ACDC News – Issue 22-01

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“There’s no journalism on a dead planet”

 Corporate media owners are killing local newspapers, reported Sophia Reuss in a 2019 issue of Briarpatch magazine. “You have to humanize [climate change] and you have to humanize it on a local level, and that’s where the paper comes in.”

She emphasized that when a local media ecosystem functions well, communities are often afforded more direct participation in the public process. Her report cited two case examples of citizens’ activist efforts in Canada using local media with impact.

 

You can read the article here.


How advanced text mining techniques “could help address critical issues in food and nutrition sciences”

We have added a recent journal article about using advanced digital text mining on social media to improve food production, food safety, and human nutrition. It was published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

The authors provided an overview of the data sources, computational methods, and applications of text data in the food industry. They illustrated applications of text data analysis with respect to food safety and food fraud surveillance, dietary pattern characterization, consumer-opinion mining, new-product development, food knowledge discovery, food supply-chain management, and online food systems.

 

You can read the abstract and learn how to purchase the article via IngentaConnect.com here. Or confer with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu


Rural News Network set to launch in 2022 

A new journalism consortium addressing “the most critical issues confronting America’s rural communities” will launch in 2022.  Fern Siegel announced the introduction recently via Mediapost.com.  Rural News Network will be part of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) and already is addressing two topics:

  • Water justice in the rural West
  • Economic issues in indigenous communities

INN includes more than 350 nonprofit and nonpartisan news organizations dedicated to public service. Rural News Network will address specific rural issues, using 60 independent INN-member newsrooms serving communities across 30 states.

 

You can learn more about this consortium and the initial projects here.


“Expanding broadband in the black rural south” 

A recent 36-page report of that title has been added to the ACDC collection. Written by Dominique Harrison, it was published October 6 by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Washington, D.C. It focused on needs and potentials for broadband in 152 rural counties with populations that are at least 35 percent African American.  Among the findings:

  • 38% of the African Americans in that area lack home internet access, compared with 18 percent of all Americans, nationwide.
  • Access is either not available or they lack the financial means to purchase service.
  • Expanding broadband can help improve employment, incomes, education, and health care in that area.

 

You can read the report here.


How to interview a “dud”

Unfortunately, not every person we interact with has the radiant, outgoing personality of a cooperative communicator,” observed Editor Mark Johnson in the Cooperative Communicators Association e-newsletter, CCA Connect. “Usually, we can either deal with these types quickly and move on or avoid them altogether. But what happens when we are tasked with interviewing a dud?”

 

“Don’t give up until you give it the old college try,” he advised. And he offered five tips about how to do so. You can read the item 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.

February 13-14, 2022

National Agricultural Communications Symposium in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists in New Orleans, Louisiana. Information: https://www.saasinc.org

February 18, 2022

Deadline for posters to be presented at the ACE annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022.

Information: Cara Lawson at cara.lawson@oregonstate.edu

February 18, 2022

Deadline for outstanding theses and dissertations to be recognized at the ACE annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022.

Information: Garrett Steede at gsteede@umn.edu

June 6-9, 2022

Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Information: https://www.communicators.coop/professional-development/cca-institute/

June 12-14, 2022

Annual Conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information: https://aceweb.org

July 16-20, 2022

“On the point.” Ag Media Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Information: https://agcommnetwork.com/unveiling-the-theme-and-logo-for-ag-media-summit-2022


On revealing secrets

We close this issue of ACDC News with a bit of ever-timely Old Farmer’s Advice which Paul Hixson kindly shared with us:

 

“Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.”


Offering information and best regards

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 @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, 510 ACES Library, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-12

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When it’s OK to say “I don’t know”

“Leading your company with decisiveness can seem like the way to go,” Amy Sowder of The Packer observed in a recent article. “It’s strong. Firm answers can encourage employees to feel confident and secure in their company. Employees need assurance, especially in these uncertain times.”

However, speakers in a COVID-19 Environment session of the 2020 United Fresh Washington Conference also emphasized that sometimes it’s better to tell your employees that you don’t know. For example:

  • Remaining silent until you have an answer for your next step during a crisis can cause employees even more stress.
  • Silence may make employees think their leaders don’t care.
  • Have a plan for when you don’t know.
  • Make space for employees to talk, to ask questions, and to hear updates from you.

