Monsanto Completes Enviro-Chem Sale

Chuck Zimmerman

MonsantoMonsanto announced this deal in April and it looks like they finally got it done.

Monsanto Completes Sale of Enviro-Chem Systems

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) announced today that it has completed the sale of Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems Inc. to a new company formed by the Enviro-Chem management team and an outside investor. The new company will do business as MECS, Inc. Terms of the sale were not released.

For more information contact Lori Fisher of Monsanto Company, +1-314-694-8535.


Use Google News As A Clipping Service

Chuck Zimmerman

Google NewsWant an inexpensive news clipping service? Want to keep up with the news on a specific subject? Have you tried Google News? For a while now you’ve been ableto set up a Google News Alert for any keywords which generates an email to you with links to stories Google find for those words. You can have it set up for delivery as it happens, once a day or once a week.

But now Google’s joined the RSS world. This means that when you create a Google news search it automatically creates an RSS feed for that search term (keyword). Then you can use that to subscribe with your news aggregator program. I still recommend NewsGator.

If you’re scratching your head about this give me a call and I’ll be happy to explain. In the meantime you might want to consider that this service is FREE! Can’t get a clipping service for that price can you?

BTW. Yahoo has a news search feature too. They just haven’t developed it to automatically deliver updates as they happen yet.


Iraq Seed Industry Needs Help

Chuck Zimmerman

Iraq FlagI don’t know if this provides some opportunity for a U-S business but according to the latest FAO release there’s a real shortage of quality seed in Iraq. Perhaps some of our companies here could help out? Anyone know of this already being done?

Rebuilding Iraq’s collapsed seed industry – Country has suffered severe losses of important seeds – FAO appeals for $5.4 million

8 August 2005, Rome – Iraq’s seed industry has collapsed and the country is currently not able to meet farmers’ needs for improved crop varieties, FAO warned today. The lack of high-quality seeds could seriously threaten Iraq’s food security situation, the UN agency said.

High-quality seed is one of the most critical inputs for sustainable agricultural production. FAO has launched an appeal for a $5.4 million project to rebuild the national seed industry.

Iraq had a relatively stable and functioning public-sector controlled seed industry before the war in 2003. After the war, research and seed production facilities have greatly deteriorated.

Official Iraq Government Website (I couldn’t seem to get the “English” version though)

fao, Government

Blogosphere Behavior Analyzed

Chuck Zimmerman

Comscore NetworksNow for some serious research on the online activity of blogs. The folks at Comscore Networks have released the results of a study that you might find interesting. It doesn’t have a breakout for farmers but I think you will gain some insight into even their media usage from this. I am still asked by professional marketing people “what is a blog?” and even after explaining I’m sure some of the folks I’ve spoken with still wonder if anyone would visit a “blog.” Well they do and in a serious and growing way. For example, in this study they report a 45 % increase in visits from internet users to the 400 blog domains they analyzed in the last year! I found this study thanks to a link on the Fast Company weblog. Here’s some tidbits from their news release and you can also view the full report here.

50 Million Americans Visited Blogs During the First Quarter 2005, According to New comScore Study
First Comprehensive Study of the Actual Online Behavior of Blog Visitors Now Available

RESTON, Va., Aug. 8, 2005 – comScore Networks today released a report detailing the scale, composition and activities of audiences of Weblogs, commonly known as “blogs.” The report, which was sponsored in part by Six Apart and Gawker Media, found that nearly 50 million Americans, or about 30 percent of the total U.S. Internet population, visited blogs in Q1 2005. This represents an increase of 45 percent compared to Q1 2004.

Other key findings of the Behaviors of the Blogosphere report include:

* Five hosting services for blogs each had more than 5 million unique visitors in Q1 2005, and four individual blogs had more than 1 million visitors each

* Of 400 of the largest blogs observed, segmented by eight (non-exclusive) categories, political blogs were the most popular, followed by “hipster” lifestyle blogs, tech blogs and blogs authored by women

* Compared to the average Internet user, blog readers are significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections

* Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many web pages as the Internet average, and they are much more likely to shop online

“The fact that we found 30 percent of the online population to have visited blogs clearly underscores the commercial importance of consumer generated and driven media,” said Dan Hess, senior vice president of comScore Networks. “It’s noteworthy that while the blog audience is already quite large and growing, its demographic composition relative to the total population will appeal to many marketers.”

For more information contact Jeremy Shermak.


