Farm Policy Developments Center On Congressional Budget Action & Trade Talks

Keith Good

FarmPolicy.comDevelopments in U.S. farm policy this week included important legislative action in Congress, as well as a trip to Latin America by President Bush.

The Senate on Thursday passed a five-year budget reduction bill by a vote of 52 to 47.

The legislation, which is slated to garner budget saving of $35 billion, contained approximately $3 billion in cuts to agricultural programs.

An amendment offered during the debate which sought to cap farm payments from $360,000 to $250,000, was defeated on a procedural motion by a vote of 53-46.

Meanwhile, the House is expected to bring their budget savings plan to a vote on Thursday. Due to stronger political pressure exerted by conservative Republicans, the House plan seeks a more ambitious overall budget savings of $53.9 billion, including a $3.7 billion reduction in agriculture spending.

In addition to differences over spending levels on the food stamp program, the Senate bill contains a provision to extend the Milk Income Contract Loss program while the House measure does not.

In international developments, late last week President Bush traveled to Argentina to participate in the Summit of the Americas and to meet with the President of Argentina.

President Bush set out to promote the Free Trade Area of the America’s (FTAA) Trade Agreement, which according to Saturday’s Los Angeles Times, “would create a unified trade bloc from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina and Chile.”

However the issue of U.S. agricultural subsidies put a frosty chill on the talks.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that, “Representatives of Argentina and Brazil, the continent’s major agricultural producers, insisted that they favored the concept of economic integration. But they said they feared that their products could not easily compete with heavily subsidized U.S. foodstuffs.”

And, according to Monday’s Wall Street Journal, repercussions could spread. “The failure of the Western Hemispheric summit could make it more difficult for the U.S. to gather support for the Doha Round, and could embolden other countries to make more demands in those talks.”

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. To sign up for this FREE publication, just send an Email to this address.

Farm Policy

D&PL Opens New Greenhouse Facility

Chuck Zimmerman

D&PL WintervilleDelta and Pine Land just built some new homes for plants (greenhouses) and it looks like they’ve designed them to manage separation since we wouldn’t want to mix up the whole trait thing. I want to know what “introgression” means though. It’s just a little too early in the morning for me to handle a word that big.

Delta and Pine Land Company, the nation’s leading developer and marketer of cotton seed, announced the completion of new greenhouse facilities. The new greenhouses are located in Winterville, MS – just a few miles from D&PL’s headquarters in Scott.

“We have an aggressive research effort that focuses our 11 breeding programs on making progress in yield and quality,” according to D&PL President and CEO Tom Jagodinski. “These greenhouses will be a part of the introgression effort that couples those superior varieties with new technologies.” The company’s technology strategy includes several suppliers which places a premium on physical separation of traits and plants. D&PL currently works with transgenic technologies from Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow and DeltaMax. DeltaMax is a joint venture with DuPont and its Pioneer subsidiary focusing on the development of herbicide tolerance and insect resistance technology in cotton.

The new houses measure 23,000 square feet and became home to plants for the first time Friday.


ABG, Inc. & Adayana Announce Merger

Chuck Zimmerman

ABG, Inc.ABG, Inc. agrees to merge with Adayana. The company will provide customized training that’s so badly needed in companies today. I can vouch for that. Even here at ZimmComm, as we grow we know how difficult it’s going to be to find people who have the training needed to deal with the new high tech, agwired world.

ABG, Inc., and the food and agriculture division of Adayana today announced the two companies have finalized an agreement to merge. The combined organization will be known as ABG, an Adayana company.

“With the many advances in technology and the ever-increasing demand for learning to be delivered anytime, any place and in many languages, the merger of ABG and Adayana will allow us to provide clients with a more robust offering of products and services,” says Mike Jackson, CEO and president of ABG. “ABG’s strengths in strategic consulting, market research and training and development are complemented by Adayana’s understanding of and technical expertise in the area of distance and e-Learning.

ABG, an Adayana company, will be headquartered in Indianapolis. Mike Jackson has been named CEO and president. Planning is underway to facilitate a seamless transition for both clients and employees.


Off To Kansas City For NAMA/NAFB

Chuck Zimmerman

It’s a short posting day here on AgWired. It’s a big week of meetings in Kansas City. I’m heading that way as I know many of you are as well.

Look for articles from both the NAMA Agribusiness Forum and the NAFB Convention. I hope to see you there.


National Beef Ambassador Announced

Chuck Zimmerman

Beef CheckoffAmanda beat a sharp group of contestants in the Beef Ambassador Competition. This news just came in. Hot off the wire.

Amanda Nolz, Mitchell, S.D., won the title of National Beef Ambassador for 2006 at the National Beef Ambassador Competition Nov. 3-5 in Austin, TX. The competition was established on behalf of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and state beef councils by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. (ANCW). The ANCW serves as one of the Beef Board’s contractors for checkoff-funded programs.

Twenty-four contestants from throughout the country vied for the national title and for $4,500 in cash prizes distributed among the top three places and three educational scholarships totaling $2,250 from the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. Nolz received $2,500 cash and a $1,000 college scholarship. Second place went to Melissa Green, Arbuckle, Calif., who received $1,200 and a $750 scholarship. Third place winner Peter Scharpe, Arlington, Minn., received $800 and a $500 scholarship. Paul Moya, New Mexico and Amy Berry, Wyoming, received honorable-mention awards.