 

You can read this brief and ever-timely article here.


“Reinforcing the rural status quo” in a river system

Media coverage of health and politics involving Australia’s largest river system came under review in a recent article in the journal, Environmental Communication.  Researchers conducted a critical discourse analysis of rural radio coverage of issues in the Murray-Darling River system. In particular, they analyzed national coverage in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) “Country Hour” program. Findings prompted them to note a “constrained range of discourses…largely due to journalists assigning framing power to a limited group of elite agricultural and political sources and legitimating their ideological positions especially through the program presenters’ contextualizing commentary.” They also noted “some significant absences – the voices of people who live in the Basin, including First Nations and others with environmental concerns.”

“As scholars who desire to be actively participating subjects in a global environment, we take up (Arjun) Appadurai’s invitation to imagine a time soon when the Murray-Darling will be heard on its own terms, not only on Australia’s rural airwaves, but throughout the land.”

 

This article is available for purchase from the publisher. You can read the abstract and get details about how to purchase the article from the publisher here. Feel free to check with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu for help.


Where the produce industry is missing the boat on consumption

How is consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables not increasing at record margins each year? Alex DiNovo, president of DNO Produce group of companies, Columbus, Ohio, asked that question in a recent issue of The Packer.

“We need a concise, unapologetic, and perhaps even edgy approach to marketing ourselves as an industry,” he suggested, perhaps along the line of what the milk industry did. It began the Dairy Checkoff program nearly 40 years ago, forming an organization to grow consumption and trust through promotion, research, and nutrition education. “…as an entire industry, we are far more powerful than on a commodity-by-commodity basis.”

 

You can read the commentary here.


Small-town newspapers and heinous crimes

We recently added a journal article that examined the role of small newspapers when bizarre and shocking crimes are committed locally. The study by Kristy Hess and Lisa Waller focused on three towns in regional Australia “that have been represented in metropolitan and international news media as ‘dead zones’ after shocking crimes.”

Findings indicated that while small newspapers lack the power to overturn negative media representations of their communities they do have the authority to instruct their readership in how to respond to the events themselves and the negative representations by big media.

 

You can read this article, “The Snowtown we know and love,” in Rural Society here.


Scholars need to address rural health care ethics more rigorously

We recently added a 2006 research report about this subject in the American Journal of Bioethics. The research team members based that conclusion on their review of health care literature focused on rural America between 1966 and 2004. They identified 55 publications that specifically and substantively addressed rural health care ethics. Only seven (13%) were original research articles; most were descriptive summaries of research and general commentaries.

 

This article is available for purchase from the publisher. You can read the abstract and get details for full access here. Feel free to check with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu for help.


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.

 

January 28, 2022

Deadline for research papers to be presented at the annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022,

Information: Shannon Norris at norriss@nmsu.edu

 

February 13-14, 2022

National Agricultural Communications Symposium in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists in New Orleans, Louisiana. Information: https://www.saasinc.org

 

February 18, 2022

Deadline for posters to be presented at the ACE annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022.

Information: Cara Lawson at cara.lawson@oregonstate.edu

 

February 18, 2022

Deadline for outstanding theses and dissertations to be recognized at the ACE annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022.

Information: Garrett Steede at gsteede@umn.edu

 

June 12-14, 2022

Annual Conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information: https://aceweb.org

 

July 16-20, 2022

“On the point.” Ag Media Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Information: https://agcommnetwork.com/unveiling-the-theme-and-logo-for-ag-media-summit-2022


A year-end toast

We close this year-farewell issue of ACDC News with an Irish toast:

 

“May the roof above us never fall in,

And may we friends gathered below

Never fall out.”


Offering information and best regards

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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-11

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The lost art of being a food merchant

We have added to the ACDC collection a recent article about creativity and training needs in the produce departments of food stores. Veteran food executive Mike O’Brien emphasized the need to deliver a positive, unique, and memorable experience for shoppers.

“It comes down to trust, empowerment and education,” he said. “Many supermarkets find that letting their people get creative is a key part of the puzzle, so nurturing a company culture that supports a beyond-the-basics approach is essential. … It is somewhat of a lost art in today’s fast paced world of data, low price and lack of labor.” Automating and executing by corporate dictum “won’t get you what you really want…”

 

You can read his suggestions here in this Produce Market Guide article.


