AdFarm Brings Ag to Kansas City’s Crossroads District

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.39.17 PMAdFarm, a full-service marketing communications agency, is the first tenant to inhabit the 1925-constructed building after the property’s transformation to a multi-use commercial space.

“Moving is not only refreshing for clients and AdFarmers, but the new office is also more welcoming and conducive for hosting industry events,” says Roger Reierson, AdFarm’s president and board chairman. “The location is close to the energy and creativity that brings people to the Kansas City Crossroads District – it’s fitting for AdFarm.”

Located in Kansas City, Mo., at 2101 Broadway Boulevard, the new 6,768-square-foot office space can accommodate future expansion in the agency’s Kansas City location. While the new address is only 1.8 miles from the old, relocating the AdFarm office proved to be a substantial process – which is captured in an one minute time-lapse video below.

The interior design uses AdFarm’s signature reclaimed barn wood throughout. Also, loyal to the agency’s agriculture foundation, is a silo-stylized lobby and grain bin-inspired boardroom. Now the office greeter, a weathered antique windmill – the AdFarm-Kansas City icon – is anchored to the floorwith dramatic ground-lighting.

AdFarm partnered with Kansas City-based architecture firm Finkle|Williams and 3D Development to create thework space. The three-level building, listed in National Register of Historic Places and expected to commission a LEED Gold certification, has been updated with high-efficiency systems and insulated glass in the original warehouse windows – maintaining unobstructed views of the downtown skyline. Other building tenants include Pezzettino Italian Deli and Market andValorem Consulting.

“AdFarm’s excited to relocate to a new space that represents aconfluence of agriculture tradition with the verve and pulse of Kansas City’s Crossroads District – we’re investing in the agency, agriculture and Kansas City; it’s very rewarding,” says Les Kahl, AdFarm U.S. managing partner.


20140414_085725Living in a small town most of my life, I’ve spent countless hours driving the back country roads whether they be rock or gravel. On Sunday afternoon when we were kids, dad would pile us in the old brown pickup that had a hole in the floorboard by the stick shift and take us for a drive. He’d show us this old place and that old house, we’d get stuck in mud as we learned to drive and I was always amazed at how he could get us out. I thought I was “big time” when I got to shift…he would tell me “up one and over one” to get to second gear.

But spending that much time on rock roads also meant flat tires. When the road grader would come by, he would loosen things on the road that may have bounced out of those old trucks we used for Sunday drives. Nails, screws, pieces of metal…whatever had been tossed in the beat-up old truck bed which also had holes in it!

The first flat tire I ever had was when I lived in Omaha and at the time, mom and dad had AAA so I called them, used mom’s name, and they fixed my flat and I went on my way. Since then, I’ve had numerous nails and slow-leaking tires, but I take them to the filling station for patching. I know back in Driver’s Ed I learned how to fix a flat and could probably do it in a pinch, but am thankful I’ve never had to.

Things were different back when Grandpa’s family owned their first vehicles. Listen as Grandpa recounts a story about this tire-patching kit and what all it entailed.

Listen to Grandpa explain

Makes changing a tire today sound easy!

Until we walk again …

Tour of Bayer Bee Center

bayer-bee-sarah1Meet Sarah Myers, the apiarist in charge of the North American Bayer Bee Care Center. She is our guide for this YouTube tour through the newly opened facility with a taste of what it has to offer for visitors. You can register for tours on the Bayer CropScience website.

You can also find lots of photos of the new center here:
Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center
Grand Opening Photo Album

Take it away, Sarah!

Congresswoman Visits Bayer Bee Center

bayer-bee-ellmersEven though she had to miss the grand opening ceremony due to a conflict, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) made it a point to make it out to see the new Bayer CropScience North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park.

“The research and development that they are doing here is going to help us grow more food into the future,” she said in an interview. “It is vital to the North Carolina economy but also to the world.”

Ellmers added that bees are an important part of the discussion about genetically modified crops. “It’s a discussion that’s being had on the national level,” said Ellmers. She is pictured here at the Bee Care Center with Bayer’s Robyn Kneen who was instrumental in the development of the center.

