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.

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

Groundbreaking for New Holland Pavilions

nh-pavilions-68-editedGround was broke to mark the start of construction on the New Holland Pavilions at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. The 290,000 square foot expansion will create a state-of-the-art multi-use space, replacing again barn facilities.

“We are proud to partner with Dane County to build and provide what will be the premium livestock facility in the country, a tremendous upgrade that will benefit world class dairy, livestock, horses and other livestock throughout the year,” says Ade Hughes, Vice President New Holland North America. “This opportunity is a perfect fit for New Holland, considering the smart haymaking technologies we have brought to the marketplace that benefit so many animals across North America.”

The Alliant Energy Center is home to the World Dairy Expo and Midwest Horse Fair, as well as many livestock and equine shows. The new pavilions will have capacity to house more than 2,000 head of cattle and be versatile enough to include show rings for cattle and horse shows. They can be cleared to create open space accommodating for trade shows, a factor that will allow New Holland to conduct training activities. New Holland equipment will also be featured in the front reception area of the building.

Mark Clarke, Alliant Energy Center general manager, said, “The new space will enhance our ability to conduct world class activities here at the Alliant Energy Center. We’re excited to have New Holland Agriculture as a significant partner in our success moving forward.”

Construction on the project begins today and their goal is to have a ribbon cutting in just 30 weeks. Just in time for World Dairy Expo in early October.

Listen to or download the press conference here: New Holland Pavilions Groundbreaking Press Conference

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

Cal Poly Wins NAMA Student Competition

nama14-student-winnersSix outstanding student NAMA teams made it to the final round of the competition last week and the final winner was California Polytechnic State University – Cal Poly.

Congratulations to the teams from Illinois State University, Michigan State University, Iowa State University, University of Florida, and to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was a great competition this year as always with lots of up and coming talent for the agri-marketing industry!

The students had some fun before the awards ceremony began, until the adults broke it up – watch the video below and find out what order the other five finalists in the competition finished.

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

BASF Confirms New Fungicide Mode of Action

Specialty crop producers can take advantage of a new unique class of fungicide that provides two modes of action to manage fungal resistance.

BASFBASF researchers have confirmed the discovery of a unique binding mechanism in Initium® fungicide, a key component of Zampro® fungicide, currently available for sale in the U.S.

This means that Zampro fungicide is the first, and currently only, fungicide in this classification. Zampro fungicide is not cross-resistant with other commercial fungicides, making it an ideal tool for managing fungal resistance in specialty crops. The classification has been accepted by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC).

“Zampro fungicide provides two modes of action, one of which is a completely unique class of control,” said Jennifer Holland, Ph.D., Product Manager, BASF. “The fungicide is a superior solution for vegetable growers seeking control of downy mildew and late blight.”

Read more from BASF.

GROWMARK Part of ResponsibleAg

Wells_Rod5X7 copyThe first ResponsibleAg board of directors members were recently named and Rod Wells, manager of the plant food safety division of GROWMARK is one of nine.

Rod says it’s important for GROWMARK to be involved in this non-profit organization designed to work with retailers ensuring best practices are in place providing a safe product to the consumer.

“This is an industry led initiative,” said Rod. “We want to demonstrate that we are doing the right things, that we are operating safety, we’re complying with regulations, that we are accountable. We feel like ResponsibleAg is a very transparent way to show that we are committed, compliant, and safe operators in the communities that we serve.”

You can listen to my interview with Rod here: Interview with Rod Wells, GROWMARK

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced the board of directors for ResponsibleAg will meet next month to finalize bi-laws, an operating budget, elect officers and begin looking for a business manager to oversee the day to day operations of the new organization.

NAMA Honors Marketer and Leader of the Year

nama14-beckThe NAMA Marketer and Agribusiness Leader of the year were honored today at the NAMA conference in Jacksonville.

Sonny Beck, president of Beck’s Hybrids, was named the 2014 Agribusiness Leader of the Year, NAMA’s highest honor.

