NAFB President Elect and Vice President

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

15796729405_41f483b1bc_mBrian Winnekins is the 2015 president-elect for National Association of Farm Broadcasting. Brian hails from Wisconsin and is not only a farm broadcaster, but also the owner of Reel Country 1430AM in Durand. Brian and his wife Karla put the station back on the air in 2011 and he says things are going well there.

Brian’s job for 2015 with NAFB is planning next year’s convention and I had a chance to sit down and talk with him Friday night after the presidential banquet about what the future holds for him.Interview with Brian Winnekins, NAFB President-elect

15176777854_f81e582a0b_mTony St. James is a 32-year broadcasting veteran & farm broadcaster on All Ag, All Day (900AM Lubbock-Floydada, TX & 800AM Amarillo-Dumas, TX) and the new NAFB vice-president for 2015. Tony threw his hat in the ring as a contender later in the game and was nominated from the floor. He’s been a member of NAFB for the last 10 years and says things are changing in the way that we communicate with our audience and he’s very excited about the opportunity to represent farm broadcasters moving into the future.

Tony’s been involved as a farm broadcaster for many years but it wasn’t until a rule change ten years ago that he was accepted into broadcast council as an owner. He had to leave the convention early to get back to work, but I caught up with him back home in his Texas studios. Interview with Tony St. James, NAFB Vice-President


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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USFRA Charts Course into the Future

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 454The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) was officially launched four years ago at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention and this year the organization announced a new chair.

nafb14-usfra-nancyNancy Kavazanjian takes the seat following in the footsteps of American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman. Nancy hails from Wisconsin where she is a corn and soybean farmer, also serves as a director of the United Soybean Board, and has been communications director for the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

nafb14-usfra-robertsIn our ZimmCast this week, we also hear from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Forrest Roberts, who has served on the USFRA board representing his organization since the alliance started in 2010. Roberts introduced the new Faces of Farming and Ranching at the NAFB convention, and he talked with our intern Taylor Truckey about that successful program as well as what he has seen USFRA accomplish in the last four years and what he is looking forward to in the future.

ZimmCast with USFRA Chair and board member


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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Why RFA Loves Farm Broadcasters

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

nafb14-rfa-dinneenRenewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen loves coming to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event each year, but not for the reason you might think.

“It’s not just because you get to do 25-30 interviews in a day,” said Dinneen, pictured here with DeLoss Jahnke of WMBD/WIRL in Peoria. “It’s because you’re interacting with REAL journalists!”

Dinneen says farm broadcasters are very unlike the “coastal elite media” he deals with on a day-to-day basis in Washington DC. “I come from a long line of journalists and my forefathers are rolling in their graves today at just how lazy journalists have become,” he said. “But farm broadcasters, they get out in the field, they’re talking to farmers, they’re talking to policy makers … that’s why I enjoy this so much – it restores my faith in the Fourth Estate.”

Thanks, Bob – we love you too!

In my interview with Bob from NAFB, he talks about a variety of issues impacting the ethanol industry – from the need for tax extenders for biofuels, first cellulosic ethanol plants going on line this year, how lower oil could be impacting domestic oil production, rail transportation issues, and of course, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Interview with Bob Dinneen, RFA


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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ASTA CSS 2014 and Seed Expo Coming Up

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

15780475251_1292a426f4_mI had a chance to catch up with American Seed Trade Association president and CEO Andy LaVigne at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention last week and talk about the upcoming CSS 2014 & Seed Expo coming up just around the corner.

The event, being held December 8-12 in Chicago, is America’s largest seed industry conference. Over 2,600 attendees representing the U.S. and 20 countries come to CSS for a week of collaboration and networking. The CSS schedule has been expanded and includes programming to fit any interest, offering more focused educational opportunities. Andy tells me that seed treatment will dominate this year’s conference and attendees can check out new products and equipment in the seed expo.

If you can’t make it to the event, no worries – Cindy and I will be there to bring it to you!

You can listen to my interview with Andy here: Interview with Andy LaVigne, ASTA President and CEO


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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On a Roll at the NAFB Presidential Banquet

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

15632001180_19232d23cb_mFriday night of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention concludes the week with the passing of the gavel and a roast of the outgoing president. Following a long week of meetings, interviews and entertainment, the group has known to get gussied up and let their hair down a little bit and this year was no exception. As legend has it, rolls have been thrown more than once during the presidential roast and toast. Pam Jahnke, the Fabulous Farm Babe, may or may not have lobbed the first roll many years ago as a way to liven up the meal. Since then, the wait staff has been generous in our shenanigans, sometimes ducking for cover.