Ag Group, Beef

ZimmComm Introduces

Chuck Zimmerman

AgNewsWire.AgWired.comLet me take this opportunity to announce a new service just started by little ole ZimmComm. I know this is self serving but hey, it’s our website. What kind of promoters would we be if we didn’t use this opportunity too?

ZimmComm, the owner & operator of AgWired, announces a new service called We wanted to answer the question, why isn’t there a newswire service for “us.” Now there is. So what is it? is a news release production/distribution service for the agribusiness industry and a resource for agricultural editors in all forms of media, including broadcast, print and internet. This means we push your release out to agricultural journalists of all types (radio, print, internet and direct-to-farmer). Additionally, with the creation of the website, journalists can subscribe to the RSS Feed which includes all releases we distribute.

QuickfarmOne of the most exciting things about is our exclusive agreement with Quickfarm , the premier website developer and content provider for farmer cooperatives nationally. Beginning December 1, we post your release to the Quickfarm network of 425 cooperative websites nationally that have over 2,000 locations. Just last month their network had 100,000 unique farmer visitors and 2 million page views. That’s getting your message directly in front of your customer.

QuickFarm Vice President of Sales & Operations Matt Walsh approached ZimmComm with the idea of providing new content for their websites. “We have a lot of traffic out there on the internet. We see close to 2 million page views a month. Those page views are made up by roughly 100,000 unique visitors every month and we want to make sure those people are getting the best possible content that we can find. So, going to ZimmComm was a no-brainer for us because of their established multimedia release service. That service provides excellent content for our website customers and in turn for their customers, the American farmer.” will distribute traditional text-only releases as well as our patented Talking News Releases. We can also guarantee search engine inclusion through our relationship with PR Web. Let be your one-stop-shop for news release distribution.

That’s our big news for the week. Now it’s on to blogging the NAMA Agribusiness Forum and NAFB convention. Maybe I’ll see you in Kansas City.

Talking News Release

Winter Convention Registration Time

Chuck Zimmerman

Winter convention time is coming up and there’s no way to list them all since every state commodity group is having a meeting. However, a couple of note that I thought I’d make sure you’re aware of include:

Beltwide Cotton Conference

The 2006 Beltwide Cotton Conferences’ Production Conference agenda will include topics ranging from the keys to getting a healthy stand to new precision agriculture tools.

“Strategies for Success” is the theme for the NCC-coordinated conferences, January 4-6, at the Marriott Rivercenter/Riverwalk hotels in San Antonio. The three-day format, which proved popular for the 2005 conferences, will feature the Production Conference and its special seminars and workshops along with the 11 cotton technical conferences and The Cotton Foundation’s technical exhibits. On-site registration will open Tuesday, January 3.

The Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show

For cattlemen from every segment of the beef industry, the 2006 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show is a must-attend event. The meeting will be held February 1-4 at the newly expanded Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. There is no better opportunity to get up to date on issues affecting your cattle operation, as well as enjoy the sights and activities of the Mile High City.

“The theme for this year’s convention is ’Cowboy Up!’,” says National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Texas rancher Jim McAdams. “Whether it’s cattle production, promoting beef demand, enhancing international trade, or any issue impacting this industry, cattlemen want less talk and more action. That’s what this event is all about.”

Ag Group

Agribusiness Forum Chairman Scott Kurfman

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast41 - Scott KurfmanThis is going to be a busy week of blogging since it’s time for the NAMA Agribusiness Forum and the NAFB convention (big pdf file) immediately following.

I’ll be posting articles, pictures and interviews from the NAMA Agribusiness Forum both here and on NAMA Connect, the new NAMA blog. If you’ve visited NAMA Connect you might have already heard this interview with Scott Kurfman, team lead with AdFarm. If not, you’re in luck because he’s also this week’s ZimmCast. Scott is the chairman of this year’s Agribusiness Forum. He talks about the planning process and the program.

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

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar. You can also now find the ZimmCast on CoolCast Radio.

Audio, NAMA, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Blog The Truth About Your Company

Chuck Zimmerman

There’s a good little article on PRWeek that is worth reading called “Note to corporate bloggers: The truth shall set you free.”

I can’t agree more with this excerpt “While PR and marketing pros struggle to capture the blogosphere in a bottle – from agencies establishing entire new media practices to companies creating crisis plans for when blogs attack – few are stepping back to see the bigger truth about blogs, podcasts, and the like. And that is truth itself. At its heart, this is a universe founded on truth, myriad layers of direct-to-opinion points of view based on truth, justice, and the new media way. ”

It’s amazing what the truth will do for your image. Blogs are a very personal form of communication and if you’re truthful your customers will know it and respond to it.


Want To Manage A Winery Association?

Chuck Zimmerman

Sonoma County WineriesSpeaking of California wines. The Sonoma County Wineries Association (SCWA) is looking for a new executive director after Jaime Douglas just retired. They have 170 winery members.

The SCWA has retained Benchmark Consulting to conduct a global search for a new Executive Director to lead the Sonoma County wine industry into the future. Interested candidates should submit resumes to

Ag Group