The Plant People Are At It Again

Chuck Zimmerman

APS LogoWhen the American Phytopathological Society decides to hold a meeting they get serious about it. You can visit their website for a full (32 page!) brochure. I don’t remember ever covering this organization as a farm broadcaster and am kind of glad. Try to say “American Phytopathological Society” three times real fast!

Plant Pathologists Explore Using Fungi to Control Plant Diseases

St. Paul, MN (June 8, 2005) – The use of endophytes, non-harmful fungi, bacteria, or viruses that naturally grow inside plants, is an emerging tool for managing plant diseases, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

APS 2005 Meeting“Endophytes appear to have co-evolved with their plant hosts where the association can be mutually beneficial to both,” said Paul Backman, professor of plant pathology, biological control and biosecurity, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. “Recent research indicates that some of these benefits may be to suppress plant diseases and other stresses,” he said. This subject will be one of many at the APS Annual Meeting.

For more information contact Amy Steigman.

Ag Groups

Pell & Armstrong On Stage Together

Chuck Zimmerman

United Soybean BoardHere’s a picture I’d really like to see. Max Armstrong and Al Pell co-hosting an event! I think they would make a good pair. What I’d like to have seen in this release is some information about what was discussed at the town hall meeting. Was it all just peachy keen fun or was there a little controversy? What kind of questions were asked. The release says “frankly discussing” which I take as code for some blunt talk.

ST. LOUIS (June 9, 2005) – As an ongoing commitment to protecting their number one customer, the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff united producers from various sectors of the agricultural industry today by sponsoring a town hall forum entitled Livestock and Soybean Producers: Partners in U.S. Agriculture. The setting was the Cattle Barn on the Iowa State Fairgrounds at the World Pork Expo and featured livestock and crop producers frankly discussing issues that affect the viability and profitability of all those within agriculture. Teaming up for the first time, agricultural broadcasters Max Armstrong and Al Pell hosted the event.

“The town hall forum is an excellent way for livestock and crop producers to discuss issues that affect the profitability of both businesses,” says USB Board Member Terry Ecker, a soybean producer from Elmo, Mo. “Both sectors of agriculture need each other, so we need to work together.”

The town hall forum is another step for the soybean checkoff to support the needs of livestock producers, since they are the number one customer of U.S. soybean meal. In fact, U.S. livestock consumes 94 percent of domestic soybean meal. In addition to the town hall forum, USB has made supporting livestock producers a priority with its Animal Agriculture Initiative (AAI), which has made great strides over the past year.

The release didn’t come with any contact information but I assume you could contact the United Soybean Board office for more information.

Ag Groups, USB

LPC Royal Gala Planning

Chuck Zimmerman

Livestock Publications CouncilI didn’t get to attend the Livestock Publications Council Royal Gala Event last year but maybe this year. If you’d like to get involved with the planning there’s a meeting coming up.

You can see pictures from last year’s event on their photo album (pdf file, 3.6MB)

Mark Your Calendar – First Meeting of 2005 LPC Royal Gala Event

Thursday, June 30, 2005, 3:30 PM – 5 PM, American Royal Offices 2nd Floor, Ambassador Room

Last year the Gala was a HUGE success in raising $6,000.00 for Phase I – Hall of Honor and could not have been accomplished without all of your assistance! Let’s Get Ready for 2005!

For more information contact Amber Spafford.


Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner Don’t You Know

Chuck Zimmerman

American Meat InstituteI’ll tell you one thing I don’t want to do on AgWired and that’s get into the whole beef industry issue war. I say “Can’t we all just get along?”

I wonder if this roundtable today will resolve any issues and bring groups closer together?


Institute Calls Isolationists’ Efforts to Keep Border Closed ‘Economic Suicide’

St. Paul, Minn., June 9, 2005 – The American Meat Institute (AMI) today told USDA’s BSE Roundtable that full trade in cattle and beef with Canada is warranted by science and essential to the survival of beef companies nationwide.

According to AMI, both the U.S. and Canada were proactive in striving to prevent BSE and aggressive in responding to the one case detected in the U.S. and the three cases detected in Canada. Both nations also have taken extensive steps to protect both animal health and the public health, and those measures have been successful.

According to AMI, the fact that over the last 12 months, the 380,000 cattle most likely to test positive for BSE all tested negative sends a resounding message that U.S. policies are working. And because Canada’s BSE prevention strategies and regulations are virtually identical, AMI argued that Canada is a near mirror image of the U.S. and that full trade should be resumed.

“There are those here today who will attempt to advance many conspiracy theories…they’ll try to alarm the public with publicity stunts and false claims of imminent danger,” said AMI Foundation President James H. Hodges. “But we cannot let this animal disease become an emotional disorder. We must allow science – not hysteria — to chart our course.”

For more information contact JANET RILEY, 202/587-4245 or DAVID RAY, 202/587-4243.

Ag Groups

Borrowing So I Can Milk That Cow

Chuck Zimmerman

Missouri Dairy Growth CouncilBrother can you spare me a dime? So I can start my own dairy?

July 14, 2005, Clarion Hotel’ Springfield, Missouri

This will be a power packed day, beginning at 9:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM, where nationally recognized dairy consultants and economic specialist (Monte Hemenover, Bob Engle, and Vern Pierce) as well as Missouri dairy production owners and managers will be presenters.

Missouri is on the verge of dairy expansion. Get involved to share in the economic success dairies can bring your rural area. For more information please contact our office.

For more information contact Gene Wiseman.

