronomy, and agricultural engineering. His PhD at the University of Wisconsin involved mass communication research. Contributed materials take varied formats and range in date from 1967-1990. They involve topics such as farmers’ information sources and their use and understanding of agricultural marketing information, new directions in agricultural communications curricula, professionalism of agricultural communicators, and use of focus groups in agricultural marketing communications. The collection includes nine agricultural journalism master’s degree theses.

The Richard Lee Collection

The Richard Lee Collection features material such as extension strategies and methods, communications planning, and the value of listening. Dr. Lee was a leading agricultural communications educator and manager, based at the University of Missouri. He was director and editor of Agriculture and Extension Information in the College of Agriculture. He served as national president of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) during 1967-68 and was a long-time member of the judging panel for the prestigious national “Oscars in Agriculture” program. It recognized excellence in agricultural reporting in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television.

The Mason E. Miller Collection

The Mason E. Miller Collection includes more than 300 contributed documents (1913-1987) revealing the importance of communication within and about agriculture. Effects of agricultural innovation, information technology, technical writing, and communications in agricultural development are among topics addressed. Other documents feature the application of agricultural communications in dozens of countries. As a communication scientist with the Cooperative State Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Miller received the 1981 ACE Professional Award, highest recognition given by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences.

The Geoffrey Moss Collection

The collection features contributions from a leading extension and business communicator, trainer, and manager in New Zealand. Author of 26 books published in many countries and languages, he is principal of Moss Associates Ltd, Wellington. His contributions to ACDC focus on extension, training, and communications strategies. He previously held senior positions in the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. His many awards include the Sir Arthur Ward Communication Trophy and the Golden Jubilee Award of the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators. He is an honorary fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences.

The Fred Myers Collection

This collection of more than 125 documents offers broad-ranging perspectives about the role, challenges, values, and professional development of agricultural journalists and communicators. Some materials trace back to the 1960s. They mainly take the form of newsletter columns, website commentaries, and conference papers. Fred Myers worked for 26 years in the educational and communications services unit of the Tennessee Valley Authority as writer/photographer, then supervisor. Earlier experience involved editorial services with the Indiana Farmers Guide and the Furrow magazine published by Deere and Company. He is an honorary member of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

The Hadley Read Collection

This collection reveals ideas and research of Prof. Hadley Read, long-time head of the Office of Agricultural Communications, University of Illinois. His writings (1941-1980) include books, journal articles, proposals, and other materials. They address the communication process, media skills, social action, and communications in rural development. He served as president of Agricultural Communicators in Education (1961-1962) and in 1974 received the ACE Professional Award, highest recognition given by that international organization. His love for learning, professional growth, effective communications, and rural wellbeing – globally – helped inspire his associates to develop what is now the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.

The Bonnie Riechert Collection

The Bonnie Riechert Collection encompasses advocacy group and news media framing of environmental and rural issues. Dr. Riechert is the writer and contributor of this collection, which takes forms such as journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and conference papers. She has taught journalism and public relations at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she earned her Ph.D. in communications. Now she serves as Chair of the Department of Public Relations at Belmont University, Nashville. She was 1988-1989 president of the Association for Communications Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).

The Stephen Shenton Collection

Topics addressed in this collection include civic, public, and community journalism as well as freedom of expression and the press. During Professor Shenton’s doctoral studies he served as a teaching assistant, then instructor, in agricultural communications at the University of Illinois. Following graduation he served through retirement on the communications/journalism faculty, and as chair, at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. As a long-time volunteer associate, he supported the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center by providing counsel, expertise, and a sharp eye for relevant literature.

The Burton Swanson Collection

This collection includes more than 900 documents written and contributed by an international leader in strengthening extension and advisory services for agricultural and rural development. Dr. Swanson is an emeritus faculty member of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES), University of Illinois. Many of his contributions to the Center involve his writings and documents from the International Program for Agricultural Knowledge Systems (INTERPAKS), which he directed. They feature book chapters, reports, papers, and other materials from projects conducted throughout the world. His many honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Agricultural Extension.

