Chance to Design the AMS Logo

ui_headerLogoHere’s your chance to design the logo for the 2014 Ag Media Summit and pocket the money! This contest is open to any AAEA or LPC member or ACT student member of either organization.

Things to consider for the logo:
It’s the 16th annual event.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Dates: July 26-30, 2014
Theme: Rev It Up! AMS 2014

Keep in mind this logo is used in a variety of mediums from signage to the website to giveaways so don’t make it so complicated that it does not reproduce well. Also it’s a good idea to design it so it looks good in black and white too.

NEW: Ag Media Summit is now a registered name so the ® must appear on the logo.

Deadline for submission: Friday, November 8 2013 • 5 pm CDT

Please submit as a pdf but keep it so that you can modify it slightly if the committee requests that (ultimately we will need to have it in vector art form). You may submit as many entries as you wish. Send all entries to: Please put in subject line: YOUR NAME and 2014 LOGO ENTRY

Nitrogen Loss Stinks at AMS

ams13-kochEveryone has experienced that nasty smell of a well-used porta potty on a hot day. Okay, so that’s what nitrogen loss smells like. Yuck.

Kerry Overton with Koch Agronomic Services was the guy who treated unsuspecting visitors to his booth at the Ag Media Summit InfoExpo to the “here, smell this” experience. Gotta tell you, it was gross, but it made the point.

The solution to nitrogen loss? AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabilizer products. Find out more at

Watch the video and imagine the smell.

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

John Deere Gearing up for Product Launch

ams13-deereAt the Ag Media Summit last week, our friends with John Deere were talking about the upcoming 2014 product launch in Columbus, Ohio.

“We’re launching a lot of our new products for 2014 at the Columbus Convention Center,” said Barry Nelson. “We’re bringing in about 45 of the ag media … and the final wave of all the dealers that come in to learn about the new machines that they’re going to be able to sell.”

The theme is “Delivering Distinctive Value” and Barry says it’s not just about the machinery itself, but the technology that goes with it. “A lot of the new technology we’ll be rolling out – new wireless systems, advancements in precision technology,” Barry added.

We are looking forward to being there next week in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 21-22, for the 2014 John Deere product launch event. It will be me there this time, since Chuck will be at the AgVocacy 2.0 Conference in Charlotte, NC. Can’t wait!

Listen to my interview with Barry from AMS here: Interview with Barry Nelson

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Learning About FMC Products at AMS

And now a few parting words from our AMS sponsor, FMC Corporation.

ams13-fms-daviesDavid Davies is product manager for some of FMC’s products for fruits, vegetables, and sunflowers. One of those products is BroadAxe. “BroadAxe is a pre-emergence herbicide aimed at the sunflower market,” said David. “It basically will give you really good control of kochia and broadleaf weeds, but in addition it will give you grasses as well, like foxtail.”

Another pre-emergence herbicide FMC is looking at launching in California for tree nuts is Zeus™ herbicide. “What it brings to the table is nutsedge control,” David explains. “In the tree nuts and grapes we will do a multi-year program in order to keep the nutsedge under control.” Zeus is already approved on asparagus, transplanted cabbage, sunflower, mint, horseradish and sugarcane with approvals on alfalfa, citrus, grapes, melon, pecan, pistachio, walnut, tomato and strawberry expected soon.

Listen to my interview with David from AMS here: Interview with David Davies, FMC Corporation

ams13-fmc-timTim Thompson talked about Cadet® herbicide/glyphosate tank mix from FMC. “Cadet’s going to give you extra kick in that tank mix when you’re applying post on corn and soybeans when you’re using Roundup,” he said. “It’s going to give extra help on lambsquarters and small-seeded broadleafs.”

Cadet has been on the market for three years and FMC has seen phenomenal growth in use for both corn and soybeans. “We do expect to see additional crops coming shortly – cereals, dry beans and sunflowers,” said Tim.

Listen to my interview with Tim from AMS here: Interview with Tim Thompson, FMC Corporation

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Farm Broadcasters at AMS

ams13-cassidyRight after I did a post this week about why farm broadcasters should attend Ag Media Summit I did run into a couple of farm broadcasters there, including Tom Cassidy with New York-based Ag Radio Network, who was able to visit with some of the InfoExpo exhibitors like Kerry Overton with Koch Agronomics.

