Beef Board Operating Budget Recommended

Chuck Zimmerman

Cattlemen's Beef BoardThe Beef Board has a new operating budget to vote on. The operating committee met last week and came up with a new budget. It looks like the Beefmobile program has been a successful program. So much so, that the committee is recommending a re-allocation of funds to add $25K to the program this year. The recommended budget now needs full Beef Board approval as well as approval from USDA.


KANSAS CITY (June 14, 2005) – The Beef Promotion Operating Committee has recommended a $50 million Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget for fiscal year 2006, reflecting a slight decrease from the $50.5 million budget for fiscal 2005.

The Beef Board, which administers the national checkoff program, projects revenue of $45.4 million for fiscal 2005, plus $4.6 million to be available from current program budgets as a result of projects costing less than originally estimated.

The breakdown of the budget recommendation, which must be approved by the full Beef Board and USDA before any funds are expended, includes the following budget elements: promotion ($25.5 million); research ($7.3 million); consumer information ($5.8 million); industry information ($1.35 million); foreign marketing ($5.1 million); producer communications ($2.2 million); evaluation ($230,000); program development ($120,000); USDA oversight ($200,000); and administration ($2.25 million). The 2006 fiscal year begins Oct. 1, 2005.

“We looked carefully at challenges and opportunities in the marketplace to determine what areas we need to emphasize to give cattlemen the best return on their checkoff dollar,” said Al Svajgr, a producer from Cozad, Neb. and chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, which met in Kansas City June 8-9, 2005.

For more information contact Diane Henderson.

Ag Group, NCBA Convention

Beef – It’s What’s For Father’s Day

Chuck Zimmerman

Missouri Beef Industry CouncilDon’t you know that I’ll be grilling this coming Saturday?! Just in time for Father’s Day the Missouri Beef Industry Council has some great tips in their latest Talking News Release.

Beef – It’s What’s For Father’s Day

COLUMBIA, MO (June 13, 2005) – Forget the ties and the coffee mugs this year. Nothing says “Happy Father’s Day” quite like beef. The Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC) has several suggestions for beef-related gift giving this Father’s Day that Dad can really sink his teeth into.

According to MBIC Marketing Director Dawn Thurnau (turn-ower), you could get Dad into the mood for summer grilling with some brand new grilling utensils.

“There are some interesting ones out there now that are actually like a branding iron, so that you can brand a steak with your initials.” (:06) ( mbic-fathers-day-cut1)

The steak branding irons also come in various designs including college team logos and are available by mail order from a number of websites, such as

You can download the full release here: MBIC Release

For more information contact Dawn Thurnau.

Ag Group, Audio, MBIC, Talking News Release

Remember Slides (Pictures)?

Chuck Zimmerman

AAEA ByLineYou can only receive the American Agricultural Editors’ Association electronic newsletter “The ByLine” if you’re a member. It’s one of the benefits. In the latest issue Betsy Freese, who is livestock editor of Successful Farming and immediate past president of AAEA and also a member of the AAEA Strategic Planning Committee, points out how important it is for the organization to make sure it’s meeting the needs of its members. She rightly makes a point about how dull “strategic planning” is for most people (not me, I’m one of the sickos who actually likes planning).

Instead of launching into a boring strategic planning description she uses a neat story to point out how much has changed in agricultural journalism. I was lucky to have a talented young student from Iowa State University, Alicia Clancy, working as my apprentice this past year. Recently we were pulling together visuals for a story, and I mentioned that I had some old slides we could use. “Slides?” Alicia asked. “What would we do with those?” She had never worked with slides. In fact, she had never worked with a story that didn’t involve digital images, e-mail transmission, InDesign software, and information collected on the Web. I started to tell her how I had written my papers on a manual typewriter in journalism classes at Iowa State, but I could see her eyes glazing over.

Betsy, I remember slides only too well as I’m sure many of our readers do. I can’t remember when I took a picture with a “film” camera last though. The story makes a great point that I hope all ag groups of any kind will learn from. Look at who’s going to be taking your place someday soon. They don’t have the same experiences and they’re growing up in a digital world. Are you planning how your organization is going to meet their needs?

If you want to have input in the AAEA strategic planning process, visit their website and contact any of the leaders or committee members.


IFAJ Contest Deadlines June 15

Chuck Zimmerman

International Federation of Agricultural JournalistsThe International Federation of Agricultural Journalists conducts two annual contests, one for writing and one for photography.

IFAJ Star PrizeThe writing contest is called the Star Prize. Here’s some information about how to enter.
Who is eligible to enter?

National agricultural journalist associations that are members in good standing in IFAJ will decide on eligibility to their contests for selecting one entry to enter in the IFAJ Star Prize contest.