Cows As Living Billboards

Chuck Zimmerman

Painted CowsNot only is this an interesting way to advertise but it’s in my home county of Sarasota, FL. I was alerted to the story on Adrants and the images and story information comes from Basically the Golden Palace online casino dyed the cows and to make the PETA people happy they dyed “Go Veg” on the other side. The owner says “the cows are just happy they weren’t branded.”


Food Policy Conference Announced

Chuck Zimmerman

Food Policy ConferenceThis looks like an interesting conference, especially if you’re interested in reaching consumers with a food message. You can find the conference brochure here and registration information here.

Held each year, the National Food Policy Conference is a key national gathering for those interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy. The Conference is coordinated by the Consumer Federation of America, in cooperation with the Food Products Association. This year’s two-day conference will highlight an examination of consumer behavior and attitudes towards food, and a discussion of agricultural subsidies. Now in its 28th year, the conference is held at Washington’s National Press Club. Major speakers include leaders from government, the food industry, public health organizations, and the consumer community, addressing issues related to food safety, nutrition, biotechnology, and food and agriculture policy.

Ag Group


Chuck Zimmerman

FFAOnly one more FFA convention in Louisville, KY. Get a preview of what it will be like on FFA Live on RFD-TV

FFA Live! on RFDTV Announces Aug. 29 Show
INDIANAPOLIS – Mark your calendars now for the next FFA Live! show on RFD-TV. The show will run from 8-9p.m. eastern (7-8 p.m. central) on Monday, Aug. 29, and will have a special feature on Expedition Chesapeake—a 30 day, 355 mile on the water
journey through the Potomac River Basin ending at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Agriculture teacher Eric Fitzgerald and 16 of his students (all FFA members) from Turner Ashby High School in Rockingham County, Va., studied the connection between the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay and the critical role farmers can play in reducing pollution in our waterways when they are provided with tools and resources to do so. Eric and two students will share their experiences and some of the valuable scientific information they collected with the help of a probe supplied by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

National FFA officers Emily Horton and Jay Kelley will reveal plans for the 78th National FFA Convention, Oct. 26-29— the last convention in Louisville, Ky., before FFA makes the move to Indianapolis.

For more information contact William F. Stagg, 317-802-4243.


WTO Makes Several Appointments

Chuck Zimmerman

World Trade Organization Hong Kong MinisterialA couple of announcements from the World Trade Organization. You know there’s a very important meeting in Hong Kong this December and AgWired hopes to cover it live.

Hong Kong Commerce Secretary elected chair of the Sixth Ministerial Conference

The General Council, on 29 July 2005, elected Mr. John Tsang, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology of Hong Kong, China, as the chair of the Sixth Ministerial Conference.

Elected vice-chairpersons were: Austria’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Labour Dr. Martin Bartenstein; Barbados’ Senior Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Antoinette Miller; and Nigeria’s Minister of Commerce Idris Waziri.

Meanwhile, the General Council chair Amina Mohamed announced that the new New Zealand ambassador, Crawford Falconer, is the consensus candidate to replace Mr. Tim Groser as chairperson of the agriculture negotiations and the Cotton Sub-Committee from 1 August 2005.

And in another important announcement:

Lamy announces his four Deputy Directors-General

Director-General Designate Pascal Lamy informed the General Council of the four people he has chosen to be his deputy directors-general. Mr. Lamy, who assumes office on 1 September, told the General Council in a statement that he has selected Alejandro Jara of Chile, Valentine Rugwabiza of Rwanda, Harsha Singh of India and Rufus Yerxa of the United States. Their terms of office will begin on 1 October.


Live Webcast of Indiana Crop Outlook

Chuck Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkIf you want to know the latest about the Indiana crop then you’ll want to be online August 12.

Brownfield Streams Indiana Crop Report at the State Fair
Indianapolis, Indiana August 1, 2005—Brownfield, America’s Ag News Source will stream a “live” Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service crop report briefing on Aug.12 at 9:00 a.m. in the Our Land Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
The briefing will cover the crop estimates released that day by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Discussing Indiana’s agricultural situation will be Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who serves as Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development; Andy Miller, Director of Indiana Agriculture and Chris Hurt, Purdue Extension Economist. Dean Randy Woodson of Purdue Agriculture will be the moderator and Brownfield farm broadcaster Gary Truitt will host the event.
“The weather this summer has made crop yields very difficult to estimate. This will be the first official estimate of this year’s crop and will set the tone for the market for the rest of the marketing year,” said Truitt.
The event is open to the public and will also be carried live on the web by Brownfield. Producers who want to listen to the Webcast will find a link on the Brownfield homepage at

For more information contact Lane McConnell: 573.556.1242 or Cyndi Young: 573.556.1229.