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.

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

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!

NAMA Fresh Perspective

During the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference Max Armstrong produced daily “The Fresh Perspective” videos with information about what was happening during the event. In fact, The Fresh Perspective is sponsored by This Week in Agribusiness. Here’s the last episode.

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

Pancake Ray Heats up NAMA

Pancake RayPancake Ray’s secret is out. His secret ingredient for the After the After Party by Rhea + Kaiser is Really Killer Hot Sauce. It’s made with actual blood, sweat and tears. Your face will get burnt off and you will LIKE IT. At least that’s what Ray claims. I’m taking mine home to try out this weekend.

We had some Bad Ass Breakfast Burritos, Chickin and Waffles on a Stick and some OHHHH Jay juice. It was all served out of a wicked looking food truck parked out on the street in front of the conference hotel. Good stuff! You can find more Pancake Ray photos in our photo album and see what a good time everyone was having including student NAMA.

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

Brownfield Honky Tonks With NAMA

Brownfield StaffIt was honky tonk time at the Brownfield NAMA Party at Maverick’s in Jacksonville last night. Or should I say this morning? Pretty much a little of both!

Here’s the Brownfield staff just having fun like you knew they would. It was a packed house as Agri-Marketing Conference attendees stopped by to relax and share some fun with friends and colleagues. I’ll be uploading a bunch of party pics and will update this post when they are ready. It’s time for the ZimmComm team to head to the homestead today so it might be tomorrow. But we will get it done.

Post Update: Here are party pics for your viewing and sharing pleasure: 2014 Brownfield NAMA Party Photo Album

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 Chapter Leaders Workshop

Andrea BloomNAMA Chapter Leaders got together this morning for a workshop to discuss challenges and exchange ideas. Andrea Bloom, Vita Plus was one of the leaders of the leaders workshop and I talked with her about the program and what she hopes to accomplish.

Andrea says one of the challenges that chapters face is the diversity in the membership and designing a program to attract all of them. Listen in to our conversation to see what ideas she has to meet that challenge.

You can listen to my interview with Andrea here: Interview with Andrea Bloom

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 Gypsies

Kenna RathaiOne of the beginning events at an Agri-Marketing Conference is a get together dinner for NAMA Presidents, past and present as well as the executive committee. This was done last night at 13 Gypsies. Our group was more than thirteen but we bonded with the gypsies at the restaurant.

One of them is Chef Howard, pictured here with NAMA President Kenna Rathai. We got Chef Howard to say a few comments (emphasis on few). He and his crew made us multiple tapas plates that were wonderful.

You can listen to Chef Howard’s brief remarks here: Chef Howard

Here’s where you’ll be able to find lots of photos from throughout the 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 Exec. Comm. Meets

NAMA Exec. Comm.The Agri-Marketing Conference week is underway in Jacksonville, FL. Here’s the NAMA executive committee at work this morning wearing Under Armour caps thanks to President Kenna Rathai. They’re looking down to show off the NAMA logo on top of the caps.

Most of the committee took off to play in the golf tournament. I hope the weather gets better since we had some storms move through overnight and into the morning. Sunshine is on the way though. Has to be. We’re in the Sunshine State.

More activities will take place starting tomorrow and we’ll be sharing all that we can during the week.

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

Glass Farming at #NAMA14

Bruce RasaStop by the ZimmComm New Media booth at this week’s Agri-Marketing Conference and visit with TekWearAg Bruce Rasa. Bruce will have his Google Glass in action and give you some ideas for how it can be used in agribusiness now. The photo is of Bruce presenting at last year’s John Deere Integrators Conference. I will also have ZimmGlass there to share my experience using it as an agricultural journalist tool this year.

Some other reasons to stop by include some cool giveaways and we’ll also have a short ten question quiz for you to take to get a free ZimmComm Ten Year Anniversary t-shirt. We will have our cake and eat it with you too!

The conference hashtag is #NAMA14. Follow along throughout the week to keep up with all the action. We’ll also be sharing right here on AgWired courtesy of sponsors Brownfield Ag News and Rhea + Kaiser.

Celebrating an Anniversary

ZimmComm Ten Golden YearsTen Golden Years. That’s what we’ll be celebrating next week at the Agri-Marketing Conference.

Cindy and I started out with Talking News Releases before moving on to blogging, podcasting and social networking. Being the very social kind of people that we are it all made sense. An online conversation in which you can communicate and share all kinds of information with people all over the world was easy to adapt to. We did our first online coverage of an event at the February, 2005 NRECA convention at which we produced and distributed news releases with audio files and also did posts on AgWired. It has just grown from there to where we are today.

