Preview of Cattle Industry Convention

Chuck Zimmerman

MBIC Report PodcastThe Missouri Beef Industry Council’s weekly MBIC Report this week is with David Dick who is the chairman. David provides a preview of the upcoming Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. I’ll be blogging the conference right here and on a new blog that will be announced soon!

You can listen to this week’s MBIC Report here: Download MP3 File

The MBIC Report is an AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link you’ll find on our “Blogs & Podcasts” page or on the MBIC website.

Ag Group, Audio, Beef, MBIC, MBIC Report, Podcasts

Bunge Continues China Growth

Chuck Zimmerman

BungeThe global aspect of agriculture just keeps on happening. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out as companies invest in other countries. Like Bunge which made a big announcement today.

Bunge Limited today announced an agreement to purchase an integrated soybean crushing and refining plant in the port city of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, from Dalian Huanong Group Ltd. The plant, Bunge’s second in the country, will link the company directly to customers in the expanding soybean meal and oil markets in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces and other Yangtze River regions.


Wilco & Agriliance Joint Venture

Chuck Zimmerman

AgrilianceThe latest ePreview from CHS and Land O’Lakes, Inc. announces that Wilco Farmers, Mt. Angel, Ore., and Agriliance have formed “an agronomy marketing joint venture. The partnership will allow the two companies to pool resources and to more efficiently manage both wholesale and retail agronomy businesses in the joint trade area.”

Through the joint venture, Agriliance will supply all of the joint venture’s crop nutrients and crop protection products, and will continue to pursue wholesale crop nutrients and crop protection product business with farm supply dealers surrounding the joint venture trade area. Wilco Farmers will maintain grower relationships and service.

Bill Hubbell has been named general manager of the agronomy joint venture. Hubbell was previously owner and operator of a privately held company in Cleveland, Ohio. Hubbell has also held various executive sales management positions with Lesco, Inc., a landscape supply distributor, and was a Farm and Home Store manager for Agway, Inc., Southold, New York.


Is That An iPod In Your Jeans

Chuck Zimmerman

Levi Strauss & Co.The iPod revolution continues. Levi Strauss & Co. is going to make farm podcasting that much easier later this year when you can purchase Levi’s® RedWire™ DLX Jeans. They’re due out in the fall.

Designed for both men and women, the jeans seamlessly integrate iPod plug and play technology giving music enthusiasts the most innovative and fashionable way to enjoy music on the go. The jean is designed to be compatible with most iPod systems and features include a special joystick incorporated into the jeans’ watch pocket to enable easy operation of the iPod.

I’m sure they meant to add “farm podcasting” in there along with music.

Design features include:

Easy Pocket Storage – An iPod docking cradle is built into the jeans and is “invisibly” housed within a side pocket. The Levi’s® design team took special care to ensure the iPod unit remains neatly and securely stored in the jean, while the iPod “bump” in the pocket is virtually eliminated. The cradle is equipped with sophisticated technology housed in a red conductive ribbon that allows users to quickly and easily remove their iPod from the pocket to view its screen while staying connected. The jean is machine washable once the iPod is removed.

“Hip” Controls – A special joystick remote control is externally designed into the jeans’ watch pocket to enable operation of the iPod. Four-way controls allow the wearer to easily play/pause, track forward, track back and adjust the volume control without ever removing the iPod from the pocket.

Handy Wire Retractor – A handy retractable headphone unit has been built directly into the jean to help prevent tangles and efficiently manage the iPod earphone wires.

Oh and there’s one other thing. They’re still going to be a “great-fitting jean.”


Myers An Excellent Finalist At AFBF

Chuck Zimmerman

Andrea MeyersAndrea Myers, who is Sales & Marketing Communications Specialist for Select Sires, earned a spot in the Top 10 of the Excellence in Agriculture competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention. This award recognizes successful people 35 or younger who are involved in farming but whose primary occupation is not farming or owning an agricultural business. In order to be in the final competition Andrea previously was named the winner of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s (OFBF) Excellence in Agriculture award competition. For that award she received an expense paid trip to the AFBF convention and a $1,000 technology package from OFBF, $500 from Dodge Trucks and a commemorative chime clock. Sounds to me like she made out very well!

Ag Group

National Popcorn Day

Chuck Zimmerman

The Popcorn BoardWe’re coming up on National Popcorn Day, which is January 19. You’ve got to love food celebration days. It gives us an excuse to eat it. But then that’s the whole purpose, right?

National Popcorn Day is celebrated at the end of January, although its exact date is a matter of debate. Many sources report it as January 19; others claim it takes place on Super Bowl Sunday. How, when, or why it began is a mystery, according to the Popcorn Board, a non-profit organization. “We’re often asked about the origins of this day and wish we had some insight, but it remains a puzzle,” said Wendy Boersema Rappel, spokesperson for the Popcorn Board. “Some other individual or organization with obvious good taste began this tradition some time ago and we’re glad they did.”