 Hold government, other players accountable with investigative agricultural reporting

Journalists in the agriculture sector should do all they can to hold regulators, policy executives and private-sector players accountable for transparency, efficiency and development of the sector. So advised Ini Ekot while speaking to agricultural reporters and editors on “Investigating the Agricultural Sector” at a three-day intensive training in Abuja, Nigeria.  The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism organized this program.

Participants also learned of existing constitutional empowerment for journalists to hold leaders accountable in African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia.

 

You can read this 2019 article in Guardian Nigeria here.


News deserts and ghost newspapers: Will local news survive?

“This report is the fourth on the state of local news produced by the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It measures what has been lost, while also assessing what must be done if we are to nurture and revive a vibrant news landscape in the third decade of the 21st century.” Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics, authored the 121-page research report (2020).

 

You can read the report here.


Simplistic journalism and rural America as a scapegoat

“There are ways for the industry to support better and more incisive reporting on rural communities.”  So reported Sarah Jones, a staff writer for New York Magazine, in a 2019 article we have added from Dissent Magazine. Decrying fabricated, stereotyped reporting about rural people and matters, she suggested that journalists “take steps to ensure that rural communities are empowered to tell their own stories.”

 

You can read the article by open access here.


Potentials and limitations of citizen journalism initiatives

Researchers Kalyani Chadha and Linda Steiner explored this timely topic through a case study involving rural and tribal communities in central India. The citizen journalism enterprise, CGNet Swara, was initiated to act as a bridge between those communities and professional news outlets. Findings revealed “failure to ‘bridge’ the citizen-professional divide and to position the experiment in terms of the larger public sphere” as a force for democracy.

 

You can read the article in Journalism Studies by open access from the publisher 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.

November 17-19, 2021

“Harvesting News for Rural America,” Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://nafb.com

February 13-14, 2022

National Agricultural Communications Symposium in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Information: https://www.saasinc.org

June 12-14, 2022

Annual Conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://aceweb.org


Pondering the future of agricultural journalism

We close this issue of ACDC News with an observation we enjoyed and appreciated from Betsy Freese when she was executive editor at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines, Iowa:

 

“I would like to see a robot try to do what I do.”


Offering information and best regards

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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-10

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When Lightning Ridge lost its newspaper

Local residents of that rural Australian town lamented their loss of The Ridge News and experienced a fragmenting, less-vibrant public sphere, according to a recent article in the Australian Journalism Review.

Researchers Marco Magasic and Kristy Hess used a two-month focused ethnographic study to explore people’s media-related practices following the closure of the town’s only newspaper in 2015. While social media are considered to have partly filled a news void, the loss led to growing complacency among individuals about political affairs, especially in local government.

 

You can read the abstract and learn how to buy the article via IngentaConnect.com here. Or confer with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu


“How should journalists cover climate change?”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert asked that question in a Nieman Reports article we added to the ACDC collection recently. Her take on answering the question:

“It’s a very hard issue to cover because it is everything. It’s every aspect of how we live. Its causes are ubiquitous, and its effects are ubiquitous. There are no great stories. Climate change has never really been a good story and won’t ever, on some level, be a good story. I applaud everyone covering climate now if for nothing else, trying to make people think about how we are going to cover this issue.”

 

You can read this article here.


Role of NGOs in building connections and belonging among refugees in Colorado meatpacking industries

 “Unsettled belonging in complex geopolitics” is the title of a 2021 article we have added from the Sustainability journal. A seven-person research team from three universities used data analysis and interviews to examine how “multi-scalar geopolitical processes shape processes of refugee resettlement and refugee labor in Colorado meatpacking industries.  They found that non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, “many of whom identify as foreign-born and/or refugees, work to build connection and belonging among refugees in challenging resettlement environments.”

 

You can read the article by open access here.


What “sustainability” means to U.S. fruit and vegetable growers

Growers of produce in the U.S. most often think of three things when they consider sustainability:

  • Essential long-term viability (61%)
  • Natural resource stewardship (58%)
  • Being able to pass the farm on to another generation (58%)

That finding came from a recent Sustainable Insights survey by The Packer periodical.  Editor Tom Karst observed that the three considerations can be summarized with one theme – “keeping the farm for the long run,”

 

You can read this brief research summary here.


