Personal Interview With Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns

Chuck Zimmerman

Cindy was able to spend some time on the phone with Mike Johanns, our newest Secretary of Agriculture. We thought you might want to hear the latest from Washington straight from the main man! In the interview he talks about the budget, beef trade, CAFTA, Cuba and National Agriculture Day (March 20). The interview is about 11 1/2 minutes long in mp3 file format. You can listen to it here: Mike Johanns Interview.

Stories from Cindy’s interview can be heard on Southeast AgNet.

We think Mike will do a good job for agriculture in Washington, DC. He’s very media friendly, meaning that he seems to enjoy speaking to the press and is comfortable doing so.

I remember when he became governor of Nebraska. At the time I was the farm director for the Brownfield Network. I had called his office and left a message that I would like to interview him. A little later I got a call and when I answered it I heard, “Hi Chuck, this is Governor Johanns.” Not many politicians I’ve ever had any experience with would handle that call like that. Usually you get some press aide who calls and then turns the phone over after you’re on the line and been waiting a few minutes.

Hope you enjoy the interview and we look forward to working with Mike in the coming years.

Audio, Government

Blogging To Switzerland!

Chuck Zimmerman

Yes. This ag dude got selected to take a blogging trip to Switzerland.

I wrote about IFAJ on a recent post. It’s the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists.

They have their annual conference this year in Thun/Bern, Switzerland August 31 – September 4. I applied for one of the stipends they award to 3 U-S journalists and was informed yesterday that they awarded me one!

IFAJ Conference Logo

So, I’ll be writing about the trip before, during and after right here.

Blogging, IFAJ

Are Farmers Wired?

Chuck Zimmerman

Or perhaps I should ask, “Are farmers unwired?”

In this week’s ZimmCast, Steve Mays and I talk about this issue and we’ve concluded that farmers are very technology savvy and internet connected.

Then, lo and behold, I was on The Meyocks Group website and watched a tv spot they created for one of their clients – I-Wireless and in it there’s a picture of a farmer using his wireless phone on his combine! You can see the commercial for yourself. Pretty cool, eh?


Why Don’t All States Do This?

Chuck Zimmerman

This evening the Missouri Department of Agriculture hosted its annual legislative reception. Normally this consists of booths by commodity groups who serve food from their commodity. I know other states do this.

One of the winners of the competition was the Missouri Soybean Association for their soy-based Pony Express green beer. Another winner was the Missouri Wine Industry which created a great Irish Stew and served red and white wines made here in MO. I sampled the Norton varieties from the 4 different vineyards presented.

The whole idea of the night was to bring in the law makers. The Missouri State Fair had Elvis there as evidenced by this picture:


New ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

Our newest ZimmCast is now available. I’m going to post a link to the mp3 file here: ZimmCast

Normally you’ll find this in the sidebar where there’s a link to it and a podcast file that you can subscribe to if you use a program like iPodder.

This week it’s the second part of my interview with Steve Mays, VP of Learfield Communications. Enjoy.

Next week I’ll feature an interview with the leader of a student NAMA competition team, talking about putting together their presentation and competing.


More About Ag & Blogs

Chuck Zimmerman

I just got my ACDC News notice by email and no, it’s not a newsletter for a rock group!

It’s basically a collection of stories that are collected and archived at the College of Agriculture, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Communications Documentation Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

This issue contains some timely articles on blogging!

Here’s their email:

Greetings from the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.

Here is your new issue of ACDC News. Simply use this live link to access Issue 05-5 directly from the Web site:

If you have news, reactions or questions please send them to us at We always like to hear from you.

Jim Evans and John Sanders

Thanks Jim & John!


The AgriMarketing Pros Blog Has Moved

Chuck Zimmerman

Hopefully we’ll be able to import the directories from our old blog site at hpp:// If you’re looking for an old post for now you’ll have to visit there.

Now that we’ve moved our blog to our own server you’ll see some new features and additions cropping up since we have more flexibility and capabilites.

Thanks for visiting and we would love to hear your comments!


Welcome To Our Newest Client – Valent!

Chuck Zimmerman

We’d like to welcome our newest Talking News Release client. Valent just received section 18 exemption for Domark fungicide to treat Asian Soybean Rust in 28 states. So, working with Brandy Craig at Archer-Malmo, we produced a TNR that was distributed to reporters in our database in those states.

You can see the release here: Domark Fungicide Release

It appears that U-S farmers will now have some choices when it comes to fungicides to treat this new crop threat. We’re getting close to warmer weather, especially in the south, so we should know more about how significant the problem will be soon.

Agency, Agribusiness

Student NAMA Competition Heats Up

Chuck Zimmerman

Future agrimarketers?

This is the Mizzou NAMA Chapter agrimarketing competition team. They’ll be facing off against about 40 other college teams from around the country in April at the NAMA convention in Phoenix. Today they gave a preliminary presentation to the sponsoring professional chapter in St. Louis to be critiqued and get ideas and suggestions. They did a good job eventhough they had just completed their written presentation and hadn’t really had time to rehearse for their “standup.”