We officially launched the company at an Agri-Marketing Conference so next week’s conference is a special one for us. If you’re attending please stop by our booth for some anniversary cake and other goodies as well as ZimmGlass Demos.

Bruce Rasa TekwearActually, Chuck will be doing ZimmGlass demos while Bruce Rasa, TekWearAg, will be demoing his Google Glass. If you don’t know Bruce you need to. He’s THE Glass pioneer for agriculture. If you have not seen Glass in action and are wondering what this new thing is then we’ve got the opportunity for you to get an in-person look at the coolest new wearable technology. How can this apply to agribusiness and ag communications? Stop by and we’ll give you some ideas.

NAMA Agri-Marketing Conference week is going to be a big one with professional development, awards, networking and some Brownfield Honky Tonk and Rhea + Kaiser After the After Pancake Ray breakfast thrown in. We’ll be seeing you there.

Cute Baby Blogging

Chelsea and CruzI’m taking a time out from our regular programming to do some cute baby blogging. Actually, this ties right in to what we’re all about here on AgWired. The miracle of a baby is one of the most beautiful things in the world. You can scroll through the #felfie hashtag on Twitter and see lots of babies of different kinds.

Our grandson, Cruz, and his parents, Caitlin and Clint, showed up for a visit. As you might guess, Cindy has been eagerly waiting on them. So has our daughter Chelsea who got to see Cruz for the first time this morning. He’s 2 1/2 months old now and just a little bundle of joy.

Cindy and I will be taking a little time to spend with the Cruz Dude this week as we also make final preparations for the Agri-Marketing Conference next week in Jacksonville.

Spring into Agri-Marketing Conference

flower-postI’m really hoping spring has finally sprung here in Florida. You might know that the origin of the state’s name is the Spanish Pascua Florida, meaning “feast of flowers” (Easter). Certainly is starting to look that way around here.

And since we’re in the sunshine and warming up, I’ve got to plug the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference which is just around the corner (next week!). We’re going to have fun, fellowship, professional development, awards, student competition, tour, golf and more. Come early and stay late. Let’s make this a conference to remember.

Conference Twitter hashtag is #NAMA14.

Registration for IFAJ 2014 Now Open

2014 IFAJ CongressIt’s that time. Time to register for the 2014 IFAJ Congress, “Innovations From a Small Island.” Cindy and I are looking for sponsor support for this year’s event. If you’re interested please contact me.

Yep, that’s right – we’ve tested the system far and wide. Registration is quick and simple, with payment made by a secure online transaction.

“Our supplier of payment solutions is one of just 600 companies in the world to attain PCI Level 1 Compliance, which is the highest level of online data and payment protection,” explains Congress chairman Adrian Bell.

“There’s been extensive testing of the registration and payment systems amongst the Congress committee and more widely within the British Guild, ironing out any bugs and problems before go-live on Monday.”

Don’t miss the early-bird rate!

It’s the British Guild’s 70th anniversary this year, so we’ve put in place a special anniversary early-bird offer: the first 70 to register will save £70 on their (full delegate, single rate) registration fee. There are 220 places available in total, including those involved in Master Class and the Young Leaders.

Learn all about this year’s Congress in the online publication, Innovations:

Typo Keyboard for iPhone 5/S – AgNerds Rejoice

Typo Keyboard for iPhone 5My agnerd order has been placed for a Typo Keyboard for my iPhone 5S. I am eagerly waiting for it. Why? Because I like typing on real keys. I’ve become “better” at typing on the virtual keyboard but . . .

Typo has apparently pissed off Blackberry though. For some reason they think they “own” the physical keyboard. Last week a judge ordered a preliminary injunction to restrict sales of Typo keyboards but they are still for sale ($99).

I’ll write a review of the device after I have a chance to use.

Here is what the claims are:

Type Faster w/Less Typos – Users report typing 50% faster and with less Typos – Touch keyboard brings back 40% more screen space for typing

Full Backlit Keyboard – Backlit Keyboard for typing in low light environments

Battery Indicator – See how much battery you have at any time

Quick Currency Keys Access – Quick access to all your most necessary currency keys

TYPO smart Typing – Custom TYPO Smart Auto-Correct Enabled

You can order one here.

Snow Day Ag Day

Capitol SnowI had to walk in it a lot on National Ag Day in Washington, DC. But the snow made for a pretty picture around the nation’s Capitol.

It snowed most of the day on Tuesday so walking between activity appointments was a little cool and “humid.”

I’ve got lots of good photos from this week’s National Agriculture Day activities online including some of the late snow.