Herbed Popcorn Chili and Soup TopperTo celebrate it The Popcorn Board is encouraging you to try out Herbed Popcorn Chili and Soup Topper:

Yield: 4 cups

4 cups air-popped popcorn
Butter or original flavor cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cajun Creole seasoning or chili powder

1. Place popcorn in a large, clean paper bag. Spray popcorn lightly with cooking spray, about 5 quick sprays. Sprinkle parsley, thyme, basil, oregano and Cajun Creole seasoning onto popcorn. Close bag and shake to distribute seasoning.

2. Sprinkle on chili or soup at serving time or serve as a snack.

Ag Group, Corn

Bringing Internet Access To Rural America

Chuck Zimmerman

Tim GanshchowI’m back. It’s been a long day of blogging, teaching blogging and demonstrating I promised to post some audio though and here it is. I decided to post Tim Ganschow’s (Agristar Global Networks) complete presentation today on “Bringing Internet Access To Rural America.” You sure can’t find a subject more near and dear to my heart. It was a great lead-in to my blogging seminar that followed today at the Gateway Nama/St. Louis Ag Club meeting.

You can listent to Tim here: Tim Ganschow Presentation (19MB MP3 – 41 min.)

I know it’s long but I think you’ll find the information very interesting. If you don’t want to listen to Tim’s full presentation I’m planning to cut it up and use it in next week’s ZimmCast. Tim has a written report on this subject that I’m going to ask him for. If he’ll let me I’ll post it for you or at least excerpts of it.

As most of us in agricultural communications know, the only reason why farmers lag behind the general public in some categories of internet use is the lack of broadband. With the availability of broadband access farmers will quickly catch up to the rest of the population. A point that Tim made which I really liked is that as communications professionals who may in some cases be waiting for this “catch up” point, the tools to make use of broadband internet access are already available. These would include rich media options like video and audio. Tim’s company is just one that’s working rapidly to expand farmer access to broadband internet. He mentions at the end of the talk the desire to pull together a “Broadband Alliance For Agriculture.” I think he can count on ZimmComm and AgWired to be a part of that alliance.

Audio, Blogging, Internet, NAMA

Politics & Renewable Energy

Keith Good

FarmPolicy.comIt is never too early to talk about the next presidential election and the Iowa Caucuses, where rural and agricultural issues often get more media focus.

One area of particular interest that politicians often refer to when traveling in Iowa, or preparing to campaign there, is ethanol and renewable energy.

The New York Times recently reported that New York Gov. George E. Pataki in his State of the State address, “made a pitch for ethanol, an alternative fuel made from corn that is beloved in Iowa, which happens to also be the home of the first presidential caucus.”

However, in a time of relatively high energy prices, Middle Eastern instability and increased focus on trade compliance, renewable energy issues could potentially garner more than the normal amount of attention from potential Presidential candidates like Gov. Pataki

In one indication of the importance of the renewable energy issue, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Thomas L. Friedman recently commented that “making ourselves energy efficient and independent, and environmentally green,” could be “the most important issue in U.S. foreign and domestic policy today.”

To the extent that the average voter can connect ethanol and other farm based forms of energy to addressing “the most important issue in U.S. foreign and domestic policy today,” politicians could see a change in attitude with respect to allocating federal tax dollars to various types of federal farm subsidies.

In addition to the warmer reception the general public may give these types of federal support, some farm policy observers point out that ethanol subsidies are also W.T.O. compliant, or non-trade distorting.

Yesterday’s Argues Leader (S.D) included this quote, from Brian Jennings, from the American Coalition for Ethanol, “There is nothing we do in the U.S. to support ethanol that is trade distorting.”

In addition to environmental programs, and rural development, agricultural observers should keep an eye on the increasingly important issue of renewable energy.

Keith Good writes The News Summary, an Email newsletter containing a summary of news relating to U.S. farm policy which is published most weekdays. For more information, go to

Farm Policy

Rural Broadband Discussion

Chuck Zimmerman

Tim GanshchowThe presentation here at the NAMA/Ag Club meeting is now underway. Our presenter is Tim Ganschow, VP of Agristar Global Networks. He started out with some great statistics about overall U. S. households that have internet access and compared that to farmers using USDA’s every other year national study.

He took us through a little bit of history of the internet starting with how a little company called Netscape really changed the way we can interact with and use the internet.

Now he’s talking about rural broadband and what the options are, especially when it comes to farmers.

BTW. I’m recording this so I can bring you the audio of his full presentation later.


AgWired Live From St. Louis

Chuck Zimmerman

St. Louis Ag Club BoardHere we are just prior to the NAMA Gateway/St. Louis Ag Club meeting at the Westport Sheraton. The St. Louis Ag Club is currently holding their board meeting. They were kind enough to pause for the photo op.

We’ll begin the meeting with a reception at 11:30 and then have lunch with our keynote speaker. More to come.