GROWMARK Foundation to Provide FFA Jackets

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

After the unexpected passing of GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee Mike Builta in April 2019, the GROWMARK Foundation is helping his family to honor his memory by providing FFA jackets to FFA members in Illinois.

“In the weeks and the days after his passing, his wife approached us and asked if the GROWMARK Foundation could become a place to funnel memorial funds through, and also to come up with some ideas of appropriate ways to honor his memory,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer Specialist.

More than $12,000 was collected in Builta’s memory. Part of that money will go towards providing 25 Illinois FFA members with FFA jackets for the next four years, for a total of 100 jackets. Interested students will fill out an online application including two short answer questions about what the FFA jacket means to them, and the main goal they wish to accomplish as an FFA member.

The application is available at and is due September 30.

Builta was raised on a family farm near Bellflower, Illinois. He was an active FFA member and lifelong supporter of agricultural education. He held GROWMARK System management roles at Christian County Farmers Supply Company in Taylorville, Illinois and GRAINCO FS in Ottawa, Illinois, before becoming GROWMARK vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.

Listen to Carrie’s interview with Karen here: Interview with Karen Jones, GROWMARK

Agriculture Education, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, FFA, GROWMARK

John Deere Celebrates 150 Years in Kansas City Area

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

John Deere opened its Kansas City branch office 150 years ago, where it quickly became the largest distribution center and sales hub for the rapidly growing company that was founded in 1837. This week, company employees, retirees, community leaders and guests gathered at the historic John Deere Plow building located in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo., to celebrate the 150-year significant physical and economic milestone in the company’s history.

Once opened, the Kansas City office provided John Deere with a gateway to expanding new markets in the west. “Its proximity to roads, rivers and rail systems helped John Deere grow and keep pace with a rapidly growing country,” said John Lagemann, senior vice president for John Deere. “As our company has continued to grow, Kansas City, and the surrounding area, have played and continue to play a key role.”

Today, the John Deere Ag Marketing Center, in Olathe, Kan., is home to a variety of marketing, accounting and dealer support functions for the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company’s iconic green and yellow equipment is sold at numerous independent dealerships across Missouri and Kansas where John Deere employs more than 1,500 people and another 1,100 of its retirees also live.

Several dignitaries attended the event on Thursday, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas who proclaimed August 22 John Deere Day.

John Deere

Register Now to HUSTLE with NAMA

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The 2019 NAMA Fall Conference is right around the corner already. Join agri-marketing colleagues in St. Louis October 7-9 for HUSTLE and be in the center of it all.

Learn from a great line up of keynote speakers this year. Create a culture of innovation using tips from Steve Lerch’s decade at Google. Hear how Sarah Weise turns research into cohesive experiences and irresistible products. And True Food TV star Nicole Jolly will share secrets to distilling complex ideas into engaging stories. The Fall Conference closes with its annual session; Through the Lens of a Leader, featuring Jacqueline Applegate, President, Global Vegetable Seeds & Environmental Science, Crop Science division of Bayer.

Registration is open now and the early rate ends on September 16 so you better hustle!