Also in attendance to represent the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) was Kyle Bauer, general manager of KFRM radio in Kansas, pictured below chatting with Lynn Henderson of AgriMarketing Magazine.

ams13-kyle-lynnNAFB has several members who are also members of the AMS ag media organizations, but as Gary Truitt (Hoosier Ag Today) also pointed out in a comment, Kyle notes that the annual summit falls during a pretty busy time for farm broadcasters. “You’ve got a budget issue of traveling but you also have the time of year when farm broadcasters are covering other events, county fairs and that sort of things,” Kyle said. “And many of our members are one person departments.”

But Kyle says AMS does have much to offer for broadcasters. “A farm broadcaster nowadays is just as likely to have a camera along with his recorder and absolutely everybody is expected to deliver on multiple sources and somehow you have to get that training and certainly here is a good place to get that training.”

Listen to my interview with Kyle from AMS here: Interview with Kyle Bauer, KFRM radio

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

American Soybean Association at AMS

ams13-asaSoybean farmers were well represented at the Ag Media Summit this week in Buffalo by American Soybean Association Communications Director Patrick Delaney and president Danny Murphy.

Since I do a daily audio report for Agri-Pulse, I was happy to get to chat with Danny about the policy issues on ASA’s plate at the moment, which start with the ongoing farm bill saga. “It’s really been frustrating, disappointing, I don’t know how many adjectives you can use to describe it,” he said. “It’s really time and I guess it’s easy to question whether the House is really committed to passing a farm bill. They don’t really appear to be.”

The Mississippi farmer says the House is holding up other legislation important to agriculture, like the transportation bill. “Funding bills have to originate in the House so even though the Senate seemed really interested in maybe increasing the barge fuel tax as a source of revenue to get some of the improvements done on the Mississippi on the locks and dams,” said Danny. “The House has been reluctant to have any kind of tax increase … even though the barge owners would really like to see it.”

ASA is encouraging producers to make their views known to their representatives during this August recess and urge them to get to work.

Listen to my interview with Danny from AMS here: Interview with ASA president Danny Murphy

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

The Minute from FMC

Like an artist who becomes known by one name only, FMC’s Authority Minute will soon become simply The Minute.

ams13-paulI chatted with our good friend Paul Redhage of FMC Corporation at the Ag Media Summit this week, first of all thanking them for sponsoring our coverage from this great event. Chuck usually is the one to cover AMS but since he went with the ethanol motorcycle gang to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, it was my great pleasure and privilege to attend this year, thanks to FMC.

FMC’s video podcast series The Authority Minute was the topic of a ZimmCast back in February and Paul tells us that it has become very popular. “For the last year we’ve had this opportunity for growers and retailers to learn more about weed management in soybeans and the Authority line of products,” Paul said. “With the following we’ve had this year, we’ve decided to expand that program.”

That evolution to simply “The Minute” this fall means the program will soon cover corn-related issues on weed management and insect-related issues. “So it’s broadening and we’ll be talking with lots of researchers and growers around the country,” said Paul.

Not only do growers get a chance to learn something new by watching the series, they also get a chance to win prizes. “Anytime a person registers and goes online and watches one of these … 18 digital videos posted on the web, they get credit for it and each week we have a drawing for gift cards…and then a grand prize drawing,” he said.

Listen to my interview with Paul from AMS here: Interview with Paul Redhage, FMC

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

AAEA Honors at AMS

ams13-pitzerDuring the closing awards banquet at Ag Media Summit, AAEA honors many who have made a significant impact on the industry – both in the long term and in the present.

