Zimfo Bytes

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Peak Nanosystems has selected Swanson Russell to lead its branding efforts in three industries. The company focuses on nanotechnology development used in an array of products made for government and corporate clients.
  • The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) would like to remind new farmers and rancher, as well as those not previously contacted by NASS, have until the end of June to ensure they are represented in this year’s Census of Agriculture. To receive a census questionnaire this December, these producers are asked to visit the Census of Agriculture website and click on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button today.
  • Charleston|Orwig (C|O) announces the addition of three marketing communications professionals to its growing agency team. Sarah Mielke joins C|O as senior graphic designer, Macyn Gillespie joins as junior copywriter, and Mikaela Wieland joins as an intern.
  • Agri-Pulse announces the addition of Sandra Cowherd to the staff as Editorial Coordinator. She will assist Agri-Pulse with the management of their expanding web content and will assist with event planning.
Zimfo Bytes

ZimmCast with NGFA Communications

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 549With this week’s program I’m starting a series of podcasts with the communications directors of agricultural organizations. I thought it would be interesting and hopefully entertaining to talk with the people who are helping communicate their organization’s message to various audiences, which includes their own members. I hope they will share some of the methods they are employing to get the job done too.

So, I’m going to start with Sarah Gonzalez, Director of Communications and Digital Media for the National Grain and Feed Association. Here is who they are.

The National Grain and Feed Association, founded in 1896, is a broad-based, non-profit trade association that represents and provides services for grain, feed and related commercial businesses.Its activities focus on enhancing the growth and economic performance of U.S. agriculture.

Sarah and I talked about how important digital and social media has become and how she sees NGFA using these tools more frequently to accomplish part of the organization’s new strategic plan.

I hope you enjoy the program and thank you for listening!

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast with Sarah Gonzalez, NGFA

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.
Ag Group, Audio, Feed, Grains, ZimmCast

ASTA Honors Dr. Stephen Smith

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Dr. Stephen Smith was honored last week at the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Smith was made a Lifetime Honorary Member during the Gala Banquet in recognition of his leadership, vision, and service to the seed industry.

“Dr. Smith has been an ardent supporter of ASTA’s activities on the domestic and international levels for over 20 years,” said ASTA Chair Mark Herrmann. “He is known worldwide, well respected and deeply committed to the seed industry. An unfailing volunteer, a tireless worker and an unrelenting defender and advocate of intellectual property rights, he has traveled the country and the world attending meetings, giving speeches, organizing symposia and other activities related to intellectual property, germplasm protection and breeding for the seed industry. Respected by his colleagues in industry and government, domestically and internationally, he has become a ‘go to’ person in the industry on seed intellectual property.”

Dr. Smith holds a B.S. from the University of London and an M.S. in Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources and Ph.D. on the Evolution of Maize from the University of Birmingham. At North Carolina State University he continued his research on maize as a postdoctoral student. He spent many years at DuPont Pioneer securing intellectual property rights and has served on both ASTA and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) intellectual property committees.  His newest endeavor is as a professor and visiting scientist in the Departments of Agronomy and Seed Science at Iowa State University.

Ag Group, AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Award

Syngenta Promotes American Ethanol at NASCAR Race

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The NASCAR Xfinity American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen was held Saturday at the Iowa Speedway to help promote ethanol in one of the top producing states. The race marked the fifth year of partnership between Syngenta and Growth Energy to demonstrate the value of E15, which has been powering NASCAR for 10 million miles of competitive racing since 2011.

“The American Ethanol E15 250 is an excellent opportunity for sharing the story and benefits of Earth-friendly American ethanol with consumers. Syngenta is pleased to once again be working with Iowa Speedway, Growth Energy and the FFA in supporting the ethanol industry through our sponsorship of this signature event,” said Ron Wulfkuhle, head of Enogen at Syngenta. “With E15, drivers across the country have a great and more affordable choice at the pump.

Enogen® corn enzyme technology helps to enhance ethanol production and make ethanol even more sustainable. Syngenta is working with a growing number of ethanol plants to expand the opportunity for growers. By the end of 2017, Syngenta anticipates more than 200 million bushels of Enogen corn will have been grown on more than 1 million acres, contributed to nearly 4.5 billion gallons of ethanol produced, and resulted in approximately $60 million in premiums paid to growers.

