Visitors To North Dakota

Chuck Zimmerman

North Dakota Wheat CommissionThere’s a whole lotta international hosting going on in North Dakota right now. If you want to increase your exports, bring your customers in and sell ’em. That’s what the North Dakota Wheat Commission is doing. Here’s the list of what’s going on as we speak (or rather as I write).

North Dakota’s significant role in producing hard red spring wheat is attracting many international customers this fall who want to see the harvested crop for themselves.


Ag Group

Stray Balls and a Steak

Chuck Zimmerman

Certified Angus Beef PrintGet your limited edition Angus cattle pencil drawing by renowned artist Jack J. Wells from Certified Angus Beef. The drawing helped raise Colvin Scholarship funds at the brand’s annual conference. Numbered, limited edition prints of “The Source of Success” are available for $100 each while supplies last. Contact Tammy Noble at or 330/345-2333, Ext. 297, to order a print.

How about having a steak while you’re at the tennis match? At this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament, fans were afforded several new experiences. They were able to keep stray balls at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. A ballpark-style scoreboard and new court colors provided improved visibility. The wheelchair competition expanded the thrill for players, fans and family at this historic competition. They also could enjoy a CAB steak or burger at Champions Bar & Grill and food village hamburger stands.
From Aug. 29-Sept. 11, CAB brand sirloin steaks, tenderloin steaks and burgers graced the menus at the National Tennis Center in Corona, N.Y.

Ag Group, Beef

Will MyPyramid For Kids Create Buzz

Chuck Zimmerman

U. S. Tuna FoundationI’m learning a lot this morning. Like that there’s a U. S. Tuna Foundation. I’m a major supporter I guess since tuna is a weekly staple of my diet. These folks beat even USDA today with an announcement about their new MyPyramid for Kids launch. Of course that’s because they claim the new kids thing “will help teachers and children learn about the many health benefits of eating seafood, such as canned tuna.”

MyPyramid For KidsIn fact, USDA is supposed to be making a press announcement as this post is being written. Maybe this will generate more buzz for the whole MyPyramid thing since we reported on a study that says it hasn’t had much. Everybody’s into online games these days and USDA is no exception since the new MyPyramid for Kids section of their website has one called “Blast Off.” An interactive computer game where kids can reach Planet Power by fueling their rocket with food and physical activity. “Fuel” tanks for each food group help students keep track of how their choices fit into MyPyramid.

I didn’t download and play, just not my thing. If you do could you write a comment or email me to let me know what you think?

Ag Group, USDA

Eat Local On September 29

Chuck Zimmerman

Bon Appetit Eat Local ChallengeI’ve got to find out is there’s anyone in central Missouri participating in this. I like this idea! It’s the Bon Appetit, “Eat Local Challenge.” I will warn you that the website opens with this very pretty flash animated segment and music. Aaargh! They are the bane of a web surfer’s life. At least you can skip it. I guess web designers feel compelled to use all the tools.

Anyway, the day is September 29 and the idea is that, “On Eat Local Challenge day 150,000 diners at corporate, university, and museum restaurants from Seattle to Washington D.C. can choose to eat a 100 percent locally grown meal, made entirely of ingredients from within 150 miles of the kitchen where they are served.”

This was sent out through PR Newswire as a MultiVu VNR. You can watch the video package at this link. It’s for Windows Media Player at slow speed. They give you other options but that’s all you’re getting from me.

The release starts out talking about Yahoo’s corporate chef and how he had to ferment his own local apple cider to make a starter for his sourdough bread . Did you know Yahoo had a corporate chef? Here at ZimmComm we do and his name is Chuck Zimmerman. BTW. I try to cook “local” as much as possible. But here in Missouri you’ve got to fly in seafood so it’s not always possible. And then there’s the fact that I like Italian wine. But I also like a few good Missouri reds too.

One of the reasons this company started this is, “The average item on an American dinner plate travels 1,500-2,000 miles, leading to loss of flavor in our food, and affecting our farmers’ ability to grow a diversity of crops,” said Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appétit.” I didn’t know that.

These chefs are taking it seriously. For example one chef in Portland, OR couldn’t find locally made salt so he and his kids went to the beach and got some sea water which they boiled down to make their own.


