My Pyramid Spoofed In A Big Way

Chuck Zimmerman

There has certainly been plenty of jokes about USDA’s new food guide pyramid but none as elaborate as the spoof site. Let’s you know how important it is to reserve extra website domain extensions!

This information comes from the Institute of Food Technologists website:

Spoof of USDA MyPyramid site gets noticed

4/30/2005-When the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture left two URL extensions of their Web site, describing the new Food Pyramid ( open, two Web developers Stephen Eisenmenger and Molly Nutting set up a spoof of the site at and According to news reports, the USDA’s site has gotten more than 268 million hits, and the parody has gotten more than 1 million. Eisenmenger and Nutting, self-described social activists and vegetarians, charge that the USDA pyramid represents a conflict between an agency that is responsible for promoting the interests of the U.S. agriculture industry and an attempt to promote healthy eating. The spoof calls for “…moderate or vigorous activity (such as playing video games, standing up to change the channel or walking to your car).” According to news reports, the USDA won’t comment other than to acknowledge the existence of site. The sites look very similar because Eisenmenger and Nutting copied the USDA site and added their own text and messages. The USDA’s graphics and other materials are part of the public domain.


Get Some Insight Into the Animal ID Issue From USDA

Chuck Zimmerman

Animal ID is a big issue in agriculture right now. A lot of work is being done on ways to implement ID and it’s a very sensitive issue for livestock producers. Tomorrow you can have a chance to hear what USDA has to say about it. Although I’m sure there are no decisions it should provide some insight into where things stand on the regulatory front and what the government thinks about this issue.


WASHINGTON, May 04, 2005–Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Ron DeHaven, and USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins will hold a tele-news conference on Thursday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m. EDT regarding animal identification issues.

WHO: Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks
Administrator for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Ron DeHaven
USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins

WHAT: Tele-news conference to discuss Animal ID

WHEN: Thursday, May 05, 2005 , 10:30 a.m. EDT

Reporters can listen to live audio of the briefing via webcast at


Farm Podcasting Is Just Beginning

Chuck Zimmerman

I introduced the term farm podcasting into a USDA press conference earlier this week (see post from May 1) and since then I’ve had several people ask me about it. Questions include, “What’s a podcast?” “How can I do it?”

I believe farm radio programming is perfectly suited for podcasting and that’s why we’re calling it farm podcasting. Farm programming really targets a niche audience which is why there’s so much reluctance on the part of today’s radio station owners to dedicate part of their broadcast day to it. With podcasting though there’s no need to have the program broadcast ever on any radio station! Are you listening farm broadcasters?

I sent an email out to every traditional farm broadcaster I’ve got an email address on last week asking if anyone is podcasting their programming. Only 1 has responded saying they are starting one today. I’ll post information about it as soon as I receive the announcement.

Maybe you wonder if this podcasting thing is for real and not just some strange thing Chuck has dreamed up. How about this announcement from Sirius Satellite Radio then?

Sirius Satellite Radio Logo


Podcast Originator Adam Curry to Produce Daily Podcast Program Exclusively for SIRIUS

NEW YORK – (May 2, 2005) – SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) and announced today that Adam Curry, the “father of podcasting,” will produce a special SIRIUS Satellite Radio program which will broadcast the best podcasts in the world exclusively to SIRIUS subscribers.

The program, Adam Curry’s PodShow, debuts on SIRIUS on Friday, May 13th. This marks the first collaboration between the two key players in the two most exciting, innovative mediums in audio broadcasting – satellite radio and podcasting. Curry helped design the digital tools that have made podcasting a worldwide phenomenon.

The four-hour, weekday program will feature highlights and insights from the world of podcasting and will introduce SIRIUS listeners to a completely new range of talent and artists from around the world, including the best new, undiscovered music. The program’s SIRIUS debut coincides with the launch of Curry’s, the first true entertainment and information network in podcasting.

“Podcasting allows an amazing new group of producers and artists to share their talent and creativity,” said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS President of Entertainment and Sports. “With this new venture, SIRIUS and will bring the best of podcasting’s most innovative players and artists directly to SIRIUS subscribers.”

Podcasting enables anyone to create and/or host his or her own programming and make it available for others to download to a computer or portable media player. In less than six months, more than six million people have listened to podcasts.

“Podcasting is not just about portable media players,” said Curry, the former star MTV VJ who developed podcasting in mid-2004. Explaining how the new collaboration between SIRIUS and takes podcasting to a completely new level, he said, “Podcasting is an entirely new form of broadcasting that enables anyone to create powerful content.

For more information contact Elise Brown or Ron Bloom.

Audio, Podcasts

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