The AAEA Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by CHS, honors those who have made significant contributions toward improvement of the viability and value of the organization. One of the two honorees this year was Jack Pitzer who had an extensive career with the National FFA Organization, as a publication director and editor, leader of the convention’s popular career fair and other activities.

ams13-swegleThe second award winner was Wayne Swegle who has had a long and diverse career, from his early career with Successful Farming, to serving as assistant to the secretary at USDA, to president of the National Millers Federation in the 1980s, to his work with Winrock International in the 1990s and beyond. As a past president, Wayne remains actively in involved in AAEA and serves on two committees.

ams13-duffyThe 2013 AAEA Distinguished Service Award recipient is Michael Duffy, PhD, professor of agricultural economics at Iowa State University. Dr. Duffy’s leadership in helping beginning farmers for nearly 20 years has helped to facilitate the transfer and transition of farm operations between multiple generations. The award is sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland.

ams13-ceeThe Andy Markwart Horizon Award, presented by the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation (PIF) and John Deere in a matching grant partnership, is an annual award given to an AAEA member who embodies the youthful vigor, energy, passion, dedication and creativity shown by Andy in his volunteer work for AAEA for many years. The 2013 winner is Christy Couch Lee, founder of Cee Lee Communications of Illinois, which provides feature and news writing, photography and copy editing for agricultural publications and groups.

See the full list of AAEA awards on the website and check out all the photos in the
2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

AAEA and LPC Awards at AMS

ams13-aaea-winnersThere were a whole lot of awards presented by both the Agricultural Editors Association (AAEA) and the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) at the Ag Media Summit this week.

Just before the final awards banquet Tuesday night, AAEA presented awards in writing, design, marketing and communications, digital and social media and photography. All of the first place winners in the many categories gathered for a fun photo to celebrate and a list of every winner can be found here. We’ll do a separate post for all of the major awards such as lifetime achievement and distinguished service.

ams13-lpc-awardsLPC honored the best of its best on Tuesday morning – for websites, annual reports, sale catalogs, brochures, ads, campaigns, writing, reporting, photography and lots more. Some folks, like the American Angus Association and Angus Journal, took home awards in multiple categories but there were plenty of winners.

We’ll provide a link to the entire list of award winners as soon as it is available.

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album


ams13-usfraThe U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) was well represented at the Ag Media Summit by Executive Director Randy Krotz, board member and Wisconsin pork producer Doug Wolf, and Communications Manager Lisa Cassady.

The organization had a booth at the AMS InfoExpo to talk about what’s new at USFRA and I chatted with both Doug and Lisa about some of that. For one, USFRA is taking its highly successful national Food Dialogues effort down to a more regional level with their affiliates so they can do more of them.

USFRA has identified biotechnology and antibiotic use in livestock as two major issues that they are addressing with the non-farm audience. “Those are always controversial issues,” Doug says. “We’re still going to back the science … but we’re up against some really strong emotional responses … but we sit down and debate and discuss how it works.”

Lisa highlighted some changes to the USFRA website, one of which helps to address some of those hot-button issues. “We have a really unique section of our website called FoodSource,” Lisa says. “There’s infographics and point-of-view documents telling (consumers) accurate information about agriculture.” Lisa adds that they have also incorporated some search engine optimization to the website which brings up USFRA information for certain key words relating to agriculture.

Doug was one of the founding fathers of USFRA three years ago and he is pleased with the accomplishments of the alliance, which now includes over 80 agricultural organizations and companies. “I think we’re seeing some real strides in the right direction,” he said.

Listen to my interview with Doug and Lisa here: Interview with USFRA at AMS

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Passing the AAEA Gavel

ams13-aaea-prezAt the American Agricultural Editors Association (AAEA) membership meeting this morning at the Ag Media Summit, the gavel was officially passed and a new president took over the reins of the organization.

Laurie Bedord with Successful Farming (right) is now the immediate past president of AAEA and Holly Spangler of Prairie Farmer is the new president. They are both excited about the direction of the organization and getting more young people involved for the future of agricultural journalism.

Listen to my interview with Laurie and Holly here: Interview with two AAEA presidents

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

FMC Announces Anthem Finalists at AMS

ams13-fmcYou could call it “Rural America’s Got Talent.” After six months, 185 entries and a round of online voting and judging, FMC Corporation has announced the final four contestants in the Anthem “Stand and be Heard” Singing Contest.

“This is the second year we’ve had the Stand and be Heard contest,” said FMC’s Tim Thompson, pictured here second from the right with his colleagues at the Ag Media Summit this week. “It’s for students in FFA, NAMA and 4H – ag students – who sing the national anthem on video and submit it and (are judged) for the opportunity to win up to $10,000 in scholarships.”