I also asked the Congresswoman about the new farm bill and why she is a strong supporter of immigration reform for farmers in her state. Interview with Rep. Renee Ellmers

Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Grand Opening Photo Album

End of the USDA Telephone Newsline

r2rThis week will mark the end of an era as the USDA Radio Newsline will no longer be available via the telephone starting tomorrow. I can remember recording that newsline on a reel-to-reel machine just like this one when I first started in the business back in 1980. At that time, the newsline was also sent out on small reel-to-reel tapes. That soon gave way to cassettes, and then the internet came along and changed everything.

According to the USDA announcement out today:

It was in 1968 when the Department of Agriculture made its news stories accessible through phone lines. It was known then as The Spot News Service. Now 46 years later, thanks to technological changes and upgrades the telephone news service will end effective Friday, April 18, 2014.

The USDA Radio Newsline will still be available electronically through the website. For your convenience you will still get the daily email highlighting all of the stories produced for that day.

FYI, you can get the news line stories via iTunes as a podcast and/or an RSS feed in your email, as well as, the same way you get the weekly features.

You really have to give USDA credit for adopting new technology quickly and keeping that newsline as relevant as ever, especially to Gary Crawford who has been there for the whole evolution. I can’t say I miss recording newslines off the phone on reel-to-reel, but I do wonder what will come next!

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    Zimfo Bytes

  • Archer Daniels Midland Company announced three significant actions in the company’s ongoing portfolio management: an agreement to sell the company’s South American fertilizer business, pursuit of the sale of the company’s chocolate business, and the acquisition of the remaining stake of Alfred C. Toepfer International GmbH.
  • More than 150 area member-owners and guests joined the Wheat Growers’ Frederick agronomy staff to celebrate the opening of the Wheat Growers Frederick Agronomy Center.
  • Since the purchase of the Sil-All range of forage inoculants in 2011, Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s team of forage experts have developed a new product formulation in the United States to best meet the needs of today’s producers.
  • Semex sire 0200HO00402 Mainstream Manifold reached the pivotal Millionaire Sire mark at Semex, joining 11 other elite Semex sires that have each produced over one million doses of semen.

More Then Just Barns

nh-pavilions-39 -editedThe Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI is growing thanks to New Holland Agriculture. The expansion is underway and during the groundbreaking ceremony last week I spoke with Mark Clarke, director of the Alliant Energy Center.

“We’re partaking on a project that we started a little over 18 months ago and to see it finally come to together is really exciting for me. We are going to have some really neat buildings when this is all said and done.”

“What you are going to see is two brand new state-of-art building facilities and I don’t know if anywhere else in the United States is going to be able to compete with these when we are done. We designed these from an animal standpoint. We had the representatives from World Dairy Expo and Midwest Horse Fair at the table last summer when we were designing these buildings. We are going to have 290,000 square feet of exhibition space and they are really versatile.”

Listen to or download my interview with Mark here: Interview with Mark Clarke

nh-pavilions-33-editedAnother big player in this expansion is Ben Brancel, Secretary of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

“The state of Wisconsin is recognizing the value of the livestock industry and World Dairy Expo is an international exhibit that brings people from around the world.”

Ben explains that they already have had inquires about using the New Holland Pavilions for catering and sporting events along with many trade show type conferences.

They all know that the deadline is tight, but have great confidence in the endeavor. The Dane County Fair Grounds are accommodating with the use of tents for other activities held there throughout the summer. I know I’m not the only one who can’t wait for the ribbon cutting this fall.

Listen to or download my interview with Ben here: Interview with Ben Brancel

Checkout photos from the event here: New Holland Pavilion Groundbreaking Ceremony

How ZimmComm Became Ten Years Old

ZimmCast 435While ZimmComm New Media is celebrating ten years we’re doing some reminiscing about some of the milestones in our journey.

Chuck and CindySpeaking of miles, Cindy and I met up in a Delta Sky Club in Atlanta last night to record this week’s program. She was returning from the Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center opening and I was returning from a visit with New Holland. And, no, we did not plan our trips to be on the same flight back home to Pensacola. Funny how that works out.

