14th Annual NAMA Boot Camp Looks to the Future

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 , 3:43 pm

Attendees brought an obvious enthusiasm for all things agriculture to the 2017 NAMA Boot Camp. Agri-marketing newcomers and industry veterans alike grew knowledge and friendships at the two-day conference.

Many attendees came early to Kansas City for the Ag Tour, sponsored by the MoKan Chapter of NAMA. The day did not disappoint. The group explored agricultural operations at a 15,000-acre corn and soy operation, and then sampled delicious and unique flavors of milk at a regional treasure, the Shatto Milk Company. The cotton candy milk in particular reminded attendees of a bowl of Lucky Charms.

The fun continued with a wine sampling and tour of Missouri’s first green vineyard and winery, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery. Attendees learned how Jason and Colleen Gerke develop their business through strategic marketing and creative events. Jason and Colleen then introduced the group to the sheep and chickens that control weeds and insects at the 6-acre sustainable vineyard.

On Wednesday, Gail Calhoun kicked off the conference with a dynamic presentation centered on identifying communication styles and preferences, and how to work more cohesively with team members.

The conversation continued with a NAMA Boot Camp favorite, the Producer Panel. Farmers discussed what influences their purchasing decisions, the obstacles they face in the field and how agri-marketers can best partner with them through strategic use of emerging channels.

The second panel of the day, “Media in Farming: Will Our Market Ever Be Like Any Other?” dug into the business side of media selling, buying and creating, and gave attendees firsthand advice on how to navigate the ag-agency world, which panelists agreed is a market unlike any other. Panelists also confirmed that print has held strong in agri-marketing, even with the explosion of digital channels. Patrick Smith of Bader Rutter said, “The need for research is greater today than ever before. We need to do it efficiently, and use data to understand who the consumer is and why they’re interested.”

Breakout sessions rounded out the remainder of the day. Attendees explored “A Year in the Life of a Producer,” presented by Illinois farmer Chad Bell, and listened to “Lessons Learned from a Career in Crisis Management,” presented by David Mehlhaff.

The conference kept rolling with a session on Farm Economics and the Commodities, presented by Arlan Suderman, which investigated global macro-economic factors influencing corn, soybeans and wheat. The other session focused on unlocking “The Secrets of a Strong Client-Agency Relationship.” Later, Amy Bugg shared several entertaining anecdotes from her work in both the client and agency worlds.

The first day of the conference ended at Brick House in the Martini Corner. Attendees sampled top-notch KC fare and cocktails, while enjoying networking and laughs with fellow agri-marketers from across the country.

The final day of Boot Camp began with a conversation on the importance of farm radio for the agriculture industry and then continued with an interactive session with Diane Martin, Amy Bradford and Matt Coniglio. The panelists gave their favorite tips on how to build a successful career in agribusiness.

A crowd favorite among attendees was the closing session, presented by Paul Spooner of the United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), on what’s to come in American agriculture. Armed with videos, data, tips and trends in the industry, Paul explained how animal welfare concerns are high on consumers’ list of priorities, and there is currently a major gap in tying sustainability to GMOs. Spooner concluded his presentation by urging farmers and agri-marketers alike to turn the ongoing food wars into a conversation led by farmers and ranchers, and to use personal stories and photos on blogs and social media to go about this urgent work.

Sara Steever, a member of the 2017 NAMA Boot Camp Steering Committee, was pleased with the caliber of the event’s presenters and attendees alike.

“I’ve been a member of the NAMA community for years, and I’m always so impressed with these events,” she said. “Providing education and networking opportunities for the next generation of agri-marketers is one of the most important things NAMA does.”

Check out some great photos of both the MoKan Ag Tour and Boot Camp on the NAMA Flickr. #namacamp17

NAMA Boot Camp Next Week

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 , 11:27 am

We are just one week away from the 14th Annual NAMA Boot Camp, but don’t worry, it’s not too late to register!

