Register Today for the NAMA Boot Camp

Written by NAMA on Friday, July 18, 2014 , 7:10 am

14bcfrontRegister now for the NAMA Boot Camp, August 19-21 in Kansas City. 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.

Check out the schedule below:

Tuesday, August 19

7:00 a.m. – Registration

7:30 a.m. – MoKan Ag Tour (optional)
The 2014 MoKan NAMA Ag Tour is an opportunity for participants, new or seasoned in the industry, to experience the different nuances of agriculture in the Kansas City area.  Our first stop will be to 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.

5:00 p.m. – Boot Camp Registration

5:00-6:00 p.m. – Welcome Reception

hatch_gardner6:00-7:30 p.m. – Opening General Session & Dinner
Gardner Hatch, Bader Rutter
Kick off the Boot Camp with a networking activity designed to help you get to know fellow attendees.

Wednesday, August 20

8:00 a.m. – Continental Breakfast

Gail Calhoun8:30-10:00 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

horstmeier10:30 a.m.-Noon – General Session
Producer Panel
Moderator: Greg Horstmeier, Editor in Chief of DTN/The Progressive Farmer
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.

12:00 Noon-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon
Farmers and Media: How Media Usage is Changing and What This Means
Jack Semler, Readex Researchsemler_jack

The world of communications is changing every day. Digital communications channels in particular provide information to all of us at light speed. How are these evolving channels affecting farmers and ranchers, and what is the impact on mainstay traditional channels? Every other year, the Agri Media Council of American Business Media updates its tracking study, which measures media usage habits amongst farmers and ranchers. The 2014 survey is complete, and Jack Semler of Readex Research will present the findings. Come and learn how the world is changing in ag, and what this means for agribusiness in the future.

thomson_dan1:30-2:45 p.m. – Breakout sessions (choose one)

Ag 101
Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University Vet School & a Producer
This highly interactive session will address basics of the row crop and livestock industry along with issues and challenges.

Lessons Learned from a Career in Crisis Management
Daren Williams, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
williams_darenEvery 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 the 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)

Ag 201
Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University Vet School & Producer from the panel
Delve even deeper into agriculture with this 201 Session.

harringtonThree High-Tech Creative Techniques to Blow Away Your Ag Competitors
John Harrington, Blackbox Advertising
Join us for an exciting overview of innovative, new creative tools that can give your agri-marketing an edge over the competition. Get a high level look at how Google Glass, drones and augmented reality can take your marketing to a whole new level.

4:30-6:30 p.m. – Reception off-site
A shuttle will take attendees to a special reception at Snow and Company. Snow and Company is an artful frozen cocktail bar located in the heart of the Crossroads Art District of Kansas City, MO. Check it out at

Thursday, August 21mindy-oberly

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

9:00-9:30 a.m.
Leverage the Powerful Reach of Radio
Mindy Oberly, Marketing & Communications Manager for NAFB
New research proves farmers are still listening to and using radio as a source for daily farm information. With your next media plan, learn how radio can make a big impact in generating product awareness, and how to kick-start the planning process.

Geoff-Pickering9:30-10:30 a.m.
Developments in Digital Marketing
Moderator: Dave Mehlhaff
Geoff Pickering, Director of Client Services, DEG
Karl Ploeger, Account Group Director, Salva O’Renick
In late 2013, Abobe released a study titled “Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?” The lead statistic confirmed what those of us in marketing feel daily: 76% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than the past 50.

karl-ploegerThe compressed pace of change has marketers scrambling to keep up. The combination of devices, software and connectivity has driven unprecedented interaction between buyers and brands, changing marketing forever.

How do we as communication professionals help support our sales team? How do we facilitate the conversation with effective and powerful pieces of communication utilizing the world’s new technology?

10:30-10:45 – Break

10:45-11:45 a.m. – Closing Session
Sharing the Story: “Farmland” – The Movie
Randy Krotz, USFRA
Most Americans have never set foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. “Farmland,” a film from award-winning Director James Moll, takes you inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers, their high-risk/high reward jobs and their passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve. During this presentation, Randy Krotz, Chief Executive Officer at the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), will provide the story behind the video and explain how it is helping tell the industry’s story to nonagricultural audiences. USFRA consists of more than 80 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised.

11:45 a.m. - Adjourn

To register for the Boot Camp visit

Chapter Events

Written by NAMA on Friday, July 18, 2014 , 7:07 am

Join the Badger, MoKan and Chicago NAMA chapters for some exciting networking opportunities!

Badger NAMA ~ July 24

Badger NAMA Fond du Lac Farm Tour

Join the Badger NAMA Chapter for an up-close view of Wisconsin Dairy’s diversity and commitment to excellence.

Thursday, July 24 | Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

9:15 a.m. | Registration at Vir-Clar Farm (N5119 County Road K, Fond du Lac)

9:30 a.m. | Vir-Clar Farm Tour
Vir-Clar Farm is owned and operated by the Boyke and Grinstead families.  The dairy milks 1,250 cows and produces electricity for 320 homes with its methane digester.  Katie (Boyke) Grinstead will lead us on a tour of the farm and share her work in building good relationships with local consumers.