Impact of government promotion of agricultural exports in Nigeria

Findings reported in the first 2021 issue of the African Journal of Economic Review revealed a significant positive short- and long-run impact of government-sponsored promotion of agricultural exports in Nigeria.  Findings by researchers also highlighted the need to be selective in the choice of export promotion strategies.

 

You can read this article 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.

October 15, 2021

Deadline for submitting professional development papers and sessions at the 2022 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (above). Information from Annie Specht at specht.21@osu.edu

October 22, 2021

Deadline for submitting posters at the 2022 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (above). Information from Shuyang Qu via squ@iastate.edu

October 26-28, 2021

Annual Conference of the Agricultural Relations Council in Richmond, Virginia.

Information: https://agrelationscouncil.org/agricultural-relations-council-annual-meeting

November 17-19, 2021

“Harvesting News for Rural America,” Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://nafb.com


Another twist on life

We close this issue of ACDC News with thanks to veteran agricultural writer Fred Myers. Responding to an insight we cited from Will Rogers in the August issue, he shared with us another “good twist on life.” It also came years ago – from steamy entertainer Mae West:

 

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”


Offering information and best regards

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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-09

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Create theater in the produce department

That’s the advice of Brian Dey, senior merchandiser and natural stores coordinator for wholesaler Four Seasons Produce based in Pennsylvania.

“Create theater, create opportunity, and create sales!” he urged in a 2020 issue of The Packer.  He shared two examples of theatrical flair in the produce department. One involved “a big display of fabulous fungi” to celebrate National Mushroom Month. The other was a SugarBee apple extravaganza featuring a SugarBee mascot that greeted and interacted with customers.

“…customers walk away from a great promotion with new insight, product knowledge and a desire to come back for more fun and events at your stores. Another significant benefit is that events like this help strengthen relationships with your wholesalers and their vendor partners.”

 

You can read the article here.


Advice for delivering effective science communication

It comes from Sam Illingsworth, a professional science communicator in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. His 2017 review in the journal, Seminars in Cell and Development Biology, presented practical advice for developing, delivering, and evaluating effective science communication initiatives.

It involved “event logistics, suggestions on how to successfully market and advertise your science communication initiatives, and recommendations for establishing effective branding and legacy.”

 

You can read the article here.


Helping indigenous communities bridge the lingering digital divide

Native American country has largely been ignored when it comes to internet infrastructure, Jessica Douglas reported in the April issue of High Country News. By the end of 2018, only about one-half of tribal lands in the lower 48 states had high-speed Internet access, according to the Federal Communications Commission. However, increased government attention is helping tribes gain opportunity for solutions. A recent report from the national Institute for Local Self-Reliance includes two key features, which Douglas described in her article:

  • A case study of four indigenous nations as they constructed their own internet service providers
  • A comprehensive list and map of all the tribally owned broadband projects in Indian Country

 

You can read “Bridging the digital divide” on pages 7-8 by open access here.


The press and agricultural news: Looking back nearly 80 years

We recently added to the ACDC collection a 1942 article entitled, “The press and agricultural news.” It was published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science with William A Sumner, professor of agricultural journalism at the University of Wisconsin, as author.

“There is no question that news of agriculture does now concern everybody,” he noted in introducing the subject. “…Even the most casual survey of newspapers, periodicals, or radio programs reveals a surprising volume of agricultural news.”  Sections of his brief historical review feature:

  • Early agricultural news
  • Government interest in agricultural news
  • The first news releases
  • Influence of Extension workers
  • The volume of agricultural news
  • Change in subject matter
  • A.A.A. (Agricultural Adjustment Act) and the news
  • Tomorrow’s agricultural news

 

You can read the article by open access here.


Consumer attitudes, trends, and habits involving food safety

The International Food Information Council provides a 2020 snapshot of perspectives about food safety in a probability sample of 1,000 U.S. adults.

 

You can review a concise 24-page visual summary of findings 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 29-30, 2021

Professional development virtual workshop of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA). Information: https://communicators.coop/professional-development/workshops

October 4-6, 2021

“Something’s Brewing,” Fall Conference, National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in St. Louis, Missouri.  Information: https://www.nama.org/fall-conference.html

October 8-11, 2021

ScienceWriters2021 of the National Association of Science Writers will take place as a hybrid event with an in-person gathering in Boulder, Colorado, and virtual experiences in the weeks surrounding it.