Earlier this year, Syngenta announced a $340,000 donation to the Prime the Pump Fund. Prime the Pump is helping high-volume, progressive-minded and industry-leading fuel retailers, who will demonstrate the performance, cost savings and profit opportunity of marketing higher ethanol blends, such as E15.

Enogen and Growth Energy held a press conference at the track with Wulfkuhle; Chris Tingle with Enogen; Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor; Jim Pirolli with Kum and Go, and NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan. Listen to it here: Syngenta, Growth Energy Press Conference

American Ethanol E15 250 Presented by Enogen Syngenta Photo Album

AgWired Energy, Audio, Corn, Ethanol, NASCAR, Syngenta

E15 Awareness Through Prime the Pump

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Members of the Twin Cedars FFA Chapter in Bussey, Iowa, canvassed Iowa Speedway racegoers prior to the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen on June 24. Their goal was to increase awareness of the benefits of E15 and raise money to support Prime the Pump. Funds raised will be matched by Syngenta, and Twin Cedars members will earn money for their local chapter.

“Engaging the public about ethanol and renewable fuels is a good opportunity for my students,” said Miranda Johnson, advisor of the Twin Cedars FFA Chapter. “They are the future and they understand the importance of conservation and preservation of our land and resources – and the vital role farmers play in feeding and fueling our country.”

Mrs. Johnson said her students learn about ethanol production and its benefits through their classroom curriculum and the race provides additional hands-on application as they see E15 at work. Over the years, Twin Cedars have used the matched funds for a number of things including greenhouse updates.

Listen to my complete chat with Mrs. Johnson and her class here: Interview with Twin Cedars Advisor, Miranda Johnson

View and download photos from the race here: American Ethanol E15 250 Presented by Enogen Syngenta Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol, FFA, NASCAR, Syngenta

Seeds in Space Benefit Ag on Earth

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

There’s a good bet that the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) annual meeting of 30 years ago looked remarkably different than the event that took place last week in Minneapolis, MN. And it’s a good bet that the science and technology making an impact on the industry in another 30 years may not have even been thought of yet, but it’s those careers, those innovations that drive the education program of CASIS.

CASIS manages the laboratory on the International Space Station on behalf of NASA, making the results of experiments freely available. They also work hand in hand with ASTA and the First- The Seed program to draw students into the importance of growing food through the Tomatosphere curriculum.

Teachers in the U.S. and Canada can receive two packets of seed for their classroom, one that has been into space and one that has not. The classroom then gets to grow, hypothesize, and experiment upon those plants to learn the effects of space on plants.

Naturally, classroom students aren’t the only ones who want to know about the effects of space on our ability to grow food. CASIS is also conducting studies that will have far-reaching implications. They began with the quick-growing plant, arabidopsis, which is the genomic standard for plant research, but now they’re moving beyond.

“We’re ready to expand that and do any other crops because we want to learn things that are going to help earth– maybe make plants grow better here on earth, but also to prepare for that long duration mission going to Mars and who knows where else?” explained Debbie Wells, program manager for CASIS.

Listen to my full interview with Debbie Wells and Samantha Thorstensen to learn more about CASIS and the Tomatosphere program: Interview with Debbie Wells and Samantha Thorstensen, CASIS

2017 ASTA Annual Meeting Flickr album

Ag Group, AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Education, Seed

Florida Hosts 1st House Ag Farm Bill Listening Session

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) hosted the very first House Agriculture Committee farm bill listening session on Saturday in Gainesville, Florida.

Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (TX-11) presided over the first of many “Conversations in the Field” that will be held in the coming year as work on the 2018 Farm Bill is just beginning to get underway.

“Writing the farm bill is a big task, with a lot of moving parts – and it’s vitally important we get the policy right,” said Rep. Conaway. “The best way to do that is by getting out of D.C. and hearing from the folks this legislation impacts.”

Eleven other Committee members attended the session, a majority from the Southeastern region of the country, and most of those who presented comments to the committee were from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Several members of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation spoke, including Ken Barton, farmer and executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association. “I’m especially grateful to our Florida delegation, Congressmen Dunn and Yoho for hosting today’s event. While citrus is bigger than peanuts in Florida, our delegation understands how important the Peanut Program is to Florida’s economy,” Barton said. “(It) was a good opportunity to discuss how a fair reference price brings certainty to farming – both when demand is high, like it is currently, and during times of economic downturn.”

