Earn Your Spurs at the 2018 CCA Institute

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Its time to register for the 2018 Cooperative Communicators Institute in Fort Worth, Texas. The conference is coming up June 2-5, with presentations on photography, infographics, computer security and more.

The “Earn Your Spurs” conference will also recognize the 2018 Graznak and Klinefelter award honorees at the annual awards luncheon. Other available activities include a night out at Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky tonk.

The early bird registration deadline is May 9. Rooms are available at the historic Hilton Forth Worth for a group rate. For more information or to register, visit https://www.communicators.coop/2018Institute/.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Communications, Events

Zimfo Bytes 4/20

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Victory Enterprises (VE) has announced the creation of an Agriculture Advocacy division designed to help agriculture clients navigate the public policy arena. The division will be led by Matt Alsager, a fixture of agriculture advocacy in Missouri and, Whitney Woolf, a seasoned political pro from Oklahoma.
  • Syngenta has announced the acquisition of Abbott & Cobb, a U.S.-owned independent breeder, producer, and marketer of vegetable seeds.
  • Kelly Products, a holding corporation comprised of 12 agribusiness-focused companies located throughout Georgia, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
  • Every scoop counts at Culver’s on Scoops of Thanks Day happening Thursday, May 3. Guests can get $1 single scoops of Fresh Frozen Custard, and all proceeds will go to FFA and other local agricultural organizations that strengthen American agriculture and the industry’s future leaders. Scoops of Thanks Day is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers® Project.
  • U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., have announced the Committee will hold a hearing titled, “The State of Rural America.” United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will participate in the hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, April 24.
  • The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Liz Friedlander to the organization’s Washington, D.C. office as Director of Policy Communications. Friedlander will develop and implement communications plans and tactics related to NCGA’s work on behalf of farmers in Washington.
  • The presidents of the nation’s two largest general farm organizations visited the “Prescribed to Death” opioid memorial in Washington, D.C., in a show of unity to address the national opioid epidemic that is disproportionately affecting farming communities. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall and National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson joined Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The three toured the exhibit, which memorializes the 22,000 people who died from a prescription opioid overdose in 2015.
  • Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Organization are supporting the next generation of agricultural leaders through the third annual Grants for Growing program. This year, Tractor Supply stores nationwide raised a record $830,000 through customer donations to fund sustainable, youth-driven agriculture projects made possible by the initiative.
  • The Fertilizer Institute and the Agricultural Retailers Association support ResponsibleAg as a means of demonstrating the fertilizer industry’s commitment to the safe storage, handling, and transportation of plant nutrients. To date, 2,343 agribusiness retailers have enrolled in ResponsibleAg; 1,030 of those facilities have achieved certification.
  • Rhea + Kaiser has announced the promotion of Erin Skly to Group Account Director, Account Management + Planning. Skly will lead the agency’s Bayer account with primary responsibilities for client relations, strategy and integrated planning, while taking a bigger role in agency management.
Zimfo Bytes

ZimmCast With New #GoldenMic Club Members

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

During the Agri-Marketing Conference the ZimmComm Team welcomed new people to the #GoldenMic Club. In our Connection Point booth we were set up to record interviews with attendees and I’m featuring a few of them in this week’s program and in weeks to come.

This week you’ll hear Jamie Johansen interview:


I highly encourage other companies to consider a booth in the Connection Point next year. I think we’ve been participating for at least 14 years now and the investment has always paid dividends for ZimmComm New Media. I also want to encourage you to support the NAMA Foundation, formerly known as the Agri-Business Educational Foundation>

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 580 - New #GoldenMic Club Members

I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.

The ZimmCast

sponsored by
The ZimmCast podcast is sponsored by GROWMARK
Locally owned, globally strong.
Audio, Marketing, NAMA, ZimmCast

House Ag Committee Advances Agriculture and Nutrition Act

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The House Agriculture Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to pass the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2) out of committee, a new farm bill designed by Republicans to “address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients.” All 20 Democrats on the historically-bipartisan committee voted against the legislation over their objection to requiring work-capable adults to either find employment or receive free training for 20 hours per week.

“I’m disappointed that my Democrat colleagues have turned their backs on America’s heartland – that they’ve chosen partisan politics over the three years of bipartisan work in this committee,” said Chairman Mike Conaway. “I am hopeful Democrats will not hold the nation’s farmers and ranchers hostage in this process over the SNAP work and training requirements, which will provide SNAP beneficiaries not just a benefit, but a better future that only a job can provide.”

