Can’t We All Just Get Along

Chuck Zimmerman

World Trade OrganizationThe DG for the WTO is getting more serious about trying to push countries into a cooperative mode so something will be accomplished in Hong Kong. Can you do that with trade negotiators?

SUPACHAI URGES INTENSIVE WORK FOR HONG KONG SUCCESS
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his final report as Trade Negotiations Committee Chairman, said on 28 July 2005 that achieving a successful Ministerial Conference this December is still possible provided members dedicate themselves to “a politically engaged, results oriented, decision making mode of operation immediately after the (summer) recess”. He said that as he prepares to step down as Chair, he wished to remind members that the negotiations “must be a means of improving economic opportunities and helping to fulfil the hope of development… (and thus) problems in the negotiations cannot be allowed to defeat us”.

You can find the full report here: Trade Report

WTO

University of Minnesota Partners With PMN

Chuck Zimmerman

Plant Management NetworkIt’s always good to partner with a university when you can.

University of Minnesota Partners with the Plant Management Network

St. Paul, Minn. (July 25, 2005) The Plant Management Network (PMN), an innovative website designed for plant and agricultural professionals, is pleased to welcome the University of Minnesota as its 25th university partner.

“This partnership will greatly enhance our research, education and extension missions by providing an excellent image database, access to four science-based applied research journals, and links to numerous fact sheets, web-based agricultural resources, and field trial publications,” said Nancy Ehlke, Professor and Head of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota.

For more information contact Joan Quam, Phone: +1.651.454.7250.

University

Most Producers Approve Beef Checkoff

Chuck Zimmerman

Cattlemen's Beef BoardEventhough 72% of producers approve of the Checkoff, even more (74%) believe it has contributed to the positive growth in demand for beef. I wonder what happened to those other 2%. They don’t like growth?

MORE THAN SEVEN OF 10 BEEF PRODUCERS APPROVE OF BEEF CHECKOFF – Survey Shows Strong Recognition of Checkoff’s Positive Results

DENVER (July 28, 2005) – Beef producers continue to voice support for the national Beef Checkoff Program, according to a recently completed independent survey. Seventy-two percent said they either strongly approve or somewhat approve of the program. That’s up from 70 percent in July 2004 and on par with a 10-year high of 73 percent in January 2005.

The telephone survey was conducted for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board by Aspen Media and Market Research, Boulder, Colo., between June 26, 2005 and July 9, 2005. Similar research is conducted every six months to determine the level of producer support for, and concerns about the Beef Checkoff Program and its efforts to increase consumer demand for beef.

For more information contact Diane Henderson or Joe Schuele.

Ag Group, Beef

Rural Nebraska Is High Speed Internet Connected

Chuck Zimmerman

Technologies Across NebraskaImagine that 100 % of the people in Nebraska have broadband internet access available to them! No way you say? You’re wrong. It’s here and in a state that I’d bet you wouldn’t think it. This is a long post but I think this is fascinating. To get to the 100 % you have to figure in satellite but without it this document says that 57 % of rural Nebraska has it. That’s up 15 % in just one year! This information was put out by University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. I have to believe without doing some research that you’ll find initiatives like this across the country. It’s a “wired” world folks. By that I mean connected to the internet. Resistance is futile.

Broadband coverage in Nebraska becoming more broad – Rural areas see highest growth
By Eric Carstenson, President, Nebraska Telecommunications Association

Nebraska’s privately owned telecommunications companies continued their rapid deployment of broadband across Nebraska in the past year with the highest percentage of growth coming to rural areas of the state. Eighty-two private businesses in Nebraska now provide local loop Broadband Access transport. The current deployment places Nebraska as a leading state – if not the leader – in the percentage of a state’s population with the availability to connect to a Broadband Internet service. The type of transport provided by these 82 two companies in decreasing order is: DSL (Digital Subscriber Loop on fiber and or copper), wireless, cable modems and fiber to the (home) premises.

The percentage of availability of Broadband Internet Transport for the entire population of the state moved from 85 percent in the 2004 survey done by the Nebraska Information Network to 90 percent in the recently completed survey performed by the Nebraska Information Network (NIN).

Rural access grew to 57 percent from the 42 percent figure in early 2004 – a 15 percent increase in just one year. “Rural” is defined as anyone living outside the city limits of any size community. This shows that private companies are investing a great deal in building rural networks to being the technology capabilities necessary for economic growth and meeting consumer needs. The urban access to broadband was 99.3 percent. “Urban” is defined in the NIN survey as anyone living within the city limits of any size community.

The largest community or population center in Nebraska, as defined by the census bureau, that does not have local loop broadband transport available for Internet use has a population of 257 people, except for one community now in negotiations with a private provider. Many of the relatively few towns in the 300 or less population size who do not have broadband access today will have access by the end of 2005. And if we include broadband access by satellite, 100 percent of Nebraska’s population has broadband access available to them if they want to subscribe. Satellite service by a company called Wild Blue is becoming available as early as this summer with both the up-stream and down-stream data flow being handled directly by the satellites.

Agribusiness, Internet

McGregor Company Wins Environmental Respect Award

Chuck Zimmerman

Environmental Respect AwardThis is the 15th year of the Evnironmental Respect Awards and it’s a very good way to recognize how well ag companies care for the environment. Let’s face it, if farmers and others in ag didn’t take care of the environment where would they make a living? It only makes sense and I think most of the general public knows it!

