Argentine/Peru Ranches Tour

Chuck Zimmerman

National Cattlemen's Beef AssociationYeah, right. Uh, we’re going to go to Peru to check out the uh, ranches. “Honey, it will help enrich our understanding of global agriculture and maybe we can learn some new techniques to apply here on our ranch.”

I can just hear it now. Actually I’d love to go on this trip. Who wouldn’t? How did the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association decide on this trip? You know there’s a lot of grass fed beef down there. Me. I really like mine corn fed in the midwest!

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Tour of the Year is set for November 13 through 22. “The Best of Argentina and Peru” will feature visits to some of South America’s greatest historic sites and tourist attractions, as well as great educational opportunities to view the workings of the region’s cattle industry.

While in Argentina, the group will receive a full tour of Buenos Aires, as well as lunch at one the city’s finest steakhouses. They will also visit a private cattle ranch and cattle auction, as well as a professional polo ranch – including polo lessons and a polo tournament.

In Peru, highlights include a visit to Cusco, capital of the ancient Incan Empire, and a guided tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This will be followed by a full-day excursion to Machu Picchu, the magnificent “Lost City of the Incas” located in the highest reaches of the eastern Andes Mountains.

The trip will conclude with a visit to a pre-Columbian temple, lunch at a historic Peruvian ranch, and a chance to experience the El Paso horse exhibition.

For reservations, contact Global Travel at 800-722-9017.

Ag Group, Beef

Normally I Love Microsoft

Chuck Zimmerman

Please excuse the fact that I didn’t post more today. At about 12:30pm I noticed a serious Microsoft Word issue on my desktop computer that is completely baffling. It’s now 6 hours later. I’ve spent over 2 of those on the phone with 4 different Microsoft technicians who waver between a software update problem and that it’s not their problem. Unbelievable! If you’re using Microsoft Office I wouldn’t recommend updating with the latest Microsoft Word Security update like I did this morning. One of the techs admitted that that update might have caused this problem. Might? *&$^#)*%&

We even removed Microsoft Office and I re-installed it from CD. No change. Who knows what’s wrong or when it will get resolved.


Thank you for letting me rant for a moment.


Listen To The Expo Marketing Manager

Chuck Zimmerman

Chuck & Lisa BehnkeHow’d you like to be responsible for all the media and marketing for a farm show that attracts about 65,000 people? We’re talking international reporters and visitors. Well in the case of World Dairy Expo it’s all the work of Lisa Behnke, Marketing Manager (pictured to the right of yours truly). She’s hard at work now getting ready for all the media representatives who will be covering Expo. Of course she also does other things and I think you’ll be able to tell from my interview with her that she’s proud of World Dairy Expo and committed to making it even better.

You’ll be reading a lot about World Dairy Expo in the next couple weeks as I blog the event. You can also follow it on our sister site, World Dairy Diary!

You can listen to my interview with Lisa here: Download MP3 File (MP3 File 5MB)

Audio, Farm Shows, General, World Dairy Expo

Valent Not In Spray Oil Business

Chuck Zimmerman

ValentHere’s the kind of story you don’t see often in a news release. Valent announced yesterday that it has “exited the spray oil business and will no longer market Volck Supreme Spray Oil, Volck Clear or Premium Ag 100.” Usually you get an announcement that a company is now doing something, not withdrawing. Interesting. I applaud them for making an important announcement and using a news release to do so. This is a story and worthy of a release!

This withdrawal will allow Valent to focus on its rapidly expanding new product pipeline and recent new product introductions for the tree fruit and nut markets, including Chateau® Herbicide, Venom™ Insecticide, Zeal™ Miticide, and MaxCel™, Prestige™ and ReTain® plant growth regulators.


