They Say E Stands For Ethanol

Chuck Zimmerman

It’s official now. There is a new ethanol promotion organization and it’s headed by Tom Slunecka. Ethanol Promotion & Research Council


the ethanol promotion and information council formed to promote ethanol awareness

St. Louis‚ Mo. (May 3‚ 2005) — Recent research conducted by The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) shows that many people are not yet familiar with ethanol‚ but when informed about its benefits‚ are likely to purchase ethanol-blended fuels.

“There is a great need for information about how ethanol benefits consumers‚” says Tom Slunecka‚ executive director for EPIC. “Through EPIC‚ members of the ethanol industry will work together to inform consumers about the positive benefits of ethanol and help develop new demand across the U.S.”

For more information contact Tom Slunecka or Joanna Schroeder.

Ag Group

200,000,000 Doses Is A Lot of Doses

Chuck Zimmerman

Novartis is running a special promotion to celebrate the success of Vira Shield. I don’t know all the ways this will be promoted but I think a Talking News Release would be a good idea!

Vira Shield Sweepstakes

Vira Shield® celebrates 200 millionth dose with Legacy of Leadership sweepstakes

GREENSBORO, NC (May 2, 2005) – This year, cattle producers will buy the 200 millionth dose of Vira Shield®. To mark this milestone, Novartis Animal Health is sponsoring the Vira Shield Legacy of Leadership sweepstakes.

“Like dairy and beef producers, Novartis’ success is due to building a solid reputation for producing a quality product,” says John Landon, Novartis bovine marketing manager. “The Legacy of Leadership sweepstakes is a special thank you for Vira Shield users, and a way to support the next generation of producers.”

There will be many winners, including five, $5,000 cash for college sweepstakes winners. These are direct cash awards that are not tied to a single institution. Winners also will receive a free trip to receive their cash awards at the 2006 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Convention in Denver or the 2006 World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.

For more information contact Joseph Burkett.


Beef Day At MO Capitol Subject of MBIC Report

Chuck Zimmerman

In this week’s MBIC Report Cindy Zimmerman interviews Chairman David Dick of Sedalia during Beef Day at the Capitol on Tuesday. Cindy also interviewed the Beefmobile Wrangler Tracey Orsburn (pictured below) who will be stopping at various livestock markets around the state this week and next. She will be next week’s MBIC report.


You can listen to the report here: MBIC Report


The most recent MBIC Report is always available in our “Audio Programming” sidebar. It’s set up as a podcast too, so you can subscribe to it. For more information on how, look at our FAQ’s page.

Ag Group, Audio, MBIC, MBIC Report, Podcasts

CornTalk From Switzerland

Chuck Zimmerman

In this week’s CornTalk, Cindy Zimmerman interviews Gary Marshall, CEO of the MCGA/MCMC, from Switzerland. Marshall is currently in Europe on a State Executive Staff Mission hosted by the U.S. Grains Council.

Thus far, the team has met with representatives in Belgium, The Netherlands and Poland. While in Brussels, the group spoke with EU Commission officials regarding the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) and their negotiating priorities for agriculture. The team also met with feed manufacturers, meat processors and livestock producers in The Netherlands and Poland regarding the future outlook for changes in production patterns in the newly expanded EU-25.

According to Marshall, the meetings have been very helpful in understanding the trade policy and marketing issues we face in the newly expanded EU.


You can listen to this week’s report here: AudioCornTalk

The current edition of CornTalk is always available in our “Audio Programming” sidebar.

Ag Group, Audio, CornTalk

I Guess The Future Is In The Futures

Chuck Zimmerman

At least Craig Donohue thinks so. If you’d like to hear him talk about it I hope you’re an executive in Chicago.

Chicago Executives Club Logo

Chicago CEO Breakfast Series

“Leadership in the New Economy:
Visions for the 21st Century” featuring:

Craig S. Donohue
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Mercantile Exchange

“The Future is in Futures ”

Friday, May 6, 2005
Networking, 7:30 am Breakfast, 8:00 am
The Mid-America Club
200 East Randolph Drive – 80th Floor, Chicago, Illinois

Online registration is available at: or phone The Executives’ Club of Chicago at: 312-263-3500


My Pyramid Spoofed In A Big Way

Chuck Zimmerman

There has certainly been plenty of jokes about USDA’s new food guide pyramid but none as elaborate as the spoof site. Let’s you know how important it is to reserve extra website domain extensions!

