Eating Well In Washington, DC

Chuck Zimmerman

After a busy morning at the USDA offices NAFB Washington Watch participants were treated to a meal at the American Meat Institute offices. Yes, there were several good meat choices on the menu!

American Meat Institute

AMI President J. Patrick Boyle welcomed the NAFB group in a pre-meal hospitality session.


Over 1,200 Unique Visitors To AgriMarketing Pros

Chuck Zimmerman

Reading web statistics is almost an art form since there’s usually so much data available it’s hard to sift through to find what’s meaningful.

AgriMarketing Pros went public at this address on March 15, so I’m only going to let you know about the statistics since then.

Since March 15 we’ve had 1,235 unique visitors. They’ve visited an average of almost 4 times each. Although mostly from the United States, we’ve had visitors from 6 other countries. Everyone always wants to know how many “hits” you’ve had, which I think can be a very misleading number. Ours so far is over 36,000.

Not too bad for a start-up weblog serving a niche industry! Especially when you consider how little promotion we’ve done to date. A couple of emails and a booth at the NAMA convention. That’s it.

Thanks for all your support. Please keep reading. As a twist on an expression a good friend of mine always said, “We can use all the readers we can get.”


First Time Farm Podcasting Mentioned In USDA Press Conference

Chuck Zimmerman

I think it’s probably the first time the term’s been introduced into a USDA press conference and AgriMarketing Pros is glad to have had the opportunity to do it!

Farm podcasting. It’s a new thing and it’s the future of farm broadcasting. Well, actually the future’s here now!

Chuck & Sec. of Ag Johanns

In today’s NAFB Washington Watch program I was able to ask a question during the press conference with Sec. of Ag Johanns. Since I’m also doing work here this week for the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association I asked about the status of the Office of Management & Budget’s decision to re-define “rural community,” which will have an impact on whether REC’s are eligible for loans from the Rural Utilities Service.

You can listen to the Q & A here: Farm Podcasting Q & A

We had to introduce ourselves and I did by including the mention that we’re farm podcasting! Later I realized this might be the first time the term farm podcasting has been used in a USDA press conference.

If not, let me know.

We’re doing a limited amount of farm podcasting at the moment here at AgriMarketing Pros. You can subscribe to our weekly ZimmCast for example. We also make the weekly Missouri Beef Industry Council Report and Missouri Corn Growers Association CornTalk program available here as well.

I am looking forward to working with broadcasters, agencies, companies and organizations to develop and produce new farm podcasts.

Farmers are no different than the rest of us when it comes to the computer. If you still doubt it then you might ask the Farm Service Agency why they’ve moved to internet only applications for assistance as was mentioned early today in the USDA session.

Audio, NAFB

Gathering Around The Big Table At USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

Farm broadcasters gathered around the big conference room table at USDA this morning for their exclusive press conference as part of the NAFB Washington Watch program.

NAFB/USDA Press Conference

Besides meeting with Sec. of Ag Johanns, and newly sworn in Deputy Sec. Conner, the group of farm broadcasters heard from other USDA officials like Bruce Knight, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jim Little, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, Ross Davidson, Administrator, Risk Management Agency, Tim Ryan, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, Keith Collins, Chief Economist, J. P. Penn, Under Secretary for Farm & Foreign Ag Services, William Hawks, Under Secretary for Marketing & Regulatory Programs and Ron DeHaven, Administrator, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.


USDA’s Big (NOT) Announcement AT NAFB Washington Watch

Chuck Zimmerman

It was prepped as a “Major Announcement” by USDA and I applaud USDA for working with farm radio & tv reporters like those attending today’s NAFB Washington Watch program, however, news it was not.

You can listen to the complete press conference with Ag Secretary Mike Johanns here: Johanns Press Conference

USDA Press Conference

Pictured are (l to r) USDA Deputy Secretary, Chuck Conner (sworn in this morning), Secretary of Ag Mike Johanns and NAFB president Emery Kleven, Waitt Farm Network.

Basically Johanns announced that USDA would be conducting a series of public listening sessions on the next farm bill. No start date, locations or format.

I think USDA was trying to use this opportunity with farm broadcasters in town to build a relationship with the media and that’s a good thing. I just wish there had been more details to the announcement.

During the session both sides, USDA and farm broadcasters, took turns patting each other on the back, so it’s obvious this morning’s press conference was a way for further strengthening a long standing relationship. Several of the broadcasters in attendance volunteered to host a listening session in their area, including NAFB at their annual convention in Kansas City this November.

Audio, NAFB

He Remembers When He Got An Electric Typewriter At USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

After 31 years at USDA, Larry Quinn, Assistant Director of Communications, has worked for 11 different Secretaries of Agriculture. At the NAFB Washington Watch dinner he spent some time reviewing the many changes that have taken place in the communications field since he started at the department.

Larry has been instrumental in assisting farm broadcasters with the Washington Watch program for many years. Tomorrow he’s arranged for us all to visit USDA and we’re prepped for a major announcement by Sec. Johanns.

Larry Quinn


NCGA President Talks About Marketing And Legislation In Latest ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman

In our ZimmCast this week I interview Leon Corzine, President of the National Corn Growers Association, about marketing and legislation. Although sometimes these seem very separate they really are very related aspects of the business of agriculture.

You can listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast

Leon Corzine & Chuck

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

Ag Groups, Audio, NAFB, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Thanks For The Steak NCBA

Chuck Zimmerman

The lunch sponsor at NAFB’s Washington Watch was the National Cattlemens Beef Association, NCBA. Of course we had steak!

Jay Truitt was on hand to welcome the farm broadcasters attending and mention his past experience as one himself. He said that his daughter would tell her school teacher that Daddy talked to farmers and drank coffee. Sounds like a farm broadcaster description to me.

Jay Truitt


Welcome To Washington Watch

Chuck Zimmerman

One of the Chairmen of this year’s NAFB Washington Watch is Tom Brand, KFEQ. Tom got things started today at the opening luncheon by welcoming the 33 farm broadcasters in attendance as well as the various organizational representatives.

Tom Brand

Tom is also a past president of NAFB.