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

Best of NAMA Winners

nama14-best-2The stars were out last night in Jacksonville, Florida as the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) presented its annual Best of NAMA Awards for excellence in agri-marketing at the annual convention.

The Best of Show winner in the advertising category was Wyffels Hybrids and agency O&H Brand Design, Musta/Melzer, In-House – Travis Hopper (O&H Brand Design), Tim Musta & Jim Melzer – (Musta/Melzer).

Jeff Hartz, front and center here with his team, was also named the 2014 NAMA Marketer of the Year. Congratulations to Wyffles!

nama14-best-1In the Public Relations category, the winner was the National Pork Board and agency NewsWorks. Big congrats there to our friends Leah Daniels and Cindy Cunningham, well deserved!

This is the 55th year for the annual competition and a total of 65 awards were presented. Among the companies that won multiple first place awards were Bayer CropScience and Zoetis with five each; DuPont Pioneer, U.S. Apple Association, and WinField with three each. Agencies that won multiple top awards included MacClaren McCann with five; Bader Rutter, Colle+McVoy, and The Meyocks Group with four each.

Congrats to everyone!

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

The Continuing Saga of Pancake Ray

ZimmCast 433If you’ve stayed up very late on Thursday night at the Agri-Marketing Conference the last couple of years then you know of Pancake Ray. He’s the chef of the Rhea & Kaiser After the After Party.

Pancake RayWell, the saga of the man known as Pancake Ray continues this year. If you’re attending the conference in Jacksonville, FL and need a middle of the night meal then you’ll need to stop by Pancake Ray’s Food Truck. Yep, Ray lost his diner but he’s got a food truck and he’s actually making his way south as we speak.

Ray is traveling from Dibble Oklahoma to Jacksonville Florida to feed the people of NAMA for the 3rd year straight. This year, he’s making the voyage in his food truck. Since it only goes 25 MPH due to carbonator issues it’s taking him a little longer than expected. On the way, he’s been making pit stops to learn the culinary secrets of the gulf coast. He’ll be making facebook posts from the road, taking pictures of his findings.

Pancake RayHere’s an image of Ray from his first After the After Party, serving some of the hungry.

This year the After the After Party, thrown by Rhea & Kaiser is on April 10th – Thursday night at Midnight. Right in front of the hotel. You should be able to smell the burritos. Look for his food truck. Look for him. Look for food.

Here’s the menu:

1. Breakfast Burritos – including eggs, meat, and other things.
2. Chicken & Waffles on a Stick (don’t eat the stick).
3. MOST IMPORTANTLY – Ray’s secret masterpiece that he will unveil at NAMA.
What is it? Find out at NAMA.
Is it food? Kind of.
Is it safe? Probably.
Why is it a secret? It’s not done yet.
Will it taste good? Bet your ass.

Pancake RayI mentioned earlier that Ray lost his diner. He also lost his girlfriend, Julie. So he’s got a lonely food truck and he’s looking for a little romance in the Sunshine State.

I only put that in here so you keep a wary eye on Rat and his Food Truck. He’s taking his deliciousness to the road – but only for NAMA. Everyone else isn’t worthy. Also, mobile food trucks are the new thing right now – alongside the finest chefs in the business – Wolfgagng Puck, Wanda Sykes – they’ve all got food trucks so why can’t Ray?

I’ll have a part two of this story for you next week. But for now you can listen to what’s going on with Ray in this week’s program.

You can listen to this week’s program here. Continuing Saga of Pancake Ray

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

Kruskopf Coontz Adds Two Ag Marketers

DeanHuffKruskopf Coontz Advertising (KC) announced their new president, Dean Huff. Huff was previously working for Padilla/CRT, MN, where he led the agribusiness practice and was responsible for leading integrated communications. He has also worked for The Martin Agency, Colle McVoy and Saatchi & Saatchi.

KC has also hired Duncan Salyer as their new Accounts Manager. Salyer comes from Broadhead + Co., MN, where he worked primarily on their crop nutrition and government clients.

Both new hires have worked for many different agricultural clients. Including, BASF, Case IH, New Holland, DeKalb, Honda, Nestle Purina, Cargill, Glastron, USDA-APHIS, The Mosaic Company and the list continues.


“This is a key strategic move for us as we continue to grow and expand,” said Sue Kruskopf, CEO and founder, Kruskopf Coontz. “Our B2B experience coupled with the knowledge these two bring of the ag industry, puts the agency in a position to foster future partnerships within this sector,” Kruskopf added.

Kruskopf Coontz is a Minneapolis agency whose clients include 3M, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, United Healthcare and Cargill.

BCS Communications Celebrates Ten Years

ZimmCast 419In this week’s program we’ll help celebrate BCS Communications ten year anniversary. They actually celebrated quite a bit last night but I couldn’t be there. It was their annual holiday open house.