As the largest family-owned seed company in the United States, Beck’s Hybrids is now the sixth largest seed company in the U.S. Under Sonny’s leadership, Beck’s Hybrids has experienced a 20 percent increase in sales each year for the last 20 years, doubling in size every four years. Interview with Sonny Beck, Beck's Hybrids

nama-14-8Wyffels Hybrids’ director of marketing, Jeff Hartz, was named the 2014 NAMA Marketer of the Year.

As the marketing director, Hartz oversees all strategic marketing efforts including advertising and public relations and the development of the Wyffels brand. He works closely with growers, the sales force and the National Sales Director to develop programs and materials that meet their needs and reinforce Wyffels’ position as one of the leading independent seed corn companies in the industry. Interview with Jeff Hartz, Wyffels Hybrids

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

Fresh From Florida NAMA Farm Tour

nama14-blueskySince it’s usually in Kansas City, the annual NAMA conference rarely has a farm tour, so getting to see and hear about some agriculture outside the Midwest was a treat this week. Thanks to the Florida NAMA chapter for setting it up and to sponsors Ag Net Media and Vance Publishing for making it possible.

Our tour stops included a cracker cattle ranch, a potato farm, and a sod farm, finishing with a gourmet and locally source lunch at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center.

Fourth generation farmer Danny Johns was our host at Blue Sky Farm which grows specialty potatoes and onions and is very active in promoting agriculture to the public. “Farming is a constant evolution…always a challenge, that’s part of the fun of being a farmer,” he said. “It’s so important for the rest of the country to realize what agriculture looks like and the challenges we face.” Interview with Florida potato farmer Danny Johns

nama14-rancherMost people are aware that St. Augustine is the oldest continuous settlement in the new world (Pensacola was actually first but it got wiped out by a hurricane) – but you may not know that it is also the birth place of the United States cattle industry.

Alan Roberts of St. Augustine has a herd of pure Florida Cracker cattle, direct descendents of the original animals brought to Florida from Spain in the late 1500s. “They came over with Pedro Menendez in 1565 when he founded St. Augustine,” and Alan says they have had his herd DNA tested to confirm the bloodline.

nama14-crackersAlan says the cattle are more resistant to horn flies and worms than any other type of cattle and he likes their gentle dispositions. “They’re such a pleasure to raise,” he said. “They’re smarter for one thing, low maintenance and easy to handle.”

And so many of the mommas and babies in the herd looked just like each other with such unique coloring and markings. Watch the video below and be sure to check out the photo album where I took LOTS of cow pictures!

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

2nd Syngenta Photography Award Call for Entries

SyngentaSyngenta announced that the second Syngenta Photography Award is now open for entries. The Award aims to stimulate dialogue and create awareness around significant global challenges through powerful photography.

The Syngenta Photography Award invites professional and amateur photographers from all over the world to submit applications in two categories – the Professional Commission and the Open Competition. The Award offers total prize money of $65,000, including a $25,000 professional commission. Images from the Award will be exhibited in March 2015 at Somerset House, one of London’s most celebrated arts and culture venues.

The theme of the second Award is “Scarcity-Waste”. It draws attention to arguably the greatest challenge the world faces: how can we ensure there is enough land, food and water for future generations? The resources we use and the waste we create today means we already need the equivalent of one and a half planets.

Mike Mack, CEO of Syngenta, said: “The success of the inaugural Syngenta Photography Award has demonstrated that photography is a powerful medium to foster a deeper understanding of global challenges, and has the ability to inspire us to find ways to create a more sustainable future.”

Entries will be judged by a distinguished international panel chaired by author and curator William A. Ewing. “I am delighted to have been invited for the second time to chair the jury sessions of the Syngenta Photography Award and be part of the inspiring jury discussions,” said Mr. Ewing. “I was deeply impressed with the quality of work submitted for the inaugural Award, and I now look forward to discover more outstanding work from professional and amateur photographers under a new theme.”

The application deadline for both the Professional Commission and Open Competition is September 15, 2014.

