IFAJ Planning Committee Chairman

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-12Giving us a hearty welcome before dinner was the IFAJ Congress planning committee chairman, Hans Mueller. He did a great job in at least 2 languages as I recall. In fact, that’s something that really strikes you at an international conference like this. The diversity of language. There are almost 300 people here from over 30 countries! I think I heard that we have new members attending from Nepal even. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with and talk to ag journalists from other countries. I’m sure we’re making contacts that will last a lifetime.

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

IFAJ

Berne Minister of Economic Affairs

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-8Before dinner opening day we heard from Elisabeth Zolch-Balmer, Minister of the Department of Economic Affairs and a member of the government of the Canton of Berne. Elisabeth talked about how the government is working to save and restore small Swiss farms through the use of payments. She said they’ve had a real decline in the number of these small farms but that it has stabilized. The farms are actually important to more than just the agricultural industry. They’re very important to tourism as well.

I interviewed Elisabeth while the alpine horns were playing in the background. You can listen to the interview here: Download MP3 File

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

Audio, IFAJ

Swiss Yodeling

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-9Besides the alpine horns we were treated to authentic Swiss yodeling. I didn’t get the name of our yodeler but you can of course listen to her. We did some singing at dinner later and probably should have invited her to join us. As you’ll hear our singing left a lot to be desired.

Listen to the yodeling here: Download MP3 File

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

Audio, IFAJ

The Alpine Horns

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-6I’ve seen these horns before but usually on display. Here at the dinner site we were able to see/hear them in action. These two played them very well.

If you’d like to hear what the alpine horns sound like you can listen here: Download MP3 File

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

Audio, IFAJ

IFAJ Press Room

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-7The IFAJ main hotel is the Seepark, where I’m staying. I couldn’t get internet access to work in my room but there was an extra DSL cable in the press room. Here you can see two people hard at work. On the left is Diane Johnson, executive director of the Livestock Publications Council and Mariann Back Nielsen, consultant with 2vejs kommunikation.

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

IFAJ

Reception In Uebeschi

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-4Swiss hospitality! After our city reception in Thun, we went up the mountainside a little ways to Gasthof Weyersbuhl, a beautiful little house/farm located in Uebeschi, for another reception and dinner. We started out with some refreshments which were different fruit juices but not what we in America would call fruit punch. I really don’t know what they were but they were good.

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

IFAJ

Vice Mayor Of Thun

Chuck Zimmerman

IFAJ-2Next on our program opening night was Ursula Haller, vice mayor of Thun. She described what happened during the recent flooding here and how they’re dealing with it. I interviewed Ursula after she spoke.

You can listen to my interview with Ursula here: Download MP3 File

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

Audio, IFAJ

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.

IFAJ

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.

IFAJ

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, www.machinerylink.com, 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.

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