The Art of Dairy On The ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 29 - Tom McKittrickHow much do you know about the World Dairy Expo? Now you can learn more by listening to this week’s ZimmCast. I interviewed World Dairy Expo, general manager, Tom McKittrick in his office recently. Tom describes the history, mission, purpose, theme and structure of the Expo. Many of you probably already know this but we’re also operating a weblog called “World Dairy Diary” in cooperation with World Dairy Expo. Look for more on the Expo in coming months. AgWired will be there blogging the show!

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

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

Audio, Farm Shows, Podcasts, World Dairy Expo, ZimmCast

Hot Topics Served Up By Valent

Chuck Zimmerman

ValentValent was serving up “Hot Topics” at the recent Ag Media Summit. Like many exhibitors they weren’t there to make a major announcement but to build relationships with agricultural editors. Now I like hot sauce so they got my attention with the materials in their booth. For example, we received a CD that was labelled like a bottle of Tabasco sauce that contained recent news releases and personnell bios. I wish it had included images (logos, etc.) and some audio. Additionally they had questions and answers on little cards attached by a piece of ribbon to tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce.

All in all it was a job well done by the folks at Archer-Malmo (agency) and the company. Building relationships with ag journalists will go a long way toward having your materials get looked at when the real news is available.

Ag Media Summit, Agribusiness

Farm Journal Media Fills News Sales Positions

Chuck Zimmerman

Farm Journal MediaI keep seeing good news about business magazine revenues. The data now includes an agriculture category. So it’s no surprise to see that Farm Journal Media is adding sales staff on the publications side as well as the electronic side.

Farm Journal Media Adds Four New Sales Positions

Philadelphia, PA – August 12, 2005 – Farm Journal Media announced today the hiring of four salespeople, all filling newly created sales positions.

Alan Eley joins Farm Journal Media’s Database Strategies group as a Database Sales Executive and will work out of the Company’s sales headquarters in Park Ridge, IL. Bob Ford is named Director of Distribution at Farm Journal Electronic Media and will work at the Company’s Electronic Media division in Lafayette, IN. Denise Hollinger also joins Farm Journal Electronic Media in Lafayette as a National Account Manager – a newly created position. Leah Rippe joins the Company in the new position of Farm Journal Sales Representative for middle-market accounts, representing FARM JOURNAL and TOP PRODUCER magazines.

For more information contact Will Murphy.


Almost 1.1 million U S Farms Have Internet Access

Chuck Zimmerman

National Agricultural Statistics ServiceIt’s really official that 51 percent of U S farms have internet access now! That’s up 3 percent from 2003. The percentage of increase is smaller than in past surveys showing some levelling off in farms obtaining internet access. This makes some sense when you consider that the average age of a farmer continues to move upward. I can’t see the number declining though and at 51 percent that means that almost 1.1 million farms are online! That’s a significant number.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service had to re-release this. Now we have the “final” version of the Farmer Computer Usage & Ownership survey. Not any real big changes. Just to make sure though I interviewed Sarah Hoffman, section head, environmental & demographics section of the National Agricultural Statistics Service to make sure.

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

The percentage of farms with internet access goes even higher when you look at the breakouts of farms at higher income levels. The percentage goes up to 72 percent at the highest level ($250,000+ income).

For the first time NASS asked what type of internet access farmers have. Of those with access, 69 percent get it by dialup and 23 percent through broadband (cable, dsl, satellite) with a tiny percentage of “unknown.” There aren’t comparison number on this but common sense tells you that the broadband percentage has grown and will continue to do so as USDA continues its program to assist companies financially who are installing rural broadband access.

Audio, Government, USDA

BASF Enforcing Clearfield Agreements

Chuck Zimmerman

Clearfield Production SystemWhat do you do when you expect some negative customer feedback? Send out a news release explaining your actions! That’s what BASF did to explain their pursuit of farmers using saved seed from their Clearfield agreements. In this case with a group of Arkansas rice growers. Although I only have the facts stated in the release I think most people would agree that if you enter into an agreement you ought to abide by it. At least that’s what I was always taught.

BASF committed to protecting the CLEARFIELD technology

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (August 9,2005) – BASF is committed to protecting the effectiveness of its CLEARFIELD*
Production System, including wheat, as shown by its pursuit of a stewardship case involving rice in Arkansas. Last spring, the company entered into a consent judgment with a number of northeastern Arkansas rice growers and others, some of whom violated CLEARFIELD rice stewardship agreements by planting saved seed. The company’s action in pursuing the case reflects its interest in safeguarding the CLEARFIELD portfolio, which includes wheat and sunflowers, other crops involving the registered technology, said Jason Ward, CLEARFIELD market manager. “This legal action was necessary to preserve the integrity of the CLEARFIELD Production System for rice for the overwhelming majority of farmers who have appropriately – and legally – used the technology,” he said. “Our position has been explained to growers and is clearly spelled out in the stewardship agreement.

For more information contact Joy Watson.