BCS Communications and Robert De NiroHowever, a lot of people were there including surprise guest Robert De Niro (red jacket). So, congratulations to the agency for this milestone celebration. We’ve got a few months to go until we can celebrate ours.

I just got off the phone with Kelly Schwalbe who brought me up to speed on what’s new with BCS. He says they continue to grow with new accounts and new staff. Some of those accounts are outside their core of agriculture but that’s just good business sense. A little diversification is a good thing.

Listen to this week’s program to learn more: BCS Ten Year Old Party

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

NAFB Night of Honors

The National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) bestowed honors on many deserving individuals last week – the best of the best.

nafb13-johnnieWe’ll start with the new members of the NAFB Hall of Fame. Johnnie Hood was one of our very first friends in NAFB, back in the day when he served as president in 1985 at the midpoint of his career as a radio farm broadcaster on WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was so great to see him and wife Peggy again last week, it’s been a long time! He and Peggy retired in 2002 and moved to Land O’Lakes, Florida where they live a quiet and happy life driving school buses and playing Santa Claus.

nafb13-wey1The second Hall of Fame inductee was Wey Simpson, radio and television pioneer in the great Northwest. Wey served three terms as NAFB regional vice president, edited the organization’s magazine CHATS for two years and served three years on the Sales/Marketing board. He hosted the NAFB Summer Meeting in 1974, the year of the World’s Fair in Spokane, the same year he was named Farm Broadcaster of the Year.

nafb13-lynnThe NAFB Meritorious Service Award was presented to Agri-Marketing Magazine publisher and industry leader Lynn Henderson. This award, named after NAFB advocate and volunteer leader Dix Harper, annually recognizes outstanding support and leadership to the broadcasting industry and association by a member of the Management & Sales Council or the Allied Industry Council.

In addition, the National Farm Medicine Center and agency Broadhead received the Plambeck Award Best Series for their campaign, “You’re a Parent First, Farmer Second,” and BASF Crop Protection agency Mullen was recognized for Best Single Ad for Verdict herbicide. The Plambeck award is named after NAFB legend Herb Plambeck, second president of the organization.

Our sincere congratulations to all!

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Register for 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference

2014 Agri-Marketing ConferenceCome on down to my territory next April. You’ll be glad you did. The Sunshine State will be waiting for you. It’s registration time for the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference.

Shed some new light on your agri-marketing career. NAMA is taking the conference to Jacksonville, Florida in 2014. Soak up the rays as well as the latest trends in ag communications, social media, and industry news. The location may be new, but the forecast for making new connections and chances to rub elbows with leaders in the ag industry is as sunny as ever. You bring the sunscreen — we’ll bring the fresh ideas.

Registration is open so get it done early. You’ve only got until March 20!

Support inTANDEM Marketing Grant Application

inTANDEM MarketinginTANDEM Marketing is a rural marketing agency looking to expand. They could use some help with their online application for a Chase Mission Main Street Grant.

inTANDEM marketing’s sole purpose is assisting small businesses in rural agricultural communities with their marketing needs to help them be successful and, in turn, the community sustainable.

inTANDEM marketing serves a diverse client base located in rural Iowa. Clients include those that are part of both agriculture service and production and those that directly impact economic development of the region. They realize the value of partnering ag and local small business to create a stronger rural communities. They are not the big guys in the big city…they are the guys that are located in and, focused on, making a difference in rural Iowa.

The reason inTANDEM Marketing wants to expand is to meet the demand of their client base and provide marketing expertise to more rural Iowa businesses. If they receive one of the 12 grants being offered, inTANDEM can position themselves for growth and plans to hire 2 – 3 new local team members. In order for applications to be considered, businesses need to receive 250 votes of support. To show them your support go to: and vote.

Governor of International Marketing Group Announced

imageCharleston|Orwig announces agency President Marcy Tessman has been elected to a 3-year term as Governor of TAAN Worldwide. TAAN is an international alliance of marketing communications agencies.

TAAN is one of the largest independent networks of advertising and communications agencies and has been around since 1936. Today they have 51 member companies operating in 32 countries and 67 cities.

“Marcy is a born leader with business experience that will prove invaluable as she works with other TAAN Worldwide governors from around the globe to guide the group forward,” said Mark Gale, CEO, Charleston|Orwig.

Gale added that they are routinely serving clients with global marketing and reputation management needs. “We’re seeing the food system becoming more of a global discussion by the day. Our participation in TAAN provides us the opportunity to engage with agency leaders from many other countries. It’s a great fit for Charleston|Orwig, as we continue to expand our base of multinational clients within the food system.”

2013 NAMA Fall Conference

ZimmCast 412The 2013 NAMA Fall Conference is underway in St. Louis and attendance is great with about 200 registered! That’s the most since sometime way back when it was the Issues Forum and held in Washington, DC. How many of you remember that?

