If you haven’t registered for the 2013 Agricultural Media Summit then now is the time. To learn what’s being planned I got an update from Steering Committee Chairman, Greg Horstmeier, past AAEA President. We did this during the recent Agri-Marketing Conference. There was no script used. We decided to Just Wing It.
Get your cameras rolling for Alltech’s Annual Farming Film Festival. Everybody knows that farmers work extremely hard to feed the world, but not everyone knows how much science goes into farming every day. Farmers are always observing, learning and searching for new ways to take better care of their land, livestock and crops.
This is your chance to show the world the science of farming. If you’re a farmer we want to hear your story. If you’re not a farmer, find one and tell their story.
Participants can enter to win up to $2,000 by submitting their video at FarmingFilmFestival.com. Winners will be chosen by a panel of science and agricultural journalists based on creativity, quality of video and story interest.
The competition will run from May 3 to June 30. Early entrees will be highlighted at GLIMPSE 2020 the 29th Annual Alltech International Symposium in Lexington, Ky., May 19-22. Finalists will be notified July 2 and public voting will take place July 2-21.
For more information and official rules, visit FarmingFilmFestival.com.
Who would have thought just a few years ago that seeing farmers in the field managing information with their phones would be common place? As this video clip from Certified Angus Beef shows, mobile devices are embraced by farmers and besides helping save them time they are also helping their consumer customers have more confidence in the food they produce.
Barb Downey operates a commercial and registered Angus herd in Kansas. An active mobile technology user, she shares her experience on how these tools can provide more convenient opportunities for beef producers to manage herd records. This video news is provided by Certified Angus Beef LLC and the American Angus Association. Visit www.CABpartners.com or www.angus.org for more information.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) held a Food Dialogues event in Chicago on Monday in conjunction with the 2013 BIO International Convention to address “The Straight Story on Biotech in Agriculture: The Media and its Impact on Consumers.”
Moderated by CNBC Senior Analyst and Financial Industry Expert Ron Insana, the event featured opening remarks from Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Robert Flider, acting director of the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture. Panelists included:
• Dr. Bob Goldberg, UCLA plant molecular biologist
• Emily Anthes, journalist and author, Frankenstein’s Cat
• Jerry Slocum, Mississippi soybean farmer
• Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., freelance writer, speaker, columnist and radio host, Food Sleuth
• Michael Olson, Producer/Host, Food Chain Radio
• Pam Johnson, Iowa corn farmer
• Steve Smith, Chairman, SaveOurCrops.Org
An interesting discussion of different viewpoints – you can watch it here:
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.
FarmFootage.com is a stock video supplier specializing in high-definition, broadcast quality, royalty-free agricultural video footage. The high-definition footage is made available by REL Productions along with a network of consigning owners of agricultural footage.
Currently, the National Pork Board and other groups are using FarmFootage.com to share their video footage and broadcast video packages with the media and industry partners. FarmFootage.com is continuously expanding the selection of footage available on the site and welcomes interest from new contributors as well as footage requests.
This is just too good not to share. The Midwest Dairy Association just published Feedin’ A Nation, a very entertaining music parody video.
Thank you to the more than 65 dairy farmers from age 1 to 81 for helping bring this video to life. All footage was filmed at dairy farm family homes in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. Join us in “Feedin’ a Nation” by making a food bank donation to ensure the health of all generations! Learn more at http://www.DairyMakesSense.com.
At the National Ag Day banquet in Washington, DC, the winner of the written essay contest read her essay to us. She’s Whitney Bowman, Mount Jackson, VA. Here’s where you can find her essay titled “American Agriculture: Nourishing Opportunities.”
Other winners include Lebo Molefe, Naperville, IL – Video Essay Contest – see below and April Fox, Wayne State University – Poster Contest.
You can listen to Whitney’s essay here: Whitney Bowman Ag Day EssayCoverage of the National AgDay Activities is sponsored by the BCS think tank and American Seed Trade Association
From an #AgDay @Reply to me this afternoon comes a link to a new single by James Wesley, Thank a Farmer. Thought it would be good to share before I head to this afternoon’s National Ag Day banquet at USDA.
