Osborn & Barr Retains Them

Chuck Zimmerman

Osborn & BarrMore Osborn & Barr Communications people are moving up. The agency says that it has “creative and account service employees that have been with the company almost since its inception 16 years ago, some starting as interns and later becoming senior account executives, others holding top executive positions.” CEO Steve Barr, attributes the retention to a willingness to let employees push their potential: “Our senior people work alongside our junior employees. We believe that development is a key to success, especially in a defined market such as ours. As individuals progress, we promote them to new levels of responsibility.”

Ginger PriceGinger Price came to Osborn & Barr two years ago as an account coordinator and took a fast track to her most recent promotion as senior account executive to lead the Michelin account, American Soil Technologies and Solutia. Ginger also tackles the pursuit of new opportunities in the agricultural and turf markets.

Kari MichalekKari Michalek joined the agency 18 months ago as a computer graphics specialist and was recently named production project manager. Kari has extensive background in production and graphic design with six years of experience in production management.

Recently, Osborn & Barr promoted Fred Thacker to manager of information systems. Fred determines the Internet technology infrastructure solutions that create an efficient flow of information within the agency and provide new electronic communications opportunities for clients. Since he joined the company three years ago, Fred has developed and implemented information technology systems for Osborn & Barr offices within the United States and Canada.


New MBIC Director Stahl

Chuck Zimmerman

MBIC Report PodcastThree newly elected board members for the Missouri Beef Industry Council recently attended their first board meeting. This week we hear from Jay Stahl, region 4, in Southwest Missouri, who is from Lamar.

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

The MBIC Report is an AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link you’ll find on our “Blogs & Podcasts” page or on the MBIC website.

Ag Group, Audio, Beef, MBIC, MBIC Report, Podcasts

Missouri River May Rise Twice

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk podcastThis week on Corn Talk, Missouri Corn Growers Association board member, Paul Gross, of Corder, MO, talks about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Annual Operating Plan (AOP) and the concerns of Missouri agriculture with the plan’s not one, but two Missouri River spring rises ordered to take place in late March and early May.

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 you’ll find on our “Blogs & Podcasts” page.

Ag Group, Audio, Corn, CornTalk, MCGA, Podcasts

Brownfield Awards

Chuck Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkThe folks at the Brownfield Network have several announcements.

Andrew McCreaTo start with Andrew McCrea just won his 5th Oscar in Agriculture award, which was presented at last week’s NAFB convention. I remember Andrew coming to the Brownfield Network before he was a big time award winner. Congratulations Andrew! Andrew produces American Countryside and can also be found on his own website. McCrea’s work on a four part series for coverage of the constitutionality of the Beef Checkoff case for the American Countryside program earned him his fifth Oscar in Agriculture. The series included a variety of interviews compiled of different views on the checkoff issues, including lawyers and livestock producers.

Also winning an award last week was Josh St. Peters. Josh received the NAFB South Region Horizon Award which was established to recognize young broadcasters with less than five years of membership that show promise in the industry. So
Tom Steevers & Josh St. PetersJosh, you are showing some “promise.” That is encouraging, congratulations to you.

Wait, we’re not done. Tom Steever won the NAFB South Region Farm Broadcaster of the Year Award. Steever was also elected South Region Vice President during the convention. He has attended every NAFB Convention since 1976 either as an associate or voting member. Steever served as North Central Region Vice President from 1984-1985. I’m glad this was pointed out since it clearly make Tom much older than me. Congrats Tom.

I’ve also been meaning to point you to the Brownfield Blog if I haven’t before. Young and promising award winner, Josh St. Peters is taking care of this duty. “Our goal with the Brownfield Blog is to give readers some insight into what’s going on behind the stories on the website and on the network. With our blog, we can post all kinds of information on farming and agribusiness,” explains Brownfield Farm Broadcaster Josh St. Peters.

Okay Brownfield, now I’m caught up.


Say Yes Or No To CHS

Chuck Zimmerman

CHS, Inc.It’s annual meeting time for CHS, Inc. The theme is “Yes and No.” I guess they’ll only be asking pretty simple questions during the meeting this year. The meeting will be held December 1 – 2. Here’s some agenda information:

Thursday, Dec. 1: Early arrival workshops include Country Hedging, Inc.’s market outlook for grain, oilseeds and energy for 2005, at 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m.; and Jim Whitt’s “Why the chicken really crossed the road: The motive in motivation” at 10 a.m. Mini-sessions will take place each half-hour between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. and touch on everything from selling Cenex® lubricants and producer financing to adjuvants and managing grain exports.