Information: https://www.nasw.org/events/upcoming

October 8, 2021

Deadline for submitting papers to be presented February 13-14, 2022, at the National Agricultural Communications Symposium in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists in New Orleans, Louisiana. Information from Ashley McCloud-Morin via ashleynmccleod@ufl.edu

October 15, 2021

Deadline for submitting professional development papers and sessions at the 2022 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (above). Information from Annie Specht at specht.21@osu.edu

October 22, 2021

Deadline for submitting posters at the 2022 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (above). Information from Shuyang Qu via squ@iastate.edu

October 26-28, 2021

Annual Conference of the Agricultural Relations Council in Richmond, Virginia.

Information: https://agrelationscouncil.org/agricultural-relations-council-annual-meeting

November 17-19, 2021

“Harvesting News for Rural America,” Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://nafb.com


No smile?

We close this issue of ACDC News with an enduring insight from Will Rogers:

 

“If you see someone without a smile – give him one of yours.”


Offering information and best regards

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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-08

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Meeting in the grove, virtually

Index Fresh, Inc., a worldwide marketer of avocados, has found that using an avocado grove as a setting for a virtual meeting breaks the ice during the time of COVID-19. It “has a completely different vibe than in a conference room,” according to a news article in The Packer.

“We can talk about new business opportunities, market trends or just simply how they’re doing because our customers are not just clients, they’re friends.”  This “meeting in the grove” concept involves videos and photos from the company’s field department, provided in a relaxed environment.

 

You can read the article here.


News media sparing audiences the truth

We recently added to the ACDC collection a 2016 Journalism Studies article about the role of news media in constructing perceptions of nonhumans used for food, and their treatment. Researchers Natalie Khazaal and Nuria Almiron compared 60 articles from the New York Times (United States) and El Pais (Spain) during a two-year period using a critical discourse analysis. Results showed that “while both newspapers play a major role in concealing the nonhumans’ cruel reality, a distinction can be drawn between the crude speciesism of El Pais and the camouflaged, more deceptive style of the New York Times.”

 

You can read the article here.


Tribal nations against “one way” communicating

A recent article in High Country News describes efforts by 11 native Alaska tribes to be involved in the conservation and management of their ancestral lands.  They submitted a July 2020 petition to the U. S. Department of Agriculture to create a “Traditional Homelands Conservation Rule.” It represents a new strategy in tribal nations’ ongoing efforts to hold the federal government to its legal responsibility to consult with them on projects that impact them.

“…these battles are not going away,” said one participant. “It is one of the divides, and there has to be bridges. … This will never change unless people are willing to talk to one another.”

 

You can read the article in the October 2020 issue here.


Sending useful agricultural safety signals

A new poster featuring hand signals for use around agricultural equipment has been added to this ACDC collection. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers developed it, with 11 signals to communicate and promote farm safety.

 

You can read it here.


They devised a game to teach environmental decision-making

 We recently added to the ACDC collection a teaching game that can introduce the relationship between industry and the environment.  It appeared in a 1995 issue of the journal, Teaching Geography. Authors Clare Brooks and Graham James of the United Kingdom described “The Green Factory Game,” which they had found successful throughout secondary school, and beyond.

Each player in the game manages a factory producing soap powder at a site located outside a large town near a main river. The winner is judged to have succeeded in creating the most environmentally-friendly company.

 

You can read the four-page description and retrieve the game pieces here.


 Welcome, Rachel Riffe, to the ACDC

We are delighted to welcome Rachel Riffe as the newest graduate assistant in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. She is a candidate for a graduate degree in information sciences from the ISchool here at the University of Illinois.

Rachel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, where she gained experience in repair and cataloging at Hutchins Library. She has worked in billing and account setup for Aramark Financial Services.