The McGregor Company Wins National Award for Environmental Stewardship

DAYTON, Washington (July 14, 2005) – The McGregor Company branch facility located in Dayton, Wash., was honored with the national Environmental Respect Award Thursday, July 14 at a special ceremony in the United States Capitol Building.
Environmental Respect Award GroupThe awards, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and CropLife® magazine, are the agricultural industry’s highest recognition for environmental stewardship among U.S. agricultural retailers, those who serve farmers and ranchers with the seed, nutrients, pest control and agronomic information critical to effective crop production.
Upon receiving the 1992 Washington State Environmental Respect Award, the Dayton McGregor crew upgraded their outdoor containment equipment with stainless steel tanks, new plastic fused piping, and new sealant inside the containment. Facility storage includes two overhead dry fertilizers, a bulk ammonia storage tank, a bulk liquid fertilizer storage containment area, and an indoor chemical warehouse.

You can download the executive summary of the awards program here: Environmental Respect Awards Summary (PDF File)

Regional winners include:

Helena Chemical Co., Alachua, FL
Cornhusker Ag Aviation, Inc., Grant, NE
Royster-Clark, Inc., Melfa, VA
Greg’s Feed and Seed, South Wayne, WI

For more information contact K. Elliott Nowels (440) 602-9161.

Agribusiness

CAFTA-DR Passes House

Chuck Zimmerman

House of RepresentativesOkay. Since you’re going to hear about this from everybody you may as well hear it here too. The House passed CAFTA-DR last night. Vote was 217-215. Does that not tell you how divided people are on this issue? Most ag groups seem to be for it so you’ll see and hear a lot of “congratulations” stories from them. Not all in ag are happy though and certainly not all politicians. For example, take the House Democrat Ag Committee. Here’s an excerpt from Collin Peterson: “Tonight’s House vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, was a tragedy for American agriculture and rural communities.”

So far I’ve heard from the pork producers and the corn growers on their approval of the vote and I anticipate many more. Now let’s see what the President does. Of course he is a CAFTA supporter!

Government

U.S. Farm Report Gets New Host

Chuck Zimmerman

Farm Journal MediaIt looks like Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong are making a big career change! Wonder what they’re going to do?

John Phipps to Head New U.S. Farm Report On-Air Team
Philadelphia, PA – July 27, 2005 – Farm Journal Media today announces further details regarding talent and the editorial format for U.S. Farm Report…Town and Country Living. Headlining the announcement is the naming of John Phipps as the program’s new host and managing editor, along with Al Pell as agribusiness director, Dyanna DeCola as national news anchor and Mike Hoffman as meteorologist.

With these changes, long-time farm broadcasters Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson will no longer continue as hosts of the program. “After much discussion with both Max and Orion, it became clear that this represented significant change for both of them and they decided to move their careers in other directions – a decision we didn’t welcome, but one that we totally respect. They have faithfully served agriculture and this program for many years. We will continue that legacy, and hope to work with Max and Orion down the line,” stated Andy Weber, CEO of Farm Journal Media.

For more information contact Brian Conrady. AgWeb.com

Media

Garst Giving Away Seed To Celebrate 75th

Chuck Zimmerman

Garst Seed CompanyHere’s a great way to celebrate 75 years! Give stuff away. You’ve gotta like that. I’m sure growers will. Garst Seed Company has gone through a lot of changes since it was the Garst & Thomas Hybrid Corn Company back in 1930!

Growers Can Win 75 Acres of Free Garst® Brand Seed Corn As Part of Garst’s 75th Anniversary Program
Garst To Show Appreciation to Industry By Awarding More than 6,000 Acres of Free Seed

SLATER, Iowa, July 27, 2005 — Garst Seed Company is celebrating 75 years in the seed industry by giving growers the chance to win 75 acres of free Garst® brand seed corn. Garst will reward 86 growers across the United States a total of 6,450 acres of free Garst seed.
Producers can sign up to win the free seed corn by visiting the Garst booth at various farm shows or attending one of four Demonstration Days at the Garst/Syngenta Learning Centers. In addition, growers can also qualify for the 75 acres of free seed by talking to their Garst Guy about Garst’s True Blue Customer Rewards program and having their name registered in this free drawing.

For more information contact Lori Thomas.

Agribusiness

New Ethanol Facts Consumer Website

Chuck Zimmerman

ethanolfacts.comWith all the different “facts” floating around in the media this last week or so the folks at the National Corn Growers Association decided to do something about it. They created a new website called Ethanolfacts.com. It’s just what it says it is, a clean easy-to-navigate site with facts in terms consumers can understand. We’ll see if consumers can find it now!

Ethanolfacts.com Provides Consumers with Comprehensive Source on Ethanol

ST. LOUIS (July 27, 2005) — During the past 20 years, American motorists have driven billions of hassle-free miles using ethanol-blended gasoline. Yet many questions about this growing fuel remain. A new web site, ethanolfacts.com, sets the record straight by offering consumers a single source of reliable information on this rapidly growing alternative to fossil fuels.

Ethanolfacts.com is an easy-to-use, comprehensive source of key ethanol informational links, as well as basic facts about ethanol and its benefits to the U.S. consumer.

For more information contact Mimi Ricketts, NCGA, 636-733-9004, Ext. 112.

Ag Group, Ethanol

ZimmCast With AAEA President Susan Davis

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 22What a busy week it has been! Getting ready for the ARC meeting and AMS immediately following. For our ZimmCast this week I interviewed AAEA president Susan Davis. Susan talks about AAEA and what to expect at the Agricultural Media Summit.

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

The ZimmCast is the official podcast of AgWired. You can subscribe using the link in our sidebar.

AAEA, Ag Media Summit, Audio, Podcasting, ZimmCast