Thun City Reception

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-1We’re rocking now. I’m in the IFAJ press room at the Seepark Hotel. Thank goodness for working internet access! We got in yesterday just in time to make it to the opening reception in Thun in a historic old building. We had wine, bread and cheese (Swiss cheese). To get us started at the Rathaus the president of the Swiss Ag Journalists, Adrian Krebs, welcomed us and told us to “stay on time.”

Just over a week ago this city had serious flooding and the building we were in had over a foot of water in it. You couldn’t tell at all.

Pioneer Hi-BredAgWired reports on IFAJ Congress 2005 are sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred.


First Post From Thun

Chuck Zimmerman

Hello from IFAJ Congress 2005 in Thun, Switzerland! What a day. Sorry I don’t have more up yet but our flight out of New York was delayed almost 4 hours. Then when we got here we had to take off for the first activities of the event. I have lots of material that I’ll be putting up tomorrow. It’s after 11pm here now and I’m using a press room computer that’s not set up for the standard english person like me. That means some keys are in different places and hard to find at this time of night if you know what I mean.

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get the whole internet thing figured out since after we checked in I found out that I couldn’t get connected without the help of a technician who left the hotel before I got here. So there’s lots more to come AgWired fans. Just be patient and you’ll get the full cultural effect of ag communications in Switzerland!

Pioneer Hi-BredAgWired reports on IFAJ Congress 2005 are sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred.


New Website For MachineryLink

Chuck Zimmerman

MachineryLink ScreenshotAnother company announces a website revamp. I am not on high speed here in the airport so I only got a short time to look at the new MachineryLink website. It looks pretty simple and “clean.” By clean I mean uncluttered with too many images and other stuff. I like the fact that you can listen to interviews in the news section!! They ought to consider an RSS feed of their releases though. Ag communications people need to listen up on this! If you wonder what I mean just give me a call and I can even set it up for you.

I’m about to board for Switzerland where I will be spending some time with Kelly Schwalbe, BCS Communications, a KC, MO company that does work for MachineryLink. I’ll bring up some ideas with him and see what he thinks.

MachineryLink, Inc., announces that it has redesigned and improved its Web site,, to make it more informative and functional for farmers wanting to better manage their machinery assets or looking for equipment leasing options.

Doug Ballou, vice president of marketing for MachineryLink, Inc., says the increased use of the Internet among farmers, combined with the growing popularity of asset management and shared utilization of equipment, created the need for a more comprehensive Web site.

“More farmers are searching the Internet for information on alternatives to owning seasonal equipment such as combines, tractors and cotton strippers,” Ballou explains. “As a leader in the concept of shared utilization of machinery, we believe it’s important to provide the current, in-depth information and other financial tools and resources on the topic that farmers will find useful.”

Ballou adds that visitors to the new MachineryLink Web site will find more information from a number of qualified sources, as well as links to many organizations that provide asset management information and equipment solutions. In addition, the company has improved its widely used marketplace site for buying and selling used machinery.

For more information contact Christy Borrowman at 816-474-3166.


NE Fair Farm Forums

Chuck Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkThe folks at the Brownfield Network have been working overtime to bring great radio to the web. I guess that makes it webradio? Anyway, you can see/hear some of their latest new stuff from the Nebraska State Fair. Use this link: Brownfield Farm Forums: Nebraska State Fair Their coverage was sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and Nebraska Corn Board.

They did live webcast farm forums such as, “Technology in the Field” with Greg Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture; Steve Wiese, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Mark Jagels, Nebraska Corn Board and area farmers using cutting edge technology to produce grain & livestock. Another one was called “Beefing Up with Ethanol,” with Galen Erickson, University of Nebraska; Jon Holzfaster, Nebraska Corn Board; and Pete McClymont, Nebraska Cattlemen Association. This one focused on the impact of alternative fuels in the livestock industry and how farmers are using ethanol by-products in their cattle operations. And finally, one on “Fueling Nebraska’s Economy: the Growing Ethanol Industry.” This roundtable discussion features expert panelists from the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Corn Board, and a leading official on state economic development.

You can listen to all these forums by visiting links to them on their website. There’s also lots of pictures from the fair. Excellent coverage

Audio, Media

IFAJ With Greg Lamp

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ Congress 2005This might be my last post before heading to the airport on the way to the IFAJ Congress. To get you in the mood I’ve got my interview in the form of a special ZimmCast with Greg Lamp, editor of Corn & Soybean Digest. Greg will be on the trip and is on the IFAJ executive committee, representing the United States.