Launched in 2012, the Syngenta Photography Award was created to stimulate dialogue around key global challenges and to establish an important platform to explore issues of global significance through photography. For the inaugural competition, exploring the theme of Rural-Urban, 2,500 applicants from all over the world submitted their photographs to the Open Competition, including 450 submissions from professional photographers for the commission. The Rural-Urban exhibition is available online: http://ruralurban.syngentaphoto.com

NAMA Group Trip to St. Augustine

nama-trip-groupWe were supposed to go deep sea fishing on Monday but that got blown out by 5-6 foot waves so instead we arranged a fun, factual, and filling trip to St. Augustine.

Ag Net Media and ZimmComm hosted the few and happy that were able to come in a day or so early on a Savory Faire Walking Food Tour which left us very satiated. We had several stops in old town St. Augustine at great little restaurants and specialty shops to sample local cuisine, wines and other yummy things.

Check out our photo album and if you ever get to St. Augustine, this tour is a fabulous way to get some of the rich history of this great city.

St. Augustine Tour Photos

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

Extended Tech Support Hours

Insights Weekly Whether it’s good (hopefully!), bad or “help me before I throw this thing out into the field and run over it”, Ag Leader’s customer support staff wants to hear from you. And during busy seasons such as planting and harvest, customer support specialists are on hand extended hours to be sure that across all time zones, day or night, if you have a question in the field you can get an answer over the phone.

They may be called the silent heroes of the day, but Jordan Dittmer, Ag Leader Machine Guidance Support Supervisor, says, “We’re here to help. If you have something going on and you don’t tell us, we can’t help you. We want to hear from you.”

Listen to Dittmer explain

So think of these silent heroes as your next door neighbor, even though they may be thousands of miles away. In fact, most of the support staff are farmers just like you!

Listen to Dittmer explain

You can find Ag Leader’s 2014 Tech Support Extended Hours schedule here.

On behalf of Ag Leader’s support team, we wish you a safe, successful 2013 planting season!

Become a fan of Ag Leader on Facebook today, and get the latest precision ag videos on the YouTube channel. For more information about Ag Leader products and services, or to visit the blog site, go to www.agleader.com.

First ResponsibleAg Board of Directors Selected

responsibleagThe Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today announced the selection of individuals to serve on the newly formed ResponsibleAg Board of Directors.

The nine representatives include:
– Alicia Duke, Director, Health and Safety, Simplot
– Justin Gough, Director, Agricultural Products, LSB/El Dorado Chemical Company
– Dave Ito, Manager, Human Resources & Regulatory Affairs, Lyman/Tremont Group
– Pete Mutschler, Environmental and Safety Director, CHS Inc.
– Tim McArdle, Executive Vice President & COO, Brandt Consolidated, Inc.
– Rosemary O’Brien, Vice President, Public Affairs, CF Industries, Inc.
– Billy Pirkle, Sr. Director, Environmental, Health & Safety, Crop Production Services
– Scott Rawlins, Director, Regulatory & Governmental Affairs, Wilbur-Ellis Company
– Rod Wells, Manager, Plant Food Division, GROWMARK, Inc.

ResponsibleAg is an independent, not-for-profit organization designed to support fertilizer retailers’ compliance with federal safety and security regulations. Under ResponsibleAg, retail fertilizer dealerships will have access to comprehensive inspections based on federal regulatory requirements. The inspections will be carried out by trained auditors who will have successfully completed an intensive training course based on the objectives of ResponsibleAg.

“We are pleased to have named the representatives who will lead this groundbreaking safety and security initiative forward,” said TFI President Chris Jahn. “I am confident the Board’s broad spectrum of knowledge and experience will contribute to the success of ResponsibleAg.”

“Engaging these key industry leaders is a critical step as ResponsibleAg continues to develop and evolve,” said ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “We are privileged to have volunteers committed to making this initiative a success.”

The Board of Directors will hold its first meeting on May 5 at the offices of Asmark, Inc., in Owensboro, Ky. During its first meeting, the board will adopt ResponsibleAg bylaws, create an annual operating budget, elect officers and begin the selection process for a business manager to oversee day-to-day operations of ResponsibleAg. After the board meeting, the new directors will tour the auditor training facility site, which is also located in Owensboro.

