Google Glass Intern

IMG_0633 This past week at the NAMA convention, I was lucky enough to try the infamous Google Glass. Needless to say, I fell in love with it. I am sure for the first ten minutes I looked like an idiot trying to figure it out, but I got the hang of it. While I was wearing them, all I could think about was how this could help all of agriculture. An farmer has a problem in the field? Ask Glass to call your agronomist, or Google what a certain weed is.

Now Glass is “on sale” for more people to test out and see how it works. For $1,500 you can walk around and give feedback on how you enjoy them and where they need to improve. One of the main goals that Google has is to make them available to the public between the $500-700 range. Needless to say, once I am not a broke college student anymore, I will be purchasing a pair. And for the record, this is the only “selfie” I took during the NAMA conference!

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

NAMA Trade Show Through ZimmGlass

Bruce Rasa TekWearAgGoogle Glass got a lot of attention during the Connection Point at this year’s Agri-Marketing Conference. Here’s Bruce Rasa, TekWearAg, doing a demo with Karen and Cliff from GROWMARK. Bruce patiently conducted countless demos during his time working with us in the ZimmComm booth. We really appreciate his participation and have enjoyed a great relationship as we work on ideas and potential projects for this new technology. TekWearAg is working on the application side of the technology so he’s someone you should contact if you are interested in a Glass application for your business or service.

While Bruce was doing demos I took ZimmGlass and wandered around the trade show floor. As you’ll hear in the video below it was quite noisy but I met some interesting people. Maybe you’ll see someone you know.

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

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

NAMA Fresh Perspective

During the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference Max Armstrong produced daily “The Fresh Perspective” videos with information about what was happening during the event. In fact, The Fresh Perspective is sponsored by This Week in Agribusiness. Here’s the last episode.

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

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

Brownfield Honky Tonks With NAMA

Brownfield StaffIt was honky tonk time at the Brownfield NAMA Party at Maverick’s in Jacksonville last night. Or should I say this morning? Pretty much a little of both!

Here’s the Brownfield staff just having fun like you knew they would. It was a packed house as Agri-Marketing Conference attendees stopped by to relax and share some fun with friends and colleagues. I’ll be uploading a bunch of party pics and will update this post when they are ready. It’s time for the ZimmComm team to head to the homestead today so it might be tomorrow. But we will get it done.

Post Update: Here are party pics for your viewing and sharing pleasure: 2014 Brownfield NAMA Party Photo Album

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

NASS Census Division Director at NAMA

nama14-nassThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced it will publish the 2012 Census of Agriculture full report on May 2. The announcement was made this week as NASS Census and Survey Division Director Renee Picanso was attending the National Agri-Marketing Association conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Agribusinesses are highly represented here and they are definitely big users of the data,” she said during an interview. The complete data series will be available in multiple formats, including Quick Stats 2.0 – an online database to retrieve customized tables with Census data at the national, state and county levels.

Picanso says the census data is being released a little later than normal this time around. “Usually we release in early February, but with the government shut down last fall, we got a little bit behind,” she said. Interview with Renee Picanso, USDA-NASS

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

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

Happy Birthday ZimmComm!

nama14-boothZimmComm New Media is officially ten years old at this year’s NAMA conference so we are happily celebrating with all of our agri-marketing friends.

Here to help us at the booth are (LtoR) niece Hayley DeRuiter, Google Glass Guru Bruce Rasa, me and Chuck, intern Kristin Liska, sales guy Dave Larson, and nephew Hunter DeRuiter. We have birthday cake, Glass demos, and giveaways. People are taking a quiz on how well they know ZimmComm for a chance to win a 10th anniversary t-shirt and we’re giving away gold styluses and microfiber glasses sacks.

google-birthdayWe are also getting lots of congrats on our anniversary and we were surprised when we opened our Google page today and had a birthday greeting! I thought that was pretty bizarre, but Chuck says he thinks it’s because it must be our anniversary of our Google account.

Whatever – it was a pretty timely message. Thanks Google!