Sara SteeverThe Chair of the Fall Conference Committee is Sara Steever, Paulsen Marketing. We sat down at the end of the first day to talk about this year’s program and what is new at her agency. Our program has some unique breakout sessions and we’re still getting a healthy dose of leadership encouragement too. I hope you’ll take a few moments to listen in on my conversation with Sara and if you’re not here this year perhaps we’ll see you next fall.

Listen to this week’s ZimmCast here: NAMA Fall Conference

I’ve got lots of photos to share with you from the conference as well: 2013 NAMA Fall Conference Photo Album

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

Marketing Thoughts From AdFarm

ZimmCast 398The subject of marketing is always a key topic area for the Alltech International Symposium. Doesn’t it make sense to help your customers become more successful marketers? Sure it does.

Alltech Marketing ForumDuring this year’s Symposium Les Kahl, Managing Partner US/Creative Director, AdFarm, participated in The Marketing Forum track. His session featured a number of marketing experts and Les says he was pleased to see Alltech go outside agriculture to find some of them to be a part of the program. He says there are many case studies out there that folks in agricultural marketing can learn from. Les focused his remarks on design and how it affects your communications efforts. By design, he means not only graphic design but also product design and communication design (print ads to video, web design and more). You can get more marketing perspective from Les in this week’s program.

Listen to this week’s ZimmCast here: Marketing Thoughts From AdFarm

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

Charleston|Orwig Hires Pinke, Bryant

pinkeCharleston|Orwig recently added two veteran food industry communicators to its growing team. Katie Pinke (pictured right), a former marketing and information director for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, was named business director. Lisa Bryant (pictured below left) brings nearly 20 years of communications and integrated marketing experience, with an emphasis in the beef industry, to her new role as public relations senior account executive.

bryantPinke’s previous experience in agriculture, food marketing consultancy and in markets close to consumers will help C|O grow its business across the food chain. Bryant’s expertise in the beef and dairy industries add even more depth to C|O’s animal agriculture team.

Changes in Agricultural Marketing Agencies

ZimmCast 392We’re back in the swing of things at ZimmComm World Headquarters. Actually, make that in post-Agri-Marketing Conference recovery mode. Cindy and I have a number of interviews to share with you this week from the conference and I’ll get started in this week’s program.

Best of NAMAI sat down with Lynn Henderson, AgriMarketing Magazine, toward the end of the conference and talked about changes we’ve seen in agricultural marketing agencies. You’ll hear some names you may remember and some you may not depending on how long you’ve been involved the industry. This conversation is part of an on-going series that we plan to do periodically on different subjects. Do you have a topic you’d like to see us cover? If so, please let us know or post in comments.

Besides looking at some of the trends in agricultural marketing agencies over the years we also review some of the winners of the Best of NAMA who let their “plume fill the room” last week. We also go over the list of student marketing competition winners.

Listen in on my conversation with Lynn in this week’s ZimmCast: Changes in Marketing Agencies

Don’t forget to check out our 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album.

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired. Subscribe so you can listen when and where you want. Just go to our Subscribe page.

Paradowski Creative Earns New Business

ParadowskiParadowski Creative is the new agency of record for Monsanto’s ongoing America’s Farmers advocacy campaign. The integrated marketing communications campaign includes a variety of elements, such as national advertising, online communications, public relations and a key engagement program called “Farm Mom of the Year.”

The addition of this Monsanto advocacy campaign continues the long-standing relationship between the two groups. Paradowski has worked with Monsanto for 20-plus years on creative projects across various departments at Monsanto. Most recently, Paradowski has produced award-winning advertising for the company’s Sustainable Agriculture campaign as well as the company’s St. Louis Grown campaign.

BCS Communications Celebrating Ten Years

Leigh Ann Cleaver and Kelly SchwalbeHere are a couple of farm kids doing good in the big city. Leigh Ann Cleaver and Kelly Schwalbe of BCS Communications (our sponsor) attended National Ag Day Activities and we visited about what’s new with the agency.

BCS Communications supports National Ag Day because it’s “second nature to us” says Kelly. Additionally, most of their clients are involved in agriculture and that includes companies like John Deere and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. The big news though comes from Leigh Ann who says they’re celebrating their 10 year anniversary! Happy anniversary.

You can listen to my interview with Leigh Ann and Kelly here: What's New With BCS Communications

2013 National Ag Day Activities Photo Album

Coverage of the National AgDay Activities is sponsored by the BCS think tank and American Seed Trade Association

Charleston|Orwig Promotes Gale & Tessmann

Mark GaleCongratulations to Mark Gale and Marcy Tessmann! They have both just received significant promotions at Charleston|Orwig.