This Year’s After the After Party with Rhea + Kaiser

pancake-rayThe founders of Rhea + Kaiser have always been true proponents of professional development. That is one reason they are a big sponsor of the National Agri-Marketing Association Conference. Chuck spoke with Diane Martin with Rhea + Kaiser about their coveted After the After Party event.

“In recent years we have been a sustaining partner with NAMA. With that investment we decided to really kick it up a notch to heighten our involvement and presence in an unexpected way, but also provide some level of consistency whether we are sponsoring the National Marketing Conference or regional events.”

Rhea + Kaiser currently sponsors the After the After Party during NAMA. Diane said the inspiration came about five years ago when a R+Ker craved pancakes after a night visiting a few of the parties. This led to their sponsorship of a pancake breakfast.

“We’re taking it outdoors this year since we are going to be in a warmer climate. There’s a new chapter in Pancake Ray’s life. He has been experimenting with the menu so there might not be pancakes this year, but there will still be some good breakfast items. We also have a few new promotional items that will give people something different to take home besides a paper dinner hat.”

Diane believes the success of this event is simply because it’s fun, carefree and no one takes it too seriously. They are also solving a classic need people have after a night of socializing with friends. She also is sending out a warning well in advance to all the single ladies who plan on attending the event. Pancake Ray just might be on the prowl and looking for love.

For every breakfast served Rhea + Kaiser will make a donation to the Agribusiness Educational Foundation (ABEF). ABEF helps young people get started in their professional careers and Rhea + Kaiser believes by supporting the foundation they are supporting future R+Kers.

Diane shared three cornerstones to why NAMA is such a great organization. They are the opportunity for professional development, the chance to create a professional community of friends and the chance to recruit young professionals.

Listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Diane here: Interview with Diane Martin

Novus International Names New CEO

novus-signThe Board of Directors for Novus International has named François Fraudeau as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective immediately. He replaces Thad Simons who is officially retiring as CEO and will become the Senior Executive Advisor to the Board.

“The Board is grateful for the tremendous leadership and guidance provided by Thad over his many years with Novus,” said Mr. Katsurao Yoshimori, Senior Vice President of Mitsui & Co. (USA), Inc. “Novus has achieved unprecedented success under his direction and we are proud to have had his leadership.” Novus is privately owned by Mitsui & Co. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd.

novus-francois“Going forward there is no better leader for Novus than François Fraudeau,” noted Thad Simons, member of the Board of Directors. “François is a proven leader with extensive experience in the feed additive industry and ability to bring people together.”

During his career with Novus, Fraudeau has held various positions in Europe, Asia and the USA and has extensive knowledge of methionine and other core Novus technologies. “Novus is a unique company with a truly global footprint in the animal nutrition space, and I am honored to be chosen to lead this company forward,” said Fraudeau. “We have great opportunities in front of us as we deliver on the next chapter in Novus’s continuing legacy of helping to feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life by making a clear difference in sustainably meeting the growing need for nutrition and health.”

FMC Introduces Solstice at Classic

classic14-fmcThis year at the Commodity Classic, FMC Corporation was excited to announce the registration of new Solstice herbicide to be used early post-emerge in corn.

Technical Service Rep Nick Hustedde says Solstice is a pre-mix of two modes of action – PPD and HPPD – that creates rapid activity that works especially well on large-seeded broadleaf escapes, such as waterhemp and Palmer Amaranth.

Nick also talked about Authority Maxx, which received EPA registration last fall, as well as Anthem now registered for soybeans. Interview with Nick Hustedde, FMC

While at the FMC booth, I was also able to talk with Matt Hancock about FMC’s Capture LFR insecticide, which he says is now the leading soil-applied insecticide in corn. Matt says one of the main reasons for that is that Capture LFR helps improve yield “by protecting your stand from corn root worms, including resistant corn root worms, and secondary pests like white grubs, root aphids, seed corn maggots, cut worms, wire worms, all those pests that are out there in the soil waiting to damage your stand before it ever really gets started good.”

Matt adds that farmers can visit ZoneOfProtection.com to find out more about Capture LFR – and listen to him explain more in this interview. Interview with Matt Hancock, FMC

2014 Commodity Classic Photos