FMC Anthem Stand and Be HeardTim says over 30 states were represented in the entries and they have now been judged down to the final four – Alexander Raun, 18, from Minden, Nebraska; Alexandra Carpenter, 19, from Crawfordsville, Indiana; Hayley Hall, 17, from Bladenboro, North Carolina; and Noelle Goodson, 18, Fayette, Ohio.

Next the four will be on their way to Nashville for a professional recording session and new videos will be posted to the site on August 26 so you can cast your vote for the winner. You really have to go and listen to these kids sing acapella to hear their pure sound. Everyone knows what a difficult song our beautiful national anthem is to sing, so you know these kids have real talent!

The contest was started last year to promote FMC’s Anthem herbicide for corn and Tim says they expect to have new registrations coming soon for cereals, potatoes, peanuts, cotton and soybeans. “A great grass products, longest residual product on the market today, along with great broadleaf control for things like palmer amaranth,” he added.

Listen to my interview with Tim here: Interview with Tim Thompson, FMC

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

AMS Student Awards

ams13-lpc-studentsAll of the students attending Ag Media Summit are outstanding, but several of them received special recognition at the awards luncheon on Monday.

The Livestock Publications Council recognized four students as Forest Bassford award finalists, with Ann Kopecky on the left representing sponsor Alltech. Next to Ann from the left are finalists Kari Weis (University of Missouri), Reba Underwood (West Texas A&M), Claire Carlson and Logan Britton (both from Kansas State). The winner of the award honoring the founder of LPC was Kari.

ams13-aaea-awardsKari was also one of four students who received scholarships from AAEA. Next to Kari here are Ellen Reeder (University of Illinois) and Courtney Leeper, also from MU. Next to Courtney is JoAnn Alumbaugh, Pork Network and AAEA committee chair, who made the presentations. Not pictured is Maggie Jo Pruitt, University of Arkansas, who is completing a summer internship abroad.

I talked to Kari about her experience at Ag Media Summit, which she says is like “one big family.”

Listen to my interview with Kari here: Interview with student award winner Kari Weis

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

The International Side of AMS

ams13-marcusLess than a month from now, many of the folks in Buffalo at the Ag Media Summit will be in Argentina for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) 2013 Congress. But this week, IFAJ came to us as organization president Markus Rediger and his wife Marianne of Switzerland attended the AMS.

“I like very much to be here with my colleagues in North America,” Markus said. “Actually, I was at an AAEA meeting in 1985, way before I was at the first IFAJ Congress.” That is because Markus was at the University of Illinois at that time and was introduced to North American agricultural journalism by none other than the legendary Dr. Jim Evans. Markus and his wife were visiting friends in Illinois last week before heading to New York for the AMS.

Markus is excited about the upcoming IFAJ Congress in Argentina. “It’s the first Congress in Latin America for IFAJ,” he said. “Argentina is quite a large agricultural producer in many markets.” He adds that IFAJ currently has about 30 countries that have member guilds, including AAEA here in the United States, with more being added each year.

Listen to my interview with Markus here: Interview with Markus Rediger, IFAJ president

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

National ACT at AMS

ams13-actAbout 60 students representing eight different universities across the country are attending the Ag Media Summit this week as part of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. The officers are pictured here in Gatsby garb at the welcome party and they are Breanne Brammer, Hannah Miller, Andy Barth, Jennifer Ray, and Faith Jurek.

ams13-andyI got a chance to chat with Andy this morning about the importance of NACT being a part of AMS. “Ag Communicators of Tomorrow is a student organization at the collegiate level, preparing students for a career in ag communications and being involved in Ag Media Summit is such a wonderful experience because they get to work and interact with industry professionals,” said Andy.

The organization began actually holding its annual business meeting at AMS a few years ago, presenting awards and electing new officers, while at the same time having the opportunity to network with those in the industry.

Listen to my interview with Andy here: Interview with Andy Barth, NACT president

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Why Farm Broadcasters Should Attend AMS

ams13-mediaEvery time I attend the Ag Media Summit I am disappointed that there are few, if any, farm broadcasters here. It’s really sad because this is such a great event and there is so much to offer for broadcasters in this day and age.