 


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 16-18, 2021

“Back in the Saddle,” Equine Media Conference of American Horse Publications Association in Irving, Texas. Information:

https://americanhorsepubs.org/2021-ahp-back-in-the-saddle-conference/

September 23-25, 2021

“Risky business.” National conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation in Windsor, Ontario. Information: https://cfwf.ca/

October 4-6, 2021

“Something’s Brewing,” Fall Conference, National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in St. Louis, Missouri.  Information: https://www.nama.org/fall-conference.html

October 8-11, 2021

ScienceWriters2021 of the National Association of Science Writers will take place as a hybrid event with an in-person gathering in Boulder, Colorado, and virtual experiences in the weeks surrounding it. Information: https://www.nasw.org/events/upcoming

October 26-28, 2021

Annual Conference of the Agricultural Relations Council in Richmond, Virginia. Information: https://agrelationscouncil.org/agricultural-relations-council-annual-meeting/

November 17-19, 2021

“Harvesting News for Rural America,” Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information: https://nafb.com

 


With whom one should speak

We close this issue of ACDC News with a Danish proverb that offers advice about communicating. Julie Jensen McDonald included it in her published collection, Scandinavian Proverbs:

One should speak

little with others and

much with oneself.


Offering information and best regards

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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

 

 

ACDC News – Issue 21-07

Click here for a printer friendly PDF of this newsletter.


A self-sustaining agri extension service: success in Rwanda

Implementation of a self-sustaining agricultural extension system in Rwanda has had “strong impact on agricultural development through motivation and increasing trainings of farmer promoters.” That was the conclusion of research reported in the Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development. A research team used project reports, interviews, and focus groups to assess the effectiveness of Farmer Field Schools and Farmer Promoters as Rwanda implemented a self-sustaining extension system. This decentralized, pluralistic approach involved many actors from the public and private sector playing different roles through agriculture committees at community, sector, district, province, and national levels.

 

You can read the article by open access here.


Organic sizzling during COVID-19

Sales of organic produce in the U.S. last year accounted for nearly $8 billion, “a whopping 15% increase over 2019.”  That report came recently from Tom Karst, editor of The Packer trade periodical. It was based on data gathered for the 2021 Organic Produce Market Guide.

“…one of the most striking observations about the pandemic year was the surprisingly strong performance of organic produce. … Organic produce sales benefited from more people staying home to cook and taking an interest in their health and the world around them.”

 

You can read details in the full edition here.


 Proclamation honors Orion Samuelson

We have added to the ACDC collection a December 2020 proclamation from the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Agriculture to retiring farm broadcaster Orion Samuelson. The proclamation honors and celebrates his journalistic integrity, persistence, and support of American farmers during a remarkable career of nearly 70 years, including 60 years of agricultural broadcasting at WGN, Chicago, Illinois.

 

You can read the full proclamation here.


 “Sunshine” law needed for food, environmental, other sciences?

Recently we added to the ACDC collection a commentary about that question. Journalist Paul Thacker proposed a “sunshine law that would expose all sorts of conflicts of interest and industry manipulation that skew research on food, synthetic chemicals, pesticides, genetic technology, and the climate.” Working in the U.S. Senate a decade ago, he had helped draft and pass the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. “The law requires companies to report monies and gifts they give physicians, which are known to influence what doctors prescribe or promote. Thanks to the Sunshine Act, you can look up doctors on a public database to see who is paying them and how much. Several other countries have passed or are considering similar laws.”

 

You can read this three-page piece from “Radio Free” here.


“Consumer perspectives on vitamins, minerals and food and beverage fortification”

That title introduces a new 29-page research report we have added to ACDC from the International Food Information Council.  Findings were based on interviews with 1,023 U.S. adults during early March. Among the findings:

  • Foods (56%) and dietary supplements (49%) were the most commonly sought-out sources of vitamins and minerals.
  • Of those who seek out specific vitamins and/or minerals, the Nutrition Facts label (46%) and front-of-package label (41%) were top sources of information.
  • General health/wellness and immune health were top reasons respondents said they sought out specific vitamins and/or minerals.
  • Most people have heard the term “fortification,” but only one in four reported knowing at least a fair amount about it.

 

You can read the full report 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.

July 20-22, 2021

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

Information: https://nama.org/agri-marketing-conference.html

September 23-25

“Risky business.” National conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation in Windsor, Ontario.

DocNews21-07Information: https://cfwf.ca/

October 4-6, 2021

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

Information: https://www.nama.org/fall-conference.html

November 17-19, 2021

“A Trusted Friend to Agriculture.” Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://nafb.com


Best way to give advice

We close this issue of ACDC News with special thanks to ACDC Associate Paul Hixson. He recently shared an interesting list of folk wisdom and humor. It features 28 pieces of “Old Farmer’s Advice.”