Ag Groups

Sequencing The Wheat Genome

Chuck Zimmerman

National Association of Wheat GrowersDoes anyone own a consortium? This seems like one of those “it only makes sense” stories. I mean if you’re going to sequence a wheat genome I think the wheat community should be involved don’t you?

International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium Off to a Great Start

Washington—The first meeting of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (WGSC) took place last week in Bozeman, Montana. Rudi Appels, Australian co-chair of the WGSC, said that the meeting was an excellent opportunity for the wheat community to take ownership of the consortium. He noted as well that it was particularly exciting to have representation from the National Association of Wheat Growers.

Dale Schuler, first vice-president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), stated that NAWG is fully supportive of mapping the wheat genome and believes it is critical technology in support of breeding, developing new uses, improving yields and quality, competing with other crops, and ensuring a viable U.S. wheat industry.

Wheat Genome Sequencing ConsortiumYou can learn more about this wheat genome sequencing thing at their website WGSC. I normally don’t like moving graphics but I thought this one was pretty cool looking and the movement adds to the impact when you consider the subject. It’s not an effect just for the sake of using an effect.

Ag Groups

Longing For A Pork Expo Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

World Pork ExpoI guess I just missed that there was a nice website for the World Pork Expo or I would have featured it before now. My fault. Better late than never.

I’d like to see a World Pork Expo blog though. How about a series of on-going “live” pictures and articles with audio that we can see and hear. A little streaming video? Just a thought.

I think the information available on the website is great and important but . . . like many groups today there’s a dependency on traditional media to get the message out. I encourage the Pork Checkoff to think outside the box and realize that the internet and some very inexpensive software now allow you to become “the media!”

Post your own stories, pictures, interviews. If you don’t have the staff, hire a blogging consultant to set it up and create the content for you. This way you can put your own spin on the information!!!

Speaking of information. Here’s some more from World Pork Expo.

Pork Checkoff news conference at WPX addressed many issues valuable to pork industry

Now that United States Supreme Court has overturned a lower-court ruling against the Pork Checkoff, the pork industry needs to come together and focus its attention and resources on improving the marketplace for pork, Dave Culbertson, a pork producer from Geneseo, Ill., and president of the National Pork Board said Thursday.

The Supreme Court ruling is good news for producers, Culbertson said, because it means the demand-building, research and education programs supported by the Checkoff will continue. “ But we still have a lot of work to do, and we are eager to continue building on the momentum we’ve established in the last several years.”

Culbertson and Steve Murphy, the chief executive officer of the National Pork Board, highlighted some of the recent accomplishments of the Pork Checkoff in the areas of promotion, research and consumer information during a news conference at World Pork Expo in Des Moines. Murphy said U.S. pork exports, which are supported by the Pork Checkoff, continue to be a huge success story for pork producers. “Exports grew by 27 percent in 2004 and are on pace in 2005 to eclipse that growth,” he said. “Net pork exports for January through March 2005 were 2.7 percent higher than the same period one year ago and are responsible for an estimated 14 percent increase in live hog prices for the first quarter of 2005.”

Ag Groups

Symbol III Is The Ideal Market Hog

Chuck Zimmerman

Pork CheckoffThe World Pork Expo is in full swing and news is slowly trickling out. One of the announcements today focused on a new standard of excellence.

Pork Checkoff Unveils Symbol III at World Pork Expo.

Symbol III, the U.S. pork industry’s “Standard of Excellence” for the modern market hog, was unveiled at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 10.

“The Symbol tradition started in the early 1980s,” said David Meisinger, assistant vice president of education for the Pork Checkoff. “As part of what was then the Pork Value Program, we asked ourselves what the ideal pig would look like. We called it the ‘symbol of perfection’.”Symbol III

Symbol III represents our vision of the ideal market hog in the United States, said Meisinger. It continues the Pork Checkoff’s tradition of creating an icon for U.S. pork. The illustration symbolizes profitability for every segment of the industry. Specialty and niche markets may require additional characteristics. Symbol III has correctness of structure, production, performance, function, attitude, health and optimum lean yield. It also produces the best quality, safest pork that provides the optimum nutrients for human nutrition.

For more information contact Cindy Cunningham.

Ag Groups

Drink Your Fill Of Blog Kool-Aid

Chuck Zimmerman

Chuck & Steve MaysThis morning I was interviewed for Brownfield Network’s “Innovations” by Steve Mays. We talked about blogging, agricultural marketing and of course, AgWired! The interview runs a little over a half hour.

If you’ve never been to the Learfield Communications (owner of the Brownfield Network) headquarters wait a few weeks until the renovations/upgrades/construction is finished and visit. This is going to be a state of the art showplace! We broke in one of the new mini conference rooms.

You can listen to our recorded conversation here Download MP3 File 10MB MP3 file

Audio, Internet, Media, Podcasts

New Look For XS, Inc. Website

Chuck Zimmerman

XS Inc.The new corporate website for XS, Inc. is now up and running. Fulton Breen has been a pioneer in the use of e-commerce in agribusiness. I’m going to see if I can interview him for an upcoming ZimmCast and see what he thinks about some of the new communications technologies that we’re introducing the ag world to.

Here’s what the site says about the company.

Since its formation in 1998, XS has been committed to creating efficiency in the agriculture and specialty markets. Although our roots are in e-commerce, the data management service we provide our clients is often the key to increased client efficiency and productivity. We believe that timely, accurate and integrated data is the foundation for good decision making. We’ve developed a suite of tools that runs on your data giving you visibility to your problem areas and helping you capitalize on opportunities. Your data will be available to whomever you want – whenever you want – in the form you want.

For more information contact the company at or