The Tunnel Walk

Melissa Sandfort Leave a Comment

IMG_20140719_153857_860Today Aunt Jeanette writes:

If you are a Nebraska football fan, or even if you aren’t, you probably have heard of the Nebraska Cornhusker Tunnel Walk. It really is quite an amazing sight – seeing the “sea of red” and everyone pumped for a Husker football game.

Well, Dan and I now have our own personal little tunnel walk. Whichever direction we decide to walk in the mornings – north or south, east or west – we are surrounded by beautiful, tall cornfields on both sides of the road. At first I felt kind of claustrophobic, but as the corn kept getting taller and taller, then began to tassel, I appreciated the coolness those towering, dark green plants provided.

This morning I couldn’t help but think back to last summer when hail storms caused our corn fields to be shredded back to nothing and the remaining brown stalks were about knee high, if that. No tears today, though. I have learned to file those sad memories in a place in my brain where I store those kinds of things. Fortunately, it isn’t a very big file and I don’t access it often.

Instead of pondering the outcome of a Nebraska football game, Dan and I will continue our own little tunnel walks, watch the corn grow and mature, and hope for a bountiful harvest this year.

Until we walk again …

AgWalk Melissa SandfortThe Tunnel Walk

Ag Media Summit Concludes

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Howl 2 GoThe 2014 Ag Media Summit has come and gone. But not here on AgWired. Sara and I will have lots more to post including our interviews from the InfoExpo trade show.

The Chair for the AMS this year is Jennifer Carrico, Associate Editor, Midwest Ag Journal. We sat down during AMS to talk about this year’s program and what is different and new. You can get a really good description of what you missed if you couldn’t make it.

Our program closed with a party that featured Howl 2-Go, or I’d rather call it Howl at the Moon Mobile. Basically, the dueling pianos come to you and they came to our hotel. There was the usual audience interaction. Like this man. Can you identify him? He was called up to help with the lyrics to a song.

You can listen to my interview with Jennifer here: Interview with Jennifer Carrico

There are lots of photos for you to share and enjoy.

Ag Media Summit Photo Album

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AAEA, Ag Media Summit, Audio, LPC Chuck ZimmermanAg Media Summit Concludes

PrecisionAg Legacy Awards

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

infoag-14-shearerThere were two PrecisionAg Institute Legacy award winners recognized this year at the InfoAg 2014 Conference in St. Louis.

Dr. Scott Shearer, Professor and Chair of the Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University, was recognized for his work in spectral and spatial image processing in agriculture and controls and methodologies for metering and distribution of inputs in grain crop production systems. His current research activities include autonomous multi-vehicle field production systems and unmanned aerial systems for remote sensing.

infoag-14-joeThe second recipient was Dr. Joe Tevis, Topcon Precision Agriculture, who holds a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University. He began his career in precision agriculture as a Post Doctoral Research appointment at Texas A&M University studying the spatial distribution and management of agronomic variables in cotton. Tevis joined Topcon Precision Agriculture as Director, Agronomic Products and Services in 2011. He also represents Topcon in two data standards groups, including AgGateway where he serves as chair of the SPADE project.

I had the chance to talk with Joe about where precision ag is today and where he hoped it would be, as well as the AgGateway SPADE project. Interview with Joe Tevis, Topcon

InfoAg 2014 Photo Album

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BASF Helping Fight Corn Leaf Blight

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

blight-headline-ampNorthern corn leaf blight (NCLB) has been reported in numerous fields across the U.S. Corn Belt. If the disease isn’t controlled, it will continue to spread and decrease corn crop yields.

AJ Woodyard, BASF Technical Crop Production Specialist, says conditions have been perfect this summer for NCLB. “It’s actually a disease that enjoys cooler temperatures,” said AJ. “It also likes free, available water, heavy dews, overcast days, and really that’s been the story of our summer.” He says they’ve actually seen infections occurring prior to tasseling, which is very unusual.

basf-ajAJ says BASF is committed to helping corn growers fight back against this troublesome disease. “At this point in the season it’s really critical to get out there, do some scouting, and if you have any infection occurring, even later in the year, manage it with Headline AMP,” said AJ. “It’s got two active ingredients that are excellent on Northern Corn Leaf Blight.”

Learn more in this interview with AJ – Interview with AJ Woodyard, Technical Crop Productions Specialist, BASF

Audio, BASF, Corn, Crop Protection Leah GuffeyBASF Helping Fight Corn Leaf Blight

Meredith Promoted to VP of Communications & Membership

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Emily MeredithThe Animal Agriculture Alliance is pleased to announce the promotion of Emily Meredith to Vice President of Communications and Membership. In this position, Emily will assume a greater management role over the communications and membership outreach strategies for the Alliance, with direct management of the Alliance’s Membership and Marketing Manager, Special Projects Manager and internship program.

Emily joined the Alliance in December 2012 as the Director of Communications and quickly took on the challenge of wearing multiple hats. Given that the primary role of the Animal Agriculture Alliance centers on communications, many of the Alliance’s programs and initiatives require coordination of communications efforts among broader stakeholder groups in order to provide a unified voice for animal agriculture.