Here’s a challenging thought for July about communicating effectively:

 

“Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.”


Offering information, 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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-06

Click here for a printer friendly PDF of this newsletter.


“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).

Information: https://aceweb.org/conference

July 20-22, 2021

“Breaking New Ground.” 2021 Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Information: https://nama.org/agri-marketing-conference.html

October 4-6, 2021

Fall Conference, National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in St. Louis, Missouri.  Information: https://www.nama.org/fall-conference.html


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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-05

Click here for a Printer Friendly PDF of this newsletter.


“A bitter toast at Press Freedom Day”

We are adding to the ACDC Collection a statement of concern from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists during International Press Freedom Day on May 3. It comes from the IFAJ Press Freedom Committee.

“…there is a risk that the toast we raise this year is a bitter one, and there are several reasons to believe that the situation is not better for agricultural journalists than for journalists in other sectors.” Committee members noted:
• The global situation for democracy has been declining during the past 15 years, according to the 2021 “Freedom in the World” report from Freedom House.
• Public distrust of journalists nowadays does not make our jobs easier.
• Can we report independently about food supply?
• “…journalists in free countries protected by national and international rules have to support and encourage colleagues working under pressure…in countries without freedom to express themselves independently.”

 

You can read the full statement here.


The press needs educational extension as much as educational extension needs the press

A.E. Winship offered that perspective in 1916 at a meeting of the National Education Association. Lectures, bulletins, circulars, letters of appeal have their place, he acknowledged, “but they in no wise take the place in educational extension work that is done by a subscribed-for, paid-for publication.” An example reported how an audience member at an Illinois convention shared a U.S. Department of Agriculture representative’s talk with a New York paper. It resulted in more than 12,000 letters asking for about 100,000 various USDA bulletins.

 

You can read this brief Journal of Education article here.


Moving beyond risk communication in the food complex

More innovative and creative communication strategies are needed to engage with consumers, according to researchers in a recent issue of Science of Food. Conventional risk communication will not succeed on its own, said researchers Patrick Wall and Junshi Chen. They urged moving to a broader platform of food information communication and consumer engagement.

“The competencies of social scientists are needed to assist in gaining insights into consumer perceptions of risk, and in understanding consumer behaviour and the determinants of trust.”

 

You can read the article here.


Embrace mistakes as learning opportunities

Agricultural educator Anna Warner offered that advice in a 2019 Agricultural Education article we have added to the ACDC collection. The approach builds on embracing mistakes and involves cultivating scientific literacy through seven strategies:
• Foundational literacy using math, reading and visual literacy
• Knowledge of scientific terms, concepts and facts about a topic
• Understanding how scientists do science
• Identifying and judging appropriate scientific expertise
• Knowing how scientific practices support scientific claims
• Cultural understanding of science; impact of science in society
• Dispositions and habits of mind about science

 

You can gain access to the article here which begins on page Eighteen. Or confer with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu


Awareness of climate change and risks among smallholder farmers in areas of rain-fed agriculture

Research among smallholder farmers in Zambia revealed that 77% were aware of climate change and the risks it poses to agriculture, according to a 2020 article in Agronomy.
• However, awareness levels varied considerably, by district (from 54% to 91%)
• Need exists for more vigorous efforts to promote awareness and provide information about ways in which producers can adapt in their settings
• Findings identified radio and agricultural extension as especially positive and meaningful sources of climate information for them

 

You can read “Are they aware, and why?” by open access.


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.

May 20-22, 2021
“Back in the Saddle” American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference for members, in Irving, Texas. AHP is celebrating 50 years.
Information: https://www.americanhorsepubs.org/ahp-annual-conference/

June 6-9, 2021
“Connect. Create. Achieve” 2021 Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Information at: https://communicators.coop/professional-development/cca-institute

July 20-22, 2021
“Breaking New Ground.” 2021 Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://nama.org/agri-marketing-conference.html

June 21-23, 2021
“Elevating Voices.” Virtual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). Information: https://aceweb.org/conference


A bumper crop of food writing honors

We close this issue of ACDC News with a third winner in the 2020 Bullwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. As mentioned earlier, Bullwer-Lytton is a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored it since 1982. The winning entry in the Purple Prose category caught our attention because it featured communicating about food. Congratulations to author Candy Mosely of Hydro, Oklahoma:

“The biker gang roared into the parking lot of the bar and grill like a troop of howler monkeys trying to lure mates, the gravel beneath the tires of their well-oiled bikes crunching like the dill pickle spears the place served alongside their famous tuna salad, BLT, and Reuben sandwiches.”


