ZimmCast 652 – Virtual 2020 Agri-Marketing Conference

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast, featuring weekly interviews with agribusiness industry leaders and all about what’s new, with a focus on agricultural marketing.

It is 2020 Virtual Agri-Marketing Conference week and this week’s program will feature some more of the sustaining partners of the National Agri-Marketing Association. You’ll hear from Scott McClure, Brighton Agency; Matt Herman, DTN/The Progress Farmer and Tom Brand, NAFB. They will talk about their organizations and why they support the work of NAMA. I’ll have a virtual newsroom available on AgNewsWire.com with all the interviews and more starting tomorrow morning.

Stop and see ZimmComm in the Connection Point in the virtual conference. We’d love to see you.

This week also includes some virtual work we’re doing for the Renewable Fuels Association for their annual educational/promotional sponsorship at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Buffalo Chip Campground. Bikers will have Free Fuel Happy Hours once again. Keep an eye on AgWired and AgNewsWire for more from there.

So, that’s the ZimmCast for this week. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: 2020 Virtual Agri-Marketing Conference

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Agencies, Audio, Media, NAFB, NAMA, ZimmCast

RFA Promoting Ethanol at 80th Sturgis Rally

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is underway in South Dakota this week, and the Renewable Fuels Association has set up once again at the legendary Buffalo Chip Campground to spread the good news about ethanol and motorcycles.

“We know things will look a little different at Sturgis this year, thanks to COVID, but one thing that remains the same is the fact that ethanol is a great fuel choice,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White. Despite COVID, the annual event is still expected to draw at least 250,000 bikers this year, about half its normal attendance.

RFA is sponsoring the 13th annual Legends Ride today starting in downtown Deadwood, with White participating and actor Tom Berenger as the ride captain. On display will be the custom E-85 bike featured on an episode of “American Chopper,” as well as the RFA flex-fuel Jeep Wrangler, designed and built by Kenny Hauk and featured on the Amazon Prime series Hauk Machines.

As a special benefit for bikers, RFA will again host Free Fuel Happy Hours at the rally, providing a free tank of 93 octane E10 (10% ethanol) for motorcycles, a ceremonial t-shirt and ethanol-based hand sanitizer. The free tank giveaway will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Aug. 11-13, at the CrossRoads area of the Buffalo Chip Campground. The fuel station that will feature the Free Fuel Happy Hours was donated by the RFA in 2017. RFA will also have a presence throughout the campground with banners, videos on the jumbotrons, and addressing the concert crowd each night.

This is the 12th rally for RFA’s White, who will be on hand during the Free Fuel Happy Hours to answer any questions as motorcycle riders fill up on the high-octane fuel. Several RFA members will also be in attendance to help educate riders about the numerous benefits of ethanol.

In this interview, White talks about why this promotion has been so successful for RFA, and what to expect this year.
Sturgis promotion interview with Robert White, RFA

RFA at 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photos

Audio, Ethanol, RFA

New Farm Podcaster Tool – PodTrac P4

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Podtrac - P4There really hasn’t been much in the way of exciting new gadgets for the podcaster lately. Of course there are always new microphones, especially ones that connect to a mobile device, but we’re talking about good portability/features/quality. This one looks promising. Click through to see the full specs.


Compact, affordable, and loaded with features, the PodTrak™ P4 makes it easy to capture professional quality audio wherever you’re recording your podcasts.

Now you can connect multiple microphones/headsets to this little device, connect to a call via your mobile device and record your podcast wherever you are. I can see this cutting down on editing time. But, let’s keep in mind that we will want to use this without a mask, closer than six feet and where your guests are. I guess we can cross that bridge when we have to.