We got out the Golden ZimmComm Microphone and got to work taking a look back at our ten years of developing an online community with a little help from our friends.

First AgWired PostThis blog we call AgWired got started in our first year when I did my first post in August of 2004. I was a little tentative then and became bolder as time went on. AgWired started out on Blogger before moving to WordPress and we’ve never looked back.

AgriBlogger first tweetIt was some time later that I did my first tweet. Fortunately, it’s not to embarrassing. But here it is. Did you know you can see your first tweet using Twitter Discover? I’m now 17,000 tweets down that highway!

We hope you will enjoy our look back. During the Connection Point last week we had a nephew working in our booth. He said that after listening to us talk to people about what we do for two days he had no idea what we do. Maybe this conversation will help clarify?

You can listen to this week’s program here. Ten Years of ZimmComm

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsor, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong, for their support.

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

Wheat Harvest Film Debuted at Ag Day Festivities

ag-day-14-barry-conradThe debut of The Great American Wheat Harvest was seen by many during Ag Day activities this year in Washington D.C. Chuck took time to chat with Barry Nelson, John Deere, who was a huge sponsor of the production. He also spoke with the director, Conrad Weaver. Both couldn’t have been more excited with how the film turned out and can’t wait to get it out for the whole world to see.

“It exceeded my expectations.” Barry said, “After being able to see the final cut of the film, seeing the reaction from the crowd, but also how Conrad Weaver the producer was able to tell the story of these different custom cutters going on the harvester trail and how difficult it is. Boy, I think it’s a great story and now we are excited to see where the film is going to be debuted and shown across the US.”

Barry believes this film sets itself apart from other documentaries because it really tells the story of the families involved in this and how hard it is to predict the weather, manage the equipment and make sure they are in the right place at the right time.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Barry here: Interview with Barry Nelson

Conrad said, “It’s kind of like giving birth. You have all the toil for years and now you have birthed this thing called a movie and it’s exciting, it’s thrilling and it’s a relief to be done. But now the real work begins of getting the message out to the people.”

For the next two years Conrad said he will be busy making sure the world sees this production. They are also still looking for sponsorships to help fund marketing dollars to help get this in theaters everywhere. In the future Conrad is toying with some other project ideas all relating to agriculture. We should expect to continue to see and hear his name mentioned as a true advocate for the agricultural community.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Conrad here: Interview with Conrad Weaver

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Importance of New Bayer Bee Care Center

bayer-bee-ncagThe new Bayer CropScience North America Bee Care Center is important for the future of one of the most critical little contributors to keeping the engine of agriculture running.

“They’ve been called the spark plug of agriculture,” said North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler at the grand opening of the center on Tuesday. “If the spark plug’s not functioning, neither is the car, so we’ve got to pay particular attention to our pollinators.”

bayer-bee-ncuTroxler stressed the vital role that research has in protecting pollinators and ultimately feeding the world. Dr. Richard Linton, Dean College of Agriculture and Life Sciences North Carolina State University, is pleased that the center will provide opportunities for students to achieve the goals of a land grant university. “It’s all about producing students for a very important industry of agriculture and it’s also about working with our stakeholders on research and outreach efforts,” he said.

Listen to my interview with the commissioner and the dean here: Interview with NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler and NC State Ag College Dean Rich Linton

Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Grand Opening Photo Album

Google Glass Intern

IMG_0633 This past week at the NAMA convention, I was lucky enough to try the infamous Google Glass. Needless to say, I fell in love with it. I am sure for the first ten minutes I looked like an idiot trying to figure it out, but I got the hang of it. While I was wearing them, all I could think about was how this could help all of agriculture. An farmer has a problem in the field? Ask Glass to call your agronomist, or Google what a certain weed is.

Now Glass is “on sale” for more people to test out and see how it works. For $1,500 you can walk around and give feedback on how you enjoy them and where they need to improve. One of the main goals that Google has is to make them available to the public between the $500-700 range. Needless to say, once I am not a broke college student anymore, I will be purchasing a pair. And for the record, this is the only “selfie” I took during the NAMA conference!