The business meeting starts at 12:30 p.m. with reports from the board of directors, operations leaders and CHS President and Chief Executive Officer John Johnson. It closes with the Member Interaction Session.

Friday, Dec. 2: The business meeting begins at 10 a.m., and closes with keynote speaker Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, with “The ultimate challenge in ethics: Are you really the person your dog thinks you are?”

You can see the complete agenda on their website. They’ll have a webcast on Thursday, starting at 12:30pm central time.


Farm Bureau Talks Turkey

Chuck Zimmerman

Amercian Farm BureauA Thanksgiving meal is still “affordable” according to the latest annual American Farm Bureau Federation survey.

In AFBF’s 20th annual informal survey of the price of basic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table, the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $36.78, a $1.10 price increase from last year’s survey average of $35.68. The AFBF survey was first conducted in 1986 when the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for a family of 10 was $28.74. This year’s actual cost of $36.78 is $19.04 in 1986 inflation-adjusted dollars. While Farm Bureau does not make any statistical claims about the data, it is a gauge of price trends around the nation. A total of 108 volunteer shoppers from 30 states participated in this year’s survey. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

Here at the Zimmerman household I don’t think we’ll have 10 people but we’re looking forward to our own turkey feast.

Ag Group

Back To The Office

Chuck Zimmerman

Hello AgWired fans. I’m back. I’ve got lots of stuff to post for you over the next couple days so hang in there. Thanks for your patience as I took a couple of days off. It was very necessary and I highly recommend that you do the same.

There’s nothing like a couple days of solitude to help you clear out the cobwebs and get re-focused. With that said it’s now full steam ahead for ZimmComm. We’ve got a brand new service to get started (AgNewsWire.AgWired.com) and many new projects underway.


U.S. Trade Rep. Leans on China in W.T.O. Talks

Keith Good

FarmPolicy.comAs the on-going W.T.O. Doha trade talks sputter, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman was busy this past week working towards progress in trips to both India and China.

While promoting stronger bi-lateral U.S. relationships, as well as seeking progress in the W.T.O. talks in both countries, Ambassador Portman’s trip to China provided more interesting news coverage.

According to The New York Times, Ambassador Portman indicated that, “The United States particularly hopes China will join in demands from many countries for the European Union to accept deep reductions in its farm subsidies.”

Currently, the EU perceives the primary obstacle in trade talk progress as reluctance from developing countries like “Brazil to make sharp cuts in their tariffs on imported industrial goods,” the Times said.

Although China appears reluctant to play a pivotal role in the talks, the Financial Times noted that the country’s political influence could be strong since China is “a member of the influential Group of 20 developing nations that negotiates over agriculture in the WTO.”


In what the Los Angeles Times referred to last Friday as “an embarrassing setback for President Bush and the Republican Party,” the House of Representatives was unable to muster the necessary votes to pass their version of the current budget reconciliation package last Thursday.

House GOP leaders expressed confidence the measure could be passed this week.

Recall that the Senate budget measure contains a provision to extend the Milk Income Loss Contract (M.I.L.C.) program, a dairy support program that expired in September, while the current House version does not.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, in a stinging editorial, argued that the M.I.L.C. program should be abandoned altogether.

The Journal noted that, the program “distorts the market and conflicts directly with other pre-existing subsidy programs…Letting it expire should have been a no-brainer, not least because dairy farmers still enjoy numerous other forms of government handouts.”

Keith Good writes The FarmPolicy.com News Summary, an Email newsletter containing a summary of news relating to U.S. farm policy which is published most weekdays. To sign up for this FREE publication, go to www.farmpolicy.com.

Farm Policy

AdFarm CEO Talks About Company Growth

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast42 - Kim McConnellRight before the start of the NAFB convention in Kansas City, AdFarm held an open house for their new offices. On hand to celebrate was CEO, Kim McConnell. Kim talks about the agency, it’s growth and commitment to agriculture.

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

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar. You can also now find the ZimmCast on CoolCast Radio.

Agency, Audio, Podcasts, ZimmCast

On My Way To The Woods

Chuck Zimmerman

Posting will be a little light over the next 4 or 5 days. It’s my annual pilgrimage to the woods but I will be online at least a little bit.

Where in the woods you might ask? Not telling. That’s why I’m going there. It’s time to escape for a while.