Reaction To USA Raised-Beef Announcement

Chuck Zimmerman

American Meat InstituteI knew this wasn’t going to sit well with everyone and I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot more about it. We reported recently on the introduction of a new voluntary beef labeling program. It was officially kicked off today. The first response we’ve seen has been from the American Meat Institute.

By AMI President J. Patrick Boyle

“A new effort announced by the Cattlemen’s Competitive Market Project (CCMP) aimed at voluntary country-of-origin labeling for beef got two things right: it’s voluntary and the costs of the program are paid for by those who champion it.

This stands in stark contrast to the expensive, mandatory program slated to go into effect in September 2006. That program’s first year implementation costs are estimated $3.9 billion, two-thirds of which will be borne by the red meat industry alone.

However, a close read of the materials released today by CCMP, a project of the Organization for Competitive Markets and the Ranchers-Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund, should make clear that despite the fact that it is voluntary, the “Not just any beef. USA Raised Beef” campaign is an anti-trade initiative that reflects R-CALF’s ongoing beef with imports.

Under major free trade agreements, beef imported into the U.S. must be produced and inspected according to the same standards as beef produced in U.S. packing plants Only certain plants in other countries are certified as having this equivalence and only those plants may export to the U.S. To suggest that USDA is permitting “cheap” and “unsafe” beef into the U.S. is patently false and misleading to consumers.

For more information contact JANET RILEY, 202/587-4245.

Ag Group, Beef

World Dairy Expo Is A Really, Really Big Show

Chuck Zimmerman

World Dairy ExpoAs you may now know, ZimmComm is working in cooperation with the World Dairy Expo on the Expo Blog. The level of activity on the new website will increase as we get closer to the event. I knew it was a big show but didn’t know how big until now.

World Dairy Expo Among Top 100 Tradeshows in U.S.

MADISON, WISCONSIN – World Dairy Expo, an international trade and cattle show for dairy producers, ranked 85 th on the country’s list of largest tradeshows, according to Tradeshow Week, North America’s leading publisher of tradeshow information and exposition news. Compiled annually and published in April, the Tradeshow Week 200 ranks the 200 largest tradeshows in the United States and the 50 largest in Canada. Rank is determined by net square feet of paid exhibit space.

Up nine spots from last year’s rank of 94, World Dairy Expo is the largest production agriculture show among the top 100 which includes a variety of industries, from apparel to consumer electronics and health care to sporting goods, and it’s the only show among the top 200 that resides in Wisconsin.

“A jump of nine rankings is remarkable,” says John Rozum, World Dairy Expo Sales Manager. “This is not a shrinking business.” In fact, according to Tradeshow Week, tradeshows across the country saw increases across the board with exhibiting companies up three percent for 2004, while net square footage and show attendance figures grew over two percent.

For more information contact Lisa Behnke.

World Dairy Expo

WRDA On House Floor This Week

Chuck Zimmerman

Missouri Corn Growers AssociationThis week the House of Representatives is supposed to bring the Water Resources Development Act to the floor for a vote. That’s the topic of CornTalk, the weekly interview program of the Missouri Corn Growers Association. I interviewed Lisa Kelley, Director of Public Policy for the National Corn Growers Association.

You can listen to CornTalk here Download MP3 File

CornTalk is an AgWired podcast that you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

Ag Group, Audio, CornTalk, Government, Podcasts

Satellite Radio Deals For NCGA Members

Chuck Zimmerman

National Corn Growers AssociationNow here’s a deal I haven’t seen before. You know I’m a Sirius subscriber since I’ve written about it before. I’ve been wondering when or how or if the satellite radio people will try to target the most logical immediate customers for their product. It looks like they’ve been doing a little work. Although farmers are just “regular” people who like all that programming wouldn’t it be nice if they offered farm news?

NCGA Offers Deal on Satellite Radio to Growers

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) members can take advantage of substantial discounts for XM and Sirius satellite radio. XM and Sirius provide commercial-free music in various formats, from country to rock to jazz and blues. They also offer several news stations, such as CNN, The Weather Channel and MSNBC, and sports broadcasts, such as NASCAR, Major League Baseball and college athletics.

“NCGA continues to look for things that will assist growers and benefit our operations,” said Dave Boettger, chairman of the Grower Services Action Team. “I encourage our members to check out this opportunity. It gives growers instant access to news, weather and sports.” Equipment prices start at $77.75. The monthly fee is $12.95 per month. Please visit for more details.

“This is a great opportunity for our members,” said Byron Keelin, NCGA’s membership manager. “We’re offering substantial discounts on these products. It’s another way that NCGA is trying to build value for our members.”

NCGA sent members coupon books in May with savings on software, test kits, publication subscriptions, Internet access, magazine and newsletter subscriptions and more. Keelin said NCGA is always on the lookout for getting discounts for growers.

