Growers, Google and the Generation Gap – Boot Camp

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:30 am

NAMA Boot Camp 2013 explores these topics and more during annual event.

“This is your audience.”

 “This is your market.”

The words from the intro video that kicked off the first full day of NAMA Boot Camp 2013 said it all. Those in attendance were there to discover new ways to connect and resonate with growers and producers. The next two days of Boot Camp delivered on that promise and then some.

The producer panel had some younger faces this year and they discussed the challenges agri-marketers face when deciding how to best communicate with a grower population comprised of farmers of the baby boom generation and the millennial generation. Panelists also shared their views on brand loyalty, the farm bill and how they prefer to receive information.

Danielle Smith of Woodruff Sweitzer is a first-time Boot Camp attendee and thought it was well worth a day away from the office. “I really enjoyed this conference. The speakers and sessions were informative and relevant to current industry topics,” she shared. “It’s perfect for anyone entering into the agricultural industry or anyone looking to sharpen their professional skills.”

Breakout sessions rounded out the rest of the day, giving attendees the choice between learning the ropes of agency and client communications or hearing about the basics of row crop and livestock production in Ag 101. True to Boot Camp form, the sessions were fast paced and engaging, with presenters urging input from the audience and veering off script to answer questions and share real-life examples.

Afternoon breakouts picked up after the luncheon keynote provided by well-known ag radio personality, Max Armstrong, who shared his reflections on the state of agriculture today and his views on what ag’s biggest concerns will be in the years ahead. He cited the farm bill, immigrant labor and food safety regulations as key factors the industry will concern itself with in the near future.

After winding down the first day of Boot Camp with Ag 201 or learning about how to best profit from trade shows, Boot Campers enjoyed a reception at Kansas City hot spot, Snow & Co. The chance to network and meet new colleagues in the ag industry was a favorite part of his first Boot Camp adventure for Michael Kirk of Ag Hub.

“The NAMA Boot Camp was a great experience all around. It was an awesome networking experience, and I had the opportunity to meet some very influential people,” he said.

The second and final day of Boot Camp got underway with a presentation on the evolution of social business. Thought provoking conversation and debate were ignited as those in the audience discussed consumer expectations and sharing the story of American agriculture through social media tools and online communities.

A closing session on how to perfect communication skills by taking the time to understand one’s own communication style and that of others capped Boot Camp 2013. The high energy of the conference lasted until everyone made their way out of the Sheraton to head back home or back to the office.

Visit agwired.com or the NAMA Flickr site to see photos from Boot Camp.

MoKan Ag Tour Visits Ag Operations

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:17 am

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, NAMA Boot Camp kicked off with the MoKan Ag Tour on August 14, in Kansas City, Mo. The group visited two operations in Garden City, Mo., focused on seed production, swine production and meat market retail.

The day began at NeCo Seed Farms, which opened in 1978 and is family-owned. Michael Marconett, NeCo Seeds, discussed the variety of corn and soybean seed options available to growers, including GMO, organic and nonGMO seed. During the tour, attendees observed the seed cleaning process, where the seeds go through multiple cleaning processes to ensure uniform seed size and quality.

Following the tour at NeCo Seeds, the group toured Kurzweils’ Farms and Kurzweils’ Country Meats. On the farm tour, Dennis Kurzweil explained the family is involved in row crop, swine and cattle production.  The group viewed the swine facilities and learned the feed ration is made up from the harvested corn crop. After the farm tour, the group spent time at the meat market. Chris Kurzweil showed everyone how to make bratwurst, one of their top products.  Kurzweil said they have 39 bratwurst flavors and he described how they develop different flavors. The tours concluded with a smoked pork chop lunch at Kurzweils’.

NAMA Boot Camp Registration Now Open!

Written by NAMA on Thursday, June 13, 2013 , 12:18 pm

Whether you’ve just entered the rough working world or one who’s been through the NAMA Boot Camp drill before, sign up for this program today to learn more about the agri-marketing industry.

