Grounded in Ag Training Platform Introduced

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Communications and training firm Grounded Communications LLC is launching Grounded in AgTM, a new online training platform to address the agricultural knowledge gap for organizations.

The platform is designed to meet the needs of anyone seeking a better understanding of agriculture starting with foundational topics, according to Janice Person, founder of Grounded in Ag and CEO of parent company Grounded Communications LLC.

“The goal of Grounded in Ag is to offer a new way for people to be more productive early in their tenure and help them avoid costly mistakes that jeopardize customer trust or, more importantly, their own credibility or that of their employer,” Person said, noting that the audiences for the platform primarily include professionals who serve agriculture organizations, in functional areas including marketing, communications, human resources, legal, regulatory and even finance. “The diversity of sources and topics is incredible – we have 40 plus experts offering more than 700 years of experience in ag teaching in these courses,” Person said.

The platform includes easy-to-follow videos (most ranging from 5-20 minutes in length) augmented with a full range of curated, vetted links to resources online that can add more depth to the understanding of a given topic. In addition, downloadable PDFs are available to provide additional information and for future reference. Because applying this information to their current organization is so critical, there are other PDFs provide areas of inquiry for the employees to dig into what impacts their segment most and why. All of this coursework is paired with a community that lets people interact with peers and stay current on real-time industry developments.

Press release link

Ag Groups, Agribusiness, Education

2024 Agri-Marketing Conference Underway

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

2024 Agri-Marketing ConferenceDon’t let your future pass you by at the 2024 Agri-Marketing Conference April 24–25 in Kansas City, Missouri. There will be lots of photos and some interviews for you.

The theme this year is Bright Horizons and it’s a beautiful day in Kansas City as the students are working on their presentations and the exhibitors are setting up booths for the big kick off tonight with the Best of NAMA awards and Connection Point opening reception. We’ll be exhibiting in the Connection Point in booth 202.

The photo album is started so stay tuned for more!

2024 National Agri-Marketing Conference Photo Album


Animal Ag News 4/23

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) welcomed members and guests to Kansas City for the 2024 Annual Conference, The Next Generation of Animal Agriculture. More than 120 guests joined the conference to connect with fellow animal agriculture leaders to explore and discuss gaps in animal agriculture technology and innovation and solutions to encourage continuous improvement in today’s food system. Additionally, industry leaders were honored and new directors were elected.
  • The Meat Institute recognized more than 200 meat and poultry plants at the 2024 Environmental, Labor and Safety+ Conference in New Orleans for their positive environmental impact efforts. Thirteen additional establishments that went above and beyond were granted Environmental Achievement Awards for their progress with emissions reduction, energy conservation, packaging/food waste reduction, technological innovation, and water conservation.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced that G Bar C Ranch, in Rosston, Texas, is the 2023 National Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner. The award, which annually recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers, was presented to the Ellis family during NCBA’s annual Spring Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) condemned the Biden Administration’s three finalized Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulemakings that significantly expand federal overreach and roll back reforms that previously provided some relief to farmers and ranchers.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) concluded another successful Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The three-day event brings cattle producers from across the country to Washington to meet with federal agencies and elected members of Congress.
  • USDA-NASS recently announced that, due to budget constraints, NASS will not collect data nor publish the July Cattle report and will no longer publish livestock county estimates beginning in 2024. The county level estimates are for all livestock classes as well as crops. American Livestock Markets & Dealers Association (ALMDA) has responded to USDA-NASS by sending a letter. USDA-NASS has already responded and we are working on a time to meet and work through possible solutions.
  • Innovative ice cream and cultured dairy products inspired by bakery specialties and fruity florals were showcased at the International Dairy Foods Association‘s (IDFA) annual Innovative Ice Cream Flavor and Innovative Cultured Dairy Product competitions, co-sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine.
  • Zoetis announced it has received an expanded label approval from the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) for Synovex Choice to increase rate of weight gain in growing beef steers or heifers in the dry lot production phase. Also approved is a new implant from Zoetis, Synovex Primer that will be available for the dry lot market later in 2024.
  • The Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas (ICA) will host its Annual Convention & Tradeshow this July 1-3, 2024, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center. Established in 1974, ICA serves as the voice for independent Texas cattle producers in Austin and Washington, D.C. The group will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with this year’s convention theme of “Land and Legacy.”
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have approved $414,000 for five new research grants at five institutions through the Comprehensive Research Program. The research funding was approved by the boards of directors of both organizations, based on recommendations from the Foundation Research Advisory Committee. The Committee evaluates research proposals to determine their value to the industry and then makes recommendations to the boards for funding. Committee members are professional specialists from different segments of the poultry and egg industry who represent a variety of scientific disciplines.
  • AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

    ZimmComm Celebrates 20th Anniversary

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    ZimmComm is celebrating 20 years of serving the agricultural business, marketing, and media industries in 2024.

