Renewable Fuels Discussed At Breakfast

Chuck Zimmerman

MFA OilBreakfast this morning in Columbia, MO was at the MFA Oil headquarters. The Columbia Chamber of Commerce has a Food For Thought Breakfast Series that features interesting topics and speakers. Today it was Michelle Kautz, National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition and Jon Kleiboeker, Missouri Soybean Association speaking about renewable fuels, ethanol and biodiesel.

David PerkinsPictured here is MFA Oil’s David Perkins, special projects manager, who also discussed how MFA Oil is supporting and encouraging the use of renewable fuels. The people attending were from a variety of business interests and many learned a lot about ethanol and biodiesel that they never knew. Judging by the questions asked there’s still a big job to do educating the general public about renewable fuels. For example, one of the speaker said that many consumers who purchase a flexible fuel vehicle (runs on E-85 or regular gas) don’t even know that they can put E-85 in it! I also heard that one of the reasons many gas pumps that contain up to a 10 blend of ethanol don’t even label it as such is because they found that consumers shied away from it thinking it would hurt their car somehow!

Obviously a lot of consumer education to do about these renewable fuels!

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Ethanol

Corn Congress Discussed On CornTalk

Chuck Zimmerman

MCGA CornTalkLast week Missouri Corn Growers Association CEO Gary Marshall was in Washington, DC where his meetings focused on several issues. In this week’s CornTalk program Cindy interviews Gary about the energy bill, the highway bill, WRDA and CAFTA.

You can listen to CornTalk here Download MP3 File

CornTalk is also a weekly podcast of AgWired. Just use the link you’ll find in our sidebar to subscribe.

Ag Group, Audio, CornTalk, MCGA, Podcasts

Purina’s Animal Advice Podcasts

Chuck Zimmerman

Purina PodcastYou know we advocate podcasting and are just waiting for the ag public relations world to “get it.” Some people already do. Take the folks at Purina. They podcast pet advice.

They’re also using RSS very effectively and have a number of feeds available that include:

Dog Pictures and Profiles From the Latest Beneful® Dog Pages
Cat Advice (Emotional): Purina® Cat Chow® Mentor Amy Shojai
Kitten/Mature Cat Advice: Purina® Cat Chow® Mentor Dr. Debbie Horwitz
Cat Advice (Nutritional): Purina® Cat Chow® Mentor Dr. Janet Jackson
Cat Advice (Physical): Purina® Cat Chow® Mentor Dr. Steffen Runquist
“Real Cats, Real Stories” From Purina® Cat Chow®
Expert Cat Care! Advice From the Purina ONE® Online Vet
Expert Dog Care Advice From the Purina ONE® Online Vet

Okay, so maybe they’re targeting the general public. I don’t know why anyone would think that farmers are any different though.



Chuck Zimmerman

Taking Ownership of Grain Belt Agriculture ReportI had not seen this report before seeing a link to it in today’s NCGA News of the Day. It’s the result of NCGA’s Future Structure of Agriculture Task Force II work. It looks like a lot of work went into this document. I wonder how it’s being used and if it will have any impact. Anyone know?

You can read the full report on their website.

Their Executive Summary makes a clear statement that some things need to change for production agriculture to continue to grow and be a viable business for farmers.To revitalize rural America, agriculture needs a new focus—an emphasis on entrepreneurship versus entitlement. Hundreds of farmer-owned ventures have flowered throughout the Grain Belt since the mid-1990s. But more investment beyond production agriculture is critical, since future profits in commodity agriculture will grow only in nickels and dimes; upstream processors, many of which can be farmer owned, will capture the real dollars from value-added agriculture.

The report makes a number of specific recommendations:

• Elevate bio-based research and technology to a national priority.
• Encourage farmer-owned brands by removing legal barriers.
• Reform producer-owned business structures to improve tax efficiency, easily raise capital and offer investor liquidity.
• Foster and fund value-added education and rural entrepreneurship.

Ag Group

Milk Is Milk To Alex Avery

Chuck Zimmerman

Milk Is MilkI don’t think I’ve pointed you to the Milk is Milk blog yet have I?