Join the National Agri-Marketing Association for the 10th annual NAMA Boot Camp, August 14 – 16, at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City.

All attendees will receive a notebook packed with ag terminology, facts, case studies and speaker presentations.  This notebook has become one of the most popular aspects of the Boot Camp experience.

Boot Camp is hosting two networking sessions including a group dinner at the Sheraton Crown Center and a reception at Snow & Co (an artful frozen cocktail bar).  Meeting sessions include:

Producer Panel
Ag 101
Agency Client Communications
A View From The Air
Ag 201
Trade Show Strategies
Lessons Learned from a Career in Crisis Management
The Evolution of Social Media
Managing Up – Managing Sideways

Come in early and attend the optional MoKan Ag Tour!  The tour is an on-farm experience where attendees will tour as well as learn about different operations.

For more information on the NAMA Boot Camp and hotel information visit http://www.nama.org/programs/index.html.

To register for the NAMA Boot Camp and/or the MoKan Ag Tour, please visit
https://www4983.ssldomain.com/nama/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=57

If you are interested in sponsoring a session or event at the NAMA Boot Camp, please fill out the sponsorship confirmation form at www.nama.org/programs/bootcamp-spo.htm or contact Jenny Pickett at 913-491-6500 or via email at jennyp@nama.org.

Mark Your Calendars for 2013 Boot Camp

Written by NAMA on Friday, May 31, 2013 , 7:20 am

Mark your calendars!  The 10th Annual NAMA Boot Camp dates are August 14th - 16th at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City.  Whether you’ve just entered the working world or been through the NAMA Boot Camp drill before, learn more about the latest trends in the agri-marketing industry. 

This year the Boot Camp will take it to a new level expanding on marketing and agriculture basics. All attendees will receive a notebook packed with agricultural terminology, facts, case studies and speaker presentations. This notebook has become one of the most popular aspects of the boot camp experience.

Session titles include “Ag 101″ and “Client Communications 101″, this is the place managers and directors need to send their new hires.  And for industry veterans who want to sharpen their skills, there are also sesssions on making the most of trade shows, social media and management.

More details to follow.  Sponsorship packages are available. If interested, contact Jenny Pickett at 913-491-6500 or jennyp@nama.org.

And looking farther down the road, mark your calendar for the 2013 NAMA Fall Conference, September 17-18 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Missouri (St. Louis area).

Today’s Farmer: “Not Just Digging in the Dirt …”

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 , 8:47 am

2012 Boot Camp Attendees get inside view of the modern farmer.

Marketers. Mechanics. Crop Scouts. These are just some of the hats farmers wear today. Attendees at the 2012 NAMA Boot Camp heard about the many roles farmers play firsthand in a fast-paced kickoff video produced by SFP Productions.

The conversation continued with the beloved producers panel, as farmers from the Midwest and Southwest discussed the factors that influence their purchasing decisions, the challenges they face and how agri-marketers can best serve them with information and offers.

Information was critical, and panelists agreed that rich content was the best use for Facebook and websites. Trust was a recurring theme, and panelists said knowledgeable chemical, seed and equipment reps and extension personnel were their allies in buying decisions.

Conversations during the refreshment break before the morning breakout sessions centered on the ag tour held the day before. Attendees who made it to Kansas City early had the chance to visit Jowler Creek Winery, Green Dirt Farms and Shoal Creek Land and Cattle.

Morning breakouts on the first day of Boot Camp tackled row crops and crisis management communications. Both were basic enough to introduce greenhorns to new terminology, but the presenters were experienced enough to thoughtfully answer the in-depth questions of more seasoned audience members.

NAMA leaders shared how to best take advantage of NAMA membership during the luncheon, and afternoon breakouts looked at livestock production, the history of the cooperative and best practices for using social media wisely to meet business objectives.

The day ended with a reception at Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewery, where Boot Campers enjoyed complimentary beer, wine and appetizers.