Animal Ag News 8/10

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway of Texas sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging him to work with university policy research centers to analyze issues related to the cattle industry, especially in light of the recent and ongoing stress related to COVID-19. In the letter, Peterson and Conaway call on USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist to evaluate cattle market structure, price discovery, price reporting, purchasing mandates, and barriers to entry in the packing sector.
  • Vytelle (the recent combination of Vytelle IVF and GrowSafe) announces through its GrowSafe business the launch of the Beef Marketing Program to monitor individual animal performance, predict carcass weight and optimally market cattle in the feedlot.
  • In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California and Ranking Member David Rouzer of North Carolina, joined by Full Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway of Texas, and 17 other Members, urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist U.S. lamb and sheep producers impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The letter follows closure of the nation’s second-largest processor representing an estimated 20 percent of the nation’s processing capacity, and pushes USDA to help lamb and sheep farmers and ranchers find alternate processing and marketing options immediately.
  • In an episode of the Dairy Stream podcast, the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin – one of the nation’s premier dairy research centers – is highlighted for its integral role in keeping the dairy economy healthy and dairy customers happy. Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin sponsored this episode. Listen here.
  • Merck Animal Health announced the completion of its acquisition of IdentiGEN, a leader in DNA-based animal traceability solutions for Livestock and Aquaculture from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
  • The team at Armor Animal Health announced they will be hosting a 2020 Virtual World Dairy Expo Event. Armor teamed up with their vendor partners to bring World Dairy Expo fans a week filled with their favorite things about the event. The company states that even though this virtual event will never compare to the world-class celebration everyone looks forward to in Madison, Wis. each year, they will strive to bring some excitement to the industry in a virtual setting.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Industry Ag News 8/7

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Three people are finalists in the annual #RootedinAg Contest, hosted by Syngenta. The competition invites members of the ag community to share the inspiring stories of their mentors. Each 2020 finalist embodies a different aspect of the industry: Hannah Borg, a young farmer from Wayne, Nebraska, who pays tribute to the 86-year-old matriarch of her sixth-generation farming family; Stephon Fitzpatrick, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and community leader whose high school FFA adviser set in motion an incredible ag journey; and DeLeon Pope, an independent certified crop adviser in Clinton, North Carolina, who used the lessons his farmer father taught him to create a successful business built on respect, hard work and perseverance.
  • An important step forward to driving demand for corn was recently achieved, thanks to the work of state and national corn growers staff and members of the National Corn Growers Association Market Development Action Team. In the most recent Funding Opportunity Announcement, the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office clarified that corn grain is an acceptable feedstock. This means that starch derived sugars, specifically starches from field/feed corn, were clarified as acceptable.
  • Steven Schauer has joined the Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, where he is helping shine a brighter light on the good work of the sister organizations’ members.
  • The Alabama Peanut Producers Association is looking to hire a Communications Coordinator. Please direct cover letters and resumes to Executive Director, Jacob Davis, at jdavis@alpeanuts.com.
  • Renewable Energy Group, Inc. announced that the company has hired Trisha Conley to serve as Vice President, People Development effective August 24, 2020.
  • The virtual National Agrimarketing Conference runs August 11-13 and registration is still open. All of the content from the event will be accessible on-demand also so you can watch it anytime. Register here https://web.nama.org/events/2020AMC-359/details.
  • GROWMARK, Inc. and Southern States Cooperative announced today plans to close on a transaction Sept. 1, 2020, that aligns the organizations operationally to yield increased innovation, growth, and returns for the farmer-owners of both cooperative systems.
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking the USDA to extend the application deadline for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. AFBF, along with 27 other agriculture organizations, sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting the deadline be pushed beyond August 28, 2020.
Zimfo Bytes

Southeast Regional Ag News Launched for FL/GA/AL

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ag Information NetworkAnother new farm radio network was just announced.
The Ag Information Radio Network just launched a Florida, Georgia, Alabama Radio Network –Southeast Regional Ag News. Here’s more information.

“With over 150 Affiliate Radio Stations in 14 states including the top Agricultural News network in California, our transition into Florida and the Southeast was a natural step” said Tom Allen co-owner of the Network. According to Allen, “The launch of Southeast Regional Ag News coinciding with the splashdown of SpaceX Dragon capsule was monumental because agriculture, like space exploration, is the next frontier. In this new era, ag-tech changes in virtual nanoseconds. (Think big data, micro-organic farms, precision ag, driverless tractors, drones, sustainability, aquaculture……) We are extremely proud of the fact that local radio still provides the BEST “uncensored” platform to tell agriculture’s compelling story. The team of Aginfo reporters bringing this news to the Southeast region are respected throughout the Ag Industry”.
Read More


Ethanol Report Highlights Exports

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ethanol exports have taken a hit this year due to the pandemic, but there are still reasons to be optimistic about this important market for the industry. In this episode of The Ethanol Report, we hear from Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) General Counsel Ed Hubbard, who doubles as the organizations international trade expert.

We also learn about a new program geared toward young professionals in the ethanol industry 39 years old and younger from RFA Manager of Member Relations Jackie Pohlman.