2014 Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by
Brownfield Ag News and Rhea + Kaiser
Coverage of the Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by Rhea + KaiserCoverage of the Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by Brownfield Ag News

NAMA Trade Show Through ZimmGlass

Bruce Rasa TekWearAgGoogle Glass got a lot of attention during the Connection Point at this year’s Agri-Marketing Conference. Here’s Bruce Rasa, TekWearAg, doing a demo with Karen and Cliff from GROWMARK. Bruce patiently conducted countless demos during his time working with us in the ZimmComm booth. We really appreciate his participation and have enjoyed a great relationship as we work on ideas and potential projects for this new technology. TekWearAg is working on the application side of the technology so he’s someone you should contact if you are interested in a Glass application for your business or service.

While Bruce was doing demos I took ZimmGlass and wandered around the trade show floor. As you’ll hear in the video below it was quite noisy but I met some interesting people. Maybe you’ll see someone you know.

2014 Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by
Brownfield Ag News and Rhea + Kaiser
Coverage of the Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by Rhea + KaiserCoverage of the Agri-Marketing Conference is sponsored by Brownfield Ag News

New Holland VP Shares Smiles for Pavilion Expansion

nh-pavilions-58-editedDemolition is already underway in Madison, WI at the Alliant Energy Center, home to World Dairy Expo and Midwest Horse Fair. Abe Hughes, Vice President of New Holland North America, was all smiles during the groundbreaking ceremony late last week. New Holland is partnering with Dane County to build the New Holland Pavilions which will include a 290,000 square foot expansion and replace the aging barns.

I spoke with Abe after the groundbreaking and he was more than excited for the opportunities this new facility will bring to Wisconsin and beyond.

“Well, I’ve got this huge smile on my face for a couple of reasons. Not only is it a gorgeous day here in Wisconsin and are farmers need some sunshine. It has been a long winter, but it is also a historical time for New Holland as we do the groundbreaking for the New Holland Pavilions here at the Alliant Energy Center. There was a real need here in this community to have a better facility. Our producers, our customers had to have better facilities in order to keep their animals and families coming to these shows. The decision was very easy for us to come fund this and help make this dream possible.”

Listen to or download the press conference here: Interview with Abe Hughes

Checkout photos from the event here: New Holland Pavilion Groundbreaking Ceremony

Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Open

bayer-bee-14-ribbonBayer CropScience today celebrated its more than 25 year commitment to pollinator health with the grand opening of the North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP, front and center here cutting the ribbon to officially open the new facility is thrilled to see this dream fulfilled. “This is an absolutely great day,” he said proudly. “We’ve been dedicated to bee health, it’s an important part of who we are, and we’re very serious about finding the science behind what the interactive functions are here so we can come up with some solutions.”

The $2.4 million center brings together significant technological, scientific and academic resources, with goals of promoting improved honey bee health, product stewardship and sustainable agriculture. A 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, the Center will complement the Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, N.C., and a Bee Care Center at the joint global headquarters campus of Bayer CropScience and Bayer Animal Health in Monheim, Germany.

Listen to my interview with Jim here: Interview with Jim Blome, Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Grand Opening Photo Album

An Interactive Directory For Agriculture

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 12.09.34 PMTechnology start-up company Agribite has just launched an innovative interactive directory website aimed to help the agriculture community. Agribite has been built with the sole purpose of connecting the agriculture community with vendors, clients, organizations, and friends in one place. It provides an easy-to-use platform for all ag industry members to have a free web and mobile presence and to be listed in a growing directory without cost.

Agriculture is a multibillion-dollar industry that creates millions of jobs in the U.S. alone. However, there is a widening gap between consumers and producers due to a lack of awareness. Agribite aims to be the face of the ag industry to stand alongside other networks but with the more focused goal of empowering agriculture.

Strong Sense of Optimism for Future of Farming

ag-day-14-seth Seth Pratt, a 5th generation cattle/livestock rancher and student at the University of Idaho, served as one of the panelists during USFRA’s latest Food Dialogues. Seth is a former National FFA Officer from Blackfoot, ID. and talked with Chuck after the dialogues to share his personal perspective on the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers.