11:30 a.m. | LaClare Farms Tour & Lunch (W2994 County Road HH, Malone)
Established in 1978, LaClare Family Farm has grown to a milking herd of 375 dairy goats.  Owners Larry and Clara Hedrich expanded the business to include the production of award-winning Evalon and Chevre cheeses.  In addition to a farm tour, we’ll enjoy lunch at the farm’s café, which features seasonal entrees prepared from scratch using locally raised ingredients.

1:45 p.m. | Kelley Country Creamery Visit (W5215 County Road B, Fond du Lac)
Karen and Tim Kelley own and operate a 200-acre farmstead with 65 Holstein cows.  At the creamery, we’ll watch ice cream being made while we enjoy scoops of our own favorite flavors.  Karen will give us a brief overview of the farm’s history and the creamery’s marketing strategy.

2:45 p.m. | Depart

Cost and Registration:

Badger NAMA members | $20
Non-members | $30
Students |$10

PLEASE NOTE: The registration deadline is Friday, July 18.

If you are interested in carpooling from the Milwaukee area, please contact Jeanne Gibson at
you are interested in carpooling from the Madison area, please contact Andrea Bloom at

To register for the Badger NAMA Farm Tour visit

MoKan NAMA Golf Classic ~ July 24

Save the date for the upcoming MoKan NAMA Golf Classic on Thursday, July 24. This is a fundraising event to help provide additional financial support for our student chapters.

Check in time: 12:00 Noon
Shotgun start: 1:00 p.m.
Awards & festivities to follow

Falcon Lakes Golf Club
4605 Clubhouse Dr.
Basehor, KS 66007

$80 per player
$320 per group/foursome
$400 includes 4 golfers + a hole sponsorship
$100 Hole Sponsorship
Mulligans will be 2 for $5 or 5 – $10/player

Register online at

If you’ve got coworkers or clients that have never played golf, but would like to give it a shot (pun intended), please invite them to register. This is a fun/relaxed event that will be fun for all. Players will meet up in the clubhouse for cocktails, dinner and awards/prizes immediately following.

To become a sponsor or provide prizes for this event, please contact:
Bob Brunker

MoKan Ag Tour ~ August 19

7:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. – MoKan Ag Tour (in-conjunction with the NAMA Boot Camp – the tour is optional)
The 2014 MoKan NAMA Ag Tour is an opportunity for participants, new or seasoned in the industry, to experience the different nuances of agriculture in the Kansas City area.  Our first stop will be to 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.

To register call (913)491-6500 or visit the NAMA Boot Camp site to register for the Ag Tour and/or the NAMA Boot Camp.

Chicago Ag Tour ~ September 15

Transparency, transparency, transparency. It is more than a buzzword at Fair Oaks Farms where they are redefining farm-to-plate and providing visitors with an experience in agriculture like no other.

Located in northwestern Indiana, just a short bus ride from Chicago, Fair Oaks hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, giving them a look, and now a taste, as to what modern agriculture is all about.

As part of the fall tour, the Chicago NAMA chapter has coordinated a visit to Fair Oaks Farms. Upon arrival at the farm, you’ll start with a stop at the visitor center where interactive displays provide an education experience like no other on the dairy industry.

From there you will board a bus and head out to the 30,000 cow dairy to see the cows, learn how the cows on the farm are cared for and visit the rotary milking parlor to learn about this unique milking technology.

Methane digesters on the farm handle all associated waste from the farm so you will learn more about that technology and how the energy generated is used to power the buses you’ll be riding as well as all the farm equipment.

Next stop is the new Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms. Our group will be given a private tour of the interactive displays and allowed to view from the observation deck the gestation and farrowing operations of this 2,500 commercial operation.

Then it is off to the new FarmHouse Restaurant, Bakery and Farmers Market at Fair Oaks Farms where during social hour, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the kitchen and interact with the team of chefs. Located on site, this impressive new facility is truly redefining local food production, serving food produced on site that is prepared in its completely viewable kitchen.

Following dinner will be a short panel discussion on ground-breaking research out of Purdue University showing on how and if experiences like those at Fair Oaks Farms are reshaping consumer perceptions of “big ag.” You’ll also hear about the new crop center that is coming to Fair Oaks and plans for poultry, beef, aquaculture and more as well as a hotel and farm-themed waterpark.

Tour cost is $75/person and includes bus transportation, dinner and all tour-related fees. The bus will depart from the hotel at noon on Monday, September 15 and return by 9 p.m.

To register for the Chicago Ag Tour call the NAMA Office at (913)491-6500 or visit the NAMA Fall Conference Web Site.

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 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

To register for the NAMA Boot Camp and/or the MoKan Ag Tour, please visit

If you are interested in sponsoring a session or event at the NAMA Boot Camp, please fill out the sponsorship confirmation form at or contact Jenny Pickett at 913-491-6500 or via email at

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

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 for next year’s schedule.

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