ACDC News – Issue 19-05

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Unintended consequences of rural images on social media

We have added to ACDC a case report of unintended public kickback from rural images posted on social media during the historic drought in Australia during 2018.  A Queensland grazier and her friend used Facebook to build public awareness of the devastating effects on livestock and to invite feed for calves. They got a wide range of responses – from sympathy and offers of help to a complaint about animal abuse, plus an investigation by Biosecurity Queensland for concerns over animal welfare.

You can read the story here.


New case study on the economic value of agricultural education and promotion

It involves an economic analysis by the Florida Tomato Committee to evaluate the effectiveness of education and promotion expenditures.  Here are some of the findings:

  • Average sales revenue increased by $7.52 for each dollar spent on these programs during 2011-2016
  • “Accordingly, it appears the promotion and education program has added value to producers of Florida fresh market tomatoes”
  • “Other U.S. producers also gain from this program with spillover effects increasing the value of all U.S. grown tomatoes by $0.69 for each dollar spent on promotion by Florida growers”

You can read this 2019 conference paper here.


A food-oriented short course features learner-driven teaching

We have added to the ACDC collection a book chapter describing a two-week course that featured an engaging, learner-driven approach to teaching about food.  It did so within the context of social justice and sustainability, introduced through use of charrette and knowledge mapping. Author Michael Berger wrote a case report entitled, “Learner-driven teaching for international, global problems” for the 2019 book entitled Promoting biodiversity in food systems (CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida).

Check with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu for help in gaining access if the book is not available to you.


Communicating to exploit agricultural laborers

Cluster effects and intense inter-employer communication can be effective drivers of underpayment of agricultural laborers, according to findings reported recently in the Journal of Cleaner Production.  Researchers observed in a vegetable region of Spain that markets dominated by few employers are more prone to exploiting workers. Also, “labour exploitation flourishes in communities of like-minded companies that do not care about mainstream norms.” They observed that this pattern can thrive if the cluster is homogeneous in terms of wage level and if it is isolated from law-abiding employers.

You can review the abstract of this article in the Journal of Cleaner Production here. Contact us at acdc@library.illinois.edu for help in seeking full-text access.


Beer marketers battle over anti-corn syrup commercials

This is a case example of complexities in advertising about food and health. The Yahoo News report introduces a law suit by beer giant MillerCoors about competitive television advertising claims used in the complex world of differences between corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup.

You can read it here.


Who suffers from weak linkages between agricultural research and extension?

A 2018 journal article about the adoption of soybean production in India reported evidence that adoption of improved technologies did improve crop yield and farm profit. However, the benefits largely remained confined to economically well-off, better-informed, educated large farmers. Authors called for strengthening linkages between research and extension systems.

This theme sounds familiar to many who have offered that advice in many settings and across the generations, based on research and experience. For example, the ACDC collection contains hundreds of documents about this specific challenge and goal. Such documents in the collection trace back nearly 70 years- and our collection is by no means complete. The goal remains, around the world.

You can read this research report here.


Communicator events approaching

May 24-28, 2019
“Communication beyond boundaries.” 69th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Washington, D.C. USA. Information: https://www.icahdq.org/page/2019Conference

June 2-5, 2019
“Southern accent on fresh ideas.” Annual institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Savannah, Georgia USA. Information: https://www.communicators.coop

June 24-27, 2019
“Communications connections.” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in San Antonio, Texas USA. Information:https://aceweb.org/ACE-conferences

July 27-31, 2019
“Global connections in America’s heartland.” International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress and Ag Media Summit (AMS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Joint meeting of AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network, Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the Connectiv Agri Media Committee, and the national Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Combined AMS and IFAJ information available at www.ifaj2019.org

September 12-13, 2019
“Extending horizons: Extension’s role in climate, rural industry, and community challenges. Conference of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Information: https://aapevents.eventsair.com/2019aapen


Another plea for tight, clear writing

We close this issue of ACDC News with a follow-up to last month’s thought about scrubbing academic jargon. It was attributed to Mark Twain in a recent book, Writing successful science proposals (2018).

“I didn’t have time to write an article, so I wrote a book.”


Best wishes and good searching

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas. 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 valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 19-04

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Case report: Attempted editing of a scientific report on sea level rise

The ACDC collection now contains two 2018 articles about removal of the word “anthropogenic” (term for people’s impact on nature) from the draft executive summary of a sea level rise report for the U. S. National Park Service. The scientific report is intended to inform officials and the public about how to protect park resources and visitors from climate change. Evidence of editing was reported during early April in a Reveal News article from the Center for Investigative Reporting. The final Park Service report was released during mid-May with the removed wording restored.