This information comes from the Institute of Food Technologists website:

Spoof of USDA MyPyramid site gets noticed

4/30/2005-When the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture left two URL extensions of their Web site, describing the new Food Pyramid ( open, two Web developers Stephen Eisenmenger and Molly Nutting set up a spoof of the site at and According to news reports, the USDA’s site has gotten more than 268 million hits, and the parody has gotten more than 1 million. Eisenmenger and Nutting, self-described social activists and vegetarians, charge that the USDA pyramid represents a conflict between an agency that is responsible for promoting the interests of the U.S. agriculture industry and an attempt to promote healthy eating. The spoof calls for “…moderate or vigorous activity (such as playing video games, standing up to change the channel or walking to your car).” According to news reports, the USDA won’t comment other than to acknowledge the existence of site. The sites look very similar because Eisenmenger and Nutting copied the USDA site and added their own text and messages. The USDA’s graphics and other materials are part of the public domain.


Get Some Insight Into the Animal ID Issue From USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

Animal ID is a big issue in agriculture right now. A lot of work is being done on ways to implement ID and it’s a very sensitive issue for livestock producers. Tomorrow you can have a chance to hear what USDA has to say about it. Although I’m sure there are no decisions it should provide some insight into where things stand on the regulatory front and what the government thinks about this issue.


WASHINGTON, May 04, 2005–Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Ron DeHaven, and USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins will hold a tele-news conference on Thursday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m. EDT regarding animal identification issues.

WHO: Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks
Administrator for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Ron DeHaven
USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins

WHAT: Tele-news conference to discuss Animal ID

WHEN: Thursday, May 05, 2005 , 10:30 a.m. EDT

Reporters can listen to live audio of the briefing via webcast at


Farm Podcasting Is Just Beginning

Chuck Zimmerman

I introduced the term farm podcasting into a USDA press conference earlier this week (see post from May 1) and since then I’ve had several people ask me about it. Questions include, “What’s a podcast?” “How can I do it?”

I believe farm radio programming is perfectly suited for podcasting and that’s why we’re calling it farm podcasting. Farm programming really targets a niche audience which is why there’s so much reluctance on the part of today’s radio station owners to dedicate part of their broadcast day to it. With podcasting though there’s no need to have the program broadcast ever on any radio station! Are you listening farm broadcasters?

I sent an email out to every traditional farm broadcaster I’ve got an email address on last week asking if anyone is podcasting their programming. Only 1 has responded saying they are starting one today. I’ll post information about it as soon as I receive the announcement.

Maybe you wonder if this podcasting thing is for real and not just some strange thing Chuck has dreamed up. How about this announcement from Sirius Satellite Radio then?

Sirius Satellite Radio Logo


Podcast Originator Adam Curry to Produce Daily Podcast Program Exclusively for SIRIUS

NEW YORK – (May 2, 2005) – SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) and announced today that Adam Curry, the “father of podcasting,” will produce a special SIRIUS Satellite Radio program which will broadcast the best podcasts in the world exclusively to SIRIUS subscribers.

The program, Adam Curry’s PodShow, debuts on SIRIUS on Friday, May 13th. This marks the first collaboration between the two key players in the two most exciting, innovative mediums in audio broadcasting – satellite radio and podcasting. Curry helped design the digital tools that have made podcasting a worldwide phenomenon.

The four-hour, weekday program will feature highlights and insights from the world of podcasting and will introduce SIRIUS listeners to a completely new range of talent and artists from around the world, including the best new, undiscovered music. The program’s SIRIUS debut coincides with the launch of Curry’s, the first true entertainment and information network in podcasting.

“Podcasting allows an amazing new group of producers and artists to share their talent and creativity,” said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS President of Entertainment and Sports. “With this new venture, SIRIUS and will bring the best of podcasting’s most innovative players and artists directly to SIRIUS subscribers.”

Podcasting enables anyone to create and/or host his or her own programming and make it available for others to download to a computer or portable media player. In less than six months, more than six million people have listened to podcasts.

“Podcasting is not just about portable media players,” said Curry, the former star MTV VJ who developed podcasting in mid-2004. Explaining how the new collaboration between SIRIUS and takes podcasting to a completely new level, he said, “Podcasting is an entirely new form of broadcasting that enables anyone to create powerful content.

For more information contact Elise Brown or Ron Bloom.

Audio, Podcasts

Over 1,200 Unique Visitors To AgriMarketing Pros

Chuck Zimmerman

Reading web statistics is almost an art form since there’s usually so much data available it’s hard to sift through to find what’s meaningful.

AgriMarketing Pros went public at this address on March 15, so I’m only going to let you know about the statistics since then.

Since March 15 we’ve had 1,235 unique visitors. They’ve visited an average of almost 4 times each. Although mostly from the United States, we’ve had visitors from 6 other countries. Everyone always wants to know how many “hits” you’ve had, which I think can be a very misleading number. Ours so far is over 36,000.

Not too bad for a start-up weblog serving a niche industry! Especially when you consider how little promotion we’ve done to date. A couple of emails and a booth at the NAMA convention. That’s it.

Thanks for all your support. Please keep reading. As a twist on an expression a good friend of mine always said, “We can use all the readers we can get.”