You can listen to my interview with Greg here: Download MP3 File(3.8MB MP3 File)

Greg talks about the value of interaction with foreign ag journalists and the structure of the meeting we’ll be attending.

Pioneer Hi-BredAgWired reports on IFAJ Congress 2005 are sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred.

Audio, IFAJ, Publication

A John Deere New Equipment Onslaught

Chuck Zimmerman

Frontier EquipmentWow! When John Deere comes out with some new equipment they don’t mess around. I have about 16 news releases on new products introduced at the just-completed product launch in Ft. Worth, TX. In the interest of time we’ll kind of provide an overview. Remember each of these has it’s own release and you can find out more on their website. First we have the Frontier Equipment announcements.

Frontier Equipment introduces Carted Wheel Rakes
Introducing the new 10 Series Carted Wheel Rakes, available with eight, 10 or 12 raking wheels. These models work with tractors of at least 20 horsepower and let you easily adjust windrow width, ground pressure, and raking angle.
Frontier Equipment expands Core Aerator line
Frontier Equipment expands its core aerator line with the introduction of the new Economy and Standard-Duty 20 Series Core Aerators. The economy line is designed for the property owner with a large yard needing revitalization, and the standard line is for the commercial landscaper or municipal groundskeeper.
Frontier Equipment introduces economically priced Medium-Duty and Medium-Duty Plus Disc Mowers
Frontier Equipment introduces new economically priced medium-duty and medium-duty plus models ranging in cutting widths from four to nine feet that are perfect for your acreage and haymaking demands. These disc mowers will be compatible with tractors ranging in horsepower from 19 to 50 hp.
Frontier Equipment introduces Heavy-Duty Box Blades
Frontier Equipment expands its box blade lineup with the addition of the new Heavy-Duty and Construction-Grade 32 and 33 Series Box Blades. These box blades come in working widths of six to eight feet and are compatible with all tractors ranging in horsepower from 40 to 90 hp.
Frontier Equipment introduces the new L Series Implements
Frontier Equipment introduces a new line of attachments, the L Series, designed for the 2210 John Deere Tractor and other small competitive tractors. The L Series includes a box blade, rear blade, and landscape rake designed to fit the needs of the small property owner.
Frontier 20 and 21 Series Landscape Rakes added to lineup
Frontier Equipment continues to expand its extensive line of landscape rakes with the addition of the new 20 and 21 Series Landscape Rakes. These rakes are ideal for removing debris, rocks, and brush; smoothing gravel driveways or service areas; and for finishing dirt for planting seed or sod. They’re perfect for precision grading and leveling.
Frontier Equipment introduces a new line of Medium-Duty Box Blades
Frontier Equipment continues to expand their lineup of box blades with the new 21 Series Medium-Duty Box Blades. They come in six- and seven-foot working widths and are compatible with all tractors ranging up to 70 hp.
Frontier Equipment introduces new Rotary Rake
Frontier Equipment introduces the 1012 Economy Rotary Rake. This nine-arm rotary rake is designed for larger hay operations and is compatible with any tractor that has a minimum of 20 horsepower.
Frontier Equipment expands line of Soil Pulverizers
Frontier Equipment is expanding its soil pulverizer line, with the new 20 and 22 Series Soil Pulverizers, to the already proven line of 10 and 12 Series Soil Pulverizers. These new machines are designed for the customer who wants to break hard clods of clay or any hard-packed ground.
Frontier Equipment introduces Tedders
Frontier Equipment introduces new tedders to help farmers put their hay up faster. The tedder tines skim the surface, lift the crop, and distribute it over the field for faster drying. Frontier tedders are compatible with any tractor ranging in horsepower from 15 to 30 hp, and have a working width from nine to 23 feet.
Frontier Equipment introduces new line of Utility Disc Harrows
Frontier Equipment introduces 11 models of utility disc harrows, ranging in working widths of four to eight feet. The complete line of 10, 11, 12, and 13 Series Utility Disc Harrows are designed to work with all tractors ranging in horsepower from 25 to 75 hp.

