Mood Music At InfoExpo

Chuck Zimmerman

Ag Media Summit Info/ExpoThese guys played music all afternoon. I don’t think they ever get tired. I also think you can hear them in the background of every interview I did in the show. I did several and will do more tomorrow. Many of these interviews will be featured on AgWired over coming weeks so stay tuned.

Ag Media Summit

AMS InfoExpo Red Carpet Treatment

Chuck Zimmerman

Ag Media Summit Info/ExpoIt was a full day at the Ag Media Summit. After golf there were a number of seminars and then the opening of the InfoExpo. This year’s show is the biggest one yet. To kick it off the board members of the participating organizations donned formal attire and escorted each exhibitor in on the red carpet. Pictured is Tom Davis, Successful Farming, escorting exhibitor, Kim Lang, Valmont/Valley Irrigation.

Ag Media Summit

Welcome New NAFB Executive Director

Chuck Zimmerman

Bill O'NeillLet’s welcome the new National Association of Farm Broadcasters executive director, Bill O’Neill! It’s his first day and here’s his letter to the membership.

Hello, NAFB members. Seems like some full disclosure would be a good thing today, as I step into your Executive Director post.

It’s true, broadcast was my original design on a professional journalism career. It just took me 29 years to get here, outlasting the influence of a University of Missouri counselor who favored the job prospects on the “print side” better in that mid-1970s post-Watergate era during which I schooled.

That was after two years of supporting (fetching doughnuts, setting the weekend programs for the automated FM “mainframe,” recording occasional radio weather forecasts, and propping the TV news desk) the on-air talent at WGEM-TV and Radio in Quincy, Illinois, while attending college at home. Maybe some of you knew or have known of Joe Bonansinga, a legend who was kind enough to hire me.

I didn’t grow up in agriculture, and didn’t anticipate myself in it or serving it. I came to it via journalism – and am ever grateful for that. I am a native of Cleveland, but I grew up from age 9 in Quincy, on the mid-state western border of Illinois. My family includes wife Patti, Sarah (17), Adam (14), and Teaghan, the soft-coated Wheaten Terrier with the Irish bark who runs our home. I have lived in Kansas City since 1976, when I went to work for Vance Publishing Corp.

You bet, I am excited about working with NAFB and its charter. Broadcast is uniquely valuable among mediums – always having been invited where it is present. And the vast majority of loyal broadcast consumers extend that invitation all of the time. Print-siders can only salivate about that kind of kinship. As I arrive at NAFB, I see three immediate ships to keep steady and in ship-shape: Leadership – Membership – Relationships

Leadership: working closely with our Executive Committee and Board, implementing a new Strategic Plan, and helping ready an exciting November convention. Membership: getting to know you, communicating regularly, and activating our members to serve. Relationships: getting to know our stations, agencies, advertisers, vendors, and partners.

My work, together with the excellent NAFB staff that I join today, will be all about enhancing your professionalism and success in specialized broadcasting that serves producers, ranchers, rural lifestylists, and consumers. Your industry leaders and Gene Millard have an aggressive stream of projects in motion or on the ramp: updated market research, the new Strategic Plan, NAFB brand renewal, and certainly the upcoming annual convention.

I have enjoyed getting to know officers Emery, Michelle and Pam, as I moved through the interview and screening process as a candidate to lead NAFB. That process further afforded insightful conversations with Lyle Orwig, Gary Cooper, Greg Akagi, Randy Koenen, and Tom Peterson. I also have been able to meet Denny Waddle, Rick Coyle, and Greg Guse. An impressive group of professionals, one and all.

The work that Gene has accomplished and will continue to offer NAFB, as a management and marketing consultant, is outstanding. Gene is a true NAFB blueblood, driven to serve and exceptional in his business acumen and effectiveness. He will be a great help as I get situated while he otherwise moves our marketing and research agenda forward.

That’s enough from me for now. My latest “fortune” from the local Chinese takeout restaurant that my family favors advises: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” A Chinese proverb with which you likely are familiar is that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. Today I’m starting with that step. Thanks for the opportunity to work with you and to help build your vital work and profession.

Bill O’Neill

Media, NAFB

These Are The Champions

Chuck Zimmerman

Ag Media Summit Golf WinnersThese guys should be making money giving lessons since they came in 12 under and won the tournament! No one else was even close. Can someone comment and get the lineup right for me? I know we have Gary Vorpahl, Tom Strachota, Lyle Orwig (holding the trophy) and David Lundquist but I’m not sure I’ve got the order right. Congratulations guys!

Ag Media Summit

A Bad Day On the Course Beats a . . .

Chuck Zimmerman

Ag Media Summit GolfHere’s the defending champs from last year’s tournament. We started out gangbusters, then things didn’t go so well and we wound up not even placing. But hey, we had fun! This is the team of (l-r) me, Andy Antzenweiler, Den Gardner and Tim Steinbeck.

Ag Media Summit

Bayer One of the Sponsors of Sprecher Brewery Bash

Chuck Zimmerman

Ag Media Summit Bayer SponsorsEvents need sponsors and one of the AMS sponsors for the Sprecher Brewery reception was Bayer CropScience represented by Charlie Hale and Stephanie Gable. You figure out who is who. Thank you Bayer! Good party. Also, thank you Lane Kaplan, Rhea & Kaiser, for making sure we got our sponsors featured here on AgWired.

Our other sponsor of the evening was John Deere but I just didn’t get a picture. Sorry Barry! We’ll see you in the Info Expo.

Ag Media Summit, Agribusiness

AMS Reception At Sprecher Brewery

Chuck Zimmerman

Ag Media Summit Sprecher BreweryWhen in Milwaukee you must respect your brewery! The Ag Media Summit group went to Sprecher Brewery, which is celebrating its 20th year. While I was there, besides tasting some good beer and eating good food, I got to interview Karen Schoenung, who is a manager at the brewery. She describes some history, products and other tidbits about Sprecher Brewery.

You can listen to my interview with Karen here Download MP3 File (3.5MB)

Ag Media Summit