Pumped Up Potato Head

Chuck Zimmerman

Mr. Potato HeadJust yesterday we told you to experience the power of figs, now it’s potatoes. The United States Potato Board is changing Mr. Potato Head. In fact, according to this article, the new dude will fly in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Notice that this sleek potato guy has his digital audio player on. Hopefully he subscribes to the ZimmCast! Mr. Potato Head is a Hasbro toy.

Mr. Potato HeadBesides his roller blade image there’s also a Mr. Potato Head walker, complete with pedometer. I guess all the news about nutrition and obesity is starting to have an impact on the way food is being marketed in this country. I don’t know that it means we’ll become less obese. But we’ll know a lot more about what we’re eating. By the way they claim that Mr. Potato Head has 100% recall!

Power to the potato, right on! For more information contact Meredith Myers.

Ag Group

Where Else But Online For A PR Blog Conference

Chuck Zimmerman

Global PR Blog Week 2.oThe dates are set now for the second public relations online event. It’s Global PR Blog Week 2.0 which will be held September 19-23. You can see the full program here. I saw the alert to this on PR Opinions.

This is an interesting idea. “The Global PR Blog Week 2.0 is an online conference on how new media technologies are changing the practice of Public Relations and corporate communications. We’re talking weblogs and participatory journalism, wikis, podcasting, and RSS.” You can still see all the resources from Global PR Blog Week 1.0.


Podcasts From The White House

Chuck Zimmerman

White House RadioNow even W is podcasting by gosh! If the President of the United States is podcasting then this just ain’t a strange sounding word and if you’re in public relations and communications you’d better be paying attention. We keep telling you that it’s time to “think outside the box” (I’m sick of that phrase) but at least in this case I’m talking about a box that lets you tune into a regular radio station. Times they are a changing.

It’s White House Radio and you can subscribe and listen, wherever and whenever you want! Thank you Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion for the tip.


Even Cities Are Podcasting

Chuck Zimmerman

International Nanocasting AllianceIn case you’re wondering what that logo is on AgWired that says we’re a member then I’ll tell you. We’re a charter member of the International Nanocasting Association. This is a group that has been created to promote standards for commercial podcasting. So we said, “Why not join up?” I haven’t seen much activity yet but we’re right at the beginning of this whole podcasting revolution. If you listen to our ZimmCast then you’re listening to a podcast. It’s in an MP3 file format and except for the host (me) sounds pretty good I think. I don’t know what the standards are yet but I’m sure we’ll be working on them.

INA Launches Global Initiative to Establish Commercial Standards for Podcasting

The International Nanocasting Alliance (INA), the international trade organization for commercial podcasters announced today the launch of the first global initiative to establish universally accepted standards for commercial podcasting. The program is consulting a wide spectrum of podcasters from around the world, along with a coalition of academics, media, marketing, advertising and legal experts. The program will seek to identify guidelines and best practices that participating commercial podcasters will voluntarily agree to follow. Participating podcasters will display a “member seal” that will serve to identify the media outlet’s commitment to these standards and distinguish them from sites not committed to the established code and best practices.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s going to happen as podcasting grows as a commercial application. For example I just learned that the city of Warren, Michigan is podcasting! That’s an alert from Podcasting News. Even cities are podcasting!


Gettin Figgy With It

Chuck Zimmerman

California Fig Advisory BoardHow many of you remember “Ooee, gooey, rich and chewey inside . . . ?” When I was in high school we had a social club that used that as our theme song. We would even go to a grocery store together signing it while we all picked up a package of Fig Newtons and went through checkout in a line. Yes, we were weird. But we were ready to “Experience the power of the fig.” That’s the new tag line Kraft/Nabisco’s using for its latest campaign, along with the California Fig Advisory Board.

It looks like Weber Shandwick’s getting to do the PR on this. I found it from their news release on PRNewswire today. The release contains all kinds of nutritional information but no jingle (bummer). The creative showing on the California Fig Advisory Board website looks like a print ad that’s pretty lame in my opinion. It shows a greek olympic discus thrower and has a little Q & A on it. Not very exciting. How about a new jingle? Better yet, let’s sing, “Golden, flaky, tender cakey, outside . . . !” How about a national everybody sing the Fig Newton jingle week? Lean out of your windows and sing at the top of your lungs, “Wrap the inside in the outside . . . ”

California Fig Advisory Board and Fig Newtons (R) Come Together to Officially Declare First-Ever Fig Appreciation Week

FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 11- It’s a fact … figs are fabulous! Yet most people haven’t yet realized the potential to “Experience the Power of the Fig!”(TM) That’s why this week many “Friends of Fig” are rallying in Fresno, Calif., the “fig capital,” of the country to help this small but mighty fruit take a stand and get the recognition it has long deserved!

The California Fig Advisory Board and Fig Newtons — two of the most well- known fig aficionados — are bringing food, nutrition and fitness experts together to kick-off the first-ever official “Fig Appreciation Week” on August 13th, 2005.

For more information contact Michelle Zmuda.

Agency, Agribusiness