You can find Jame’s song on YouTube and purchase it in iTunes. I’ve got it. So, go get it.Coverage of the National AgDay Activities is sponsored by the BCS think tank and American Seed Trade Association
A growing number of agvocates are learning how to use today’s social media platforms and that includes YouTube. How many of you farmers have given this a try? Here’s a story about a new initiative to showcase sustainable farms and farmers. Of course most farmers are sustainable. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to stay in business. What do you think of Farm Shorts?
Not surprising to FarmShorts Founder Kala Philo, it took less than a week for Dodge Ram Truck’s “So God Made a Farmer” ad to reach 10 million online views. The Superbowl airing of the commercial provided the initial exposure, but it was the gripping content — the powerful visuals and the farmers’ resonating role in all our lives — that got everyone buzzing.
Philo, a professional video producer, understands more than most the impact video can have in promoting local, sustainable farm and food businesses, each with a story to tell. But evocative, high-quality, video-based storytelling is expensive, and typically prohibitive to cash-, technology- and time-starved farmers.
So Philo launched FarmShorts (http://www.farmshorts.com), a collaborative video project and tech-savvy marketing initiative.
FarmShorts pools time, resources and expertise to provide gorgeous web video and distributable content about, and for, sustainable farms and food producers. Through crowdfunding, sponsorship and community support, FarmShorts aims to offset what would be thousands of dollars in marketing costs for an individual farm.
Last year’s Midwest drought evoked images of the dust bowl of the “dirty 30′s”. But how many of you really know much about it or what it took to survive those trying times? Here’s one way you can get a glimpse into those times. It’s a film documentary called, “Harvesting The High Plains.” An advance copy is now available for purchase online. Additionally, the documentary is running on local PBS stations and you might want to consider calling your local station to request that they air it. Why? Because it is a very well done historical and inspiring look at how American ingenuity took the challenge of some of the most adverse working conditions you can imagine to farm the land and essentially created a whole new way to grow and harvest a wheat crop.
I want to share a conversation with the Director of the documentary, Jay Kriss, Inspirit Creative, in which we discuss how he got involved in this project. Jay is not only works in the film industry but also still farms wheat back on the family farm in Kansas. He has a direct personal connection to one of the main characters you’ll get to know in the film. The documentary is narrated by Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe. You’ll learn in our interview that he and Jay have a mutual connection which made Mike a perfect choice to handle this job. The documentary is sponsored by the AGCO Gleaner brand. Gleaner combine harvesters were born in Kansas and are a part of the story told in the documentary according to Kevin Bien, Gleaner brand marketing manager in a company press release.
Listen to our conversation here: Interview with Jay Kriss
Here’s the trailer to give you a taste of what you can expect in the documentary. You can find more information on the “Harvesting The High Plains” website.
Ever since we’ve been hearing about the whole drone issue in Washington, DC I keep hearing this phrase in my head. But of course farm fields are being droned, by farmers themselves, and for good reasons. Here’s a great story on the subject.
Helicopters are just plain cool, especially if you can operate them by remote control. The Aerial Precision Ag booth at AG CONNECT Expo sold out of their new Multi Ready to Fly units! Using mini hand controlled helicopters for precision ag field imaging work got a lot of attention. These four rotor units were also being demonstrated right on the floor. The devices were first developed for cinematographers but the company quickly realized their great ag application.
I visited with Halee Janes, Aerial Precison Ag, a sister company to Cirrus Rotors, to learn more about these new units they were demonstrating. In the video below you can watch Halee explaining the new units and a short demonstration of them.
