Let’s Get This Ethanol Thing Right

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk PodcastIn this week’s CornTalk, National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman discusses last week’s Ethanol Energy Balance forum at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The forum was organized to settle the debate over the net energy balance provided by ethanol. Much of that debate was created by a recent re-release of a questionable research study that suggests that that support for this form of energy is not worth it.

You can listen to CornTalk with Rick here: Download MP3 File

CornTalk (produced for the Missouri Corn Growers Association) is a weekly AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

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

The ABC’s Of School Nutrition

Chuck Zimmerman

MBIC Report PodcastSchool’s back in session so it’s time to think nutrition for children. In this week’s MBIC Report, Alane Lidolph, director of consumer information for the Missouri Beef Industry Council, talks about the ABC’s of back to school nutrition.

You can listen to the MBIC Report with Alane here: Download MP3 File

The MBIC Report is a weekly AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

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

Web Check AgForLife

Chuck Zimmerman

AgForLifeI don’t know about you but it can be hard to find good qualified young people who want to enter an agricultural field of any kind today. The folks that run AgCareers.com have introduced a new initiative to do something about it. They’re doing it with a little bit of help too (“a grant from Altria and matching funds from Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Texas A&M University provided the resources for the visual model of the virtual career guide.”).

They hope that AgForLife will reach young people through a web site and partnerships with entrepreneurial youth groups.

“AgForLife will bring attention to the diverse career opportunities in agriculture, food and life sciences among middle school, high school and college students. The number of rural youth continues to shrink, so now we can send the message to young people who didn’t grow up on a farm, know little about agriculture or may have the wrong perception of what a job in agriculture entails,” explained Eric Spell, president of AgCareers.com.

Interestingly, the news release via email I received came with a 2 minute audio file in the form of a what I would call a feature story about the website. It’s great to see someone using audio when it comes to public relations! And the audio sounds good.

You can listen to the story here: Download MP3 File

For more information contact Erika Brandt, AgCareers, 800.672.8552.

Agribusiness, Internet

Weather Channel Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

The Weather Channel BlogThis is just a little out of the ordinary for AgWired. Well, maybe not too out of the ordinary. As I was looking at The Weather Channel online to find out the latest about Hurricane Katrina, I noticed they have their own blog! It’s really not too bad and is a good example of what you can do with one. You can meet their bloggers here. And of course you can use this link to subscribe.

Very cool and timely with a hurricane of the millenium about to hit New Orleans. I hope something’s left since this is where we’re supposed to have the NAMA convention next year!


Onward To Switzerland

Chuck Zimmerman

Thun, SwitzerlandApparently Thun, Switzerland didn’t look this serene last week as the rain was falling. Little did we know that there was serious flooding until getting an email from the IFAJ organizing committee that our hotels aren’t affected.

This means that it’s on to Switzerland this week for Chuck & Cindy! Look for pics and interviews as we meet with agricultural journalists from around the world at the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress 2005.

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


New Cotton Spots On MTV

Chuck Zimmerman

Cotton Inc.Since I just mentioned one commodity group’s new television commercials, why not point out another? According to a story in Adweek (I couldn’t find it on the Cotton, Inc. website) a new series of commercials will kick off during tonight’s MTV Awards show. The ads are produced by DDB.

While looking around for more information on the spots I did come across the Cotton, Inc. consumer site “Fabric of Our Lives.” They have a very cool product for your Ipod, a cotton hoodie. Can’t leave your Ipod naked now can you?

Ag Group, Agency

Not A Blah ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 31-Cindy CunninghamIn the ZimmCast you can hear my interview with Cindy Cunningham, vice president for communications, National Porkboard, at the recent Ag Media Summit. The “Other White Meat” campaign continues to run with a new addition to the tagline “Don’t be blah.” You can see the full series of tv commercials and listen to the radio ones here.

You can listen to the ZimmCast here Download MP3 File (2.3MB MP3)

Cindy Cunningham InterviewBesides the broadcast commercials the Porkboard created a new website for this campaign which is very colorful. It’s called “The Daily Pork.” The campaign was handled both in house and working with The Richards Group out of Dallas.

Ag Group, Ag Media Summit, Audio, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Announcements From AMVAC

Chuck Zimmerman

AMVAC Chemical CorporationAMVAC Chemical Corporation is a subsidiary of American Vanguard Corporation and they had 2 big announcements this week. To start with they announced receipt of a registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Impact™, a new herbicide, for use in field corn, seed corn, sweet corn and popcorn. AMVAC expects to initiate sales of the herbicide to U.S. corn growers beginning in the spring of 2006. Additionally, they announced a partnership with Pioneer Hi-Bred for a marketing program for AMVAC’s SmartBox® closed-handling system. Pioneer® brand seed customers now have the opportunity to qualify for a discount on the purchase of a SmartBox system.

I think that it was interesting to see the release sent out to general media through national news wire services. They didn’t just target this to farm reporters. Wonder why? Could it be that the relatively low cost to produce and distribute news releases is worth the money? Farmers get their news from a lot of places. I’ve always wondered why companies don’t use more public relations vehicles to deliver their message.


Whoops. We Used The High Fat Oil

Chuck Zimmerman

Sometimes you see a story and think “Isn’t that just ridiculous?” It happens way too often these days. This one involves McDonalds. According to an AP story on Oregonlive.com, a judge is “allowing” Mickey D’s to conduct an $8.5 million educational campaign to settle a lawsuit brought against the company for failing to reduce its use of partially hydrogenated oil. What is the deal here? Is there some kind of law that I don’t know about that says a company has to use a certain kind of cooking oil? Give me a break!

That money actually is going to be used by giving the American Heart Association $7 million to do the educational campaign. I wonder how much of that will go to salaries and benefits. To really make you wonder, the other $1.5 million has to be used by McDonalds to proclaim to the world that it didn’t follow through on a “pledge” to convert to healthier cooking oil fast enough. Oh, and by the way, the company will have to pay about $2 million in attorney’s fees and court costs!

Something is missing from this story. How about common sense? Do you go to McDonalds and order french fries because they’re part of a low fat diet? No.

Sorry, I just couldn’t help but point out the stupidity of some people who have nothing better to do than complain about something that multi millions of people starving in other parts of the world wish they had. This is the kind of thing that leads to so many educational and nutritional programs that try to educate people who aren’t willing to take responsibility for their own decisions. Did you know there’s an organization trying to ban partially hydrogenated oil? As one “old” friend of mine likes to point out, everything he ate growing up was cooked in hog lard. Of course he doesn’t sit in front of a computer or tv all day either.


Meet Alice In Dairyland

Chuck Zimmerman

Alice In DairylandIf you’ve ever wondered who Alice In Dairyland is then wonder no more. Maybe you’ve never even thought about it either but now you’ll be in the know. Alice started back in 1948 and is a program of the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture.

This year she’s Gena Cooper and you can meet her right here. I interviewed the reigning Alice at the recent Ag Media Summit. She describes herself and her role as an ambassador for Wisconsin agriculture.

You can listen to my interview with Gena or Alice or whatever her name is here Download MP3 File (1.2MB MP3)

Audio, Government