    The company was founded in 2004 by former farm broadcasters Chuck and Cindy Zimmerman with the idea of helping agribusinesses and organizations reach media outlets with their message in a new way.

    “What is now social media was called ‘new media’ at the time,” said Chuck Zimmerman. “The idea of using the internet for communications was just starting with blogs and podcasts.”

    First, ZimmComm created AgWired as an on-line publication for news and information from the world of agribusiness. It was the first blog targeted to agriculture, and still is a blog, which was a new term at the time that meant “web log” – a simple website that allowed users to post new messages in a chronological format. “We became agribloggers,” said Zimmerman, who adopted that name as his Twitter handle (@AgriBlogger) when the platform, now known as X, was launched in 2006.

    ZimmComm started the first agriculture-focused podcast in early 2005 and coined the term “farm podcasting” with the ZimmCast, which continues to include interviews from around the agribusiness world.

    ZimmComm developed “Talking News Releases” as one of its first services in 2005, creating for posting and sharing content with audio, in addition to direct distribution by email. “As former farm broadcasters, we recognized the importance of having sound bites for stories,” Cindy said. “We wanted to make it easier for both the newsmakers and the news reporters to get quality audio without having to set up interviews.”

    The first blog dedicated to the U.S. biofuels industry was developed by ZimmComm in September 2005, just one month after the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was signed into law. Called at the time, Energy.AgWired continues to work with the industry and includes the Ethanol Report podcast, sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association since 2008. Both the ethanol and biodiesel industry were early adopters of new media.Read More

    ZimmComm Announcement

    Farm and Biofuel Groups Pleased with E15 Waiver

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    The Environmental Protection Agency Friday issued a waiver to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol fuel) to continue to be sold this summer. The temporary waiver under the Clean Air Act was issued “to address extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances caused by a confluence of events, including the ongoing war in Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East, that are affecting all regions of the Nation.”

    Ethanol organizations and stakeholders welcomed the action, which the Renewable Fuels Association says will help American consumers save money at the pump this summer, while also cutting greenhouse gas emissions and harmful tailpipe pollution. However, RFA Senior VP for Government & Public Affairs Troy Bredenkamp says the ultimate goal is to find a permanent solution to allow E15 sales in the summer. “We are certainly seeking some sort of legislative solution to solve this long term so we don’t have to keep begging and pleading to make sure that E15 does not disappear during the summer.”

    Learn more in this edition of The Ethanol Report podcast with Bredenkamp and Chief Economist Scott Richman.
    Ethanol Report 4-19-24 28:13

    American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings said he was grateful to see the administration respond to the industry’s requests. “Earlier this year, the Biden administration finally confirmed E15 can permanently be offered in eight Midwest states, but postponed year-round access in those states until the summer of 2025….A permanent solution to year-round E15 will ensure these benefits aren’t left to the whim of ad hoc agency decision making in the future.”

    The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and state corn grower organizations also praised the decision. “This waiver is good news for corn growers and those in rural America who will benefit economically from this decision and for consumers who will save money at the pump during a busy travel season,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle.