Conaway held a press call this morning to discuss the legislation with Committee Vice Chair Glenn Thompson (R-PA).

Listen to this morning’s conference call here: House Ag Committee Conference Call

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Farm Bill, Government

Midwest Seed Genetics Expansion and Growth Continues

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Midwest Seed Genetics continues its growth with four senior managers joining the team.

“The addition of these highly skilled individuals underscores our resolve in building a new, high quality, high performance hybrid corn and soybean company. Midwest Seed Genetics plan is to match exemplary products and people together to provide America’s row crop farmers with new choices.” said Don Funk, Midwest Seed Genetics Owner.

Todd Claussen is Midwest’s new Director of Sales Agronomy/Product Positioning Lead. Todd was formerly the Director of Agronomy & Technical Services for Landus Cooperatives of Iowa. He has also held management positions with Monsanto Company and JC Robinson Seed Company.

Chandra Edwards, Senior Operations Manager, was formerly with Wilbur-Ellis where she held Brand Manager Integra and Operations Manager. Chandra previously worked for E-Markets.

Wayne Hoener, Soybean Product Manager, was most recently VP Sales for Schillinger Genetics, Inc. He also held management positions with Asgrow Seed Company and Channel Bio Corporation.

Rodd Whitney, Senior Recruiting Manager, was formerly Founding Principal for One Purpose People Agricultural Recruiting. Prior to that, Whitney held senior positions at Monsanto Company and Channel Bio Corporation.

“We continue to grow at a fast pace and are shaping our company around entrepreneurs that we can build an outwardly focused, forward thinking company that is correct for today’s marketplace” said Erik Nelson, General Manager for Midwest Seed Genetics.

Listen to an interview with Wayne Hoener from last August talking about the overwhelming reception the introduction of Midwest Seed Genetics received. Interview with Wayne Hoener, Midwest Seed Genetics

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Seed

Launch of E-Connectivity Listening Sessions

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

This morning U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue provided opening remarks to a coalition of stakeholders to launch a series of regional listening sessions targeting the expansion of broadband access in rural America. You can watch the recording here or listen below. USDA has had programs for years to assist with local and regional broadband efforts but there is still a long way to go. Hopefully these sessions will encourage new infrastructure development so farmers as well as anyone living in rural areas will have the opportunities that good broadband offers.

Audio of Secretary Perdue's Remarks
Participants included:

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai
Rural Utilities Service Administrator Ken Johnson
Tennessee Telecommunications Association Executive Director Levon Knowles
North Arkansas Electric Cooperative Executive Director Mel Coleman
Other presenters will include:
Constance Cullman, President and CEO, Farm Foundation
Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association
Jim Matheson, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
Thomas Halverson, President and CEO, CoBank
Sheldon Petersen, CEO, National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)
Jannine Miller, USDA Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Infrastructure
Joe Swedberg, Chairman of the Board, Farm Foundation

The launch and subsequent listening session are being organized by Farm Foundation, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, CoBank, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC).

The next listening session will be in June 2018 in Minnesota, with additional sessions to be completed over the next six months.

Audio, Infrastructure, Internet, USDA

China Imposes Import Fee on U.S. Sorghum

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

China’s Ministry of Commerce has imposed a “temporary antidumping measure” on U.S. sorghum imports, requiring a deposit of almost 179 percent on the value of sorghum shipments starting today.

National Sorghum Producers president and CEO Tim Lust says they are “deeply disappointed” in the action.

“National Sorghum Producers, alongside our producers, stakeholders and partners, has cooperated fully with China’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, including submitting several thousand pages of data demonstrating conclusively that U.S. sorghum is neither dumped nor causing any injury to China. None of this information appears to have been seriously considered or used in today’s preliminary determination, which is neither fair nor appropriate,” said Lust.

“We continue to greatly value our Chinese customers and what has been a win-win business relationship between U.S. sorghum producers and our Chinese partners. Today’s decision in China reflects a broader trade fight in which U.S. sorghum farmers are the victim, not the cause. And U.S. sorghum farmers should not be paying the price for this larger fight.”