You can read both articles here and here.


Australians extend their highest honor to a rural journalist

We join many others, globally, in congratulating Australian rural journalist Leigh Radford for being awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2019 Australia Day honours. The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognize the achievements and services of their fellow citizens. Across 30 years he served through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in regional and national rural programming. As reporter, presenter, then national head of rural and national programs with ABC Regional, he touched lives across the nation, and beyond.

Leigh Radford

A news item from the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists explained that, as head, “he led a team of over 300…and was responsible for iconic radio programs like ‘The Country Hour’ and TV productions like ‘Landline” and “Backroads” and groundbreaking programs like “Heywire’.” Associates in Rural Media South Australia also emphasized his numerous voluntary services and a “lasting legacy that will improve the productivity, profitability and welfare of rural communities across the Australian continent.”

 

 


How consumers in 10 countries view print and paper in a digital world

We recently added a 16-page report of findings from a 2017 survey involving more than 10,700 consumers in 10 countries.  It was commissioned by Two Sides North America, a non-profit organization interested in paper as a renewable resource and was conducted by Toluna, an independent research firm.  It assessed consumer preferences, attitudes, and trust, as related to print and paper. A few of the findings:

  • Respondents said they prefer to read the printed versions of books (72%), magazines (72%), and newspapers (55%) over digital options
  • 53% said they are concerned that overuse of electronic devices could be damaging their health
  • 51% said they trust stories read in newspapers (51%) more than in stories found in social media (24%)

You can read this research report here.


Five barriers to engaging non-operating landowners in conservation practices on rented farmland

Efforts to promote conservation programs often focus on farm operators. A 2019 research report in the journal Land Use Policy looked at landowners not directly involved in farm operations. Interviews with 40 non-operating landowners, farm operators, farm managers, and extension personnel in three Midwest U. S. states identified five categories of barriers to adoption of conservation practices. They included:

  • Cash rent lease terms
  • Rental market dynamics
  • Information deficits and asymmetries
  • Cognitive and interpersonal factors
  • Financial motivations of non-operating landowners

Authors suggested that agricultural conservation programs could readily apply these insights.

You can read the article here.


Progress in preserving historic audio-visual resources

We are delighted to report progress in preserving and digitizing some classic Extension communications films (circa 1960) and a 1969 audio tape about the future of farm broadcasting in the U. S. They came into ACDC as part of the Francis C. Byrnes Collection – and in risky condition. Thanks to the Preservation, Conservation, and Digitization Services of the University of Illinois Library, they are now cleaned and rehoused in archival-quality cases and canisters. Most films are from the influential National Project in Agricultural Communications (NPAC). Sample topics involve:

  • Missed signals in Extension (seven situations)
  • Changing the change agent
  • The changing scene
  • Fidelity of report

The audio tape, “Future of farm broadcasting,” features a panel discussion at the 1969 National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) convention in Chicago, Illinois.

Contact us at acdc@library.illinois.edu if you are interested in reviewing these historical resources.


Communicator events approaching

April 30-May 2, 2019
2019 Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Charlotte, North Carolina USA. Information: https://www.toca.org/2019-toca-annual-meeting

May 24-28, 2019
“Communication beyond boundaries.” 69th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Washington, D.C. USA. Information: https://www.icahdq.org/page/2019Conference

June 2-5, 2019
“Southern accent on fresh ideas.” Annual institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Savannah, Georgia USA. Information: https://www.communicators.coop

June 24-27, 2019
“Communications connections.” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in San Antonio, Texas USA. Information:  https://aceweb.org/ACE-conferences

July 27-31, 2019
“Global connections in America’s heartland.” International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress and Ag Media Summit (AMS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. Joint meeting of AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network, Livestock Publications Council (LPC), the Connectiv Agri Media Committee, and the national Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Combined AMS and IFAJ information available at www.ifaj2019.org

September 12-13, 2019
“Extending horizons: Extension’s role in climate, rural industry, and community challenges. Conference of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Information: https://aapevents.eventsair.com/2019apen/


Scrubbing the academic jargon

We close this issue of ACDC News with a thought we read recently in correspondence. It does not address agricultural communications, in particular – but does it sound familiar?

“I often wonder how many communications practitioners are out there who might benefit from academic research once it has been scrubbed of its 50-cent words and academic jargon.”

