The executive committee of the National Agri-Marketing Association held its quarterly meeting this afternoon in advance of the full board meeting tomorrow. We’re continuing to work on the strategic plan to grow and expand NAMA.
The board meeting will precede the start of the annual NAMA Fall Conference which is taking place here in Clayton, MO. We’ve got a full program of sessions that will challenge your thinking and help build leaders in the industry. I’ll have more to come during the next several days.
Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag, #NAMAFall13.
The Best of NAMA awards program honors the best work in agricultural communications. Actually, the best of the best, since companies/agencies must first qualify through regional competition in order to advance to the national level. The national awards ceremony will take place April 9, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
Regional entry deadline is October 11, 2013. You can download information and forms on the NAMA website. Got questions? Call 913-491-6500.
Okay. Here’s the deal agrimarketers. You can still attend the National Agri-Marketing Association Fall Conference in St. Louis next week. Let’s make this a record breaker. We’re very close to our attendance goal now so all you have to do is call the office and let ‘em know you’re coming.
We’ve got a great program that covers some breakouts on topics of importance to the industry that you have not seen before like climate change and the outlook for agriculture. You’ll enjoy our keynoter, Brian Billick, talk about The Essentials for Success. And of course there will plenty of world renowned NAMA Networking!
The National Agri-Marketing Association held a reception for agrimarketers attending the 2013 Farm Progress Show. Here’s some of the group that showed up to get out of the sun and enjoy some fun and fellowship.
Efforts like this are part of NAMA’s efforts to reach out to other organizations and find ways to collaborate. It is also a great way to introduce more people to NAMA and encourage membership. The reception was sponsored by Heartland NAMA.
Educating the agricultural industry about other aspects of the agricultural industry is just as important as educating our consumers. And that is exactly what happened at this year’s NAMA Boot Camp, held last week in Kansas City. Breakout sessions titled Ag 101 and Ag 201 took place for attendees to hear from experts so they could broaden their knowledge of the community they work in.
Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University Vet School, spoke to the crowd who attended Ag 201 specifically about the beef industry and food safety. I believe an eye-opening moment for many was when Dr. Thomson defined the difference between animals rights, animal activists and animal welfare.
He also stressed the importance of education through hands-on training. This statement brings me back to the FFA Motto. “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve.” This old message that is taught to high school students across the country still rings true in today’s agriculture.
Later in my interview with Dr. Thompson, he expresses his concern on people farming to the audit and explains that assessments are the key to ensuring farming practices are done with food safety and humane practices on the forefront, not audits.
The 2013 NAMA Boot Camp kicked off last week in Kansas City, Missouri. General sessions brought attendees together to discuss topics and breakout sessions allowed them to specialize their experience.
Michael Berry, Director of Marketing for SPF, talked to attendees about agency-client communications during a breakout session on day one of the event. He provided insight on different perspectives and effective communication. What is interesting about Michael is he has a farming background and worked on both the agency and client side.
He stressed the importance of relationship building, but reminded us that all client/agency relationships are different. The key to creating strong relationships is partnership, communication and trust.
“I think the biggest thing about my background is it’s kind of prepared me for the real world. There is a lot of fluff and stuff we can put into advertising and messaging that we send out to our growers, but being a grower myself allows me to see what good, usable information needs to be put out there for the grower for them to make good purchasing decisions.”
Today anyone with Internet capabilities is considered media. Thus, the ability for anyone to serve as your marketing and PR team. The ability for instantaneous information has lead businesses into the field of social media. And the term social business is coined. The first general session to start off day two of the event was lead by Justin Goldsborough, Senior Vice President at FleishmanHilliard, on the Evolution of Social Business.
“Social business is about managing online relationships effectively by managing internal stakeholder relationships.”
Justin was able to thoroughly explain the business value of social media and give first-hand examples of ways to do it right. His company has adopted a Social Engagement Lifecycle to help them and other companies take steps into creating a social media plan that works. The bottom line is the importance of content that is engaging.
He left us with five things we should do today to jump start our social business plan.
1. Find where you are on the Social Engagement Lifecycle.
2. Think about what social media channels you want to use and how you want to use them.
3. Search to see how people are talking about your company.
4. Define objectives. Are they measurable?
5. Subscribe to Content Marketing Institute for email newsletters.
The 2013 NAMA Boot Camp kicked off last week in Kansas City with the popular producer panel. The coveted voice of Max Armstrong, Penton/Farm Progress, moderated the panelist of Missouri and Kansas farmers. Communicating with producers effectively is a key element when it comes to staying profitable in this industry.
Jarrod Bowser, Kansas; Brad Bray, Missouri and Calvin Pearson, Kansas, served as this year’s panelists. They gave insight from the prospective of grower, beef producer and coop employee. They also were able to share how the difference in generations affect marketing.