Halee says the ag industry can really benefit from aerial imagery for things like checking storm damage, crop production, water damage and getting that information very quickly. The footage from the included camera is stored on an SD card which you would remove and plug in to your computer. The starter kits on sale at the show include everything a farmer needs in a box. Included are a Hero GoPro 3 camera with an SD card that holds about an hour of footage. She says you can quickly get an aerial look at 60 acres, as in just a few minutes. These units can withstand about a 10-15 mph wind, travel up to 2 miles and as high as 400 feet. The batteries included give you about 16 minutes of flight time with wind and heat being the main variables. The units are also pretty customizable as long as you consider the weight.
You can listen to my interview with Halee here: Interview with Halee Janes
Zoetis has created a series of YouTube videos with veterinarians to show the public how farmers of all sizes take care of their animals.
In new YouTube videos released today, swine veterinarians Dr. Matthew Turner of North Carolina and Dr. Tara Donovan of Wisconsin join veterinarians and farmers from across the country in speaking out for responsible livestock farming by hosting a film crew to document their work. They are among 12 veterinarians who demonstrate modern animal wellness practices on dozens of U.S. farms and ranches in the YouTube reality series “Veterinarians On Call,” www.youtube.com/vetsoncall.
“Veterinarians On Call”, presented by animal health company Zoetis™, shows the public that regardless of the size of a farm, farmers and ranchers benefit from raising animals in the most comfortable, stress-free conditions and housing. Doing so avoids disease, saves money on care, and keeps animals growing at proper weight until ready for market. In other words it would be counter-productive to and a risk to their businesses if farmers raised stressed, underweight animals.
The film crews documented veterinarians working on farms as small as a couple hundred animals, to some of the largest U.S. farms responsible for hundreds of thousands of animals a year. The farms are an accurate representation of America’s 2.2 million farms, 97% of which are family-owned.
The 12 veterinarians who volunteered to be filmed are:
Dr. John Groves, Missouri
Dr. Rick Leone, Colorado
Dr. Don Goodman, Texas
Dr. Tom Noffsinger, Nebraska
Dr. Paul Ruen, Minnesota
Dr. Ross Kiehne, Minnesota
Dr. Angie Supple, Iowa
Dr. Pete Ostrum, New York
Dr. Lindsey Peck, New York
Dr. Matthew Turner, North Carolina
Dr. Tara Donovan, Wisconsin
Dr. Lynn Locatelli, New Mexico (to be published 2013)
We recently caught up with Russ Mormon, Ag Leader sales representative, at the National Farm Machinery Show who told us a little more about Ag Leader’s Intellislope tile plow control through the Integra display.
Installing field drainage tile improves soil tilth for better root development, lengthening planting windows and providing better nutrient access for crops by removing excess moisture from the soil profile. Intellislope eliminates manual grade calculations, laser tripod setup and repositioning hassles which removes many of the challenges growers have faced in the past, allowing them to tile their fields on their own time, and more economically than hiring contractors.
Watch Mormon in this video as he gives a brief demonstration of Intellislope.
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.
The Stock Exchange, powered by DV Auction, works hard to bring you news about the beef industry each month and recently launched a new weekly beef news show, Cattle Commentary. Each week we hope to share industry news, as well as, address issues facing cattlemen and women across the country.
After getting the first one under our belts, we are really excited about what the show can bring to breeders. My husband and I have been part of the DV Auction crew for over three years now and are true proponents of what the company can offer. When asked to host the Cattle Commentary, I jumped at the opportunity to dive into beef news and share the story of producers nation wide.
This week’s beef headlines include:
–Stanley Stout Livestock Marketing Center to be Dedicated at KSU’s 100th Cattlemen’s Day
–Cast your votes for the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame
–Sec. Tom Vilsack warns of posssible fifteen day furlough of all Food Safety Inspectors
Check out the first edition of Cattle Commentary below.
They also met up with attendees and exhibitors at the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Companies shared new products and experts gave insight into the future of the beef industry. You can find these interviews at here.
Award-winning book, Prancing, Dancing Lily, can now be found world-wide as a multi-platform app. The heartwarming story about an Ayrshire cow determined to hoof and groove around the globe, was written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by John Manders. App developers and author have teamed up with interactive media publisher, Fat Red Couch.