My Market News From USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

USDA Fruit & Vegetable NewsAgriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that USDA’s new market news web portal is on line and providing instant, real-time access to daily and historical reports on agricultural commodities. The new portal is at:

Yes it is but it took me a minute after clicking on that link to realize that it’s just fruit and vegetable market news for now. If I had read through the whole release I would have seen that “livestock and grain market news will be available Oct. 3 and other commodities will soon follow.” I see a link, I click.

Anyway, right now you can find reports on strawberries, dry onions and iceberg lettuce!

Hey, you can even create what amounts to a “My USDA Market News” account, “Customers who register and create an account on the Web site can log into the portal and create their own market summary charts to provide snapshots of commodity prices based on location and dates.”

I wonder when we’ll be able to subscribe to the RSS feed of these reports and get them on our mobile phones?


Baking Show In China

Chuck Zimmerman

Interbake ChinaYes I think we’re getting international attention! The releases are now coming in from China. This is an interesting sounding show – Interbake China. It’s the 10th China bakery exhibition and it sounds like a big one. If I counted right they are expecting 530 exhibitors from 83 countries. That’s a lot of baking information to take in at one show! It’ll be held next May 12-14. You can see pictures from this year’s event here.

This would be an interesting blogging project!

Farm Shows

Surfwax Look Ahead RSS Title Search

Chuck Zimmerman

Surfwax Look AheadWe’re all about agricultural marketing here at AgWired and especially the “cutting edge.” That’s why I keep pointing you to the new ways you need to look at things or the news things you need to look at. Like, searching on the internet. Check out this new RSS title search function from Surfwax. Thanks to Stephen Baker at Blogspotting for the announcement!

I found it to be fast and simple. It searches by title, which means you really need to consider the words you use in your titles! If you want a quick search of a topic that might be showing up in the blogosphere I’d go here.

The folks at Surfwax were kind enough to add AgWired’s feed so you can use it to find posts we’ve done.


THE Blogging Software

Chuck Zimmerman

WordPressI’m often asked what software I use for AgWired and our other blog sites. It’s WordPress and I can’t say enough good about it, especially the latest version. This is open source software and although there’s no charge to download and use it they will accept donations.

You can read a good review of the sotware on For those who think there’s only one application for blogging software you ought to check out the University of Florida’s newsroom. Here’s a great example of a non-traditional (are there blogging traditions?) use of blogging software.

There’s really a lot more to this blogging thing than so many people think. You’ll come around though.


MyPyramid Lacking In “Buzz”

Chuck Zimmerman

USDA MyPyramidWhat’s the buzz about the USDA Food Guide Pyramid? Not much according to a recent report by BuzzMetrics, the word of mouth advertising measuring and tracking people. In fact they characterize it as “indifferent.”

According to BuzzMetrics, the leader in word of mouth research, the share of online conversation about MyPyramid among the 500 most influential food and nutrition enthusiasts increased from 6 percent to 10 percent between the first and second quarters of 2005. However, that is down from 12 percent in the second quarter of 2004, when the USDA was still actively soliciting public and expert input while developing the guide. BuzzMetrics continuously tracks the conversations, opinions and recommendations of these influentials across over 100 online nutrition forums, community message boards, health Web sites and blogs.

This is despite intense launch publicity. Many organizations have been creating communications strategies centered around the new food guideline campaign. BuzzMetrics senior analyst, Alison Kalis suggest they may want to move their focus elsewhere.

“While there was much industry anticipation and media hype, the data suggest MyPyramid’s impact as a trend-setting diet force is minimal and lacking in credibility,” said Alison Kalis, senior analyst, BuzzMetrics says, “Some food companies might benefit by positioning themselves around MyPyramid, but the reality is that the new food guide is barely a blip on the public conscience, and companies would benefit by directing their attention to other more influential and polarizing issues.”

By the way, BuzzMetrics announced today that they are being acquired by Trendum with strategic backing from VNU, owner of such renowned research brands as ACNielsen and Nielsen Media Research.


Taiwanese Goodwill

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk podcastCornTalk, a weekly program for the Missouri Corn Growers Association, features an interview with a familiar voice to Missouri corn growers! Fred Stemme, the current vice president of marketing for the National Corn Growers Association and former director of communications for MCGA, discusses last week’s visit by the Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission. The mission toured the United States following the signing of the Sept. 14, intent-to-trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan. Included in this high-profile tour was a stop in Missouri. Fred provides details of the event and also highlights the important role that this longstanding and important trading partner plays in the U.S. corn economy.

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

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

Ag Group, Audio, Corn, CornTalk, Podcasts