Finally, we get an update from RFA CEO Geoff Cooper on where the Senate is on getting a coronavirus relief package that includes ethanol producers.

Ethanol Report 7-31-20 (24:06)

The Ethanol Report is a podcast about the latest news and information in the ethanol industry that has been sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association since 2008.

Choose an option to subscribe

Audio, Ethanol, Exports, Podcasts, RFA

Precision Ag News 8/5

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Valley Irrigation has acquired PrecisionKing, a Mississippi-based ag tech company with products focused on moisture monitoring, pump control and remote sensing, especially of flood irrigation.
  • Greg Crawford has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hocking International Laboratories effective August 1, 2020.
  • CropTrak, a global leader in food industry digitalization and Growers Insight, the farm-to-food innovation planning and implementation experts, have formed a strategic alliance to increase the adoption, interoperability and overall success of modernization across the Agriculture and food supply chain.
  • Nichino America, Inc. and Nufarm Americas, Inc. have announced a supply agreement for Nufarm to market and sell pyraziflumid fungicide for use in the turf market.
  • Farmers are invited to join the Golden Harvest Virtual Field Days taking place in August and September. The events will provide farmers with in-season agronomic management recommendations to finish the 2020 corn and soybean growing season strong.
  • BRANDT, a leading retailer of professional agronomic services and manufacturer of specialty input products, has acquired a retail agronomy company, Morton Fertilizer, with full-service locations in Wyanet, IL, and Grand Mound, IA.
  • The 2021 NK® soybean portfolio from Syngenta features the industry’s broadest choice of herbicide-tolerant traits. NK varieties available for 2021 include all three of the most in-demand traits: Enlist E3® soybeans, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans and LibertyLink® GT27™ soybeans. As growers start to consider their corn and soybean seed selections for next season, Syngenta is also releasing 21 new soybean varieties for 2021.
  • Kim Lutz has been named as the new Executive Director for the America’s Watershed Initiative. AWI is a collaboration among hundreds of business, government, academic, and civic organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association, with a mission of finding solutions to the challenges facing the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

American Soybean Association Marks 100 Years

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The American Soybean Association (ASA) returned to its roots this week to celebrate a century of representing U.S. soybean growers. ASA celebrated its 100th anniversary on the Indiana farm where it all started with a small but significant historical marker dedication and tours of heirloom soybean plots.

ASA was formed when brothers Taylor, Noah and Finis Fouts hosted the first Corn Belt Soybean Field Day at their “Soyland Farms” operation in Camden, Indiana, Sept. 3, 1920. Unlike today’s more quaint and socially distanced ceremony, that event drew nearly 1,000 farmers and their families from six states, all of whom were interested in discovering more about an emerging new commodity called soybeans. The National Soybean Growers’ Association—later renamed the American Soybean Association—was formed that very day.

The outdoor ceremony was streamed live for soy supporters to celebrate safely across the country. Originally planned was a group picture emulating a historic black and white photo of the original attendees, but instead, farm families from throughout the soybean states submitted dozens of photos for a special video montage leading up to the live event. Among those helping the organization celebrate in Indiana were USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky, who served the soy industry as ASA CEO for two decades, and Indiana governor Eric Holcomb, along with other notable guests from Purdue University, Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Fouts family and ASA’s past and present leadership.

Ag Groups, ASA, Soybean

Western Ag Network Announced

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Western Ag NetworkHere’s a big announcement from some of my favorite people. Way to go Russell, Lane and Evan!

Radio listeners in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming have a new source for the latest agriculture news and markets-the Western Ag Network.

Owned and operated by veteran National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) broadcaster Russell Nemetz, the network’s programs are heard on 47 radio affiliates in 6 states including Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
For nearly 25 years, he was part of the Northern Ag Network’s farm broadcast team; the majority of those years as it’s Ag Director.
In 2019, he had the opportunity to assume operation of and eventually purchase the Evan Slack Network; another well-known Ag Radio Network in the Rocky Mountain West and Northern Plains.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have this opportunity to continue to serve America’s agriculture industry on the airwaves” said Nemetz. “I want to thank Evan Slack for his legendary career as a trusted friend to agriculture and I will be forever thankful to the hall of fame farm broadcaster for this opportunity to carry on his legacy and still have him part of our broadcast team as an honorary member as he enjoys retirement in Arizona.”

NAFB farm broadcaster Lane Nordlund has also joined the Western Ag Network team. Read More