Colorado Steaks Are Blazin’

Chuck Zimmerman

Blazin' Colorado SteaksThe National Beef Cookoff is over and there’s lots of winners and prizes. The big winner is: Linda Morten, TX with the “BEST OF BEEF” GRAND PRIZE in the GRILLED BEEF CATEGORY with her recipe called “Blazin’ Colorado Steak.” It’s what’s going to be supper in the Zimmerman household this weekend! Instead of going into anymore about the contest and all the winners, etc. I think you just need to add this to your cookbook:

Total preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
Marinating time: 15 minutes to 2 hours

4 beef shoulder top blade steaks (flat iron) or boneless beef chuck
eye steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
Salt (optional)
Chopped seeded tomato
Cilantro sprigs, lime wedges (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place marinade ingredients in blender container. Cover; purée until smooth. Place beef steaks and
marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator
15 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered
coals. Grill shoulder top blade steaks, covered, 10 to 14 minutes (chuck eye steaks, uncovered, 16 to
20 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. Season with salt, if desired; keep

3. Meanwhile prepare sauce. Place green chilies in blender container. Cover; purée until smooth.
Combine chilies and cream in heavy small saucepan with heatproof handle. Place on grid over
medium, ash-covered coals; cook until hot, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sour cream and
cilantro. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until just heated through. Do not boil.

4. Serve steaks with sauce. Garnish with tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Courtesy Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

If you want to see who all the winners are then visit the National Beef Cookoff website.

Ag Group, Beef

Make Your Website Un-Ugly

Chuck Zimmerman

This week I’ve been involved in some interesting discussions on website design so I thought I’d pass along a couple links to some interesting information if you’re involved in a web project. Thanks to a link I found on Paul Conley’s blog you can read some very interesting research on a Poynter Institute study called Eyetrack III. This was research about news sites which was done with 46 people. Lots of good stuff in here. This is from Paul’s post called “The Ugly Truth About Ugly Sites.”

Of course you can check out Jakob Nielsen and his Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design.

And I like Steve Krug and his book “Don’t Make Me Think,” which is now in its second edition. This little book won’t take long to read and it all just makes sense.

It’s never easy to put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and see your site from their eyes but resources like these help. Of course you should also consider getting the opinion of other people and not be afraid to hear what they have to say!


Get Your Ticket To Tulare

Chuck Zimmerman

World Ag ExpoThe World Ag Expo is looking for sponsors and they have a lot of things you can sponsor. Some examples include:
VIP Tent: where exhibitors showcase products or host hospitality events.
Park and Ride: Reach a captive audience through signs and video loops.
Receptions: Host a reception for international visitors or our 1600 exhibiting companies.
Pavilions: Grab your customer’s attention with banners.
International Business Center: Where international visitors conduct new business deals.

The show is in February so I guess now’s the time to make a decision. I’ve never been to the Tulare show. It claims to be the biggest and maybe I’ll have a chance to blog it in ’06? Hint, hint.

Anyway, for more information on sponsoring opportunities, email Stacey or call 559-688-1030.

Farm Shows

SEJ Meeting Still Scheduled For Austin

Chuck Zimmerman

Society of Environmental JournalistsHere’s some folks watching what happens with Hurricane Rita. The Society of Environmental Journalists says they’re still planning on their annual meeting in Austin, TX starting September 28.

In case you’re not familiar with this group their mission is “to advance public understanding of environmental issues by improving the quality, accuracy, and visibility of environmental reporting.”


Checkoff Funded Food Safety Research

Chuck Zimmerman

MBIC Report PodcastThis week’s MBIC report from the Missouri Beef Industy Council focuses on some of the food safety research being funded by Missouri beef producer checkoff dollars. Cindy interviews Azlin Mustapha, a food science professor at the University of Missouri.

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 in our sidebar or on the newly designed MBIC website.

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

Win A Holstein Association Jacket

Chuck Zimmerman

Holstein Association USAJust last week I told you about this contest being run by the Holstein Association and this week we helped them promote it by sending out a Talking News Release! Here’s your chance to hear Lisa Perrin. She did a good job don’t you think?

BRATTLEBORO, Vt., September 21, 2005— World Dairy Expo 2005 is just around the corner and Holstein Association USA, Inc. is inviting everyone who attends the expo to stop by their booth and meet the “Holstein Association Member of the Day” and get a free copy of the 2006 Holstein Association calendar.

Holstein Association Communications Manager, Lisa Perrin says they are excited to be featuring their own members as part of the exhibit this year to tell their own stories. Full Release

Ag Group, Audio, Talking News Release, World Dairy Expo