Commodities represented at the microphone were across the board, from poultry and cattle, corn and soybeans, to cotton and peanuts, vegetables, citrus, timber and more.

Listen to the session in segments below:

Segment 1 (45 minutes) – House Ag Farm Bill Field Hearing – Florida – part 1
Segment 2 (45 minutes) – House Ag Farm Bill Field Hearing – Florida – part 2
Segment 2 (45 minutes) – House Ag Farm Bill Field Hearing – Florida – part 3

AgWired Animal, Audio, Farm Bill, Government, Peanuts

ASTA Elects New Leadership

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Justin Seed president Tracy Tally receives the gavel as incoming chairman of ASTA with the support of his family

The American Seed Trade Association has been a continuously growing family for the past 134 years, and the family of new chairman Tracy Tally has been a constant at the ASTA annual meeting for many of those years.

Tally is president of Justin Seed Company in Justin, Texas, a company founded by his father in 1956. Besides running Justin Seed for the past 25 years, he served as the ASTA Southern Region Vice President, an officer on the Texas Seed Trade Association Board, was previously a certified crop adviser and serves for a variety of organizations in his community. Joining Tracy in celebrating Friday were his wife, Julie and four daughters, Emily, Elizabeth, Erica and Ellen, as well as his parents Curtis and Oneta.

“My goal is to continue the strong legacy that has been built over the past 134 years as we work to address new and emerging challenges at home and around the globe,” said Tally. “In the coming days, weeks and months, we will have new opportunities ranging from new plant breeding innovations, and how they’ll be defined both domestically and internationally, the implementation of a new food labeling law, and making our voice heard in the midst of the changing political landscape.”

Listen to my interview with Tracy here: Interview with New ASTA Chair Tracy Tally, Justin Seed Co.

Other newly elected members on the ASTA board for the coming year are First Vice Chair Jerry Flint, DuPont Pioneer; Second Vice Chair Wayne Gale, Stokes Seeds; Canada rep Jim Schweigert, Gro Alliance; Mexico rep Pablo Fernandez, Dow AgroSciences; and Central Region Vice President Dave Pearl, The Cisco Companies.

2017 ASTA Annual Meeting Flickr album

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Seed

Syngenta Will Appeal Verdict

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Syngenta intends to appeal a verdict reached by a Kansas jury last week to award $218 million in compensatory damages to more than 7,000 Kansas corn growers who claim the company caused them economic harm by introducing Agrisure corn before China approved it for import.

Syngenta released a statement after the verdict saying they are disappointed “because it will only serve to deny American farmers access to future technologies even when they are fully approved in the U.S. The case is without merit and we will move forward with an appeal and continue to defend the rights of American farmers to access safe and effective U.S.- approved technologies.”

Syngenta commercialized Agrisure Viptera in full compliance with U.S. regulatory and legal requirements, including USDA, EPA, and FDA regulations. Viptera had also received approval in the key import markets recommended at the time by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and other industry associations.

The Kansas case is the first of eight class action lawsuits in different states.

Biotech, Corn, Exports, Syngenta

Animal Ag Bites 6/23

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment


  • Zoetis joins existing industry partners, adoption organizations and equine advocates in partnering with the Right Horse Initiative to help horses in transition and promote adoption as a preferred method of finding a horse.
  • Angus Productions Inc. (API) has selected Rick Cozzitorto to take the helm as API’s new President. His role will begin June 30th.
  • Zoetis, in partnership with American Horse Publications (AHP), presented Sydney Knott, founder, president, and CEO of Horses4Heroes, with the 2017 Equine Industry Vision Award. The award recognizes ingenuity and service and works to inspire those qualities in others.
  • The boards of directors for Select Sires Inc. and Accelerated Genetics have reached a unanimous decision to unify the two cooperatives. Select Sires will acquire the assets of Accelerated Genetics and the two companies will join forces of employees and independent sales representatives in each of their geographical member organizations.
  • AgWired Animal, Zimfo Bytes