This is where the Center For Global Food Issues, director of research & education posts his thoughts. He is Alex Avery.

He doesn’t write often but when he does it’s well thought out and he makes good use of links. His latest post for example is on happy cows and unhappy birds. It’s about grazing and claims made by organic milk producers and environmentalists and he puts links to sites that contain information to back up what he’s saying.

I think this is a great example of how you can incorporate blogging into your web strategy since the blog is linked to from the Milk is Milk website!


Farm Radio & Print In Florida

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCastThis week’s ZimmCast features Gary Cooper. No, not that Gary Cooper. Gary Cooper as in, president of Southeast AgNet & Citrus Industry magazine.

Gary has been in farm broadcasting all his life and now he owns a magazine. Ever wondered what it’s like to try to marry these two mediums together? Well, in my interview with Gary we talk about why he made the purchase and how he’s integrating these two mediums for the benefit of Florida citrus growers and the companies that advertise.

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

Our ZimmCast is also a weekly podcast which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

Audio, Media, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Johanns In Madagascar

Chuck Zimmerman

USDAOur Secretary of Ag, Mike Johanns was in Madagascar this past week. I wish they’d invited AgWired to go along. Cindy and I sponsor a child in Madagascar through CFCA and I’ve wanted to visit him and his family. Anyway, it looks like our secretary got some work done there.

Transcript Of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns At the Signing Ceremony for MOU and a Food for Progress Agreement – Antananarivo, Madagascar – July 16, 2005

SECRETARY JOHANNS: “Mr. President,Mister Ministers,

“Let me start out and say that it is a great pleasure to be here in Madagascar. My wife Stephanie and I are honored to be here. We have enjoyed firsthand the beauty and the natural resources of this remarkable country, and we look forward to our visit over the hours ahead. We certainly appreciate your warm welcome.

“I am here in order that our two countries will further develop our common interests, continued cooperation in the progress on economic reforms that will expand freedom, security and prosperity to all.

For the full transcript visit this link.


Ag Law Meeting In KC, MO

Chuck Zimmerman

American Agricultural Law AssociatonI didn’t even know there was an American Agricultural Law Association until a notice about this conference was sent to me.

The 2005 Annual Agricultural Law Symposium will be held in Kansas City, MO at the Country Club Plaza Marriott, October 7 & 8. Registration information and program schedules:
MS Word
Registration forms:
PDF (the PDF form can be filled out on your computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or above)
MS Word

For more information contact Robert Achenbach, AALA Executive Director or by phone at (541) 485-1090 (Eugene, OR).


What Will Happen In Hong Kong

Chuck Zimmerman

World Trade OrganizationDon’t say it Supachai. We want to see something accomplished in Hong Kong. I’ve already been to one WTO Ministerial (Seattle) when nothing was accomplished. It just goes to show you how difficult it is and always will be to get hundreds of countries to agree on anything. The World Trade Organization is planning a conference later this year in Hong Kong and AgWired is hoping to cover it. Let’s just hope we have something to cover!

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi called on ambassadors in an informal meeting on 8 July 2005 to immediately change gear in the trade negotiations, stressing that “progress is nowhere near sufficient in terms of our critical path to Hong Kong”. He said that there is still a “slender chance” of averting a crisis, “but every hour must be made to count”.


PMN Is 5 Years Old

Chuck Zimmerman

Plant Management NetworkThe Plant Management Network (PMN) is celebrating its first five years of online publication. To commemorate the occasion, PMN took a look back interviewing some of those involved when it began.

Started in July 2000 as a single journal, PMN now offers a full suite of applied science-based agricultural resources. Said Tim Murray, first Plant Health Progress journal editor-in-chief and Washington State University plant pathologist, “As one of the web’s first electronic-only publications, I remember that when we first went online people wondered if it would last. After five years, I think the answer is definitely ‘yes’. Not only is the journal now part of the permanent literature, it has evolved into a comprehensive network for applied agriculture.” He added, “People I talk with today can’t imagine not having this kind of hands-on information available electronically.”

Internet, Publication