The 2017 Boot Camp will take place August 8-10 in Kansas City at the Sheraton Crown Center.

This event is filled with great opportunities whether you are just starting out in the working world or if you’ve been through Boot Camp many times before. If this is your first time in the agriculture business then you are in luck; you will get a beginner’s course about the business including a notebook packed with agricultural terminology, facts and case studies. If you are a more seasoned veteran, you can choose from a variety of different breakout sessions and pick the one that interests you most.

Aside from the great speakers lined up for you this year, we also have some fun scheduled into the program. The first night of Boot Camp there will be a networking reception where you’ll have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people. In today’s working world, meeting the right people can make a huge difference in growing your career – you never know who you could meet! The next night we will have an off-site reception at Brick House in the Martini Corner. Enjoy a beer or cocktail while networking with your peers.

Find a complete schedule of this year’s activities on the Boot Camp website. And be sure to sign up today so you don’t miss out on these amazing opportunities. Register online or call the NAMA office at (913) 491-6500.

MoKan Ag Tour

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 , 11:26 am

Join us for the MoKan NAMA Ag Tour on Tuesday, August 8! The MoKan NAMA Ag Tour is a one-day, on-farm experience where attendees will tour and learn about different nuances of agricultural operations in the surrounding area. Our first stop will be a 15,000-acre corn/soy operation to learn about new technologies going into today’s agronomy, equipment and farm management.  Next, we will visit Shatto Milk Company and dairy for a full tour and lunch.  We’ll finish at Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery for a look (and taste) of their local grapes and how they market their business.

Breakfast and lunch will be served as part of the tour and is included in the cost of registration.

Cost:  $75/person (same cost for members & non-members)

Dress: Casual, wear closed-toed shoes (no flipflops or heels).

Time:  7:00 AM depart from hotel, return to hotel at 3:00 PM

Please note: The MoKan Ag Tour is prior to the NAMA Boot Camp. While we hope that you’ll attend both, you do not need to be registered for Boot Camp to attend the Ag Tour. Check out the Boot Camp website for more information on both! Register today!

Boot Camp Cutoff Coming Soon

Written by NAMA on Thursday, July 20, 2017 , 1:53 pm

The cutoff date for the Boot Camp hotel has been extended to Wednesday, July 26. Make your reservations at the Sheraton Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City by Wednesday to lock in the discounted room rate. Reservations made after July 26 are subject to higher rates and potential unavailability. Make your reservation today!

July 26 is also the cutoff for the early bird discount on Boot Camp registration which will save you $50. Register today and join NAMA, August 8-10, in Kansas City!

For more information about this year’s NAMA Boot Camp, visit the Boot Camp website.

Who Should Attend?

  • •  Agency account executives
  • •  Media professionals
  • •  Art directors
  • •  Copywriters
  • •  Marketing professionals
  • •  Sales professionals
  • •  Previous Boot Camp attendees

Boot Camp Hotel Cutoff Date

Written by NAMA on Thursday, July 6, 2017 , 10:53 am

The hotel cutoff at the Sheraton Crown Center is Friday, July 21. Reservations must be made by this date in order to receive the discounted NAMA rate. Please reserve your room today!

Join the National Agri-Marketing Association for the 14th annual NAMA Boot Camp, August 8-10 in Kansas City. Register now!

Tuesday, August 8

MoKan Ag Tour (optional)
Join us for the MoKan NAMA Ag Tour on Tuesday, August 8!

The MoKan NAMA Ag Tour is a one-day, on-farm experience where attendees will tour and learn about different nuances of agricultural operations in the surrounding area.

Our first stop will be a 15,000 acre corn/soy operation to learn about new technologies going into today’s agronomy, equipment and farm management.

Next, we will visit Shatto Milk Company and dairy for a full tour and lunch.

We’ll finish at Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery for a look (and taste) of their local grapes and how they market their business.

Breakfast and lunch will be served as part of the tour and is included in the registration cost of $75.