The Harold B. Swanson Collection

This was the first large contribution made to the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Dr. Swanson headed the Department of Agricultural Journalism, University of Minnesota. Upon retirement, he contributed his personal collection of more than 1,100 documents, including more than 100 he wrote. Materials include where and how rural populations get information, strategies for communicating with diverse demographic groups, the role of communications in strengthening agriculture in developing countries, and use of various media and methods. He served as president of the Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) organization during 1953-1954. The organization honored him with its highest recognition, the ACE Professional Award, in 1977.

The Hal R. Taylor Collection

This collection includes more than 40 manuscripts, journal articles, and conference papers written by a respected communications leader with the U. S. Department of Agriculture (1968-1980).  Hal R. Taylor was former public affairs director for USDA. In 1979 he received the Professional Award, highest recognition given by the international organization, Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE). His writings and contributions to ACDC include resources involving the National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC), with which he was associated. Other materials in the collection involve communications methods, training resources, and careers in educational communications.

The Phillip Tichenor Collection

The Phillip Tichenor Collection features reports, journal articles, and conference papers concerning mass communication research methods, public opinion, and community media systems. Documents in this collection feature rural-related writings and contributions of Dr. Phillip Tichenor, a respected emeritus professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Minnesota. He worked with colleagues for 35 years in studies of community structure and the sharing of knowledge to general and specialized audiences. His materials in ACDC focus on science communications, rural community journalism, and communications research methods.

The Mark A. Tucker Collection

This collection features the writing of Prof. Mark A. Tucker, coordinator of the academic program in agricultural communication at Purdue University. More than 40 papers, journal articles, books, reports, and commentaries involve topics such as agricultural communications teaching and research, risk communications, and social perspectives in rural development. He has been honored with awards of excellence in academic programs and research by the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). He also co-authored books used widely for teaching agricultural journalism and communications.

The William B. Ward Collection

The William B. Ward Collection involves writings of an early leader in developing university-based programs of agricultural journalism and communications in the U.S. and abroad. More than 45 documents written by Dr. Ward span the period 1946-2008. This pioneering educator taught agricultural journalism and was head of the Department of Extension Teaching and Information at Cornell University. He served as 1954-55 president of the American Association of Agricultural College Editors (now ACE) and received the ACE Award of Excellence for International Programs in 1998. His 1959 book, Reporting Agriculture, was an early reference for communicating about agriculture through print, broadcast, and other media.

The Donald Watson Collection

This collection features an extraordinary bibliography of agricultural periodicals. It is the largest known resource of its kind, reflecting decades of effort by Donald Watson. He was a former editor of the New England Homestead and later a professional in agricultural marketing communications. It includes an annotated citation database of nearly 9,600 farm magazines and newspapers published in the U.S. during 1775-1990. The family contributed it to ACDC in 1999. Then, through collaboration, it was transferred to the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University where it was processed. Information was entered into a web-searchable database. Citations identify date of founding, frequency, state, editors, and subject matter. The contributed collection also included books, bound volumes of farm periodicals, unbound issues, and other materials.

The Larry Whiting Collection

This collection includes documents written and gathered by Dr. Larry R. Whiting, leader of agricultural communication units at the University of Maryland (1981-1985) and Ohio State University (1985-2001). He was known for addressing communications challenges and opportunities facing agriculture colleges, land grant universities, and the agricultural communications discipline. His collection also sheds light on early use of computers and telecommunications in agriculture, outlook for farm magazines, assessment of agricultural communications research, and other topics. Widely respected, he served as president of Agricultural Communicators in Education (1990-1991).

John L. Woods Collection 

This globe-spanning collection ranges across 40 years (1965-2005). It features communications related to agricultural/rural development and environmental quality. Books, handbooks, guides, project reports, presentations, and other materials address strategic communications planning and management, teaching and training methods, cinematography, and other topics. During his career Dr. Woods served on the University of Illinois faculty, as director of Development Training and Communication Planning in the Asia and Pacific Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and as strategic communicator with Chemonics International Inc. Among honors he received is the 1987 Award of Excellence in International Affairs from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences.