Branding Without Fire & Ice

global500-176-editedWhat makes Coca-Cola different from milk?

Elizabeth Bagby, Alltech’s Corporate Marketing Manager, answered that question with branding. She addressed the essence of a brand and why beef and dairy producers need brands at the 2012 Global 500. But most importantly she shared what brands we all can learn from.

The concept of branding, interestingly enough, comes from cattle branding. The first people in the known world to try and differentiate their product from others were cattlemen. So, with our long history in branding we should be leading the charge in the food community.

Today we should be defining a brand as the customers experience, not the practice of creating a name, symbol or design that is associated with a product. Elizabeth described that as a logo, not a brand.

Branding isn’t just for business to consumer. Elizabeth shared 3 reasons why brand communication works in B2B as well.

1. Cuts through the clutter.
2. Facilitates delivery of promise.
3. Taps into the emotional drivers.

Listen to Elizabeth’s complete presentation here: Elizabeth Bagby - Global 500

Check out all the photos from this years Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album

Connecting Beef Producers to Data

global500-106Alltech’s Global 500 brought beef producers from across the globe together to network and gather information to take home. During the beef breakout session Bob Sand, founder and CEO of The Beef Connection, shared his vision for being a service organization that enables both beef cattle producers and industry suppliers to prosper and become more sustainable.

The Beef Connection focuses on teaching producers to gather information on their cattle allowing them to make good production, management and marketing decisions. Bob shared with me in an interview how important it is for producers to keep an open mind to new technology.

“The Beef Connection was formed to curate a program for commercial cattle producers. The goal being to connect all the different facets of the beef industry to gather information on cattle; bring it all the way back to the ranch level and let the ranchers make decisions based on data. That’s how we started and then our connections included going to commercial feed yards and packing houses bringing all that data back to the producers.”


Alltech’s role in this was to bring in the nutritional technology we needed to create those cattle that really perform in the industry.”

Listen to my interview with Bob here: Bob Sand - The Beef Connection

Check out all the photos from this years Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album

The Gene Chip

The gene chip my sound somewhat futuristic, but it is actually something we have capabilities of using today. Alltech is on the cutting edge of research on the gene chip. Kate Jacques is Alltech’s director of nutrition and serves as part of the research group for the gene chip.

The science behind the gene chip is state-of-the-art and it was exciting to hear Kate describe how all producers can utilize this technology soon. I talked with her after she presented to both dairy and beef producers at this year’s Global 500.

“The gene chip is microarray and it is a very exciting new technique to measure your animals response that animal science has had in ages. Basically, it allows us to directly follow gene expression. Remember that genetics give us better animals, but it’s the expression of those genes that gives performance and profit. We use it in lots of studies to follow responses to diets.”

Listen to my interview with Kate here: Kate Jacques - Global 500

Kate shared how the gene chip can be used to improve immune response, advance carcass quality and remove stress from the environment.

Listen to Kate’s complete presentation here: Kate Jacques - Global 500

Check out all the photos from this years Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album

A Worldly Discussion on Beef

A highlight for my first trip to Alltech’s Global 500 was the discussion dinners. Being a beef producer myself, I was excited to attend one on the beef industry. How often do you get the chance to discuss and share ideas about farming with people from around the world.

After an intimate steak dinner with about 40 Global 500 attendees from various countries, Steve Elliott, Alltech USA, served as our moderator leading the discussion. The general question posed was how to improve efficiencies in the beef industry.

Discussion spiraled from, should we all be seeking an ideal beef animal, to should the consumer drive the demand or do we have an over abundance of beef cattle. I spoke with Steve after the event to get his thoughts on the topics mentioned and what he thought the overall take home message was.

“Tonight we wanted to see how as a group we could improve efficiences in the beef industry. We know tremendous variability is an issue. We had a very lively discussion on various things that the group thought we could do to help improve efficiency.”

“The challenge is how do we bring that variability down a bit and prop up the product that we offer the consumer because the consumer is king and they are going to make decisions on what products they buy.”

Listen to my complete interview with Steve here: Steve Elliott - Global 500

Check out all the photos from this years Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album

Social Media – Listen. Talk. Ask.

To help wrap up Alltech’s Global 500 last week Billy Frey, Senior Vice President of the Alltech Ag Network, and David Butler, Alltech’s Web Marketing Manager, discussed the future of communication.

What does the future hold in terms of communication? Well, if you ask these guys the answer is social media. People don’t turn to magazines, newspapers or even television anymore for information. They go online.

What does this mean for the agriculture industry? We simply need to use this tool to tell our story. Share what your company is doing with a picture or video. Or share your farming story through a blog. Make your information accessible with the click of a button.

Billy and David said to first listen to the conversation. Then talk and join in with the dialogue. And finally ask questions and create engagement. Social media is free, it doesn’t cost any money to start a conversation.

Find out what Alltech is doing online by following them on Facebook and Twitter. If you missed this years Global 500 check out #global500 on Twitter to follow what those live tweeting had to say. Also check out Alltech’s blog and stay up-to-date with what the company is doing.

Listen to Billy and David’s complete presentation here: Billy Frey & David Butler - Global 500

Check out all the photos from this years Global 500 here: 2012 Global 500 Photo Album

Beef Ambassadors Share Love For Beef @ Global 500

There was no way you could miss the National Beef Ambassadors at Global 500. They were the sharp looking young people in matching bright red shirts. I took the opportunity to talk with them and walked away completely motivated by their enthusiasm for the beef industry.

These newly selected ambassadors come from all over the US and spend the year traveling to tell the story of the American beef producer.

Meet the team:
Emma Jumper, Arkansas
Chandler Mulvaney, Alabama
Jacquelyn Brown, Oregon
Katie Stroud, Califormia
Erin Morrison, Minnesota

The energy this team exuberates for the beef industry shined through as they shared a cheer Chandler created. Check it out below.

Listen to my complete interview with ambassadors here: National Beef Ammbassadors

2012 Global 500 Photo Album

Back To The Future With Dr. Lyons At Global 500

Global 500 has official kicked off with opening remarks by Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. He shared his thoughts on the future of farming and proudly compared farmers and ranchers to heroes.

“Don’t just think it, ink it,” advised Dr. Lyons while asking us to write down five things he wanted to get us to do. Dream. Dare. Desire. Decide Dedicate. He also shared he has never milked a cow, so maybe someone would like to volunteer to teach him.

Alltech is on the cutting edge when it comes to the future of agriculture. Dr. Lyons listed six rules for producers to keep in mind when thinking about the future of their herds.

#1. Start with your land.
#2. Learn to understand the rumen.
#3. Feed the rumen nitrogen and carbohydrates.
#4. Focus on fertility.
#5. Watch out for mycotoxins.
#6. Only feed your minerals in the Bioflex form.

Listen to Dr. Lyons complete presentation here: Dr. Pearse Lyons - GLobal 500

2012 Global 500 Photo Album

Beef Producers Unite for Alltech’s Global 500

It is just a week before Alltech’s 5th Annual Global 500 kicks off. Dairy and beef leaders from across the world will come together to share ideas and educate themselves on new and cutting edge technologies.

They are expecting over 500 beef producers to attend this year’s event. Steve Van Dyke, cow/calf producer from South Dakota, attended his first Global 500 last year and can’t wait to attend again.

“The Global 500 was different from other beef events I’ve attended because it offers a worldwide perspective on beef production, beef sustainability and beef quality improvement,” said Van Dyke. “Alltech’s Global 500 provides information to people in all phases of beef production, but always in an insightful way.”

“The food animal industry is changing rapidly, both in the US and globally,” Van Dyke added. “At Global 500, we were challenged to look at things from a new perspective. The lessons I learned at Global 500 made me a better manager, producer, and steward of the industry I love.”

This year’s agenda seeks to once again offer some insight on topics such as branding beef, social media, employee training, decreasing carbon footprints and mycotoxins as well as many presentations that will address the core theme for the event, the EPS Principle: Efficiency, Profitability and Sustainability.

I am excited to attend this years event and during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s (NAFB) Trade Talk I had a chance to talk with David Butler, Web Marketing Manager for Alltech. He offered insite to the upcoming event and shared what hot topics will be discussed. Check my interview with David here.

Also during NAFB I spoke with Ann Kopecky, Alltech’s North America Field PR Coordinator, about Alltech’s recent launch of their 37+ Program. This new mass spectrometry technique investigates 38 different mycotoxins allowing for a broader analytical approach into the contamination.

Listen to my interview with Ann here: Ann Kopecky - Alltech

2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Dairy & Beef Issues Addressed At Global 500

In just two and a half weeks Lexington, Kentucky will once again open it’s doors to dairy farmers and beef producers from across the world. These agriculturalists are coming together for Alltech’s Global 500. The Alltech community offers an opportunity to find answers to your questions.

What are the modern challenges of animal production?
Where to invest?
How to target performance and profitability?
What is the future of farming?
Can sustainability be achieved?

I am excited to attend this years event and during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk I had a chance to talk with David Butler, Web Marketing Manager for Alltech. He offered insite to the upcoming event and shared what hot topics will be discussed.

“Global 500 is unique because we have progressive dairy farmers and beef producers from all over the world that come to Lexington, KY to spend three days. They get to hear some great speakers, some real industry experts, but more than that we have discussion dinners where they can share ideas and share some challenges. An opportunity for US dairy farmers to find out how their colleagues in Europe are dealing with some of the environmental regulations there that we may see here eventually.”

“Cow comfort, of course is always a big thing. Mycotoxins are a big issue this year because of the drought in the US. We will be talking about ways to manage that. And things like mineral execration and other sorts of challenges that make it really tough for farmers, especially with large herds.”

Alltech is also holding a Farms In Focus photo contest to be judged during Global 500. Snap a photo of what dairy farming means to you and submit at Share via Facebook and Twitter, get all your friends to vote during the event for a chance to win $300.

Listen to my interview with David here: David Butler - Alltech

2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album