“The Fat Red Couch team provided years of experience in storytelling and are a delight to work with,” says Ms. Arnold. “We persevered in our search for the perfect app just as Lily persevered in her search for the perfect dance, and just like Lily, we had a great time on the journey. Lily’s story will delight anyone who’s ever felt different from the herd. Children can interact with Lily as they read or listen to the story and enjoy playing puzzles.”
Download Prancing, Dancing Lily on iTunes, Android, and Amazon for $1.99. For a preview of the app, visit Vimeo. To learn more about Lily and author Marsha Diane Arnold, please visit www.prancingdancinglily.com. To learn more about Fat Red Couch, a member of the collaborative group of family-friendly app developers Moms With Apps, visit www.fatredcouch.com.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hit two meetings in one city last week, appearing at both the National Ethanol Conference and the National Biodiesel Conference within a few hours of each other, since they were both being held in Las Vegas a mile apart.
Vilsack told both groups that the renewable fuels industry is worth fighting for. “Your country’s future depends on it,” he said. “It’s that important. That’s why I’m here – I firmly believe it.”
Watch the Secretary’s address at the NEC below:
Video streaming by Ustream
Understandably, the secretary gave similar speeches to both groups – but not the same and he had slightly different questions to address specific topics such as chances for a farm bill, energy title funding and more. We covered both events last week for the 7th and 8th years in a row.
The Dodge Ram Truck “God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl commercial has already topped 10 million views and spawned more than a dozen parodies.
This one is funny – “So God Made Farmville.”
Another “spoof” on the commercial was not so funny. “God Made a Factory Farmer” posted on “Funny or Die” was kind of snarky, actually – and so were some people who wrote about it, saying that it “pokes holes in the myths of the hardworking American farmer.” Riiiight. I’m pretty darn sure that every single farmer that I know works harder than any “factory farm” critic on the planet.
However, there are a few truths in the words to the spoof.
“And back when America was founded, 90% of the population were farmers. But now it’s less than 1%. So God made a factory farm.” Ignoring the negative connotation of the term “factory farm” this is a true statement. A factory farm is a “large industrialized” farm, which means an operation based on producing as much as possible – to feed the other 99% non-farmers.
“And then God wanted to maximize yield, so he made pesticides and herbicides. And he made genetically modified seeds that are resistant to those chemicals. And God let Monsanto patent those seeds.” It’s nice to see God getting the credit for a change! I would have to agree with that statement.
Today’s poultry industry faces multiple and often contradictory challenges to profitability. Between managing margins and servicing customers, every stakeholder in the supply chain is working to meet financial metrics, strict quality expectations and dynamic market demands.
Novus recognizes these challenges and is here to help turn them into opportunity. From our unique position, we understand the perspective of all stakeholders and can facilitate the connections needed to solve problems and meet customer demands.
During the event I talked with Scott Hine, Vice President of Product Management Operation for Novus. Scott shared how their goal is to challenge their processers to not only think about the feed mill and poultry operations, but to think of all operations and connect the dots between them.
Check out my complete interview with Scott: Interview with Scott Hine
You can find photos from the event here:International Production & Processing Expo Photo Album
There was no way I couldn’t take some post Super Bowl time to share the Ram Trucks commercial. It sure caught us by surprise and pleasantly so. Here’s why:
In our newest Ram brand commercial, we dedicate 2013 to celebrating the American farmer. Share the video, and join the Ram brand throughout the year as we celebrate the people, the food and the lifestyle that keep America growing.
WELCOME TO THE YEAR OF THE FARMER.
And just to sweeten it a little bit how about helping the FFA?
You watch the video, you share a badge, the Ram brand makes a donation. Help us raise $1 million to support FFA and assist in local hunger and educational programs.
So watch the commercial. It’s worth it just to listen to broadcast legend Paul Harvey!
Post Update: I neglected to add that this project is being conducted by Ram Trucks in alliance with sister company Case IH.