Day two began with a discussion of “the Media Mix” and how lines are blurred in today’s communications environment. Panelists urged the audience to think of creating “communications plans” rather than “advertising plans” and to get comfortable thinking outside the box because there’s no single solution to every communications challenge.

A final session, “From the Farm and Back Again,” provided the perfect ending for Boot Camp. Panelists discussed their adventures going from the farm, to the agency and marketing world and back to getting their hands dirty on the farm again.

If you couldn’t make it to Boot Camp this year, never fear. NAMA hosts this annual event every fall to get new hires in agri-marketing up and running and help seasoned pros get a handle on new trends in the industry. Keep an eye on nama.org for next year’s schedule.

NAMA Boot Camp – Register Today!

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 , 12:03 pm

Hurry Before You Miss Your Chance!

There is still time to register for Boot Camp, August 21 – 23 in Kansas City.  You’re going to want to be a part of every fast-paced minute of what we have planned.

All attendees will receive a notebook packed with agricultural terminology, facts, case studies and speaker presentations. This notebook has become one of the most popular aspects of the Boot Camp experience.

There will be plenty of opportunities for networking during the reception on Tuesday, in addition to during the Opening General Session. Network during lunch on Wednesday and during the reception at the Boulevard Brewery!

Don’t forget the MoKan NAMA Chapter will be hosting the Ag Tour prior to the kick-off of the Boot Camp. The tour includes a trip to Shoal Creek Land and Cattle, Green Dirt Farm, and Jowler Creek Winery, Missouri’s premier sustainable vineyard and winery. This tour is optional.

You won’t want to miss the 2012 NAMA Boot Camp! To register for the NAMA Boot Camp or the MoKan Ag Tour now, visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=45

Check out a list of this year’s Boot Camp attendees at http://www.nama.org/programs/2012bclist.pdf.

The 9th Annual NAMA Boot Camp will take place at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City. Out-of-town attendees are responsible for making their own reservations.

For reservations contact:
Sheraton Crown Center
2345 McGee
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-841-1000
Fax: 816-398-4610

Make sure you mention “NAMA” when making your reservations.

9th Annual Boot Camp Register Now

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 , 7:30 am

Whether you’ve just entered the rough working world or one who’s been through the NAMA Boot Camp drill before, sign up for this program today to learn more about the agri-marketing industry. This year the Boot Camp will take it to a new level expanding on marketing and agriculture basics. 

Join the National Agri-Marketing Association for the 9th annual NAMA Boot Camp, August 21-23, 2012 in Kansas City.

All attendees will receive a notebook packed with agricultural terminology, facts, case studies and speaker presentations. This notebook has become one of the most popular aspects of the boot camp experience.

Tuesday, August 21

MoKan Ag Tour (optional)
The tour is an on-farm experience where attendees will tour as well as learn about different operations. The tour includes a trip to Shoal Creek Land and Cattle, Green Dirt Farm, and Jowler Creek Winery, Missouri’s premier sustainable vineyard and winery.

Note: You do not need to be registered for the NAMA Boot Camp to attend the MoKan Ag Tour.

5:00 p.m. – Boot Camp Registration

5:00-6:00 p.m. – Welcome Reception

6:00-7:30 p.m. – Opening General Session – Dinner/Networking

Kick off the Boot Camp with a networking activity designed to help you get to know fellow attendees. This highly interactive session will also help you get more familiar with Ag terms and industry lingo.

Wednesday, August 22

8:00 a.m. – Continental Breakfast

8:30-10:00 a.m. – General Session

Producer Panel
Moderator: Jim Patrico, Senior Editor – Progressive Farmer
Panelists: Reggie Underwood, David Parris, Billy Thiel
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.

Reggie Underwood grew up on a farm in Eastland County Texas. He was involved in all facets; farming, ranching, cow calf operation, and training/roping horses.

In July 2011, Reggie started with SFP. He covers Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Billy Thiel farms with his brother and cousin in Saline County near Malta Bend, Mo. The family operation includes corn and soybeans. Billy is currently president of the Missouri Corn Growers Association and has served as chairman of the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council. 