    ACE, Corn, EPA, Ethanol, RFA

    Industry Ag News 4/19

    Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) appoints Lance Honig as Chair of USDA’s Agricultural Statistics Board, as well as the Methodology Division Director. Honig has served in an acting capacity for both roles since November 2023. As the chair, he will lead the preparation and dissemination of market-sensitive agricultural forecasts and estimates.
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation urged USDA to reverse its decision to cancel livestock and crop surveys that are crucial to the success of America’s farmers and ranchers. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently announced it would no longer provide a July cattle inventory survey, as well as county-level estimates for crops and livestock and the objective yield survey for cotton.
  • Farm Journal Foundation welcomes new Farmer Ambassadors and two new staff members to the team. Sarah Tweeten is new Farmer Ambassador from Iowa, and Brad and Joyce Doyle are new Farmer Ambassadors from Arkansas. Karleigh Creighton, who recently worked as senior producer at RFA-TV, is new Communications and Events Manager, while Larissa Villegas joins as a staff Communications and Programs Coordinator.
  • Growing a resilient food supply has never been easy but it’s even more difficult when you have a variety of weather, labor, water and environmental challenges. That’s the topic for the Agri-Pulse Food & Ag Issues Summit on June 4, 2024 at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento, CA.
  • The Renewable Fuels Association announced the addition of Carbogenesis and Octent Automation to its distinguished group of associate members. This expansion signifies the RFA’s ongoing dedication to broadening its network with organizations that are at the forefront of technological and environmental advancements within the renewable fuels industry.
  • The National Pork Producers Council announced several staff updates to enhance the organization’s advocacy efforts. Andy Curliss will join the organization as vice president of strategic engagement, effective April 22, 2024. In this new role, Curliss will lead a range of efforts focused on expanding the reach and influence of the U.S. pork industry. Maria C. Zieba has been officially appointed vice president of government affairs. Chase Adams has been promoted from senior director to assistant vice president of domestic policy.
  • Six of the nation’s major commodity groups, including the National Corn Growers Association, sent a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission encouraging it to vote negative in advancing a petition by Corteva Agribusiness to place antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of the herbicide 2,4-D shipped from India and China.
  • Alltech announced a new marketing structure designed to better serve both the company’s customers and the needs of its internal teams. These new roles and responsibilities will allow for increased agility in meeting stakeholder needs while cultivating closer alignment and collaboration across Alltech’s U.S. business.
  • Meyocks, a leading branding and marketing agency, hires Marcie Garcia to lead its strategy function. In her new role, Garcia is responsible for brand strategy work across the agency’s roster of food, agriculture, health, and mentor brands. Garcia joins Meyocks with more than a decade of agency experience, including roles at TBWA/Chiat/Day, Wunderman Thompson and McCann. In that time, she built an impressive portfolio of work for global brands such as Amazon, KFC, Moderna, Nestlè, T-Mobile and The Hunger Project.
  • C.O.nxt announced two recent promotions on their team of employee-owners. Brandon Maly and Cheryl DeShambo have both been promoted to the role of account supervisor.
  • Torrey Advisory Group, a boutique lobbying firm specializing in food, agriculture, and forestry issues, welcomes Nona McCoy as a Vice President on the policy team. McCoy’s 25 years of bicameral, bipartisan congressional experience will elevate the firm’s services in appropriations support and provide TAG clients with a strategic approach for engaging Congress and federal agencies.
  • The American Pecan Promotion Board has selected Signal Theory as its agency partner for a consumer retail and communications campaign to drive demand and consumption of pecans not just during the holidays, but year-round. The announcement comes just in time for National Pecan Month, an industry-wide celebration held each April to showcase the versatility and nutritional benefits of American pecans.
  • Zimfo Bytes

    Land O’Lakes CEO on TIME100 Most Influential People

    Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Land O'LakesTIME named Land O’Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford to the 2024 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Land O’Lakes operates in all 50 states and more than 60 countries and Ford has served as President and CEO since 2018.

    Ford, who has held senior positions in seven companies in six industries, leads not only by delivering financial performance, but also by addressing the important global issues and structural changes that can improve areas directly impacted by food and agriculture. During her tenure, Land O’Lakes has focused on its members, the technology that enables them, and on ensuring the vibrance and connection of the communities in which they live and work. Working to close the digital divide, she convened the American Connection Project and contributed to the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which included $65 billion for rural connectivity. She regularly addresses issues around global food security, noting food security is national security.

    Ford’s acknowledgement in TIME, available here, was authored by Larry Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock. Ford was named to the inaugural TIME100 Climate List last November.