“Emily accepted that challenge immediately and has made many valuable contributions advancing the Alliance, as well as the broader animal agriculture community,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance President and CEO. “Emily has demonstrated her leadership skills, the ability to strategically multi-task and provide a passionate and smart voice for animal agriculture over and over in her short tenure with the Alliance.”

Emily has led many coalition efforts, including agriculture’s proactive response to the re-release of the Pew Commission Report. She managed a major overhaul of the Alliance’s website, creating the redesign almost single-handedly. She developed the program and marketing plan for the Alliance’s 2014 Stakeholders Summit “Cracking the Millennial Code,” leading to the Alliance’s best-attended and most successful event to date. Emily has also provided a powerful voice for animal agriculture in national media venues including CNN, NPR and The Daly Show with Jon Stewart. And in addition to the regular blogs she authors for, Pork Network, Progressive Cattleman and Progressive Dairyman, Emily is a sought after speaker by industry and government organizations for their various conferences and events.

Last year, Emily was recognized among the inaugural recipients of Vance Publishing’s prestigious “40 Under 40 Award”, and most recently led the way for the Alliance to receive a Merit Award in the “Tactics Division – Collateral/Literature” by the Agricultural Relations Council.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Emily worked in the communications division of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the office of the New York State Attorney General. She earned her J.D., with a concentration in food and drug law, from Seton Hall University in Newark, New Jersey, and her B.A. in International Affairs, Journalism and Mass Communication from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Animal Agriculture, Company Announcement Jamie JohansenMeredith Promoted to VP of Communications & Membership

InfoAg 2014 on Track in St. Louis

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

_DSC0002For the first time in its 14 year history, the InfoAg Conference is being held at the historic Union Station in St. Louis, instead of in Springfield, Illinois, and they have the largest number of attendees pre-registered and more registering on site. InfoAg continues to be the premier precision agriculture event for producers, consultants, and the crop production industry, featuring four tracks of concurrent sessions plus a workshop track.

Dr. Steve Phillips, Conference Chair and Director for the International Plant Nutrition Institute, welcomed attendees at the opening general session on Tuesday morning. I caught up with Steve during one of the snack breaks this afternoon and he says that after outgrowing their past location the move to the Gateway City still keeps them centrally located in the heart of the corn belt. He also noted that the conference is now an annual event instead of every two years. Interview with Steve Phillips, InfoAg Expo conference chairman

We are getting lots of interviews from the Expo this week that will be featured here on AgWired and also on

InfoAg 2014 Photo Album

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Agribusiness, Audio, Precision Agriculture, Technology Leah GuffeyInfoAg 2014 on Track in St. Louis

Ag Media Summit Community Service Project

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

AMS Riley HospitalFor several years now the Ag Media Summit has conducted a community service project that allows members of the AAEA and LPC to donate items to a good cause. This year that cause is the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.

Members donated books, toy tractors and many other items which were delivered today by AAEA President Holly Spangler, LPC President Christy Lee and AMS Chair Jennifer Carrico. While we were there it was very uplifting to see all the children coming and going with their parents and knowing that hopefully we helped bring a smile to many of them.

Thank you to everyone who donated to make this a successful project and I hope we do it again next year.

Ag Media Summit Photo Album

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Zimfo Bytes

Talia Goes Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Captain Keith Colburn, one of the stars of the hit television series Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel, has become an Ambassador for the nonprofit organization Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP).
  • On Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., The Center for Food Integrity, in cooperation with the Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska, will host the Forum for Sustainable Water Management in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, announces the launch of its redesigned U.S. website,
  • CropLife International has re-launched the online database, biotradestatus, a global resource which provides data on the commercial status and national authorizations of plant biotech traits for cultivation, food and feed use, and importation worldwide.
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New Holland Ag Journalist Italy Trip Contest

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

New Holland Ag Media SummitHey ag journalists. Want to win a trip to Italy courtesy of New Holland? Here’s what you have to do.

Go to the New Holland booth and pick up a cap or tractor and then make a creative selfie and tweet using the hashtag, #Time2Shine. Yep, it’s that easy. I did it with this selfie as I interviewed New Holland’s Rebecca Gunderson about it. I’ll let her explain further. The lucky winner will get a trip to Milan, Italy in 2015 for the World Expo Milano.

You can listen to my interview with Rebecca here: Interview with Rebecca Gunderson

Ag Media Summit Photo Album

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AAEA Update from the President

Chuck Zimmerman 1 Comment

AAEA BoardThe President of the American Agricultural Editors Association is Holly Spangler, Associate Editor, Prairie Farmer. She’s pictured here with the current board of AAEA. They met yesterday and I sat down with her to talk about how AAEA is doing and what was on the agenda.

Holly says that the board talked about the structure of the organization with several ideas being proposed. One that they have decided on is expanding the Executive Committee to include more Past-President involvement. Listen in to learn what’s going on with AAEA.

You can listen to my interview with Holly here: Interview with Holly Spangler

Ag Media Summit Photo Album

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