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

Brownfield Goes Honky Tonk for NAMA Party

nama-14-brownfield-inviteThe famous Brownfield Ag News NAMA party will be a Honky Tonk affair here in Jacksonville this evening after the trade show closes.

The venue is Mavericks at The Landing, which is just a short walk from the hotel. The fun starts at 9:00 pm and goes until midnight and of course the ZimmComm photo crew will be there to document the festivities.

So grab your boots and hat and we’ll see you there!

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

#TractorTweets

IMG_0592At the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) conference this year, New Holland is engaging with people by having them have a little New Holland tractor, received in the welcome bag, and take pictures of it in unique places. After taking the picture, participants can tweet the picture to New Holland and use the #TractorTweet hashtag to be entered to win New Holland swag! If you are participating, remember to get your tweets in by April 13!

Our New Holland tractor, as seen in the picture, is helping us celebrate our 10 year anniversary! We are officially entering the golden years with our golden microphones in hand!

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

NAMA Chapter Leaders Workshop

Andrea BloomNAMA Chapter Leaders got together this morning for a workshop to discuss challenges and exchange ideas. Andrea Bloom, Vita Plus was one of the leaders of the leaders workshop and I talked with her about the program and what she hopes to accomplish.

Andrea says one of the challenges that chapters face is the diversity in the membership and designing a program to attract all of them. Listen in to our conversation to see what ideas she has to meet that challenge.

You can listen to my interview with Andrea here: Interview with Andrea Bloom

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

NAMA Gypsies

Kenna RathaiOne of the beginning events at an Agri-Marketing Conference is a get together dinner for NAMA Presidents, past and present as well as the executive committee. This was done last night at 13 Gypsies. Our group was more than thirteen but we bonded with the gypsies at the restaurant.

One of them is Chef Howard, pictured here with NAMA President Kenna Rathai. We got Chef Howard to say a few comments (emphasis on few). He and his crew made us multiple tapas plates that were wonderful.

You can listen to Chef Howard’s brief remarks here: Chef Howard

Here’s where you’ll be able to find lots of photos from throughout the conference: 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

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

NAMA Exec. Comm. Meets

NAMA Exec. Comm.The Agri-Marketing Conference week is underway in Jacksonville, FL. Here’s the NAMA executive committee at work this morning wearing Under Armour caps thanks to President Kenna Rathai. They’re looking down to show off the NAMA logo on top of the caps.

Most of the committee took off to play in the golf tournament. I hope the weather gets better since we had some storms move through overnight and into the morning. Sunshine is on the way though. Has to be. We’re in the Sunshine State.

More activities will take place starting tomorrow and we’ll be sharing all that we can during the week.

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

Glass Farming at #NAMA14

Bruce RasaStop by the ZimmComm New Media booth at this week’s Agri-Marketing Conference and visit with TekWearAg Bruce Rasa. Bruce will have his Google Glass in action and give you some ideas for how it can be used in agribusiness now. The photo is of Bruce presenting at last year’s John Deere Integrators Conference. I will also have ZimmGlass there to share my experience using it as an agricultural journalist tool this year.

Some other reasons to stop by include some cool giveaways and we’ll also have a short ten question quiz for you to take to get a free ZimmComm Ten Year Anniversary t-shirt. We will have our cake and eat it with you too!

The conference hashtag is #NAMA14. Follow along throughout the week to keep up with all the action. We’ll also be sharing right here on AgWired courtesy of sponsors Brownfield Ag News and Rhea + Kaiser.

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

Spring into Agri-Marketing Conference

flower-postI’m really hoping spring has finally sprung here in Florida. You might know that the origin of the state’s name is the Spanish Pascua Florida, meaning “feast of flowers” (Easter). Certainly is starting to look that way around here.

And since we’re in the sunshine and warming up, I’ve got to plug the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference which is just around the corner (next week!). We’re going to have fun, fellowship, professional development, awards, student competition, tour, golf and more. Come early and stay late. Let’s make this a conference to remember.

Conference Twitter hashtag is #NAMA14.