Zimfo Bytes 8/23

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Elanco Animal Health Incorporated announced it has entered into an agreement with Bayer AG to acquire its animal health business in a transaction valued at US$7.6 billion.
  • Building on over a century of agricultural education, National Farmers Union announced its ninth Beginning Farmer Institute cohort. Thirteen beginning farmers and ranchers from across the United States will take part in the education program, which promotes the success of the next generation of agricultural professionals by providing mentorship, technical training, and leadership development.
  • As the truck that is “Built to Serve,” Ram’s dedication to help serve and support farm families across the nation continues to grow. Ram kicks off the second annual “Ram Ag Season” with a new spot “Done Right,” which celebrates the selfless commitment to hard work that our nation’s farmers make each and every single day.
  • New Holland will launch The Great New Holland Haytools Giveaway in partnership with Farm Journal at Farm Progress Show. The contest opens on August 27, 2019. This momentous promotion will highlight New Holland’s 125-year anniversary coming up in 2020. With prizes valued at more than $400,000 USD and featuring five cutting-edge haytools, this will be one of the biggest haytools giveaways ever.
  • Save the Date: Commodity Classic returns to San Antonio Feb. 27-29, 2020. Plan today to attend Commodity Classic — America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural & educational experience.
  • More than 400 international experts and organizational leaders convened in Lincoln, Nebraska, April 29-30, to discuss “Water for a Hungry World: Innovation in Water and Food Security,” focusing on the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices that are achieving breakthroughs in this vitally important mission. Learn more by reading the Conference Proceedings or viewing conference sessions on the Water for Food YouTube Channel.
  • The World Food Prize announced that the application process for the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program has opened and Ellen Franzenburg has been named the new director of this prestigious program. Click here to view the online application and requirements.
  • The annual SoyStats report has long been the definitive guide to soybeans by the numbers. But now, those seekers of soy knowledge can find these figures not only in the yearly hard copy booklet and online at and the ASA website, but also in a handy new app. Access your app store and look for “SoyStats” to find the aforementioned information, along with biodiesel reports, export and international movement, historical data, and much more. The app, sponsored by Illinois Soybean Association, is downloadable now for both Apple and Android devices.
  • AgriThority® has completed the reorganization of its leadership team with the addition of Gloverson Moro, Ph.D., as Director of Global Product Development, Luke Samuel, Ph.D., as Manager of Business and Technology, and the promotion of Fred Tennant to Director of Global Business.
  • The Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Peanut Commission and the University of Georgia Extension Cotton and Peanut Teams, will co-sponsor a joint research field day on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Tifton, Georgia.
  • Issues continue to surface at the federal, state and local level of government that require attention by the emerging industrial hemp sector, according to the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Association. One salient issue which is in need of regulatory action is the use of pesticides for hemp, which falls under the purview of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It now appears as though the first incremental steps on this front have taken place with the announcement by EPA that the agency has received 10 pesticide applications to expand their use on hemp.
  • A federal court says the 2015 Waters of the United States rule is unlawful under the Clean Water Act because of its “vast expansion of jurisdiction over waters and land traditionally within the states’ regulatory authority.” The court for the Southern District of Georgia found the agency overstepped not just the CWA, but also the Administrative Procedure Act, which lays out the most basic rules governing how agencies may propose and establish federal regulations. The Georgia court kept in place a preliminary injunction preventing the rule from becoming effective in the 11 states involved with the lawsuit while the Environmental Protection Agency finalizes its own repeal and replacement of the 2015 rule. The ruling was a victory not just for the plaintiff states, but a broad coalition of more than a dozen private sector groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation.
  • Kubota Tractor Corporation announced the completion and grand opening of two, one million square-foot, state-of-the-art logistics facilities for its North American Distribution Center on 200 acres in Edgerton, Kansas. The new campus is Kubota’s largest parts and supply chain campus in the North America and will significantly increase distribution capacity and streamline the company’s logistics processes for the timely delivery of Kubota-branded service parts and equipment throughout North America, Asia and Europe.
Zimfo Bytes

Managing Costs During Tight Margins

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Margins are tight in the ethanol industry, and for a number of reasons from political to regulatory to economic. John Christianson, Principal, Christianson PLLP, told those attending the 2019 American Coalition for Ethanol Conference that successful plants have to be strategic and focused.

“It really comes down to leadership and it comes down to a laser focus,” said Christianson. “The management and boards of directors that are laser focused on the direction of their company and where they need to go. That leadership is something that we’re seeing is separating the top producers from the people that are struggling right now.”

Christianson said he believes that industry has what it takes to survive, in part because of commitment and innovation.

“This industry is transforming and evolving from an ethanol industry to really a biorefinery industry and the multiple innovations and new markets and new products that are coming out of the plants are really going to be the direction that this industry is going to be heading in the future,” he said.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with John here:ACE Conference interview with John Christianson, Christianson PLLP

2019 American Coalition for Ethanol Conference Photo Album

ACE, AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol

FMC and AgNet Media Launch Citrus Scholarships

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

FMC and AgNet Media have teamed up to help the future of the citrus industry by launching a scholarship program for citrus and horticulture degrees.

Launched at Citrus Expo 2019 last week in North Fort Myers, the FMC Citrus Ag Production Scholarships (FMC CAPS) will award five $5,000 scholarships to students interested in pursuing a degree program in citrus and horticultural sciences, two for Florida Southern College students and three at the University of Florida.

“FMC understands how important the next generation is to the citrus industry in Florida,” said Eric Johnson, FMC retail marketing manager. “We hope this scholarship will encourage college students to pursue careers related to citrus.”

Florida’s citrus crop has dwindled to about one-third the size it was 20 years ago, primarily due to losses from citrus greening, which has no cure, but controlling Asian citrus psyllid populations is a key management strategy.

“We believe investing in citrus education programs is one avenue to help revitalize the Florida citrus industry after the devastating impacts from citrus greening disease,” said Ryan Osborn, the southeast region business manager for FMC.

“To grow citrus successfully in Florida takes education, tenacity and resolve, as the industry stands at the threshold of a new beginning,” said Gary Cooper, president and founder of AgNet Media. “The FMC Citrus Ag Production Scholarship will help attract a new crop of committed growers.”