“Overall, there is a strong sense of optimism. We’ve got a burgeoning middle class across the entire globe that is pushing agriculture product demand in a way we haven’t seen. I think back to my father’s generation who came through college during the farm crisis of the 80′s and the experience he had in school as compared to the experience I now have. And while there may be less farmers overall those that are here today are excited, passionate and optimistic about the career they are beginning.”

During the dialogues, panelists discussed ways to bridge the gap between so many consumers who are at least twice removed from a family farming operation and how to limit the amount of misconceptions. Seth shared one simple idea is to invite people out to your farms and ranches. Let them see the equipment used and let them ask questions about how things are done. Another easy way Seth mentioned is the use of media and especially social media.

“There are two groups of young aspiring producers out there. The ones that say they would love to get back to the family farm or ranch and then there are those who can say they would love to begin. Reaching the needs of those two groups of students is different. Those going back to the farm know what it is like, they know the resources that are available. Those that are new maybe see more closed doors then they do opportunity. There are lots of opportunities provided through government programs administered through the USDA that do give a leg up to beginning producers.”

Seth goes on to say how important it is to connect these students interested in farming with current farmers. A mentor system would go a long way in informing them on the in’s and out’s of life as a farmer or rancher.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Seth here: Interview with Seth Pratt

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Seeing New Holland Through ZimmGlass

Lorena and DawnI’m having so much fun with the ZimmGlass Project that it has been well worth the expense to become a Google Explorer to use this new wearable technology during the beta phase prior to public release. News Flash, today only for a limited time the general public can order them. I’m not sure how many they will sell so if you want one then jump on it asap.

This week the agriblogging highway took me to New Holland,PA and the North American headquarters for New Holland. During my meeting about an exciting new project with some of my favorite peeps (more on that next week) I did a ZimmGlass demo. As usual, ideas for how Glass can be incorporated into what we do in communications and agribusiness started flowing.

I took a photo during my demo of (l-r) Lorena Valenti, Social Media and Digital Projects Manager, Global Brand Marketing & Communications and Dawn Pelon, Brand Marketing Communications Manager at New Holland CE – CNH – Fiat Industrial. One of the newer applications for Glass that we discussed is the new Livestream Glass App. I just installed it and will be testing it out shortly. There’s so much being developed for this product that I think the future is very bright for wearable tech on your face!

Bayer Bee Care Buzz

bayer-bee-cupcakesBayer CropScience is fulfilling a dream today with the opening of a brand new North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The new center will complement the European Bayer Bee Care Center in Monheim, Germany. Plans for the center were announced in 2012 and ground was broken just a little over a year ago. Since then the Bayer folks have been busy as bees getting it ready for the big debut.

The celebration started last night with a reception that brought Bayer CropScience folks from all over the globe together to prepare for the main event. We are going to find out much more about this new center and its purpose shortly and will share it with you.

Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Grand Opening Photo Album

AEM Shows Importance of Ag Equipment Industry

charlie o'brienThe important contribution of U.S. agriculture equipment manufacturing to the health of the nation’s economy is demonstrated in an economic paper recently released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Modern advances in agriculture equipment technology and mechanization continue to play a major role in making today’s U.S. farming the most productive the world has ever seen.

The current world population of 7.2 billion is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations, and the AEM paper also touches on the industry’s research agenda for product innovations to “continue to push agriculture productivity through the next century.” AEM commissioned the white paper to acquaint policy makers, business, industry and the general public with the enormous and far-reaching scope of the manufacturing, distribution and use of agricultural machinery and equipment. It is part of AEM’s overall goal to advance a better understanding of the vast benefits and quality of life improvements provided by advanced mechanization.

I spoke with AEM senior vice president Charlie O’Brien about the analysis. “Agriculture’s achievements have resulted from scientific advances in many areas, including inputs and other efficiencies, yet the productivity explosion continues to be driven by enormous strides in the farm machinery and equipment technology now used to farm millions of acres,” he told me. “We want people to understand how important this industry as a whole is for the U.S. economy.”

You can listen to my interview with Charlie here: Interview with Charlie O'Brien, AEM

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