4:00 p.m. — Boot Camp Registration

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. — Welcome Reception

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. — Opening General Session, Dinner & Networking Activity
Kick off the Boot Camp with a networking activity designed to help you get to know fellow attendees.

Wednesday, August 9

8:00 a.m. — Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. — General Session
Managing Up, Managing Sideways
Gail Calhoun, Calhoun Consulting
The ability to identify and adapt to different communications styles within your organization is a critical component to success. Whether you’re new to your career or just looking for some helpful hints, this session will highlight tips for communicating with team members and managing expectations to make sure you’re delivering the best work possible.  Gail Calhoun is president of Calhoun Consulting, Inc., a Minneapolis-based sales communication and executive coaching firm.   

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. — Break


10:30 a.m. – Noon — Producer Panel
Learn how to communicate effectively with producers. The producer panel has become a Boot Camp favorite and attendees won’t want to miss the valuable insights from producers. 

Noon – 1:30 p.m. — Luncheon  

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. — Breakout Sessions (choose one)

A Year in the Life of a Producer
This highly interactive session will address basics of the industry along with issues and challenges. Hear it straight from the producer.

Lessons Learned from a Career in Crisis Management
Every organization will eventually face the moment when something goes wrong affecting your people, products or reputation. This session will offer practice tips for managing a crisis based on real-life experiences of an ag communicator who has helped manage producer recalls, oil spills, pink slime and the media onslaught that accompanies a crisis.

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. — Break

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. — Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Farm Economics and the Commodities
Arlan Suderman, Chief Commodities Economist, INTL FCStone Financial, Inc. – FCM Division
Gain overall knowledge into economics and the commodities. This session will focus on the global macro-economic factors influencing outside money flow in today’s commodity markets. Learn about broader global developments in China and elsewhere shaping grain fundamentals. You’ll also take a specific fundamental look at corn, soybeans and wheat.

The Secrets of a Strong Client-Agency Relationship
Amy Bugg, Account Supervisor, Woodruff
Just like any relationship, the agency-client partnership relies on many of the same ingredients that make up any successful relationship – trust, communication and chemistry. Building that mutually rewarding relationship takes time and commitment, but the outcomes can be extremely rewarding. Amy Bugg has worked for, and with, some of the leading companies and agencies in agribusiness. She will provide an inside look at ag communications on both the client and agency sides and highlight some of the ingredients for a strong agency-client bond.

4:30 – 6:30 p.m. — Offsite Reception
A shuttle will take attendees to a special outdoor reception at Brick House in the Martini Corner. www.brickhousekc.com

Thursday, August 10

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. — Breakfast Session
Farm Radio Connects
Tom Brand, Executive Director, NAFB
Farmers and ranchers are on the go and farm radio provides current, local relevant news for their operation. Continued industry research showcases the importance of farm radio for the U.S. agriculture industry. Radio is a daily source of ag related news and information producers need and want to know.

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. — General Session
Navigating Your Career in Agribusiness
Moderator: Gail Calhoun, Calhoun Consulting
Panelists: Diane Martin, Rhea + Kaiser and Amy Bradford, Growmark

If your career path is a journey, then are you navigating? Whether you’re just starting out or you’re well down the road, everyone can benefit from an experienced mentor to help them get the most out of their career.


This interactive session will feature three successful agribusiness professionals who will provide practical advice, success stories and tips that you can apply right away for getting the most out of your career in agribusiness. Panelists will share their professional experiences and answer your questions.

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. — Closing Session
Agriculture: What’s to Come
Paul Spooner, USFRA
Today, a positive trend shows that more consumers believe agriculture is moving in the right direction, with more than half that positively perceive U.S. farmers and ranchers’ commitment in improving farming techniques and informing people about how food is grown and raised. However, the loudest voices are still not supportive of modern agriculture. We must work together to change the conversation. In this closing session, find out “What’s to Come” of agriculture and learn how to make an impact in sharing agriculture’s story with today’s consumer.

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