We in ACDC read thousands of academic research reports and often ponder the same thing. They heighten our respect for communicators who translate, distill, simplify, and otherwise make the findings of science understandable to diverse audiences.


Best wishes and good searching

We have a new email! You can now reach us at acdc@library.illinois.edu

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas. 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 valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 19-03

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Do agricultural knowledge transfer services add profit for farmers?

Yes, according to recent findings in Ireland. Results reported early this year in the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension showed that farmer clients using such services gained a 12.3% benefit to their margin per hectare during the recession period 2008-2014.

Authors also cited evidence revealing the importance of considering the ratio of clients per adviser. Farmers’ margins per hectare declined by 0.2% for each additional client assigned to the adviser.

You can learn more about this research report here.


What customers value about farmers’ markets: insights from hashtags

A 2018 article in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review examined experiences of farmers’ market customers through their self-expression on social networks. Researchers at the Czech University of Life Sciences analyzed contributions to the Instagram social network based on the #farmersmarket hashtag during a single day. Six major linked hashtags were identified: #Organic, #Fresh, #Food, #Local, #Vegan, and #Healthy.

Authors noted that results of this study provide insights into consumer values and behaviors in the farmers’ market context and will be of practical use for future marketing and management.

You can read the article here.


Comparing rural-urban trust of individual news organizations in the U.S.

A new national poll for Columbia Journalism Review provides insight about the extent to which rural and urban U. S. citizens personally trust or distrust reporting from 26 news organizations. The graphic reveals considerable similarity, along with some trust gaps.

You can view results of this rural-urban comparison here, plus other aspects of public confidence in specific news organizations here.


Community newspapers need to explain “How we work”

Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, offered a foundational commentary which we are adding to the ACDC collection. His thoughts apply beyond rural journalism, but clearly encompass it.

Here are some of the thoughts he emphasized:

  • Many community newspapers are disengaging from their audiences…at a time when they need to be more engaged than ever. There’s a war on journalism, and it’s not just being waged in Washington, D.C.
  • At a time when Americans are more dubious than ever about sources of information, newspapers remain the primary finders of fact. But for some reason they have been bashful about making that their brand, or even thinking of themselves as having a brand.
  • If I were running a newspaper today, its home page would have a button labeled “How We Work.” … It would take readers to a page explaining the paper’s purpose and the ways it tries to achieve it. Shorter versions of it would run in print every day, usually on the editorial page. [It] would start by explaining the different forms of information media, to help readers understand the different and special roles that newspapers play in our society, and the challenges they face.”
  • We need more letters from the editor, not just statements of editorial principle, but explanations of how and why we do certain things. If we demand transparency from officials and institutions, we must practice it ourselves.

You can read the commentary here.


Get a century-spanning view of community journalism in the U. S.

A comprehensive monologue by Prof. Beth Garfrerick came recently into the ACDC collection, with our expression of appreciation to the author. The title is: “Twentieth Century weekly community newspapers in the United States.”

More than 100 pages in length, it provides an expansive history that specifically focuses on the rural and small-town community weekly – “warts and all.” She took a deep interest in rural and small-town weekly newspapers as a master’s and doctoral student at the University of Alabama, as well as a former small-town daily newspaper reporter.

Check with us at docctr@library.illinos.edu if you are interested in gaining full-text access to it.


Photography – a language that doesn’t need translation

An inspiring story in NeimanReports (February 2019) highlights the remarkable career of a Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado. Author Anthony Feinstein emphasized Salgado’s unity of effort, spending years on single themes such as Migrations (refugees suffering in times of conflict), Workers (exploited in toxic power plays) and Genesis (healing the land).  His photographs reveal depth of field and thought, along with richness of image “with their subtle gradations of shadow and light.”

You can read this article here, including a sample of Salgado’s photography.


Communicator events approaching

April 1-4, 2019
“Linking, innovating, motivation, and engaging for resilient agricultural systems”. Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Educators (AIAEE) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Information: https://aiaee2019trinidad.wordpress.com

April 10-12, 2019
“Onward Upward.” 2019 Agri-Marketing Conference sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA. Information: https://nama.org/amc/2019-amc-home

June 2-5, 2019
“Southern accent on fresh ideas.” Annual institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Savannah, Georgia USA. Information: https://www.communicators.coop

June 24-27, 2019
Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in San Antonio, Texas. Information: https://aceweb.org/ACE-conferences


A reminder about local news media

We close this issue of ACDC News with a thought expressed in 2001 by British MP Austin Mitchell when addressing the UK Newspaper Society: “A local newspaper is a community talking to itself. Without that the community would be deaf and dumb.”