    Agribusiness, Cooperatives

    Precision Ag News 4/17

    Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Nestlé Purina is investing in farmer adoption of regenerative agriculture practices across the company’s corn and soy supply chains through a new partnership with Cargill, one of the largest ingredient and agricultural solutions companies in the U.S. This work will support soil health and reduce the carbon footprint for Purina dry pet food products across North America, contributing to a more sustainable future for people and their pets.
  • Get ready for an extraordinary journey through Arkansas’s vibrant agricultural landscape at the 17th Annual Conservation in Action Tour, taking place on June 10-11, 2024! The esteemed keynote speaker for this year’s tour is Carolyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance, (MMFA). For more information and to register, visit here.
  • John Deere, with the help of quarterback Brock Purdy, launched an epic hunt for the company’s first-ever Chief Tractor Officer (CTO) — a witty and charismatic content creator ready to help the iconic American brand celebrate farmers, contractors, groundskeepers, and brand fans. To apply, candidates must submit a short-form video with their pitch for the position, showing the creativity, humor, and passion they’d bring to the job. Candidates are also encouraged to publish their entries to TikTok and/or Instagram tagging @JohnDeere.
  • Biolevel and My Yield announced that My Yield will distribute Biolevel bionutrition products for use in My Yield’s customized treatment solutions. The partnership expands the availability of Biolevel products to farmers and seed dealers across the U.S.
  • For the second straight month, unit sales of 100+ horsepower ag tractors increased in the U.S., according to the new data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). March sales jumped 3.2 percent compared to last year, following February’s increase of 2.8 percent compared to 2023. Total year-to-date unit sales of ag tractors and combines are below 2023’s pace. Tractors are down 13.3 percent while combines fell 20.4 percent.
  • As GROWMARK, Inc. continues to position itself to lead in the digital agronomy space, it has partnered with Intelinair, an ag data analytics company, on a new digital agronomy application to equip its farmer customers with data-driven insights to improve agronomic outcomes throughout the growing season.
  • On April 9th, U.S. and Israeli officials convened at the U.S. National Arboretum for a seminar and dinner reception marking the 45th anniversary of BARD, the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund.
  • Custom Agronomics, a leading provider of private-label liquid plant nutrition and other specialty products for the agriculture, turf, and ornamental markets, announced that Tom Snipes has been appointed CEO.
  • Peterson Genetics, Inc., is pleased to announce that Ben Peterson has been named President of the Company. Mike Peterson continues as the Chief Executive Officer.
  • AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

    Custom Agronomics Acquires BioTek Ag

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Florida-based specialty products company Custom Agronomics has acquired North Carolina-based BioTek Ag to expand its focus on nutrient use efficiency products.

    Custom Agronomics is a formulator and manufacturer of private-label liquid plant nutrition, nutrient use efficiency, and other specialty products for the agriculture, turf, and ornamental markets. BioTek Ag has more than three decades of experience helping farmers improve and protect crop yields with specialized nutrients, nitrogen stabilizers, and other specialty products that improve soil biology and enhance the effectiveness of crop inputs.

    “This acquisition immediately enhances our portfolio of nutrient use efficiency products, expands our footprint, and strengthens our overall team,” said Greg Thompson, chairman of the Custom Agronomics Board of Directors and a senior operating partner at Inverness Graham, a private investment firm that acquires innovative companies where technology is transforming traditional industry. Inverness Graham’s investment in Custom Agronomics is part of its Green Light initiative that invests in businesses where environmental sustainability is a key driver of growth.

    BioTek Ag will become part of Custom Agronomics. Financial terms of the deal are confidential.

    Agronomy, AgWired Precision, Fertilizer, Nutrient Management, Precision Agriculture, Soil

    Golden Harvest Corn Still Growing Strong

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    With corn planting underway now across the Midwest, there are likely quite a few Golden Harvest hybrids going in the ground after a successful 2023.

    “Golden Harvest has made a lot of innovation over the past 50 years,” said Rex Gray, Golden Harvest Corn Product Manager, at the recent Commodity Classic. “Over the past two years we’ve brought 39 new products to the market.”

    Gray said they are excited to launch Enogen DuracadeViptera™ this year. “That’s something farmers have told us they wanted and needed for a some time,” he said.

    Learn more in this interview about the 50 year legacy of Golden Harvest.
    Classic24 Rex Gray, Golden Harvest/GHX 4:08

    2024 Commodity Classic Photo Album

    Audio, Commodity Classic, Corn, Golden Harvest, Seed, Syngenta