CNN Editor Discusses #AgMedia

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

2015 Ag Media Summit participants were fortunate to have the opportunity to attend three sessions given by Jan Winburn, senior editor for enterprise at CNN Digital and a writing coach with over 30 years of experience. She has coached writers that have gone on to win awards as prestigious as the Pulitzer Prize and the Ernie Pyle Award for human interest storytelling.

ams15-cnn copyWinburn’s first session focused on interviewing techniques, a topic that does not currently have much presence in educational resources for aspiring journalists. “There is not a lot of emphasis on interviewing in the journalism schools. I don’t think we talk enough about how to conduct a good interview,” Windburn said.

Her two other presentations included tips and methods to producing fresh ideas, as well as a discussion of multi-media tools and the importance of producing stories on different platforms in order to stay relevant in a world where “clickbait’ rules online media.

Winburn acknowledged “what a poor job we do in mainstream media covering agriculture.” She believes that journalists contributing to the mainstream media, many being part of the 98% of Americans who have zero involvement with farms, have trouble connecting people to the industry. “Obviously there are great connections out there, but we have to work a little harder as journalists to make the connections for the audience.” Without much direct access to the hearts, minds, integrity, and innovation of those involved in agriculture, representing them is incredibly challenging.

Winburn does not think that’s an excuse for the media to leave the industry out of the discussion on controversial topics in agriculture. “It’s incumbent on the media to represent [agriculture’s] point of view,” she said. “I think that maybe there are some failures on our part in reporting in a way that’s completely well-rounded.”

She believes there needs to be a push to put the focus on the people behind the industry. “I think when we do them successfully they’re told in a real human way. They have people at the heart of those stories, and I think we don’t work hard enough [to do that]. We’re just not working hard enough to find a way that people will really grab onto [the story].”

Listen to my interview with Windburn from the 2015 AMS here: Interview with Jan Winburn, CNN Digital

2015 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board
Ag Media Summit, Audio, Media, People, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter

Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Sen. Chuck Grassley

John Davis Leave a Comment

Agri-Pulse Open Mic this week features Sen. Chuck Grassley.

open-mic With days left before the August Congressional recess, Grassley says leaders face some must pass legislation including highway funding and a final decision on Country-of-Origin Labeling. In this interview, Grassley offers insights into possible tax reform and the final stages of debate in the budget process. Grassley also says Congress needs to take action to protect poultry farmers from the continued threat of avian influenza.

Click here to listen to Agri-Pulse Open Mic with Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Agri-Pulse, Audio, Government, Poultry

#AgMedia @NHAgriculture Tractor Tweet

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ams15-new-hollandHave you done your Tractor Tweet yet?

The fun and famous New Holland Tractor Tweet is back at the Ag Media Summit this year, keeping Chris Ballentine and Aimee Culbert busy handing out little blue tractors at the InfoExpo. The concept is simple. Take a creative picture of the little New Holland tractor at AMS and tweet it with tags @NHAgriculture, #TractorTweet120, and #AgMedia – and maybe win a free iPad.

“We originally started this at one of the NAMA events and found that it went over really well,” said Chris. “It’s fun, it’s lighthearted, we’re not asking for anything. Take a tractor, get creative with the pictures, tweet it, throw the hashtag on it and possibly win an iPad.”

Chris says New Holland is a part of Ag Media Summit because they really value and appreciate their relationships with the ag media and they want to make sure reporters know they can always count on them to get the information they need for stories they are doing.

Listen to my interview with Chris here: Interview with Chris Ballentine, New Holland

2015 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board
Ag Media Summit, Audio, Media, New Holland

Greetings From Our New Intern

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Hi! I’m Lizzy Schultz, the summer intern for AgWired. I’m joining Chuck and Cindy this week with the coverage of the 2015 Ag Media Summit in Scottsdale, AZ. I will also be joining them next month at the Farm Progress Show in DeKalb, IL. I come to the team from the Midwest; Madison, Wisconsin has been home for my entire life. I graduated with an animal science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. I have also shown American Saddlebred horses my entire life, and winning a world championship title with my horse Luke at our 2013 World Championships in Louisville, KY will always be a highlight of my life.

ams15-lizzyMy interest in agriculture was sparked by a class I took in college on livestock production. I instantly knew I wanted to study animal science and be a part of the industry, and I truly enjoy learning about every diverse niche and division of it. My interest in journalism came to me when my dad, a well-known reporter for a respected newspaper in Madison, encouraged me to start freelancing for a weekly farm paper after graduation. I loved being able to tell the amazing stories of our producers, and using them to start conversations with consumers about the industry that is so separated from their own lives. It amazed me how interested people truly are in the industry, it just takes the right story to get the conversation started!

This internship is going to be a fantastic learning experience for me. I am already learning so much about the inner workings of the communications industry, and how a blog is run and managed. Chuck and Cindy have experience in so many areas of communications, and I am really looking forward to the training they are giving me. I am interested in eventually becoming involved in agricultural policy, and want to have strong communications skills in order to help consumers feel accurately informed and involved in the way the industry runs. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to work with such experienced professionals, and I’m so excited for the rest of my time with them!