Here’s just a few reasons why farm broadcasters should be a part of AMS, either by NAFB becoming part of the meeting as an organization, or by individuals joining AAEA.

1. Professional Improvement – with most farm broadcasters now carrying cameras, shooting video and writing for online content, this is a terrific opportunity to learn more about how to do all of that. Numerous writing and photography sessions at AMS provide an education that you just can’t get without going back to school.

2. New Venues – AMS changes location every year and offers pre-conference farm tours to visit new areas of the country like farm broadcasters used to be able to do with the regional and summer meetings back in the day. This year in Buffalo, they toured a dairy farm, apple orchard and winery.

3. Networking – Besides our friends in the “print media” world, most of our company, organization and agency clients are at this event as well.

4. Student connection – Student members of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) meet at AMS each year, which provides a great opportunity to connect with future industry professionals.

5. International opportunities – Being a part of AAEA also allows broadcasters to be part of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) and the opportunity to attend the organization’s annual summit. This year we are going to Argentina. It’s a global community in so many ways and this is such a great way to make contacts with our peers in other countries.

Bottom line is farm broadcasters are ag media and should be part of the Ag Media Summit.

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Ag Media Summit is Wet and Wild

ams13-fallsA trip to Niagara Falls and a Roaring 20s welcome party kicked off the 15th annual Ag Media Summit on Sunday.

Lots of us got a chance to see one of the wonders of the world up close and personal on the Maid of the Mist boat tour that lets you “Explore the Roar” of the falls. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time!

ams13-danceThe Famous Welcome Party featured a “Great Gatsby” theme and the flappers were out in force. You must check out the photo album to see all the great costumes. Some of these folks were meant to be in that era!

I think we should have an online vote for best costumes of the night – check out the album and comment here to let us know who you think rocked the Gatsby look best.

Today we get down to work with professional improvement seminars, so I have to run. Thanks again to FMC for letting us bring AMS to you.

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Winging It at Ag Media Summit

ams-1The 15th annual Ag Media Summit is breaking records in Buffalo, according to steering committee chairman Greg Horstmeier with DTN/The Progressive Farmer.

“We’ve broken records on attendance this year, we’ve broken or met some records on the InfoExpo for number of exhibitors that we have, we’ve broken records on sponsorships,” said Greg. “So it’s a big sign that the Ag Media Summit continues to be a very successful event.”

ams13-gregBuffalo, New York is a unique venue for the event and a place that many of us never get to visit in our agricultural travels. “We’ve not been this far north or east since the summit was created,” Greg said. “I think members like to get around a little bit.” Many of the attendees participated in the agricultural tour on Saturday that included a dairy farm, apple orchard and winery. Sunday included an outing to Niagara Falls, which was very cool!

The summit is a joint meeting of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and the American Business Media Agri-Council (ABM) and it is also a meeting for members of the Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow, which Greg says is a great opportunity for both the professionals and the students. “It’s fantastic for us (the professionals) because we get a chance to see the new crop of journalists,” Greg said. “It’s impressive the class of students that come to this event.”

Listen to my interview with Greg here: Interview with Greg Horstmeier

Thanks to FMC Corporation for helping us bring the Ag Media Summit to you this year.

Check out the photo album already started and we’ll be adding more as they happen!

2013 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

About Time to Wing it in Buffalo, NY

Beef Ag Media SummitIt’s almost time for the annual Agricultural Media Summit. This image of a good looking steak from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board really makes me wish I as going. But I’ll be doing ag media duty at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally while Cindy and our summer intern Maggie will be at the Ag Media Summit. So we’ve got it covered!

If you’re looking for the best place to promote your company or organization’s products and services, then you’ll want to be at the 15th Annual Ag Media Summit in Buffalo, New York, August 3-7, 2013. This annual get-together, the largest meeting in the United States of the ag industry’s top writers, editors, photographers, publishers and ag communicator specialists, begins with pre-meeting events on Saturday, August 3, followed by the AMS program August 4-7. We invite you to participate as a sponsor or an exhibitor at our InfoExpo or both, and be a part of this important agricultural media event.