2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Outstanding Young Farmer at Ag Day Lunch

Greg WegisA member of the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity, Greg Wegis, Bakersfield, CA, was a mix & mingle lunch speaker during National Ag Day activities this week. He was introduced by Orion Samuelson. There were several other members in attendance too. Greg and his wife Gina were part of the 2013 Outstanding Young Farmers Program group. You can see who is in the 2014 group on their website.

The Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity is made up of past nominees of the Outstanding Young Farmer Program. The fraternity is designed to facilitate an exchange of ideas and friendship that encourages excellence and involvement in agriculture and the local, state, and national community.

There are approximately 1,500 members of the fraternity across the nation who utilize their connections with each other in a strong networking format to assist farmers and promote the importance of America’s farming community.

You can listen to Greg’s remarks here:Greg Wegis Remarks

2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Farm Movie Screenings Scheduled

Great American Wheat Harvest at Ag DayMovie screenings for The Great American Wheat Harvest have been scheduled and more will be.

The first one is April 2, 2014 in Lincoln, NE from 7-9pm which will be the kickoff of the “Heart of America Tour.” The location is The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 313 N. 13th Street. An RSVP is required. Register at https://gawh-lincolnpremiere.eventbrite.com.

The second one will be held on Friday, April 4th in Scottsbluff, NE. This is a *Special Event* with the Nebraska Wheat Board Mobile Baking Unit. The location is The Midwest Theater, 1707 Broadway.

Friday Night Doors Open at 6:45 p.m. (MST). Come early for treats provided by the Nebraska Wheat Board; Special Introductions; Meet the Filmmaker, Conrad Weaver; and pick up your Free Movie Poster! Film begins about 8 p.m. (MST). Tickets are $5 for Members/Students, $7 for Non-members and may be purchased at the Midwest Theater box office.

Other showings include:
Sat., April 5: 7:30 p.m.
Sun., April 6: 1:30 p.m.

ZimmGlass for Agricultural Journalism?

ZimmGlassThe ZimmGlass Project is all about using this new wearable technology to see how it can fit into the work flow of an agricultural journalist. I’ve been using it for this purpose in the field since early January. I’ve published many videos using ZimmGlass (the name for my Glass) that include face to face interviews, in the cab tractor demonstrations and trade show walk-throughs. I anticipate many more that will include in the field crop tours and precision ag demonstrations. The feedback has been very positive. I’ve also published many photos I’ve taken with the device. What I will try next is a live video stream when I’m on location.

So, do I think Glass has a role to play in agricultural journalism? Absolutely. As a Glass Explorer I’m providing feedback to Google that includes things like improvements in camera and microphone quality, easier sharing with more social media channels, a way to compose text to go with a photo tweet and more. If there are ag journalism schools or professional ag journalism organizations (you know who you are) that would like to have me make a presentation please get in touch to see how we could make that work. You can also come by our booth at the April Agri-Marketing Conference for a demo. More on that later.

Thanks to our AgWired App sponsor, Aaron Hutchinson, iCropTrak, I just learned that the Anneburg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California will be offering a new course this fall called, Glass Journalism, to be taught by Robert Hernandez. Robert was interviewed by the American Journalism Review about his Glass Explorer experience and thoughts on using it as a story telling tool. I’m in agreement with everything he says about his experience so far.

Farmland Movie Advance Screening

FarmlandNational Ag Day Activities was special this year because of of two great documentary films about farming. Last night it was a private advance screening of Farmland, directed by James Moll, with major support from USFRA. In the photo (l-r) is Randy Krotz, CEO, USFRA, James, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Bob Stallman, President of American Farm Bureau Federation. There were a lot of dignitaries on hand including two of the young farmers featured in the movie. Both Sec. Vilsack and Bob Stallman who is Chairman of USFRA made opening comments before we watched the movie. I spoke with Bob and James and you can listen to their comments below.

The movie gives you a very close and personal look into the lives of six very different types of young farmers who talk about the challenges of becoming farm owners/managers. There is no narration. The story is told completely by the farmers and the imagery of them at work. It is a real family story too and there are some very emotional scenes in the movie. If you haven’t been able to see it yet please do when you get a chance.

Farmland has a deal with D&E Entertainment for the film to first be distributed to 60 major market theaters beginning May 1. Keep an eye out for it in your area and think about calling your local theater to see if they would schedule it.

In case you’re wondering, the film features these farmers:

Leighton Cooley, Georgia
Brad Bellah – Texas
David Loberg – Nebraska
Sutton Morgan – California
Margaret Schlass – Pennsylvania
Ryan Veldhuizen – Minnesota

You can listen to my interview with the Bob here:Interview with Bob Stallman

You can listen to my interview with the James here:Interview with James Moll

You can find photos from all National Ag Day activities, including the Farmland premier, online here: 2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications