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

Agribusiness & Food World Forum in Cape Town

ifamaThe International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) are partnering to convene the Agribusiness and Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa on June 17-19, 2014. Framed by three overarching themes – The Talent Factor, Noble Ambition of Feeding the World, and Africa Agribusiness’ Age of Opportunity, the Forum will bring together over 500 multi-sector leaders representing over 30 countries. Participants will discuss current and new models for raising the professionalism of agribusiness and developing a sustained talent pipeline to responsibly feed the world, today and in the future.

“Each year, the IFAMA World Forum is a highly anticipated event. We are excited to partner with The Corporate Council on Africa this year in order to increase participation from the private sector and draw on CCA’s expertise in the African agribusiness sector,” says Don Vondriska, Executive Director of IFAMA.

“Agriculture and agribusiness are projected to grow from $313 billion USD today to $1 trillion USD in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030,” says Stephen Hayes, President and CEO of CCA. “With this projected growth and Africa’s agricultural sector employing at least 65 percent of the continent’s labor force, IFAMA’s partnership with CCA to bring its annual World Forum to Africa is a significant contribution to strengthening agribusiness on the continent.”

More than 60 industry leaders will speak at the Forum on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to transformative technologies. In addition to workshops and plenaries tailored to the private sector and NGOs, the Forum will also include a 2-day, research-based symposium for academic scholars; a student case competition; and a pan-African trade exposition of agribusinesses operating successfully across Africa.

“People feed the world. And as agribusiness leaders, it is our responsibility to develop future generations of talent passionate about creating and implementing solutions that will ensure we can overcome the food security challenges in Africa and around the world,” said Thad Simons, President and CEO of Novus International, President of the IFAMA board of directors, and a CCA board member.

Alltech Asks “What If”

What If AlltechKnowledge and planning provide a sense of relief, particularly in business. Business and Technology, one of the six major sessions during “What If,” the 30th Annual Alltech International Symposium will help attendees stay worry-free by asking, “What if there are faster ways to predict the future?” The session will offer businesses strategies to maximize efficiency by embracing technological innovations and marketplace opportunities. It will take place in downtown Lexington, Ky., USA from May 18-21.

Evoking curiosity with its theme, “What If,” the Symposium will focus on the areas of Crop Science, Life Sciences, Africa, Modern Farming, The Algae Opportunity, and Business and Technology – all primary topics of focus which will feature notable, expert speakers from around the world.

During the Business and Technology session, Dr. Damien McLoughlin, professor at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, will address the question of, “What happens next?” and share his knowledge on strategic succession planning to ensure the life of a business.

“The greatest investment in business is always in management,” McLoughlin said. “The opportunities in global agribusiness are so great today, that no firm, family-owned or otherwise can ignore the challenge of finding, developing and empowering the next generation of managers and leaders. At the Alltech International Symposium, we will discuss this issue and identify practical points that you can use to improve your business.”

Dr. Aoife Lyons, licensed clinical psychologist and director of Alltech’s Career Development Program, will also speak, explaining the benefits of psychometric testing in hiring excellent talent, debunking fears and myths about psychometric testing, and outlining the economic benefit to companies. Eighty-five percent of companies in the Forbes 500 use psychometric testing as part of the hiring process. Making sure people have the right skills but equally, matching a potential employee’s personality with the corporate culture of their team is imperative.

The Business and Technology session will address other questions as well, including:
– What if there were simpler, alternative ways to achieve the same objectives in business?
– What if micro-loans were available for new businesses?
– Where do you look for funds?
– What if it is not about big data, but about the right data?
– What if your business is not completely connected?

Registration for Alltech’s 30th Annual International Symposium is open now and available for an early discount price of $599 until April 10. Standard registration after April 10 will be $850. Two paid registrations from a single company or organization will receive a third registration free of charge. Delegates who are members of ARPAS and AAVSB can also earn CEUs.

Ag Leaders Set to Speak at Indoor Ag Conf.

indoor-agThe second annual Indoor Agriculture Conference, May 14 – 15, 2014, not only highlights some of the industry’s top technological advances, it also offers attendees access to its top professionals. Speaking on subjects ranging from window farming to food security and lighting systems, the Indoor Agriculture Conference features two full days of education on controlled environment technologies, aero/hydro/aquaponic best practices and business models, automated nutrient systems, future trends, and financing options at the renowned Las Vegas Springs Preserve Desert Living Center.

Michael DiGiglio, president & CEO of Village Farms, takes the stage as part of a Farming Panel on May 14 at 8:45 a.m. Village Farms is a leading vegetable greenhouse producer and supplier in North America, boasting $130 million in annual revenues. Their produce is sold throughout the United States, Canada and select areas in Mexico. The 26-year-old company currently operates more than 262 acres and markets an additional 120 acres of greenhouse.

The first keynote speaker is Paul Lightfoot, whose company Bright Farms was recently named among “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company. Bright Farms works with large grocers to hydroponically grow lettuce, tomatoes and herbs on-site or nearby, cutting transportation costs, increasing produce shelf life, and reducing waste. They recently raised more than $4 million from venture capitalists to expand their greenhouse operations into new cities.

Other featured speakers include Britta Riley, founder of WindowFarms, venture capitalist Joe Hudson of One Earth Capital and Paul Grey of Illumitex.

Co-hosted by Newbean Capital and the Black Emerald Group, and sponsored by Hort Americas, Illumitex and Johnny Seeds, the Indoor Agriculture Conference highlights the accelerating greenhouse, container and vertical farming trend that is sweeping urban centers and inclement environments around the world.

Conference registration is now open. In addition, limited vendor space and several sponsorship opportunities are still available at

Register Today For New Farmer Summit

image003Attention new and aspiring farmers you can learn about both the field and financial sides of farming while making valuable connections at the two-day New Farmer Summit April 4 and 5, 2014 at Primrose Valley Farm near New Glarus, WI.

The low-cost event includes 24 practical workshops on topics such as caring for livestock, organic vegetables, orchards, bees, soil, equipment and more. Other workshop topics include creative access to farmland, finding funding, making a business plan, and how to obtain organic certification.

Registration includes two full days of workshops, large group sessions, a farmer panel, organic meals, a seed swap, and an evening barn dance with live music and a caller. Cost is $75. Scholarships are available, and a discount is offered to farm partners. Lodging is not included, however, rooms have been set aside at hotels in New Glarus and several local inns.

Participants can sign up for an optional “behind-the-scenes” tour of three local, sustainable farms from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 3. The $35 fee includes bus transportation, lunch and snacks.

Primrose Valley Farm is an 83-acre farm, owned by Jamie and David Baker, located in the Driftless region of South Central Wisconsin. It is five minutes outside of New Glarus, 25 minutes from Madison, and under three hours from Chicago. The Bakers left corporate careers in Chicago in 2008 to take up farming. Now they grow 75 varieties of produce for a 300-member CSA (community-supported agriculture group). Their diversified farm includes a 14,000-square-foot packing house with a community room on the second floor, which is where group sessions and meals for the New Farmer Summit will be.

The New Farmer Summit is organized by the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and Renewing the Countryside. Sponsors include Agrarian Trust, the National Young Farmers Coalition, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Funding is provided by a grant from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

Registration and additional details are available online at, or by calling 715-778-5775.

Alliance Announces Summit Keynote Speaker

AAA 2014 Stakeholders SummitThe Animal Agriculture Alliance announced that famed author Jeff Fromm will be the keynote speaker at the Stakeholders Summit, to be held May 8-9, 2014 in Crystal City, VA. Early registration is now available for the Alliance’s 13th annual capstone event, themed: “Cracking the Millennial Code.”

Fromm holds a marketing degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has more than 25 years of brand marketing and innovation experience for Hallmark, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, Build-A-Bear Workshop and other brands.

Author of “Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever,” Fromm spearheaded the millennials research partnership with The Boston Consulting Group and Service Management Group. Fromm is also the Founder of ShareLikeBuy, a Millennial Insights & Consumer Trends Conference, contributor to Forbes, AdAge and PSFK, co-author of numerous consumer trends reports including “Millennials as New Parents: The Rise of a New American Pragmatism” and editor of a blog,

“We’re excited that we were able to secure such an esteemed expert for our Stakeholders Summit—someone who’s able to present verifiable research about the importance of connecting with millennial consumers,” said Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. “I think our audience will greatly benefit from his insights into the relationship between millennials and food.”

The Summit is attended by a diverse group of farmers, ranchers, food processors, restauranteurs, grocery store marketers, legislators, universities and government agency representatives.

As always, the Alliance’s Stakeholders Summit will be social! Be sure to follow the hashtag #AAA14 for updates about the event. For more information on registration visit the Summit website. For general questions about the Summit please contact or call (703) 562-1411.

Going to Mid-South Farm & Gin Show

Mid-South Farm & Gin ShowLet’s look ahead to next week. Of course the big show is Commodity Classic right? Yes, the ZimmComm Team will be there.

But there’s also the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show. I will also be there courtesy of our sponsor, FMC Agricultural Solutions. It will be my first time. Another new experience for the AgriBlogger and more of those are coming soon. More on them later.

Cooking Up Something Good

farming_our_future_large-cropperdThe Farm to Chef Success workshop will be offered at the Farming Our Future conference Saturday, February 22, 2014. The Farm to Chef model is thriving, and diners love it. But for farmer and chef, it takes a lot of back-and-forth to build a productive relationship.

Panel members include Chef Hugh Horner, The Restaurant at Helsinki Hudson, Chef Serge Madikians, Serevan Restaurant, Proprietor Nancy Thomas, Mezze Bistro + Bar and Allium Bistro + Bar, Katie Bogdanffy – Third generation farmer and founder of Yellow Bell Farm and will be moderated by Ginsberg’s VP of Operations, John Brusie.

Discussion will include what chefs and owners want and what farmers can realistically provide. Along with how can chefs and farmers make partnerships work and does what chefs ask for dictate what farmers grow.

Conference co-chair Steve Hadcock of Cornell Cooperative Extension says “This is a workshop designed for farmers who want to sell to restaurants, chefs who want more local menu options, and restaurateurs who want to showcase local farm connections. And of course for foodies who want to know how it all happens.”

The third-annual Farming Our Future conference will bring together a diverse audience from the community, including established farmers, beginning farmers, interested non-farmers, suppliers, educators, community leaders, industry leaders, and students. The conference’s theme, succession, refers to farmers handing the reins to the next generation, or to the next farmers, and a special keynote speech will relate succession stories from the Hudson Valley and the Tri-State region. Besides the farm-to-chef offering, other workshops will cover succession planning, bee-keeping, farmer-training programs, and vital skills training for new farmers.

An 8am Legislators’ Roundtable will feature Congressman Chris Gibson and New York State Assemblymembers Didi Barrett and Peter Lopez, along with State Senators Kathleen Marchione and Terry Gipson, as well as several local officials, providing a unique opportunity for agriculture-related dialogue.

Ginsberg’s Foods is the conference Platinum Sponsor. Gold Sponsors include Berkshire Farm & Table, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Columbia-Greene Media, Farm Credit East, the Farm On! Foundation, and Valley Oil.

The conference will take place Saturday, February 22nd, from 9 am-4:00 pm at Taconic Hills Central School, located in Columbia County, just a short drive from the Capital Region, the Berkshires, western Connecticut, and the lower Hudson Valley. Morning refreshments, lunch, and snacks are provided with a $20 pre-registration fee. Registration is requested by 5pm on Thursday, February 20th, but is available through Friday February 21st. All are welcome, and the walk-in rate on the day of the event is $25.

Vilsack to Address Commodity Classic

vilsackccThe growers of the Nation’s biggest crops will once again host the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for their biggest meeting of the year. For the fifth time in a row, Tom Vilsack will deliver the keynote address to Commodity Classic, the annual convention and trade show for corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers. This news releases says Vilsack speaks to an expected crowd of more than 6,000 during the event’s General Session on Friday, Feb. 28, in San Antonio, Texas.

“We are honored to welcome Secretary Vilsack-someone who has been a strong advocate and voice for agriculture-to a conference that is both focused on and led by farmers,” said American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser. “As we face many challenges in this industry throughout this next year- trade agreements and access, conservation and water quality, moving the RFS forward and access to innovative technology-we are excited to hear the secretary speak on these issues and other important topics that impact farmers who grow the nation’s food.”

“Secretary Vilsack has done a lot to support our growers, and to encourage all farmers to speak out and represent their industry at a time when the general public is more removed than ever from the farms that feed them,” said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre. “We’re looking forward to his visit to Commodity Classic so he can speak with our growers and learn more about our great efforts to rebuild consumer trust in what we do.”

The 19th annual Commodity Classic is Feb. 27-March 1, 2014, along the banks of the famous River Walk at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Tex. Your ZimmComm New Media team will be there, including myself, bringing you the latest from this annual meeting of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers, America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show.

Check out the 2014 Commodity Classic website for additional information.

Meet Anna Leigh from Alabama

nfms14-annaWe brought Anna Leigh Peek to the National Farm Machinery Show last week as our “unofficial” intern for the day, just because we are very impressed with the motivation and self-confidence of this Alabama farm girl who is about to graduate from Auburn University with a degree in agricultural communications.

“I had grown up for 13 years of my life on the farm so I have a deep appreciation and love for agriculture which motivated me to start farming last year a little bit on my own,” Anna Leigh told us.

Chuck met Anna Leigh at an AgChat conference and she made a point to look me up at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta last month because she is determined to land a good job in the field of ag communications when she graduates in May. “There’s a lot of things I haven’t gotten to try yet, but right now I can see myself doing some sort of agricultural public relations,” she said.

Anna Leigh was excited to spend a day with us and learn more about what we do at an event, as well as get to meet some more folks in the industry. She is active on Twitter @AnnaLeighPeek and has her own blog “AL from AL” – Anna Leigh from Alabama! Please feel free to contact us to find out more about her, but we give her the ZimmComm seal of approval if you are looking for a new hire who is highly motivated and a fast learner with plenty of great communications and social media skills.

Listen to my interview with Anna Leigh here: Interview with Anna Leigh Peek, Auburn graduating senior

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC and New Holland Agriculture

49th Farm Machinery Show Big as Ever

The 2014 National Farm Machinery Show marks 49 years of the largest indoor farm show in the United States.

nfms14-fetter“This show is as big or bigger than ever before,” said show manager Corinne Fetter. “We are sold out in space again with 850 exhibitors … it’s the place to be in February.”

There was still snow on the ground for opening day today, but the sun was shining and the weather was really beautiful, especially for some folks coming from states that have been below zero for weeks. “Many of the farmers that come here are from throughout the Midwest, but we do have people here from coast to coast and we do have more and more international visitors,” Corinne said, who noted that last year’s attendance was the second largest on record with over 307,000 attendees.

And then there’s the 46th Championship Tractor Pull. “We now have five sessions with the pull, each night and then again Saturday afternoon,” said Corinne.

There is a cost for tickets to the tractor pull, but the show is free of charge and all are welcome. The NFMS runs through Saturday and show hours are 9:00 am -6:00 pm daily.

Find out more in this interview and on the show websiteInterview with NFMS Show Manager Corinne Fetter

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC and New Holland Agriculture

IPPE Show Goes On Despite Weather

ippe-14-showThe International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) carried on Wednesday in Atlanta, despite the few inches of snow that nearly paralyzed the city.

Attendance was still pretty good today considering and with so many flights cancelled lots of people are actually staying longer for the show than they planned. “Our crowd has held up today in spite of very severe logistics getting them here to the venue,” said show manager Charlie Olentine with the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, adding that they actually expect a stronger than normal attendance on Thursday, the last day of the show.

ippe-14-charleyThe expo got its new name last year with the addition of the American Meat Institute and got a lot bigger. “We’re positioning the show to basically take meat and animal protein production from the farm to the point of sale,” Charlie said. Two years ago, before AMI came on board, the expo had about 21,000 visitors – last year it was more than 27,000. This year, it’s hard to say right now, but Charlie says most of the nearly 6,000 international visitors came in before the storm hit.

Listen to my interview with Charlie here: Charlie Olentine, IPPE Show Manager

International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Farm Progress Show Will Reap International Exports

FPS14-flagThe nation’s largest outdoor farm show, Farm Progress Show, has been selected to participate in the 2014 International Buyer Program (IBP). This year’s event takes place in Boone, IA, August 26-28.

The IBP is an export program led by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It brings thousands of international buyers to the U.S. for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. companies exhibiting at major industry trade shows.

“We are honored to be selected to be among this elite group of trade shows,” said Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager. “The IBP program will bring a new level of international attention to those companies who participate in the Farm Progress Show.”

The goal of the IBP is to connect U.S. companies with overseas buyers to produce U.S. export sales. The program promotes their approved events to over 170 countries worldwide, to attract international buyers interested in the latest and most advanced agriculture technologies and products.

The IBP also will be offering unique matchmaking services at the Farm Progress Show, matching overseas buyers with U.S. exhibitors. U.S. exhibitors at the Farm Progress Show, through the IBP’s Showtime Program, will have excellent opportunities to meet with U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. State Department delegation leaders and export partners to discuss overseas market-entry strategies and potential markets and sales for their products/services.

For companies new to exporting or even more experienced exporters, seeking to export to additional target markets, the IBP offers export market advice and counseling. The IBP Team can also provide expert strategic advice and guidance to U.S. companies on which overseas trade show to participate in, what market entry strategies to use in their target markets, and how to locate and qualify overseas distributors and sales representatives.

“The U.S. Department of Commerce is committed to assisting U.S. companies at the Farm Progress Show establish export connections that lead to U.S. export sales. Behind every U.S. export, is a job, a family. That’s the heart of why we support U.S. domestic trade shows, like the Farm Progress Show. It doesn’t get any more important than that.” Mark Wells, IBP project officer, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Where did you see the Golden Mic in 2013?

gold-micStarting with the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in January and ending with the American Seed Trade Association CSS and Seed Expo, the ZimmComm golden microphone was seen at 73 different events in 19 states and 4 countries in 2013.

We covered meetings about general ag, crop protection, equipment, machinery and precision ag; cattle, dairy, hogs, livestock, poultry and meat; cotton, corn, grain marketing, peanuts, seeds, sorghum, and wheat; equipment, machinery and precision agriculture; ethanol, biodiesel and advanced biofuels; ag advocacy, agri-marketing, ag media, farm broadcasting – and more.

We hit 100,000 photos in our Flickr account included in a total now of 468 sets dating back to May of 2005. We did just shy of 5,000 total posts on all of our own websites plus others like Corn Commentary, Biodiesel Conference, Beef Board Meeting, and Southern Peanut Growers.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful clients, fabulous freelancers and various industry supporters for making 2013 a great year. It’s been nice to take a holiday break from the Agriblogging Highway, but we’ll be back at it again soon. See you down the road in 2014!

Celebrity Speaker Announced for AFBF Convention

american-farm-bureau-logoThe “beardless brother,” Alan Robertson, will be the keynote speaker at the general session during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2014 Annual Convention, January 12-15 in San Antonio. Alan stars on A&E’s hit reality show “Duck Dynasty” and is the oldest son of Phil Roberson, founder of the Duck Commander Company, the family’s Louisianan-based duck call business.

Before rejoining Duck Commander in 2012, Alan was a full-time minister at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in Louisiana for more than 25 years. He and his wife, Lisa, enjoy helping carry out the family’s commitment to spreading the gospel of Christ through their love of hunting and the great outdoors. He grew up hunting and fishing, helping to build the foundation of the company in the 1970s and 1980s.

More than 7,000 Farm Bureau members from across the nation are expected to gather in San Antonio for the 95th Annual Convention to hear from distinguished leaders and participate in a grassroots policy-setting process that will guide AFBF through 2014.

Stallman is the keynote speaker at the Sunday opening session. Alan will speak at Monday’s general session. Gen. Stan McChrystal, a retired four-star general and former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, will speak at the closing session on Monday afternoon.

Farm Bureau members can register for the 95th AFBF Annual Convention through their state Farm Bureau. Learn more about convention events and related activities at Download the mobile app and stay up-to-date on event news and schedule here: Join in the Twitter chatter for the event using the official hashtag of the meeting, #AFBF14.

The Chicago Farmers Rebrands Farmland Fair

chi-farmThe Chicago Farmers annual Farmland Investment Fair has been rebranded for 2014 as simply “The Farmland Fair” with a continued focus on the connection of social media and farmland investment.

The Chicago Farmers 2014 Farmland Fair – “Where People Come To Learn, Connect and Understand Farmland” – will be held on February 1, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Joliet Junior College’s Weitendorf Ag Facility. The Fair will feature social media expert Jeff Korhan, author of “Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business,” which delivers proven methods for converting social marketing best practices into profitable outcomes. Korhan is a small business marketing specialist who helps businesses use social media and internet marketing to create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth.

Farmland Fair co-chairman Jeff Martin notes that The Chicago Farmers organization has been helping people with an interest in farmland connect face-to-face with each other since 1935. “This year we’re going to teach people how to connect and learn about farmland on-line and further increase their business opportunities on the farm,” said Martin, who is a past president of The Chicago Farmers, a farmer from Mount Pulaski, Illinois and nationally-recognized expert on conservation practices. Interview with Jeff Martin, The Chicago Farmers

Read more here and watch one of Jeff’s videos from The Chicago Farmers website below where he talks about the fair.

Commodity Classic and AG CONNECT Expo Join

agconnectThe Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association today announced a new collaborative venture that joins two leading industry trade show experiences – Commodity Classic and AG CONNECT Expo & Summit – “to provide an even better world-class experience and gathering place for all segments of agriculture.”

Commodity Classic LogoCommodity Classic is a joint venture owned by the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association, with National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers participating as affiliates. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) owns and produces AG CONNECT Expo & Summit.

The inaugural event will be held March 3-5, 2016, in New Orleans. The Commodity Classic shows scheduled for 2014 and 2015 will take place as planned. The AG CONNECT experience will join Commodity Classic 2016 and the new combined show will continue to meet on an annual basis.

Read more here.

The organizations involved held a press conference to make the announcement this morning, featuring comments from:
Bill Schuermann, American Soybean Association executive director
Charlie O’Brien, senior vice president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Martin Barbre, corn farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association
Danny Murphy, soybean grower and president of the American Soybean Association
Rob Kolb, vice president global business development, GEA Farm Technologies

Classic/AG CONNECT press conference

What is Conservation Agriculture Worth?

CTIC Dialogue6The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) Dialogues are right around the corner. The panel discussion will focus on the economic and ecological benefits of agricultural conservation systems. Conservation tools, measurements for economic and ecological benefits, long-term economic returns and their effects on producers’ decision-making processes and conservation trends that will affect agriculture in the next five years are all topics the panel will cover.

Agricultural conservation systems could hold solutions for several of the issues we are facing in agriculture, such as a growing population and the loss of land for agriculture. Conservation agriculture enables producers to do more with less while protecting water and air quality, improving the soil, providing habitat for wildlife, contributing to a healthy community and producing high-yielding crops for our nation’s feed, fiber and fuel.

The event will take place October 21 from 3:30-5:30pm in Washington, D.C. at the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2168.

Panelists will include:
- Suzy Friedman – Director of Agricultural Sustainability, Environmental Defense Fund
- Josh Maxwell – Senior Professional Staff, House Committee on Agriculture
- Ray McCormick – Producer, Indiana
- Jean Payne – President, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association
- Wallace Tyner – Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University
- Sara Wyant, Moderator & President, Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

For more information visit or call 756-494-9555.

Teen Restores John Deere Tractor for Charity

Image 3About seven years ago, 16-year-old Austin Rhoda of Chenoa, Illinois was a leukemia patient at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. After several years of successful treatment, he decided to give back to that organization that helped him and his family so much by doing something he loves – restoring old tractors, selling raffle tickets and donating the proceeds back to St. Jude’s.

Austin had his latest project on display at the Farm Progress Show in the John Deere exhibit – a restored 1951 John Deere A Tractor that is being raffled off this month with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Interview with Austin Rhoda on restoring John Deere for charity

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Buenos Dias from Buenos Aires!

ifaj-argentinaAgriblogger and Farmpodcaster have arrived in Argentina to blog the 2013 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress!

Not sure how many Americans are making the trip this year but it’s at least a couple dozen. There are 14 pictured in the photo below taken at Ag Media Summit, plus Chuck – and I know of at least 5 more not pictured.

ifaj-aaea-groupAccording to the organizers, Argentina was once referred to as the “world´s grainery” and has tripled its agricultural production in the last 30 years. Argentinian farmers and ranchers feed over 430 million people each year using advanced technologies and sustainable agricultural practices.

We will be staying in Buenos Aires for two days and then to Rosario and our tours will include grain, livestock, dairy and specialty crop operations. Thanks to our sponsors – DuPont Pioneer and Novus International – for helping us to bring this great event home to you. You can also follow the congress on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #IFAJ2013.

Photo album is started – link below – and we will officially surpass 100,000 in our Flickr account with nearly 450 sets since 2005! Buenos Dias!

2013 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Coverage of the 2013 IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Novus International and Dupont Pioneer