“We’ve been able to give growers some excellent deals recently, and we’re continuing to keep an eye out for new ones,” Keelin said.

Ag Group

New American Farm Bus Tour

Chuck Zimmerman

New American Farm TourbusThis is what I call a “revolutionary” way to get out and solicit some business. I’m thinking AgWired Bus! Nothing like borrowing a good idea. Of course it would have to have satellite high speed internet access but wouldn’t that be a cool way to blog around the countryside? In fact, I’ve suggested that New American Farm’s Ben Allen do just that so we know what’s happening on this tour each day!

You can see a neat little video about the company on their website here.


New American FarmAustin, TX – New American Farm, a farmer-owned production company, announced today that it will launch a 60-city, five-month tour that will cover an estimated 10,000 miles and five states across the Midwest on Thursday, June 23, 2005.

The farmer-owned and operated company with just under 20,000 contracted acres will be meeting with pre-selected corn producers across the Midwest to discuss industry consolidation, marketing trends, and the company’s approach to achieving large-scale production. The tour will feature a customized tour bus and appearances at regional farm shows, including the Farm Progress Show, Husker Harvest Days, and FarmFest.

“Our clients represent the best of the best producers across a five-state region who are the first to recognize that banding together is the best defense against inevitable consolidation,” said Ben Allen, CEO of New American Farm. “This tour is about listening to smaller producers, letting them have a voice, and providing an opportunity to be more profitable.”

For more information contact Julie Huls.


Pitching CAFTA-DR On Rural Radio

Chuck Zimmerman

Agriculture Coalition For CAFTA-DRI waited to post this until I had a copy of the radio spot that this coalition of ag groups for CAFTA is running this week on rural radio stations.

You can listen to the radio spot here Download MP3 File


WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 22, 2005— The Agriculture Coalition for CAFTA-DR will launch radio spots next week to be broadcast on rural stations across the United States highlighting the critical need for farmers and ranchers to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR). The audio spot explains that CAFTA-DR offers increased export market access for U.S. agricultural products ultimately resulting in long-term growth for U.S. agriculture. “To reap such benefits, the recently negotiated agreement must be passed by Congress and implemented now,” states the advertisement. “A vote against CAFTA-DR is a vote against agriculture.”

For more information contact AFBF: Tracy Taylor Grondine: 202-406-3642, GMA: Stephanie Childs: 202-337-9400, NCBA: Karen Batra: 202-347-0228, NCGA: Rhondalee Dean-Royce: 202-628-7001, ext. 19, NPPC: Kara Flynn: 202-347-3600.

Ag Group, Audio

New President For Cofina Financial

Chuck Zimmerman

Cofina FinancialBrian Legried has accepted the position of president for Cofina Financial, LLC. Legried comes to Cofina Financial from Farm Credit Leasing where his most recent role was a senior vice president of sales and marketing.

“Brian’s commitment to agricultural business and his extensive finance and banking background makes him a natural choice to lead Cofina Financial,” says Tom Larson, Cofina Financial board chairman and executive vice president CHS Business Solutions.

Brian LegriedCofina Financial is the recent formation, limited liability company (LLC), with CHS Inc. and Cenex Finance Association. Beginning operations July 1, the company is based at the CHS headquarters in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Cofina Financial will provide financial solutions to accelerate the success of agricultural producers, cooperatives and commercial businesses. With its combined resources, commitment and deep knowledge of agriculture, cooperative and producer financing, Cofina Financial is solidly positioned for the future with strong financial products and services offerings and experienced staff.

For more information contact Lani Jordan.


Agritourism Is The Topic On This Week’s ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCastAgritourism has become a valuable additional way for many farms to make more money. In this week’s ZimmCast I interview Jane Eckert, Eckert Agrimarketing, about her business. Jane is a professional direct marketing consultant with a passion for agritourism. I think you’ll enjoy hearing what she’s got to say.

You can listen to the interview here Download MP3 File

You can also subscribe to our weekly podcast (ZimmCast) using the file in our sidebar.

Agribusiness, Audio, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Announcing The World Dairy Expo Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

2005 World Dairy ExpoZimmComm is teaming up with the World Dairy Expo to publish the first ever World Dairy Expo blog! The Expo will be held October 4-8. Between now and then we’ll begin publishing news and information about the activities that you can expect to see. Then during the Expo we’ll be onsite to provide pictures, interviews and news as it happens each day.

There’s lots of information on the World Dairy Expo website if you haven’t visited it yet. It’s not too early to be making your plans if you wish to attend. However, even if you can’t you can always log onto the blog! We’ll also post information about the Expo right here on AgWired too.

Please feel free to visit and offer your thoughts and opinions as we blaze new trails in the web world. If you like what you see think about having ZimmComm team up with you for your event too!

World Dairy Expo