To be eligible for entry, the article must:

Be on an on-farm production subject.
Article may be written by an individual or by more than one individual.
Have been published as editorial material between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2004, in a publication or online.
Be written in English, German or French. Articles published in a language other than these three should be translated into one of these three languages.

IFAJ 2005 Photo ContestThe other IFAJ contest is their annual photo contest called the IFAJ Photo Star Prize. Here’s some information about it.

Who is eligible to enter?

Any journalist who is a member in good standing of a national association or guild that is a member of IFAJ may enter one published photograph. National agricultural journalist associations and guilds that are members of IFAJ may each enter up to three photos each. A national association may enter a photo taken by a journalist who is not a member of their association, however there is a fee for such entries (see Entry Fee). Under no circumstance may one person have more than one photograph entered in the contest.

To be eligible for entry, a photograph must:

Be on an on-farm production subject.
Photographs in this contest should enhance the editorial message of the technical copy. A photograph that was part of a photo story may also be entered, but only one photo from the photo story may be entered.
Have been published as editorial material between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2004.
May be either color or black & white.

For more information or to enter visit the IFAJ website.


Senator Jim Talent Talks Energy In This Week’s CornTalk

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk PodcastEnergy legislation is sure to be a big topic of discussion in the ag world this week so the Missouri Corn Growers Association CornTalk program features an interview with MO Senator Jim Talent. Senator Talent talks about the debate on the floor of the senate and the renewable fuels standard amendment.

Missouri Corn Growers AssociationThe interview was conducted by Tom Brand, farm director at KFEQ, St. Joseph, MO. You can listen to this week’s CornTalk here Download MP3 File

You can also subscribe to CornTalk (podcast) using our sidebar link.

Ag Group, Audio, CornTalk, Podcasts

Nip Neidert – Today’s Farmer Magazine – This Week’s ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 17This week we learn about a cooperative-owned publication from the man who reps it. I interview Nip Neidert, Neidert Associates, who represents Today’s Farmer magazine, owned by MFA Incorporated.

Today's Farmer MagazineNip talks about the differences between a cooperative-owned publication and one owned and operated by a publishing company. He also talks about the industry and the outlook he sees for the magazine.

You can listen to my interview with Nip here Download MP3 File

You can also subscribe to the ZimmCast (our version of the podcast) by using the link in our sidebar.

Agribusiness, Audio, Podcasts, Publication, ZimmCast

NAMA Chapter Blogging Presentation Well Received

Chuck Zimmerman

National NAMA e-NewsYou read about it as it happened right here on AgWired (Check out our NAMA category archive). It was a Blogging 101 presentation to the Midlands NAMA chapter meeting in May. The latest edition of National NAMA e-News has a writeup on the meeting.

Midlands chapter president, Stephanie Perry said, “The presentation provided us with a thorough overview and examples of blogs that are well-executed. Many of us are investigating how blogging can increase communications with our customers and I think we all left with a clearer understanding of the role this tool can play in our communications efforts.”

Thanks Stephanie! Perhaps your chapter would like to schedule me in? Just contact me (Chuck).

Blogging, NAMA

Secretary Of Ag Visits Pork Producers

Chuck Zimmerman

National Pork Producers Council LogoOur new Secretary of Ag has certainly made it a point of seeing everyone this year. I think he just went to Des Moines for the barbeque though!


DES MOINES, IOWA.—June 10th, 2005—U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns met today with pork producers at the 17th Annual World Pork Expo sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in Des Moines, Iowa. In the meeting with Secretary Johanns, pork producers discussed several issues of critical importance for the U.S. pork industry including a premises-based national animal identification system.

“We communicated the pork industry’s animal ID guidelines on this important issue,” said NPPC President Don Buhl, a pork producer from Tyler, Minn. “An identification system is needed to enhance the health and biosecurity of the U.S. livestock herd by providing a method to ensure rapid and accurate tracing of animal movements in the event of an animal emergency.”
With regard to international trade, pork producers stressed the importance of getting the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) passed by Congress, getting Mexico to drop its illegal case against U.S. pork and keeping the Australian pork market open.

For more information contact Kara Flynn.

Ag Group, Government

A Farm Group Blogger – The NAWG Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

NAWG LogoHe’s blazing a new trail into the blogoshpere! Introducing:

The NAWG Blog
Commentary by NAWG President Sherman Reese

I’m very happy to see the link to the blog on the National Association of Wheat Growers website too. Not much there yet. Please visit Sherman’s blog and let him know what you think.

Anyone else got a blog we don’t know about? If you need help, who ya gonna call? AgWired (Chuck).

Ag Group, Blogging