Applications for FMC CAPS are due December 1 and require a video essay submission. Those interested in learning more can go to for details. Winners will be announced at Citrus Expo 2020.

Citrus, Education, FMC, Media

FMC Working on New Herbicide Modes of Action

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

It’s been a long time since the industry has seen a new mode of action in herbicides, so FMC is excited to be working on some they hope to launch in five to ten years.

“We haven’t had a new mode of action in herbicides in 30 years,” said FMC Field Development Representative Scott Swanson at the recent Ag Media Summit expo. “Advancing chemistry to advance agriculture is what we are doing.”

Swanson says they are looking at a compound for hard-to-control grass species in rice, as well as one for corn and soybeans to control Palmer amaranth.

Learn more in this interview from AMS: Interview with Scott Swanson, FMC, on new herbicide MOAs

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Ag Media Summit, AgWired Precision, Audio, FMC, Herbicide, Video

Precision Ag Bytes 8/21

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • EFC Systems, Inc. announced Steve Dietze has joined EFC Systems as Senior Vice President, Business Development effective August 14th.
  • Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS launched the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition that seeks analytical approaches to improve complex crop breeding processes. Data analytics, mathematics and statistics students, as well as professionals worldwide are invited to enter by Jan. 21, 2020. Using real-world crop data, entrants are tasked to develop models that can predict the performance of potential corn products.
  • Aided by a $480,000 cooperative agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) will expand its ecosystem services markets protocol and pilot efforts to four additional regions beyond its first project in the Texas/Oklahoma Southern Great Plains area.
  • Ag Leader announces GPS 7500 receivers will now support TerraStar-X, providing centimeter-level accuracy to customers across the Midwestern United States, with additional coverage areas coming soon. TerraStar-X delivers RTK From the Sky™ performance, and convergence in under one minute with two centimeter accuracy.
  • John Deere recently opened its new Intelligent Solutions Group (ISG) facility in central Iowa. The 134,000 square-foot facility in Urbandale is devoted to problem solving with technology, collaboration, testing and development for John Deere precision products and services.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Ethanol Industry Has What It Takes

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

It was a somber yet determined group of ethanol industry representatives that met last week in Omaha for the American Coalition for Ethanol 32nd annual conference, in the wake of the EPA granting another 1.43 billion gallons of refinery waivers.

ACE CEO Brian Jennings says they had a tough and honest board meeting prior to the start of the conference. “People are generally optimistic, but there’s going to be some pain here for a while,” he said.

Jennings says the board approved a new growth strategy combining octane with low carbon. “Refiners can’t show meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jennings. “The more ethanol you add to a gallon of gasoline, the better you make it in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So we think it’s that double barrelled strategy.”

If the refinery waiver announcements had not been made the Friday before the conference, Jennings says it might have been a very different meeting. “But now we know what we are dealing with,” said Jennings.

The theme of the conference this year was “What it Takes” and Jennings says it takes a lot of “grit and toughness and determination” for ethanol producers to keep going in the face of great challenges “but that really epitomizes who these people are.”

ACE Conference wrap up interview with CEO Brian Jennings

2019 ACE Conference Photo Album

ACE, Audio, Ethanol

Intergro Launches Innovative Line of Bioenhancers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agricultural Solutions, a subsidiary of Intergro, Inc., is launching a new portfolio of products. Registrations are being obtained in the U.S. for patent-pending microbial-based formulations that help improve soil and plant health, as well as stress resistance.

A line of natural fertilizers (NutriBoom, NutriBoom Powder and NutriBoom Plus) scientifically proven to stimulate the soil microbiome, particularly microbes associated with the biological control of plant pathogens and parasitic nematodes, to improve soil health for greater root and plant vitality.

A foliar application that enhances biological fungicide programs by facilitating the establishment and persistence of biocontrol organisms on the surface of plant tissue to boost defense mechanisms against stress and disease.

The active ingredient in the products is chitin, a natural material derived from crustacean meal, which Agricultural Solutions sources from North, Central and South America. Unused crab and/or lobster shells are milled to various levels of fineness, depending on their application. When used within an integrated systems-based approach, chitin-based amendments provide a food source for beneficial microbes, altering the microbial community composition in the soil or on the plant in favor of those associated with improved plant growth and vitality, as well as disease and pest suppression.

Agricultural Solutions products may be applied to a variety of conventional and organic crops, including fruiting vegetables, nuts, stone fruit, hemp, berries, grapes, commodity crops, roots and tubers, pome fruit, citrus, specialty crops and leafy greens. Learn more at

AgWired Precision, biologicals, Biotech, Precision Agriculture, Soil