Tony St. James, All Ag News, interviewed Lust about the action: Interview with Tim Lust, National Sorghum Producers

Audio, sorghum, Trade

Precision Ag Bytes 4/18

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • A bipartisan coalition of 28 producers, national and state commodity groups, supply chain companies, and environmental and conservation groups have signed a letter to U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) urging them to support the Agriculture Data Act of 2018 (S. 2487). The coalition applauds Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for introducing the legislation. The bill would strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) management of producer data so that it can be used to study the impacts of farm conservation practices such as cover crops, no-till farming, and more, while protecting the privacy of farmers.
  • Neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides are currently undergoing registration review, an extensive scientific process that the EPA conducts on all registered pesticides every 15 years, to ensure they meet the latest scientific standards. This multistep process typically takes five to eight years to complete.
  • AgJunction, Inc. has announced the opening of the HandsFreeFarm.com online store to bring low-cost, simple-to-use precision agriculture solutions direct to all farmers. To launch the online store, AgJunction introduced RANGER, precision farming made simple with an easy-to-install and use guidance system for under a thousand dollars.
  • Actagro released results showing that in over 40 multiyear corn trials, Proximus increased average yield by 10 to 15 bushels per acre. The research findings make a strong use case for the company’s new nitrogen management solution among growers looking to better manage their nitrogen investments and increase yields.
  • The sixth Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress is coming to Philadelphia on October 1-2, 2018.
    This comprehensive two-day congress, featuring over 50 presentations across three tracks, will provide experts with an exceptional environment in which to explore the application of novel gene-editing technologies, CRISPR and other ‘omics technologies. An extended panel discussion will explore issues arising from gene editing regulation; while nine roundtable discussions, led by experts, will enable a deeper investigation of subjects that include genomic selection, sequencing workflow and adapting to the challenges of climate change. Register here.
  • Verdesian Life Sciences has announced a reformulation of its mission, positioning statement and approach in order to create a more mission-driven organization committed to providing sustainable nutrient use efficiency (NUE) solutions for farmers and growers. Verdesian’s new mission statement reads: At Verdesian Life Sciences, we enable a sustainable future for farmers through nutrient use efficiency.
  • Inocucor Corporation, a developer and producer of biological crop inputs for high-value produce and row crops, announced it has acquired ATP Nutrition, a producer of science-based plant nutrients based in Oak Bluff, Manitoba, Canada. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
  • The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that online dicamba/auxin trainings have been approved for farmers and applicators who wish to use dicamba products. Farmers and applicators can access the online trainings or find details about any upcoming in-person trainings at http://DicambaTrainingIowa.org.
  • Syngenta has received confirmation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Fusilade® DX herbicide has been cleared for tank mixing with both XtendiMax® with VaporGrip®Technology and Engenia® herbicides. Fusilade DX will be available for use on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, providing growers with more options for a strong weed management plan this growing season.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Japan to Allow Use of U.S. Ethanol for Oxygenate

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ethanol market development organizations cheered the news out of Japan today that the government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of the oxygenate ETBE made from U.S. corn-based ethanol.

A release from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Growth Energy says Japan will now allow U.S. ethanol to meet up to 44 percent of a total estimated demand of 217 million gallons of ethanol used to make ETBE, or potentially 95.5 million gallons of U.S.-produced ethanol annually.

The change comes as part of the country’s update of its existing sustainability policy, approved in 2010, in which only sugarcane-based ethanol was eligible for import and which only allowed sugarcane-based ethanol for the production of ETBE, an oxygenate. The new policy calls for an increase in the carbon intensity reduction requirements of ethanol used as a feedstock to make ETBE to meet a 55 percent reduction, up from 50 percent, and recognizes corn-based, U.S.-produced ethanol’s ability to meet that goal, even with the higher greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standard.

The groups say the Japanese government based on its decision on the evaluation and life cycle assessment update of U.S. corn-based ethanol and the U.S. industry’s efforts to maximize production efficiency through technological innovations that lead to higher GHG emission reductions for corn-based ethanol and the emergence of co-products like distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

AgWired Energy, Biofuels, Corn, Ethanol, Growth Energy, International, RFA, USGC

Check Your Facebook Settings

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The first time I received this message I didn’t really pay attention. Then I got it two more times and read it in full and researched it online to make sure this is a real thing. And guess what? It is a real thing.

Essentially my account was one of the bazillion that had data involved in the whole Cambridge Analytica disaster. This message is specifically tied to one or more of my friends who used something called “This is Your Digital Life.” There’s nothing that can be done about it by me. It’s just a message informing me. But it made me take a look at all my settings which I don’t even remember having done recently. I was amazed, especially at apps that have access to my account. I lost count of how many I deleted and many I have never even heard of.

So, I’m posting this here for all you AgNerds and AgVocates out there. It does take a little time but I think it would be well worth it to go through all your settings. There’s a whole section just on ads and what you agree to see or not see. I think you’ll be surprised and ultimately glad you did this.

Social Networking