Best wishes and good searching

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas. 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 valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to docctr@library.illinois.edu

 

ACDC News – Issue 19-02

When food recalls hit, tell news media what affected consumers can do

That message came through in an analysis of how selected national media covered 72 food recall notifications from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration during 2013.  Researchers concluded: “From a practical standpoint, instructional messaging appears to be the most effective strategy in a food recall crisis if the company seeks to gain positive newspaper coverage. This may sound intuitive at first, but many companies are not currently practicing it.”

This analysis was reported in the September 2017 issue of Newspaper Research Journal.

You can read the article here.


What interests consumers most about modern pig production: Environmental impact? Safety? Health? Animal welfare? 

Findings from recent research among consumers in both Germany and Poland indicated that they assigned greater importance to health and safety aspects than to animal welfare and environmental impact. Authors of the 2018 Meat Science article observed that currently the major distinction in the pork market is between conventional and organic production, which is mainly defined in terms of environmental and animal welfare benefits. “The present data therefore suggest that there can be room in the market for a different positioning based on production characteristics related to health and safety.”

You can read the article here.


Food Trendtellers Council sees trends to watch during 2019

A team of Trendtellers from Tyson Foods has identified six food trends to watch during the year ahead:

  • Personalized foods to promote health and beauty
  • Transparent food takes hold
  • More protein in more forms
  • The power of smart technology and food
  • Food as a form of self-expression
  • Fusion of global cuisines at home

Communicators have a central role in all of them.  You can learn more here


Some bees aren’t so busy as foragers (and communicators)

We often refer to being busy as a bee. However, the ACDC collection now contains a research report in Animal Behavior revealing “extreme inter-individual variation and plasticity in honeybee foraging activity levels. Automated monitoring showed that foraging activity is flexibly adjusted during a bee’s lifetime. “…elitism does not involve a distinct subclass of foragers.”

You can learn more about the article here.


Welcoming Emily and Courtney

We welcome two new graduate assistants in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.

Emily Benton is a first-year graduate student in Library and Information Sciences at the iSchool. She has a BA in History and a minor in Plant Sciences from the University of Missouri. In addition to her work with the ACDC, Emily has been working as a quarter-time graduate assistant in Funk ACES Library since August.  Emily has had internships in the Missouri State Archives and the Supreme Court of Missouri Library.

Courtney Smith is a first-year graduate student in Library and Information Sciences at the iSchool.  Her focus lies in special collections and archives, and she is especially interested in metadata, outreach, and providing better access to users.  In addition to her work with the ACDC, Courtney holds graduate hourly appointments in the Library’s Illinois History and Lincoln Collections and in the Facilities Information Resources Department of the University Facilities and Services unit.  She has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and History from Michigan State University. While at MSU, Courtney was a student assistant in several library units, including Special Collections and Area Studies.”


Communicator events approaching

March 4, 2019

Deadline for poster abstracts for the 2019 Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) annual meeting, June 22-27, in San Antonio, Texas USA.

Information:  Prof. Jessica Holt jaholt@uga.edu

April 1-4, 2019

“Linking, innovating, motivation, and engaging for resilient agricultural systems”

Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Educators (AIAEE) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Information: https://aiaee2019trinidad.wordpress.com

April 10-12, 2019

“Onward Upward.” 2019 Agri-Marketing Conference sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

Information: https://nama.org/amc/2019-amc-home

June 2-5, 2019

“Southern accent on fresh ideas.” Annual institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Savannah, Georgia USA.

Information: https://www.communicators.coop

 


Oh, the agony of broken grammar rules

Thanks to Walter Rockwood who in 1984 alerted his fellow agricultural writers/editors to this irreverent view of a sacred grammar rule – that sentences should not end with prepositions.

He explained, “The rule was invented by critic and poet John Dryden (1621-1700), who reasoned the preposito in Latin means something that ‘comes before’ and that prepositions in Latin never appear at the end of a sentence.” A contrarian view is that the rules of Latin do not always apply to English and that some great writers have ended sentences with prepositions.

He cited an agricultural writing example: “Soil – good to be born on, good to live on, good to die for, and good to be buried in. “(Bacon)


Best wishes and good searching

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas. 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 valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to docctr@library.illinois.edu

Click Here for a printer-friendly PDF of this newsletter.