I spoke with Jarrod after the panel to get his personal perspective when it comes to social media and purchasing online, brand loyalty, data collection and governmental involvement.
“When it comes to marketing to us, I really enjoy being able to receive texts. When I’m out in the field that is what I am capable of getting. I also think the Internet is a great asset. Whenever I’m looking for something specifically, I go to the Internet. When I’m casually looking for something I use print.”
“I can see as people get older they can become more complacent with the people they have been working with year after year. But if you are truly working hard to keep cost low and we are looking into the future of seeing lower commodity prices, thats going to be a necessity in order to keep producing at a sustainable level. So, I don’t have any brand loyalties specific to a color. But what I do have loyalty in is good service. If they are there working to try and make sure that everything they are selling me is a quality product and they are supporting it. There is a value that is added on.”
The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) will honor four recipients of the 2013 Professional Development Awards of Excellence on Wed., Sept. 18 at the NAMA Fall Conference in St. Louis. These awards honor NAMA members based on outstanding achievement in the professional development areas. This year, Awards of Excellence will be presented in the areas of marketing communications, public relations, product/species management and sales. Click here for more information on the Fall Conference.
Marketing Communications – Gary Sakin, Monsanto
Gary joined Monsanto in November of 2006, and has made impactful changes to how Monsanto approaches branding, measures marcom impact, and engages with its audiences.
Public Relations – Linda Romander, Broadhead
A senior public relations manager at leading agribusiness marketing agency broadhead., Linda has achieved a great deal since her arrival in 2005. Since day one, she has fast become the go to resource for clients seeking sound PR strategy and vision, as well as a mentor for our firm’s younger staff and teams.
Product/Species Management – Zach Hetterick, Case IH
Zach has distinguished himself in the past two years, leading the charge at Case IH for the Livestock/Hay/Forage business as Livestock Marketing Manager. While in this role, he has successfully spearheaded several new product launches, including the Case IH LB4 large square baler, and current launches for the WD3 series windrower, DC3 series disc mower conditioner, and RB565 round baler.
Sales – Jay Carlson, Penton Media – BEEF Magazine
As regional sales manager for BEEF magazine and its digital communications properties, Jay is arguably the nation’s top marketer on a volume basis of print and online livestock advertising. He has been a key innovator in U.S. livestock publishing, developing a number of key instruments and programs that continue to meet the needs of both U.S. livestock producers and U.S. product marketers.
This fall you can Engage, Energize and Empower at the National Agri-Marketing Association Fall Conference. The conference provides outstanding professional development opportunities to help you take your career to the next level. Registration is now open.
Agri-marketers are always looking for opportunities to learn more … to challenge themselves and get better at what they do. The NAMA Fall Conference does all that and more. Take advantage of this chance to reconnect with colleagues and clients and sharpen up your skill set before the end of the year.
You’ll find presentations on mobile digital strategy and dealing with data storage in the Cloud. The ag topics are also anything but run of the mill. We’ll be talking policy and climate change.
So get ready to engage with high level content and high level leadership … energize your career and amp up your professional development … and empower yourself to take it to the next level.
Sponsorships are now available for the Fall Conference. If you are interested in sponsoring a session, please contact Jenny Pickett at email@example.com or call 913-491-6500.
The Executive Committee of the National Agri-Marketing Association has been doing strategizing and planning at its quarterly meeting in Missouri. We had a beautiful setting for it at NAMA President Paul Redhage’s house!
We want to encourage all of you to put the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference on your calendar. It will be in Jacksonville, FL next year before returning to Kansas City in 2015. We need companies, media and agencies to support the event and make it the best conference ever. The dates are April 8-11, 2014.
We’ve looked at our strategic plan to make sure we’re staying on track with things like creating and developing industry alliances. We also worked on a draft of the organizational budget for next year. NAMA is in great shape folks and that’s because of all of you who have paid your dues and gotten involved!
His company, based out of Omaha, outsources social media and creates, manages blogs for clients from Massachusetts to California. Adrian is also the former publisher of The Progressive Farmer and understands the agriculture industry and the people involved in it.
In the increasingly noisy marketplace, every organization needs to state its messages clearly. A blog is one of the cornerstones of a modern communications strategy, but not like an ad, a newsletter, or an email. Blogging requires a different set of skills, a different publishing cadence, and a different messaging strategy from traditional media.
Join NAMA on Thursday, June 13 at 1:00 pm central time for this great learning opportunity. Click here to register.
This is a “get it on your calendar” announcement from the National Agri-Marketing Association.
The 10th Annual NAMA Boot Camp dates are August 14th – 16th at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City. Whether you’ve just entered the working world or been through the NAMA Boot Camp drill before, learn more about the latest trends in the agri-marketing industry.
This year the Boot Camp will take it to a new level expanding on marketing and agriculture basics. All attendees will receive a notebook packed with agricultural terminology, facts, case studies and speaker presentations. This notebook has become one of the most popular aspects of the boot camp experience.