10:00-10:30 a.m. – Break

10:30-11:30 a.m. – Breakout sessions (choose one)

Row Crop 101
This highly interactive session will address basics of the row crop industry along with issues and challenges. Hear it straight from the producer.

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

12:00 Noon-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon

NAMA 101
Panel Members: Liz Suter Van Leer – Osborn Barr, Jeff Hartz – Wyffels Hybrids, Les Kahl – AdFarm
Learn about the basics of the organization from those in the know and who have come up through its ranks.  This session will address how to get involved as well as other pertinent inside tips on everything from conferences to preparing your Best Of NAMA entries.

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Breakout sessions (choose one)

Livestock 101
Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University Vet School
This session will address basics of the industry along with issues and challenges.

Dan Thomson, PhD, DVM is the Assistant Dean of Outreach, Professor and the Jones Professor of Production Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.

Marketing Efforts, the History of  the Cooperative
Leslie Kaufman, President/CEO, Kansas Cooperative Council
2012 is the International Year of the Cooperative.  Learn about the history and varied marketing efforts employed by cooperatives across the U.S. Kaufman will explain the cooperative structure and showcase how cooperatives have carved out a marketing niche through the years.

2:30-3:00 p.m. – Break

3:00-4:00 p.m. – General Session

Social Media: Beyond Facebook and Twitter
Bill Ye, Director of Digital Services, Global Prairie
Social media is not just a digital strategy. It is an integrated communication strategy using new and old mediums. It should be approached like any other communication strategy using new and old mediums.  This session will show you how to define the business objectives, the audience and message goals, and the key performance indicators – then execute and measure based on timeline and budget.

4:30-6:30 p.m. – Reception at Boulevard Brewery
A shuttle will take attendees to a special reception at Kansas City’s own Boulevard Brewery. Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. The reception will take place in the beautiful Heim Room that features a unique view of the Kansas City skyline.

Thursday, August 23

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

9:00-10:00 a.m. – General Session

The Importance of the Media Mix
Bob Brunker, J.L. Farmakis
Lannie Dawson, Broadhead
Utilizing the right media is critical to reaching your target customer. What’s the right mix, and what’s the best use for each type of media? Learn more about how producers utilize media for their farming operations to make the most of your marketing efforts.

10:00-10:15 a.m. – Break

10:15-11:30 a.m. – Closing Session

From the Farm and Back Again – Ag Careers On & Off the Family Farm
Moderator: Curt Blades – Successful Farming
Panelists: Janell Aust – Aust Farms, Michael Berry – SFP, Colleen Gerke – Jowler Creek Winery
This session will take a look at careers on and off the family farm from the perspective of those who have done both. Each of these panel members has had a career on both sides of the fence or has juggled both at one time or another.

Janell Aust has more than 20 years of journalism and public relations experience. Most recently, she led the public relations team at McCormick Company.

Janell and her husband Brad also own and operate a diversified farming operation of soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum and cattle south of Kansas City where they are raising their two daughters.

Michael Berry brings experience in agricultural marketing and farming operations to his role as brand manager with SFP. Berry earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and advertising from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Berry also is a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association and has served as a chairman on several other organizational committees.

Colleen Gerke grew up in the heart of California’s Central Coast in Santa Maria, Calif. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo in 2000 with a degree in Agricultural Science.

From January 2003 through December 2007, she worked as a team lead in the advertising department for John Deere’s Agriculture Division.

Colleen currently owns and operates Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery in Platte City, Mo. along with her husband Jason.

Register Today!

For more informatin on the NAMA Boot Camp and hotel information visit http://www.nama.org/programs/index.html.

To register for the NAMA Boot Camp and/or the MoKan Ag Tour, please visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=45.

If you are interested in sponsoring a session or event at the NAMA Boot Camp, please fill out the sponsorship confirmation form at www.nama.org/programs/bootcamp-spo.htm or contact Jenny Pickett at 913-491-6500 or via email at jennyp@nama.org.

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