July 23 Is National Cowboy Day

Chuck Zimmerman

National Cowboy DayI’m sure my old buddy, Derry Brownfield, would like this. A national cowboy day. I never even heard about it until Cindy brought it to my attention. You can find a reference to it on the American Farm Bureau home page, including a series of psa’s recorded by Randy Huston. How many of you have heard these on the radio? If not, it’s probably because stations just don’t play psa’s like they used to!

You can listen to one of the psa’s here Download MP3 File

Ag Group, Audio

It’s Time For A Podcast Network

Chuck Zimmerman

BX Radio NetworkThere’s a new network in town. It’s the BX Radio Network which will brand itself as Coolcast Radio. They’re just in the formative stages right now and looking for podcasters and writers. We’ve submitted the ZimmCast for consideration. I have to say that when I saw that “farming” was a topic they were looking for content on I got really interested!

BX Internet and Lockergnome’s own Matt Hartley have teamed up to form the BX Radio Network. Dubbing themselves as the next big thing in Podcasting, the BX Radio Network is actively seeking Podcasters interested in bringing their show to a live Internet audience.

Selected Podcasts will be prerecorded and then submitted on a regular schedule to the BX Radio Network under the ‘Cool Cast Radio’ brand. Approved programing will then be streamed live via the Internet to listeners interested in discovering new Podcast-based programing.

Unlike other Internet radio brands that simply offer their listeners canned in-house radio talk radio shows, the BX Radio Network believes that there is more than enough amazing Podcast content on the Web for listeners seeking a more engaging, independent talk radio environment. Working with Podcasters from all over the world, the BX Radio Network will empower audio content creators with the ability to offer their work to a brand new audience.

For more information contact Matt Hartley.


Laser Engraved Produce

Chuck Zimmerman

Laser Engraved ProduceNow this is cool. I hate peeling those little labels off fruit and vegetables after you buy them. Sometimes I think they’ve been put on with super glue. Even when you get them off they sometimes leave a sticky residue. This company has got a great idea and I can see this catching on, not only for product labelling but also for advertising!

Durand-Wayland, Inc. has created the process of laser engraving fruits and vegetables after conducting some very interesting consumer research.

A major consumer research study was conducted in four geographically dispersed US markets by Clark & Company, Inc. Clark & Company is a certified, national, independent research firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Participants in the study were frequent consumers of one or more hand-held, edible skin fruits and also consumed non-edible skin fruit. The study found that the “laser/controlled light” labeling process is preferred because it eliminates the negatives of the stickers and it can provide much useful information about the origin of the produce. Most consumers want to have as much information as possible concerning where their fruit comes from. The study revealed that consumers see many shortcomings in “stickers” currently being used. These include hard to remove even to the point of removing some of the produce. The glue residue is also seen as a problem.

For more information contact Ray Perry, Vice President of Sales by phone at 1-800-241-2308, ext 127.


You Can Still Register For IFAJ Congress

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ 2005Borrowing from the latest International Federation of Agricultural Journalists newsletter, “more than 180 journalists from 24 countries have registered to attend the 2005 IFAJ Congress in Switzerland next month.” That’s where we’ll be blogging the trip thanks to Pioneer Hi-Bred, our sponsor.

“We are extremely pleased with the number of people who booked to attend and are looking forward to a successful event with high calibre speakers and exciting tours,” said Hans Mueller, President of the Organizing Committee. Although registrations officially closed at the end of May, Hans encouraged people who wanted to attend but had not registered to contact the event organisers in case it is possible to make a last minute booking. The four-day event, starting August 31, will be held on the shores of Lake Thun. The lake is surrounded by hills and mountains. “With its mild climate, the Bernese Oberland is a good place for the IFAJ congress,” Hans said. “During the whole time of the main congress we will stay overnight in our hotels in Thun and make day trips to farms, factories and mountains”.

You can learn more about the IFAJ 2005 Congress on their website.

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

IFAJ, Media

Japanese TV Crew In Illinois

Chuck Zimmerman

NCGA Japanese TVI think I’m turning Japanese. I think I’m turning Japanese. At least Leon Corzine might have been singing that.

NCGA President Leon Corzine gives a farmer’s perspective on the benefits of biotechnology for a Japanese TV series on biotechnology. The Illinois Corn Marketing Board and the U.S. Grains Council hosted the film crew’s visit to Illinois, where they met with Corzine to find out how biotechnology is being used successfully to grow abundant and safe corn to meet the needs of both domestic and export markets.

Ag Group

Jeri Omernik ARC Interview

Chuck Zimmerman

Agricultural Relations Council Summer MeetingIt’s getting closer to time for the Agricultural Relations Council summer meeting. Are you an ag public relations professional? Are you a member? Want to know more about it?

Then listen to my interview with ARC president Jeri Omernik. Jeri talks about the mission of ARC and how it’s evolving and the program at our (I’m a member) annual meeting just prior to the Agricultural Media Summit.

You can listen to my interview with Jeri here Download MP3 File (MP3 file – 7.5MB)

ARC, Audio


Chuck Zimmerman

United Soybean BoardAnother ag organization. You’ve got your USB, your ASA and now you’ve got your USSEC! Not much information sent out about this yet. I’m betting we’ll hear more. Wonder what agency they’ll work with. Anyone know?

Soybean Checkoff Farmer-Leaders Witness Historic Signing of New International Marketing Entity

ST. PAUL, Minn. (July 18, 2005) – Soybean checkoff farmer-leaders witnessed a monumental occasion at the recent United Soybean Board (USB) meeting. Leaders of USB and the American Soybean Association (ASA) signed a contract establishing the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

USSEC co-chairmen Mark Pietz, USB vice chair of International Marketing and a soybean farmer from Lakefield, Minn., and Neal Bredehoeft, ASA Chairman and a soybean farmer from Alma, Mo., signed the contract for USSEC, which will become the international marketing implementation arm of the soybean checkoff. USSEC will establish a unified and coordinated international marketing program to build demand and brand for U.S. soybeans and products.

For more information contact Chris Toebben.

Ag Group, Soybean, USB

Valmont Holds Audio Conference Online

Chuck Zimmerman

ValmontValmont held an online audio conference today to discuss the company’s second quarter performance among other things. You can listen to the conference since it was recorded by going here.

Although the overall corporate business is up, the irrigation unit is their main agricultural market and the picture wasn’t too rosy, although the company remains positive for the future.

In the Irrigation Segment, second quarter sales were $65.4 million, a 25% decrease from last year’s record second quarter results. Operating income for the segment declined 37% to $7.5 million due to lower volumes and reduced factory utilization. Cost cutting measures were taken during the quarter. In North America, demand fell substantially due to lower crop prices and inflation in energy and fertilizer costs for growers. Many farmers use large amounts of diesel fuel and prices have risen to record high levels. Certain crop fertilizers are produced as a by-product in the production of natural gas, where prices are also fluctuating in tandem with crude oil. In international markets, sales levels increased in the smaller markets while declining in major international markets largely due to lower world crop prices and increased energy costs. Valmont believes the long-term economic and water saving benefits of mechanized irrigation continue to be compelling.

For more information contact Jeff Laudin +1-402-963-1158.

Agribusiness, Audio