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 acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-04

Click here for a Printer Friendly PDF of this newsletter.


“What Hollywood can teach researchers about scientific storytelling”

Screenwriting classes and a TV production internship have boosted the science communication skills of Josh Ettinger, author of this 2020 career column in Nature.  As a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, UK, he suggested that scientists should learn from screenwriters, who are experts in creating narratives.

 

You can read the advice he offered from his screenwriting experience here.


When academic reports become media narratives: bridging the language gap

A viewpoint article we have added from the journal Food Policy called attention to that gap. It appeared through an examination of ethics in the practice of agricultural and applied economics. University-based agricultural and resource economists Anna Josephson and Jeffrey Michler discussed ethical issues that arise during the collection, management, and analysis of data. They also addressed ethical issues that agricultural and applied economists face as they formulate, fund, and disseminate their research.

“Bridging the ‘language gap’ between researchers and journalists is key to reducing distortions introduced when academic stories become media narratives,” the authors emphasized. They suggested “working to educate both sides of the discourse” as a way to help ensure less information is lost in translation.

 

You can read the article by open access here.


Environmental journalists speak out about racial equality in news organizations

 “The Society of Environmental Journalists stands with journalists of color who are shedding light on systemic racism, inequities, and discrimination inside and outside of the newsroom.”  This statement introduced a declaration which SEJ adopted recently.

 

You can read the two-page document here.


Strong potentials for academic libraries in partnering with communities

Libraries at colleges and universities are uniquely well suited to become a productive force for researcher-community partnerships, according to a 2021 research report we have added to the ACDC collection. In findings reported in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, a team of researchers concluded that academic libraries can:

  • Offer expertise in teaching research inquiry skills
  • Facilitate collaborative work throughout the research process
  • Provide space and other material resources for research
  • Curate the “too-often-hidden intellectual resource of research support staff”

 

You can read this journal article by open access here.


How not to write about African cuisines: a guide for American food journalism

We have added to the ACDC collection a research essay with suggestions for broadening the American culinary canon.  Writing in Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, Naa Baako Ako-Adjei observed that despite some broadening of the American palate, Americans have shown little interest in the cuisines of Sub-Saharan Africa.  Noted reason: “…limited and often stereotyped representations of African cuisines by food journalists and restaurant reviewers in newspapers and gourmet food magazines.”

 

“…it is important that food journalists not reinforce stereotypes about African cuisines, such as that they are undifferentiated from one another or that they are interchangeable with Southern cuisine (or Brazilian or Caribbean cuisines). Also, discussions about war and famine in restaurant reviews should no longer be axiomatic.”

 

You can read the essay by open access 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.

May 20-22, 2021

“Back in the Saddle” American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference for members, in Irving, Texas. AHP is celebrating 50 years.

Information: https://www.americanhorsepubs.org/ahp-annual-conference/

June 6-9, 2021

“Connect. Create. Achieve” 2021 Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Information at: https://communicators.coop/professional-development/cca-institute

July 20-22, 2021

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

Information: https://nama.org/agri-marketing-conference.html

June 21-23, 2021

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

Information: https://aceweb.org/conference


Swedish writer wins Science Fiction Award

We close this issue of ACDC News with a second winner in the 2020 Bullwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. As mentioned last month, it is a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored it since 1982.  This winning entry in the Science Fiction category caught our attention because it featured communicating about food. It came from David Hynes of Bromma, Sweden:

 

“You folks from outa town?” inquired waitress Ginny, shifting her wad of gum, notepad at the ready to take orders, while the slime-green, scale-covered, three-eyed members of the Dzznks family, who had traveled many a parsec from their rock planet home in the Large Magellanic Cloud, rubbering their eyes over the menu in Buck’s Diner, wondered if ‘grits” tasted just as good as they sounded.”


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 acdc@library.illinois.edu