Ag Media Summit, ZimmComm Announcement

Zimfo Bytes

Talia Goes Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • For three days and with five unique components and involving more than twenty farms, the jam-packed SOIL SISTERS culinary event celebrates Wisconsin’s family farms and rural life in and around the farming communities of Monroe and Brodhead, Wisconsin.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the expansion of crop insurance to provide additional options for fruit and nut producers.
  • Farm Credit, one of the nation’s leading lenders and financial service providers to rural communities and agriculture, has just launched a nationwide search to honor and recognize visionaries that are shaping the future of agriculture and rural communities.
  • Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100 percent effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday.
Zimfo Bytes

#AgMedia Future is in Good Hands

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ams15-aaeaThe AMS Student Awards and Recognition Luncheon was a good reminder of the great up and coming talent we have in this industry.

The American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) scholarships, presented by Future Ag Communicators committee chair Laurie Bedord, were awarded to Cameron Jodlowski, Iowa State University; Mara McGurl, University of Georgia; and Kelsey Litchfield, University of Illinois. Kelsey was honored with the Jim Evans Scholarship this year, which made her very proud since he is one of her mentors!

ams15-bassfordFour young ladies were honored to be finalists for the Forrest Bassford Student Award, sponsored by Alltech. They are Kaitlin Morgan and Nicole Lance, both from Kansas State; Jamie Keyes, Utah State; and Kendall Herren, University of Illinois. Nicole was the winner – but they are all winners in our eyes!

AAEA also introduced this year’s two interns – Allison Fortner from the University of Georgia and Josh Booth, University of Missouri – who have been manning the registration desk. Their internships are sponsored by the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation, BCS Communications and Gardner and Gardner Communications.

2015 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board
AAEA, Ag Media Summit, Award, Education, LPC

New Features in New Holland’s T6 Tractors

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nh-media-15-57-wojcikThe new T6 series tractors from New Holland Agriculture should be hitting the pavement at dealerships across the country as we speak and Chuck got a first hand look at the new features while attending New Holland Media Days last week. There he spoke with Gary Wojcik who gave him the inside scoop.

“Some of the benefits of the new T6 is we have met the new Tier 4B level of emissions with this tractor. This means the engines are roughly the same but now use the high efficient SCR systems that are found in our high horsepower tractors.”

Gary explained that this means the engine sits and breathes in and out on it’s own creating full power, but is treated afterwards with the exhaust. “These tractors produce really good power, torque and have a much better chance for fuel efficiency because we are using four cylinder engines.”

The T6 has all new styling that will be carried down to all the Tier 4B models. Another new feature includes the standard long wheel base that still allows operators to turn sharp.

Learn more about the new features in New Holland’s T6 in Chuck’s complete interview with Gary here: Interview with Gary Wojcik, New Holland

Check out photos from the event here: New Holland Media Days 2015 Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, New Holland, Tractor

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Returns to Her Roots

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

spgc-15-hardenIt was a homecoming for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden at the 2015 Southern Peanut Growers Conference. The number two person at the USDA was raised on a peanut farm in Camilla, Georgia so she felt right at home.

“That’s what qualifies me for my job, that’s what gives me my passion and my love and the ability to help, to listen, to work for this great industry,” she said. “There is nothing more important to me than agriculture. Keeping farmers on the farm and ranchers on the ranch is why I’m in Washington … I have never forgotten where I’m from.”

Harden talked passionately about the future of agriculture and the need to get young people interested in the industry. “I’m talking about what I love, the people I love, the industry I love and it’s future and I encourage you to do the same,” she said. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden at SPGC

After her remarks, I interviewed Harden about some of the important issues at USDA – from conservation compliance to funding for research, avian flu and international trade, and more. Interview with Krysta Harden

2015 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Audio, Government, Peanuts, SPGC, USDA

Florida Congressman Addresses Peanut Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

spgc-15-yohoCongressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) is serving his second term as representative of North Central Florida’s 3rd Congressional district which encompasses 13 counties, including two of the largest peanut growing areas of the state – Lafayette and Suwanee counties. “It’s the best district in Florida,” said Yoho after making remarks to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference. “It’s a large, rural, agricultural area and it couldn’t be more perfectly designed for me being a large animal veterinarian for 30 years.”

In his remarks, Yoho stressed the opportunities for agriculture with new trade agreements being negotiated, now that the president has been granted Trade Promotion Authority. “Anytime you can bolster trade, especially for the ag economy, it makes America stronger,” he said. Yoho serves on both the House Agriculture Committee and the Foreign Affairs committee, which both have an interest in pursuing new trade relationships.

In my interview with Rep. Yoho, he also talks about the Clean Water Rule, GMO labeling, Country of Origin Labeling, USDA oversight, budgeting, and immigration. Interview with Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)

Watch a video of Rep. Yoho’s remarks to the SPGC below.


2015 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Audio, Government, Peanuts, SPGC, Video

GROWMARK Names Summer Exploring Agriculture Interns

John Davis Leave a Comment

GROWMARKinternsGROWMARK has named the newest members of its summer Exploring Agriculture Intern program. This news release from the company says the program helps bridge the gap between students and faculty at the two year community and/or technical college level and the GROWMARK system retail companies.

“We are striving to provide students with hands-on agronomic experiences, allowing them to gain a strong understanding of the GROWMARK System and the agriculture industry, with the hopes of preparing them to fill full-time positions with an FS retail or member company,” said Amie Hasselbring, GROWMARK university relations recruiter.

As a participant in the Exploring Agriculture Intern summer program they will spend 10 weeks working for member and retail companies in the GROWMARK System. Their internship will focus on agronomy operations of the retail business.

At the end of the 10 weeks, interns will each meet with their company’s management staff to discuss their experiences and present a summary of their projects.

The complete list of interns and their colleges is here.

GROWMARK, Intern