This year our own fabulous farm intern, Taylor Truckey, captured the throwing of the rolls for posterity’s sake. Rick Haines tossed the first one at the head table this year and it was on from there. When Hall of Fame inductee Ken Root got a little long in the tooth, we let him know about it. Someone may have paid the wait staff to not serve the head of the table any more rolls and bring them to our table and even the NAFB staff got into the act by offering to refill our basket with more ammunition!

15631425178_42850dd867_mThe real story of the night was honoring outgoing president Janet Adkison of RFD-TV, who passed the gavel on to president-elect, Susan Littlefield, KZEN, Nebraska. Brian Winnekins steps into the role of president-elect and Tony St. James is the newly elected vice-president. Rumor has it, I’ll be part of the head table next year and I am excited about that opportunity!


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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Coalition Calls for Tax Extenders in Lame Duck

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

lame-duckThe Broad Tax Extenders Coalition today launched a new effort focused on the lame duck session and spearheaded by over 400 nonprofit groups, associations, and coalitions, including the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The group urges Congress to work together during this end of the year session to extend, enhance, or make permanent a number of expired and expiring tax provisions crucial to continued economic recovery.

During a telephone press conference today, representatives from the diverse coalition spoke on the importance of the tax extenders. Organizations included the National Association of Manufacturers, Feeding America, Marlin Steel Wire Products, Alert GPS and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Speaking on behalf of American agriculture was Texas family farmer Mike Friemel, who focused on the Section 179 tax credit. “Congress allowed higher Section 179 expensing levels to expire at the end of 2013,” said Friemel. “Almost one year later, we still don’t know whether they will be extended into 2015 or applied retroactively for 2014.”

Listen to the press conference here: Broad Tax Extenders Coalition press conference

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Happy Night for Outgoing NAFB President

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

nafb14-janetJanet Adkison, RFD-TV, ended her year as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Friday night surrounded by family and friends.

“The last year has been just spectacular,” said Janet. “We’ve had a lot of fun, there’s been highs and lows, but that just goes with the territory.”

Janet says she was pleased to be part of launching the NAFB media planner this year. “All of our NAFB member stations, member networks – whether it’s TV or radio – are featured on this media planner,” she said. “We hope more people will check it out and use it.”

In addition, Janet says NAFB has grown its student membership in recent years. “It’s gone from being in the single digits to being about 70 students now,” she said.

Listen to Janet’s end of the year interview with Taylor Truckey here: Interview with Janet Adkison, outgoing NAFB president


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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Sustainably Grown USSEC Markets

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nafb-ussecNational Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk led me to the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) booth where I talked with Laura Foell. She is chairman of the USSEC, member of the United Soybean Board and an Iowa farmer. USSEC is comprised of United Soybean Board, American Soybean Association, state soybean associations and industry members. As a non-profit the council’s job is to ensure there are markets for soybeans produced.

“I think the future is going to be bright. I think we have markets and I think we have made those relationships that are important in trade. We have done a good job making sure our customers have the product to fit their needs.”

Sustainability is also at the forefront of USSEC’s minds. Laura divided their sustainability efforts into three areas which included environment, economic and social. Listen to or download my complete interview with Laura to learn more about what USSEC is doing for soybean growers nationwide. Interview with Laura Foell, USSEC


2014 NAFB Convention Photos

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New Holland Holiday Contest

Chuck Zimmerman 1 Comment

New Holland Holiday Gift GuideNew Holland is running a special holiday contest. Four winners will receive great blue toys from New Holland. The contest runs November 1, 2014 to December 19, 2014.

This holiday season, blue is the color of choice. That’s because, from now until December 19, 2014, New Holland fans have a chance to win the season’s most coveted New Holland-branded toys by sharing how New Holland is a part of their holiday.

New Holland Pedal TractorWhether you bake tractor-shaped holiday cookies or decorate your New Holland equipment, New Holland encourages you to share your story via a short essay or photo, for a chance to win one of four prizes. First place receives a pedal tractor ride-on toy and will be featured on the New Holland North America Facebook page. The second place winner receives a pedal-tractor ride-on toy; third and fourth place winners receive a TJ-4 wheel drive Prestige Collection toy.

You can find official contest rules and entries at NewHollandResourceCenter.com/Holiday and submit a short essay or photo of how New Holland is part of your holiday. Winners will be announced the week of December 22, 2014.

By the way, you can find the complete New Holland holiday gift guide online here.

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