In Partnership For Almost 25 Years

Chuck Zimmerman

If you know ZimmComm then you know there’s more than just Chuck that makes this company run. In fact, you can see her picture on the blog home page!

I’m talking about Cindy of course. Just today she asked me to show her how to write and post her own articles! So you can look forward to even more (and probably better) information from the AgriMarketing Pros.

So why has it taken Cindy so long to get started on this blogging thing? Because very quietly, behind the scenes, she’s doing a ton of work! Cindy is a talented and award-winning writer, editor and voice talent. She’s producing daily programming for Southeast AgNet. This means she’s writing and producing daily farm radio programming that’s heard on radio stations all over the southeast U. S.

If you’ve hired our services to produce and distribute Talking News Releases then you know that she’s the one who usually conducts the interviews. She edits the releases or writes them when necessary. She cuts up the audio and makes it sound bettter. She’s a lot faster and better than I am! She’s already worn out a couple of keyboards on her Gateway computer!

I’m writing this because she deserves some special recognition for all the hard work she’s doing. When we started this company she said, “You get the work, I’ll do it.” Well, thanks to many wonderful people we’ve been blessed to have plenty of work to do and it wouldn’t happen with the quality you expect without her. I wish she could go with me to the NAMA convention next week but you’ll just have to put up with me. But you’ll know who’s back here making sure we meet our deadlines.

She’s my partner in all things, including marriage for almost 25 years now!


CornTalk Features Legislative Update

Chuck Zimmerman

This week in CornTalk, our interview program with the Missouri Corn Growers Association, I spoke with CEO, Gary Marshall about legislation both at the Missouri state level and at the federal level that will impact corn growers. You can listen to this week’s report here: CornTalk

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

Ag Group, Audio, CornTalk

Agrimarketing Loses A Good Friend

Chuck Zimmerman

I just learned that J. Ben Rowe, of Florida, passed away last Friday. He had been diagnosed with cancer fairly recently and I wish I’d taken the time to call and talk with him again. It’s been a number of years since I’ve seen Ben.

Many in our business will remember Ben from the times he livened up a national NAMA convention. Particularly notable was the Toronto convention in 1989 . It was here that Ben and a few others (you know who you are) created the Coatsuckers Society. It sounds strange and it was but it was possibly one of the funnier “acts” that was ever performed by Ben and pals.

Many will remember Ben as the publisher of “The Independent Farmer & Rancher.” This was a weekly newspaper ag publication in which Ben wrote some great editorials.

Ben touched the lives of a lot of us in agrimarketing and all for the better. He gave Gary Cooper (my former business partner), and myself, a lot of advice when we were just starting out. He was just a good person to talk with who wasn’t afraid to say what he meant, if you know what I mean.

J. Ben Rowe Jr.

This isn’t a very good picture of Ben but it’s the only one I could find.

Here’s the details I have on services for Ben:

Viewing is Tuesday night at Milan Funeral Home, 311 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL.

Funeral is Wednesday morning at 11 a m at First Baptist Church, 425 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL.

Here’s the obituary from the Gainesville Sun Newspaper:

J. Ben Rowe Jr. of Micanopy died Friday in Gainesville. He was 64.

Mr. Rowe was born in Lexington, Ky., and moved to the area from New Smyrna Beach in 1973. He owned the Turkey Roost Angus Ranch and served as special assistant to the governor for agricultural affairs. He co-owned and operated “The Record,” a weekly newspaper in Gainesville.

Mr. Rowe attended Marshall University and the University of Kentucky. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves.

Mr. Rowe served as commissioner for the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, two terms as supervisor of the Soil and Water Conservation District in Alachua County and was on the boards of directors for the Florida 4-H Foundation and Florida Leadership Foundation at the University of Florida.

He was a licensed auctioneer and founding president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Gainesville. He attended First Baptist Church of Gainesville and also was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 29 in Micanopy.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Connie Davis Rowe of Micanopy; his mother, Florence Young Rowe of Lexington, Ky.; sons James Ben “Jim” Rowe III of Micanopy and Michael Andrew “Mike” Rowe of Gainesville; sisters Lee Rowe Sewell of Richardson, Texas, and Lydia Rowe Wainright of Lexington, Ky.; and four grandchildren.

Ben, I know you’re in a better place now. I pray that you will rest in God’s eternal peace!



Chuck Zimmerman

It looks like U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, will be getting right into the thick of the international trade debate. I was just alerted to a Monday press conference announcement by the National Association of Wheat Growers.

Agriculture Coalition for CAFTA-DR to Host Press Briefing and Teleconference

WHAT: Leaders of agriculture from around the nation will join Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and others to advocate passage of the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR). The agriculture leaders represent a broad coalition of more than 55 organizations strongly committed to passage of the agreement spanning the spectrum from meats, grains and specialty crops.

WHEN: 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday, April 11, 2005

WHO: Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Ambassador Allen F. Johnson, chief U.S. agriculture negotiator, J. B. Penn, under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, Leaders of agriculture from around the nation

WHERE: Horizon Ballroom, Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

WHY: The nations of CAFTA-DR represent the second largest market in Latin America for U.S. products. The agreement will provide nearly $1.5 billion in additional U.S. agricultural exports by the end of the full implementation period, creating tremendous export opportunities for U.S. farmers and agriculture as a whole.

For more information contact Tonya Kemp.

I’m sure we’ll be dialed into the conference phone feed and hope to have more information afterwards.

Government, Media

Commodity Group News & Notes

Chuck Zimmerman

If you want to keep up on happening with sheep and wool you might want to subscribe to ASI Weekly. You’ll need to visit the American Sheep Industry Association to get it done. Here’s an excerpt from the latest issue:

American Lamb Referendum Approved

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the continuation of the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order.
Of the 3,490 valid ballots cast, 80 percent favored the program. Additionally, those who favored the continuation of the program accounted for 84 percent of the total sheep production voted. This referendum required a majority vote in each count to be approved.
“This is an important success sheep producers can add to the strong markets and enthusiasm the industry has enjoyed in recent years,” commented Peter Orwick, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) executive director.

For more information contact Judy Malone.

Ag Group

Are Any Of The 6 Million Farmers?

Chuck Zimmerman

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has done a little bit of research on podcasting. Here’s an excerpt from a new article on their website called “Podcasting catches on”:

More than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3 players and 29% of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web so that they could listen to audio files at a time of their choosing. That amounts to more than 6 million adults who have tried this new feature that allows internet “broadcasts” to be downloaded onto their portable listening device.

You can download and read the full report on their website, including an interesting commentary that describes how they worded the questions since there is a distinction between podcasting an audio file to a portable audio device and just subscribing to an audio file in an RSS feed that downloads to your computer’s hard drive only.

I think this is kind of a fine line distinction personally. I don’t care if you listen to our ZimmCast on your computer in your office or your portable audio device on an extended bike ride through the mountains!

Now if we can just get these folks to ask if the person they’re interviewing is a farmer!

Audio, Podcasts

Commodity Group News & Notes

Chuck Zimmerman

I thought this was intriguing. A potato acreage buydown program! Historic. Should we stock up on chips?

American Potato Cooperative Begins Acreage Bid Buy-Out Program

IDAHO FALLS, April 4, 2005 – March 30 and 31 marked the second meeting of the United Potato Growers of America Board of Directors in Salt Lake City, Utah where representatives of state and regional cooperatives across the country agreed to participate in the first national acreage bid buy-down in the history of United States potato production.

For more information contact Angela Hemauer.

Ag Group

Agency News & Notes

Chuck Zimmerman

Those out of the box folks at the Meyocks Group had some good news to share while I was there yesterday. When you land a new account it’s always time for a celebration!


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – March 14, 2005 – Firestone Agricultural Tire Division has named The Meyocks Group as its agency of record for all marketing communications. This includes the company’s agricultural, construction, forestry and ATV tire segments.

Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Firestone Agricultural Tire Division has more than 60 years of experience in manufacturing durable, high-performance tires for the agricultural, construction and forestry industries.

For more information contact Doug Jeske.


Agribusiness News & Notes

Chuck Zimmerman

According to a release I just received from Brandy Craig at Archer>Malmo, Select herbicide from Valent is doing very well with the growers of four different commodities.

Select® Holds Top Spot for Cotton, Soybean, Sugarbeet and Sunflower Growers

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (April 7, 2005) – Select® Herbicide has once again achieved the No. 1 spot in customer demand for cotton, soybean, sugarbeet and sunflower growers, according to Doane ag data. 2004 makes the fifth year Select has emerged as the No. 1 grass herbicide for cotton, soybeans and sugarbeets and the second year it has been named No. 1 for sunflower growers.

Valent Select Logo

For more information contact either Brandy Craig or Lori Theine.


More Blogging From Meyocks Group

Chuck Zimmerman

Today I had a great meeting at Meyocks Group in Des Moines. We talked about public relations, Talking News Releases and blogging. I sensed a high level of interest in blogging and hope I was able to offer some good basic information through demonstration and discussion. If you look back through my previous posts and at all the links on our blog you’ll find many resources you can go to about various aspects of blogging.

I tried to anticipate questions in my presentation but some of the ones that were asked included, “Do we measure how many reporters use the releases we send out?” and “What’s different about your service and NAFB’s?” I have written about both these questions and would encourage you to look back in the archives of the category, Talking News Release to visit them.

I could see the wheels turning in the minds of the people in the room. “Are blogging, rss, podcasting, targeting broadcast news reporters good ideas and how do I integrate them into our client’s plans?”

I want to thank Jill Green for inviting me in today.

Chuck Interviews Doug Jeske

I interviewed Doug Jeske for an upcoming ZimmCast. Doug’s a Senior Vice President, Account Services for Meyocks Group.

Agency, Blogging, Talking News Release