More details to follow. Sponsorship packages are available if interested, contact Jenny Pickett at 913-491-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Everyone” has a Facebook page (or Twitter account or LinkedIn page, etc.), but is it the right social media decision? That’s the question Steve Hershberger, principal and co-founder of the social media company ComBlu, posed during one of the breakout sessions at the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference recently in Kansas City.
“One of my favorite tools in my toolbox is the word ‘Why?’” Steve told Cindy during an interview at the meeting. “When people say, ‘We have to be on Facebook,’ my question is, ‘Why?’ ‘Well, because all of our competitors are on Facebook.’ ‘Well, why do you have to?” What you have to get them to is a defendable decision that they can back up using empirical data,” such as measurement of their customer sets and what Facebook delivers. And he adds that the right social media strategy will vary from company to company. “Never let the tactics drive the outcome.”
Steve’s company, ComBlu, has been around since 2003 and views the business as less about social and more about an enterprise, leaving behind what he calls “empty calorie” marketing. He said that after asking “Why?” companies need to consider social media as a tactic and look at how to create an overall social strategy over longer periods of time. He added that for those just starting in the social media and strategy realm, they need to eliminate fear and doubts by focusing on just a few things.
“When you’re focused on doing too many things, you move into the analysis-paralysis phase, because you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing. If you hone it down to just a few key items that you’re focused on, you tend to do them better.”
The 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference was a success by all measurements says current President, Paul Redhage, FMC. We got together at the close to wrap things up and in my interview with Paul below you’ll hear all about it.
Now it’s time to look ahead to 2014 when we come to the Sunshine State in Jacksonville. The Florida Chapter is working on some serious hospitality and a unique farm tour. More information on that will be announced later. We certainly hope to see you there.
“Humor for the Heart of Agriculture” was just what we needed to conclude the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference. To give it to us we listened to Agriculture’s Professional Funny Man, Damian Mason. Damian also conducted a breakout session titled, “Agriculture: Trends, Topics and Tomorrow.” You see, he’s more than just funny, he can get a little serious too since he has an ag economics degree and farms in Indiana on 200 acres.
Although Damian is not a college professor he is qualified to talk about trends since his line of work has made him a “professional observer of people, trends and things that are going on.” His outlook for agriculture is “bountiful” but with more and more regulation. He says that one issue in agriculture is the fact that by making a little bit of money lately it has put a target on the industry’s back. He says no one was going to pester us ten or twenty years ago. He also predicts that land values will decrease.
The second general session at the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference was all about “Unleashing Creativity” with Josh Linkner. Josh just happened to be walking by the ZimmComm booth in the Connection Point when I had a chance to visit with him to get a take-away message from his keynote presentation.
Josh told me that we are often faced with what seems to be an insurmountable problem. He says, “History shows us that by taking a path less traveled, by doing something that’s never been done before, we can often solve a problem in a unique way that drives far better results than the traditional and obvious solution.” He “encourages courage,” and says that companies should develop a culture that celebrate new ideas rather than punishing them.
During the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference we received a Frontier Focus- daily email about what was going on. This also included links to Max Armstrong doing video updates. Maybe we should call them MaxTube! Here’s his wrapup video.
At the National Agri-Marketing Conference last week I had the chance to catch up with Amy Bradford, GROWMARK manager of corporate communications, to find out why NAMA is important to them.
Amy says the opportunity to network with others in the industry, but even more important is the support of future agri-marketing professionals. “NAMA is very supportive and committed to developing youth leaders,” Amy said, noting that both Illinois State University and the University of Illinois student NAMA chapters took part in this year’s student competition. That is an important component for GROWMARK, which has a very strong internship program that helps them recruit future employees.
GROWMARK is active in NAMA on the chapter level in the Heartland chapter and Amy says they do enjoy being able to receive recognition for good work through the awards program, but it also gives them a chance to get new ideas. “I was involved in judging the NAMA awards this year and you do get to see new ideas, new products, new ways to communicate those products and services,” she said.
Amy adds that she strongly encourages young professionals getting into the agri-marketing field to get involved in NAMA. “Because it does connect them to other people in the industry where they can build friendships and relationships and share ideas and grow themselves personally and professionally,” said Amy.
“Digilogue — Where High Tech Meets High Touch” was the title of the opening keynote presentation at the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference. Our speaker was Anders Sorman-Nilsson, Thinque. Anders spoke to us about three major trends impacting the agricultural economy now and into the future. Those include the idea of digital disruption, that even though everything is being digitized we can’t forget that our hearts are still analog and that consumer demands of farmers are now shifting.
Anders wanted attendees to leave with the idea that “You need to find the balance in your marketing between tradition and technology, between the old school and the new school ways of reaching your farmers.” He also says, “Don’t throw the analog baby away with the digital bath water.”