Mark Gale has been promoted to chief executive officer of the Wisconsin-based communications consultancy firm. Marcy Tessmann has been promoted to president. Lyle Orwig remains as chairman and will continue to be an active and central figure in the agency’s day-to-day operations and long-range business planning.

“Much of the success we’ve experienced over the last several years is largely attributable to Mark and Marcy’s leadership and vision,” said Orwig. “Their unwavering focus on client service and delivering results-driven strategic communications platforms has fostered a culture of engagement, collaboration and success at Charleston|Orwig.”

Marcy TessmannGale and Tessmann share responsibility with Orwig for leading the agency’s two complementary practice areas, Reputation Management and Integrated Marketing.

“We are fortunate to have a group of very talented and dedicated team members throughout the agency,” says Orwig. “Under the leadership of Mark and Marcy, we’re well positioned for continued growth while helping our agricultural and food system clients achieve their business goals.”

Swanson Russell at 50 Years Old

ZimmCast 3872012 was a good year for Swanson Russell. The agency turned 50 and for the first time surpassed $100 million in capitalized billings.

Capitalized billings are an industry standard used by agencies as a uniform means of comparing agencies that offer a variety of services. “In our industry, becoming a $100 million agency is a significant milestone,” said Dave Hansen, partner and chief executive officer of Swanson Russell. “It has been a stated goal of ours and we are very excited to announce this achievement. One hundred million is certainly a milestone that elevates our status on a national level.”

Swanson RussellI sat down for a conversation with Dave during Commodity Classic to learn more about what is working for the agency. He has been with Swanson Russell for twenty three of their fifty years. There are four key areas of focus for the agency, Agriculture; Turf/Ornamental; Hunting/Fishing and Health Care. He says making employees number one is very important and this has helped the agency retain great team members longer than most. The digital world has transformed many of the inside job definitions of agency employees and he says they’ve been seeing a significant increase in the use of digital media. Dave says they are trying to create more internal collaboration which has been accomplished in part by re-designing their offices to have much more “wide open space” so it’s easier for collaboration to take place.

Learn more about Swanson Russell at 50 years in this week’s ZimmCast: Swanson Russell Turns 50

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsors, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong and Monsanto, Roundup Ready Plus, for their support.

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired. Subscribe so you can listen when and where you want. Just go to our Subscribe page.

Early Registration Deadline for NAMA Conference

It’s time to get your registration completed for the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference that takes place April 17-19 in Kansas City, MO. Save some $’s and do it now.

The ZimmComm team will be there with a Connection Point booth to share what’s new in our world. Hope you stop by and say hi. Share this message with your friends in the industry. Let’s make this the best conference ever!

Here are some of the Great Insights You’ll Find at the Agri-Marketing Conference!

  • Discover the three pillars of social engagement and how to measure their effectiveness.
  • Assess your organization’s web content and get strategic about your online presence.
  • Take a look at the new, more integrated role of PR, and hear what the future holds from experienced panelists.

New Hire & Promotion for Harvest PR & Marketing

Harvest PR & Marketing, Inc., is pleased to announce the recent addition of industry veteran Eric Davis as account director, and the promotion of Adriane Marten to digital and social media manager.

harvest prAs account director for Harvest, Davis will be instrumental in managing key food and agriculture accounts, guiding strategy and developing new business for the agency. His food category experience includes product launch, education, policy and advocacy campaigns for organizations, such as National Cooperative Grocers Association, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Society Fellows, Organic Valley and Organic Trade Association.

harvest pr 2Harvest also promoted Adriane Marten from account coordinator to digital and social media manager. Since joining the agency in February 2012, Marten has spearheaded numerous digital and social campaigns for food and farm clientele, including U.S. Apple Association, National Watermelon Promotion Board, Farm Journal Foundation and Willamette Egg Farms.

In her new role, Marten will continue to focus on enhancing and integrating strategic content across multi channels to support key communications objectives.

Your Thoughts on Fiscal Cliff Compromise

Rhea + KaiserBefore we get to results and a new poll we’d like to thank Rhea + Kaiser for being the inaugural sponsor of our ZimmPoll two years ago! We started a trend as we soon saw a number of other entities begin regular online polling!

New Holland AgricultureNow let’s welcome and say thanks to our new ZimmPoll sponsor, New Holland Agriculture. We’ll be working closely with New Holland to develop timely and industry pertinent questions throughout 2013. Please feel free to chime in with your ideas and participate when you can. So, let’s get started.

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, ”How would you rate 2012? 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent”

Our poll results: Thirty percent said 3; twenty six percent said 4; seventeen percent said 5; seventeen said 1; eleven percent said 2. By the looks of our poll most of you thought 2012 was a pretty good year. Hopefully, you will feel the same about 2013.


Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, ” How do you feel about the fiscal cliff compromise?” Most early industry comments we’ve seen express disappointment since we only have a temporary extension of the farm bill among other things. What do you think?