As if that didn’t wear you out there’s more:

Exceptional power and performance with John Deere 8030 Series Tractors
Unmatched power, performance, and fuel economy are the hallmarks of the new 8030 Series Tractors from John Deere.
John Deere introduces new AutoTrac Universal Steering Kit
AutoTrac and GreenStar guidance systems bring more accuracy, reduce passes in the field, and reduce operator fatigue when operating John Deere tractors, combines, and sprayers.
Central Commodity System now available on all DB Planters
John Deere enhances its line of seeding products by offering Central Commodity System (CCS) as an option on all Deere/Bauer Built planters ranging in size from 44 to 90 feet.
GreenStarJohn Deere launches the GreenStar 2™ system
John Deere Ag Management Solutions (AMS) is pleased to announce the GreenStar 2 (GS2) system, to assist growers in becoming even more efficient in their farm operations.
John Deere offers new farm management software: GreenStar™ Apex
John Deere introduces GreenStar Apex to help producers simplify their precision agriculture management.
PowerTech Plus™ 9.0L Engines: The most powerful row-crop tractor engines ever produced by John Deere
John Deere introduces the new PowerTech Plus 9.0L Engine for use in the new 8030 Series Tractors.
New Refuge Plus option available for Central Commodity System (CCS) Planters
For those Bt corn growers who are looking to plant refuges with an efficient seeding system, John Deere now offers a Refuge Plus option for all Central Commodity System planters.
StalkMaster chopping system available on John Deere Corn Heads
John Deere introduces the new StalkMaster corn head chopping system to efficiently size and chop cornstalks while harvesting grain.
New Triple Mower Conditioner, TMC-190, offered by John Deere
The new TMC-190 Mower Conditioner with a large 30-foot cutting width converts John Deere Self-Propelled Forage Harvesters into a whole new class of economical mower conditioners.
New updates enhance 60 Series STS Combine performance
John Deere announces significant updates to the 60 Series STS Combines, including a new “bullet” rotor for increased threshing performance, a new design for improved engine air flow, a higher torque feederhouse drive for improved feeding, and other enhancements to bring more productivity to these industry-leading machines.
John Deere adds 1990 CCS No-Till Air Drill to seeding line-up
Building on the tradition of offering the most productive and extensive line of seeding equipment in the industry, John Deere introduces the 1990 CCS No-Till Air Drill.

For more information on all these new products feel free to visit the John Deere website or contac Barry Nelson, 913-310-8324.


Let’s Get This Ethanol Thing Right

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk PodcastIn this week’s CornTalk, National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman discusses last week’s Ethanol Energy Balance forum at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The forum was organized to settle the debate over the net energy balance provided by ethanol. Much of that debate was created by a recent re-release of a questionable research study that suggests that that support for this form of energy is not worth it.

You can listen to CornTalk with Rick here: Download MP3 File

CornTalk (produced for the Missouri Corn Growers Association) is a weekly AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

Ag Group, Audio, Corn, CornTalk, Ethanol, MCGA, Podcasts

The ABC’s Of School Nutrition

Chuck Zimmerman

MBIC Report PodcastSchool’s back in session so it’s time to think nutrition for children. In this week’s MBIC Report, Alane Lidolph, director of consumer information for the Missouri Beef Industry Council, talks about the ABC’s of back to school nutrition.

You can listen to the MBIC Report with Alane here: Download MP3 File

The MBIC Report is a weekly AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

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

Web Check AgForLife

Chuck Zimmerman

AgForLifeI don’t know about you but it can be hard to find good qualified young people who want to enter an agricultural field of any kind today. The folks that run have introduced a new initiative to do something about it. They’re doing it with a little bit of help too (“a grant from Altria and matching funds from Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Texas A&M University provided the resources for the visual model of the virtual career guide.”).

They hope that AgForLife will reach young people through a web site and partnerships with entrepreneurial youth groups.

“AgForLife will bring attention to the diverse career opportunities in agriculture, food and life sciences among middle school, high school and college students. The number of rural youth continues to shrink, so now we can send the message to young people who didn’t grow up on a farm, know little about agriculture or may have the wrong perception of what a job in agriculture entails,” explained Eric Spell, president of

Interestingly, the news release via email I received came with a 2 minute audio file in the form of a what I would call a feature story about the website. It’s great to see someone using audio when it comes to public relations! And the audio sounds good.

You can listen to the story here: Download MP3 File

For more information contact Erika Brandt, AgCareers, 800.672.8552.

Agribusiness, Internet

Weather Channel Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

The Weather Channel BlogThis is just a little out of the ordinary for AgWired. Well, maybe not too out of the ordinary. As I was looking at The Weather Channel online to find out the latest about Hurricane Katrina, I noticed they have their own blog! It’s really not too bad and is a good example of what you can do with one. You can meet their bloggers here. And of course you can use this link to subscribe.

Very cool and timely with a hurricane of the millenium about to hit New Orleans. I hope something’s left since this is where we’re supposed to have the NAMA convention next year!