Mega-Role of Micro-Influencers at AgCatalyst

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Chris BaggottAs marketers we often want to have those big names behind our brand. But what about all the “little” voices out there that are talking about or even being brand advocates for you? Chris Baggott, Husk Farms, says you should not forget them. There are a lot of them.

Chris was one of the AgCatalyst presenters. He says that the idea of targeting the masses has worked well with his businesses with Facebook being a key tool in his strategy. I think you’ll enjoy his ideas.

You can listen to my interview with Chris here: Interview with Chris Baggott

2014 AgCatalyst Photo Album

Coverage of The 2014 AgCatalyst Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of The 2014 AgCatalyst Conference is sponsored by AdFarm
Agribusiness, Audio, Farming, Food Chuck ZimmermanMega-Role of Micro-Influencers at AgCatalyst

Zimfo Bytes

Talia Goes Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Valley University, the training organization of Valley® Irrigation, has received an esteemed Learning in Practice Award from Chief Learning Officer magazine.
  • The free smartphone (android, Iphones & Ipads) and tablet app from veteran farm broadcaster Max Armstrong has a newly added Question of the Week section, all new Tractor Trivia questions, Max’s Twitter feed on the app’s home page, and daily radio updates from Armstrong’s “Farm Progress America” and “Midwest Digest” radio programs.
  • Charlene Finck, Senior Vice President of Editorial and Content Development at Farm Journal Media, was recently named one of FOLIO magazine’s “2014 Top Women in Media.”
  • Kathy Krafka Harkema has been named Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA).
Zimfo Bytes Talia GoesZimfo Bytes

Vote for New USFRA Faces of Farming

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

usfra-voteThe polls are now open to cast your vote for the next Faces of Farming & Ranching! And you don’t even have to leave home to do it.

Starting today through November 2, visit the Faces of Farming & Ranching Voting Facebook page to learn more about each of the finalists and the work they do, including short videos highlighting their farms/ranches. From there, vote for whom you believe best exemplifies agriculture. These votes will be factored into the final decision to determine the next Faces of Farming and Ranching.

The finalists are:
Erin Brenneman, Iowa
Jay Hill, N.M.
Carrie Mess, Wis.
Thomas Titus, Ill.
Darrell Glaser, Texas
Brian Jones, Texas
Jessica Potter, Colo.
Carla Wardin, Mich.

A combination of public votes and USFRA judges’ scores will determine the winners, who will be announced on November 12, 2014, during a press conference at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention (NAFB) in Kansas City.

You can vote early and vote often, but you have to be a member of Facebook to vote and only one vote per day per email address is allowed.

Here’s an example of one of the finalists videos you’ll see:

Agribusiness, Farming, USFRA Cindy ZimmermanVote for New USFRA Faces of Farming

PERC Calculators Estimate Propane Cost Savings

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

perc-propaneThe Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has just released a suite of cost calculator tools for customers in three of the industry’s fastest-growing markets: agriculture, commercial landscape, and on road fleets. The calculators are designed to estimate potential fuel savings and ROI with clean, American-made propane when compared with conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel.

“At PERC, we’ve have worked with a number of companies in the last few years to develop new propane engines for use in irrigation,” said PERC Director of Agriculture Business Development Cinch Munson. Using the new calculator on-line or on a smart phone, a producer can plug in some basic information – such as engine horsepower, propane and diesel engine and fuel costs – and it will determine the costs for over five years for comparison purposes. “So they can see what the return on investment would be by making the choice to go with propane,” Munson said.

The Propane Irrigation Engine Calculator can be operated with Internet access online at or downloaded as a desktop tool for users. Downloadable worksheets can also be printed and filled in by hand. Mobile applications are available for phones and tablets in app stores for Apple and Android devices and results from the applications can be easily shared by email.

Listen to my interview with Cinch here: Interview with Cinch Munson, Propane Education and Research Council

We’ll be learning more about propane irrigation engines, as well as incentive programs to use propane on the farm and new propane farm equipment at the World LP Gas Forum next week in Miami where Cinch and other representatives from PERC will be in attendance.

Audio, Energy, Irrigation, Propane Cindy ZimmermanPERC Calculators Estimate Propane Cost Savings

Using Social Listening for Content Ideation at AgCatalyst

Chuck Zimmerman 1 Comment

Hannah GodfreyIdeation is the forming of ideas or concepts. When it comes to online content creation where do you get the inspiration for your ideation? How about social listening?

That’s a take away from the AgCatalyst session by Hannah Godfrey, Brandwatch. When it’s all about content creation to tell your brand’s story sometimes listening to what your customers are saying is the best place to get ideas. Hannah says, “How can we use this mass of conversations that are happening out there about different foods, drinks, brands and products, how can we leverage them to really find ideas for content generation that help us tell the story of our brands in a more meaningful way online?”

I suggested doing an interview with! But you can also obtain the services of a company like Brandwatch too.

You can listen to my interview with Hannah here: Interview with Hannah Godfrey

2014 AgCatalyst Photo Album

Coverage of The 2014 AgCatalyst Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of The 2014 AgCatalyst Conference is sponsored by AdFarm
AdFarm, Agency, Audio, Social Media Chuck ZimmermanUsing Social Listening for Content Ideation at AgCatalyst

Calcium Products Opens World Headquarters in Iowa

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

cpCalcium Products recently celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters located at the Iowa State University Research Park, including a new research and development laboratory and customer support center. Calcium Products produces of precision soil amendments that improve soil quality to maximize nutrient uptake and strengthen yields.

“Our new headquarters and R&D lab is located in the heart of the Midwest and right next door to Iowa State University, a worldwide leader in agriculture practices and soil sciences,” says company CEO Mike Hogan. “Managing soil quality is now a critical component of profitable farming as growers optimize their nutrients to maximize yields and return on their investment. Our new facilities will help us accelerate the development of more precision soil amendments that enable crops to absorb more nutrients and produce greater yields while protecting the environment at the same time.”

Hogan also announced the expansion of Calcium Product’s sales force to support increased demand for its products in the US and Canada.

Agribusiness, Precision Agriculture, Soil Cindy ZimmermanCalcium Products Opens World Headquarters in Iowa

Wrapping up the 2014 CTIC Tour

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

2014 CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Photo Album

The CTIC Conservation in Action tour of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) was the most interesting of the tours I have attended so far. I grew up just east of the Everglades in Broward County and did agricultural reporting in Florida for ten years, but I never really had the chance to see and learn about farming in the Everglades.

ctic-14-wedgeworthOne of the people who helped make the tour so great is Dennis Wedgworth, a farmer and fertilizer dealer in Glades County, who was a member of the planning committee. He’s pictured here on the right, next to Barb Miedema of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. Presenting them with a token of appreciation for their help is CTIC executive director Karen Scanlon and board member Ben Pratt with Mosaic.

Wedgworth thinks the tour turned out better than he expected. “I think it’s a great benefit for growers all over the country to see other agriculture in other parts of the country and share ideas,” he said.

Wedgworth is a third generation farmer who produces sugarcane, rice and cattle in the EAA, and he says that while there is much more regulatory oversight for agriculture than in the past, farmers have stepped up to do what needs to be done for future generations. “We’ve got a regulatory BMP program that’s highly successful because of the cooperation between the ag community, the regulatory community and the research community,” he said, adding that they had implemented many of the BMPs before they had to “because it just makes sense.” Interview with Dennis Wedgworth, Florida Everglades grower

ctic-14-pauleyConservation Technology and Information Center chairman Pauley Bradley is a John Deere nutrient application product manager and part-time farmer in Missouri. He was also very pleased with how the tour came together and amazed at the coordinated conservation efforts lowering phosphorus levels in the EAA.

“When you look at what they were required to do – a 25% reduction – and they’ve achieved over a 60% reduction since they implemented it in 1995,” Bradley said. “Agriculture is the first part of that, the storm water treatment areas is the second part, before it flows into the Everglades.”

Interview with CTIC chairman Pauley Bradley, John Deere
Audio, Conservation, CTIC, Farming, Fertilizer, John Deere Cindy ZimmermanWrapping up the 2014 CTIC Tour

3rd Annual Indoor Agriculture Conference

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

3rd-Annual-Indoor-AgCon-Logo-HORIZONTAL-COLOR-WEB-300x154Indoor agriculture is experiencing rapid growth as drought, supply chain challenges and the scarcity of new farmland force growers to seek more efficient and sustainable growing methods. The leaders in this growing sector of agriculture will meet at the 3rd annual Indoor Agriculture Conference on March 31 and April 1, 2015 in Las Vegas to discuss the present and future of this expanding industry.

The conference will be a chance for commercial growers to see and experience new technology, meet with funders, and learn from some of the most successful companies in the industry. Agriculture technology companies, suppliers and automation companies will also have the chance to meet and mingle with leading vertical farmers and commercial greenhouse operations.

In its first three years, the Indoor Agriculture Conference has captured an international audience and attracted some of the top names in the business. Last year attendees came from as far away as Sweden, India and Israel. Vendors included LED lighting systems, nutrient delivery systems, and automated technology.

In 2015, the conference will focus on educating and inspiring established commercial growers in the indoor agriculture industry while introducing them to the newest and most innovative technologies and systems. This year’s conference is set against the backdrop of California’s severe drought, which has impacted one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. According to UC Davis, the drought has cost Californian agriculture $1.5bn and is expected to continue through 2015. Indoor agriculture’s remarkable water efficiency and predictable delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables independent of climate or weather patterns make it a reliable source of fresh produce even in drought-stricken or arid regions.

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Ag Group, Events, Technology Jamie Johansen3rd Annual Indoor Agriculture Conference

Georgia Ag Leadership Program Graduates Inaugural Class

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

AGL-Class1-GroupAfter spending two years learning about Georgia’s largest industry and developing leadership skills, the inaugural class of Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry has graduated from the program.

University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty launched Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry, or AGL, in 2012. The program is designed to educate and empower Georgia’s agricultural and natural resource industry leaders to become effective advocates for the largest economic drivers in Georgia—the state’s agricultural and forestry industries.

Thirteen industry leaders spent the last two years touring farms and processing plants, traveling throughout the state and across the nation. They also spent two weeks in India learning about Georgia agriculture’s role in the global economy.

“This class has shared in a journey that has covered many counties in Georgia, multiple states and a foreign country,” said Elliot Marsh, a precision agriculture coordinator at Southern States Cooperative and the AGL advisory board chairman. “These graduates are already making an impact in our communities and the state of Georgia. I believe that their experiences will play a tremendous role in Georgia’s agriculture community for many years to come.”

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Ag Group, Communications, Education Jamie JohansenGeorgia Ag Leadership Program Graduates Inaugural Class

What should be done about WTO COOL ruling?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Has the uncertainty for the RFS caused by the EPA hurt your community?”

No doubt the uncertainty for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) caused by the EPA has hurt many of our communities. This unpredictability has been around over a year and has left many wondering what the final renewable fuel volumes will be. I am sure the uncertainty has impacted our lives more then many even are aware.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes, lost local business/jobs – 73%
  • No, no impact – 27%
  • Don’t know – 0%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What should US do about WTO COOL ruling?

The industry has reacted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision against the United States on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law since the announcement was made earlier this week. Some feel the issue can be handled by USDA, others feel Congress should take charge. Or are there are other options?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenWhat should be done about WTO COOL ruling?