NAMA Fall Conference Blends Networking, Education and Fun

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 , 2:44 pm

Nearly 150 agri-marketers traveled to Raleigh, NC last month for the fifth annual NAMA Fall Conference. This event is quickly becoming another “can’t miss” NAMA event and this year didn’t disappoint.

As always, the week kicked off with a local ag tour. North Carolina agriculture production is very diverse which gave the 40 attendees a wide selection. The first stop alone, Barnes Farming Corporation, produces tobacco, peanuts, watermelon and is the nation’s largest sweet potato grower. Attendees learned that over the last 10-15 years, America’s consumption of sweet potatoes has increased from 3 pounds per capita to almost 7 pounds per capita. Next, the tour headed to the North Carolina State Farmers’ Market, a 75-acre operation that’s open year-round. Syngenta hosted the third stop, where attendees saw plants in various stages of growth in this Research and Development facility. The final stop was the Cotton, Inc. World Headquarters where participants got a sneak peek at the color slate for next fall.

After the ag tour, the conference kicked off with a reception sponsored by Bayer CropScience. Darren Willis, VP of North America Communications, welcomed the group to Raleigh. The reception provided attendees the opportunity to network and relax after a busy day.

The Pre-Conference Workshop featured speaker Gerry O’Brion who helped those who attended set clear, attainable goals and shared tips on how to better achieve them. Jay Truitt, Policy Solutions, spoke at the Welcome Luncheon which was sponsored by NAFB. Truitt gave an inside look at the upcoming election and how each candidate could affect the agriculture industry. Gerry O’Brion addressed the entire group at the keynote session, this time discussing what all organizations need to know in order to navigate the ever-changing world of business.

The afternoon consisted of two rounds of breakout sessions including sessions on social media, communicating with growers and how to connect consumers with farmers. There were also two panel presentations; one focused on women in agriculture and how more and more women are getting involved in the industry.

The second panel concentrated on technology and how it will affect the future of ag. Panelists explained the responsibility marketers have to understand all the different technology options so they are able to help growers decide what is best for their own operations.

The day rounded out with a Networking Reception sponsored by Brighton Agency where attendees enjoyed pizza and drinks while mingling with friends and colleagues.

On the last day of the conference, NAMA’s Professional Development Awards of Excellence were presented to the three winners. These awards were sponsored by Penton Agriculture. The 2016 winners were:

•   Marcy Tessman, Charleston|Orwig, Inc.
    Professional Development Award in Marketing Communications.

•   Bill Brozak, Colle+McVoy/Exponent PR
    Professional Development Award in Public Relations.

•   Matt Herman, DTN/The Progressive Farmer
    Professional Development Award in Sales

After the awards, Conor Cunneen shared his powerful business building program with inside tips from McDonald’s and Starbucks. The morning continued with a round of breakout sessions on storytelling and reaching niche audiences. The conference closed with a networking luncheon.

When asked about the conference, NAMA President Matt Coniglio said, “It’s been great. We’ve got great speakers, great networking and that’s really what NAMA is about. It’s about good people getting together inside of this wonderful industry of agriculture and, more importantly, educating ourselves.”

Check out some great photos of this year’s Fall Conference thanks to ZimmComm New Media!

And make sure to mark your calendar now for next year’s Fall Conference. Join NAMA in Milwaukee, WI on September 19-21, 2017.

NAMA Fall Conference Next Week

Written by NAMA on Thursday, September 15, 2016 , 12:20 pm

2016-LogoThe 2016 NAMA Fall Conference is next week! But you don’t have to wait a week to see who will be there. Check out the registration list now for a sneak peek!

Do you still need a room in Raleigh? NAMA has a small group of rooms available at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel for 9/20 to 9/22! If you still need to reserve a room, please send us an email or call the office at (913) 491-6500.

Even if you haven’t registered yet, there is still time to claim your spot in Raleigh! Register today!

Check out the Fall Conference Website for all the information you will need in Raleigh!

North Carolina Ag Tour

Written by NAMA on Thursday, September 15, 2016 , 12:20 pm

Sweet Potatoes, Farmers’ Markets, Cotton and Tech in the Land of Sweet Tea

North Carolina is home to a huge and diverse ag sector. In addition to being a leader in production of a wide range of commodities, it’s also home to some of the biggest names in ag inputs, and the breeding ground for a great deal of innovation in chemistry, biotechnology and textiles.

The Ag Tour will give you insight into this vibrant scene, with an agenda that will span from the field to the lab and beyond. Along the way, we’ll learn about how consumer preferences shape changes in ag production, research and technology.

The cost for this tour is $75. Tour departs the Sheraton at 7:30 a.m. and returns by 4:00 p.m. See below for the schedule of the day’s activities.

Does this sound like a great way to start off your Fall Conference experience? Register Now!

Barnes Farming Corporation | A world leader in sweet potato production, packing and marketing. This large operation, just 45 minutes from Raleigh, has brought many innovations to marketing of the crop and helped to establish North Carolina sweet potatoes as a major player in export markets.

North Carolina State Farmers’ Market | The North Carolina Department of Agriculture for many years has operated a string of farmers’ markets across the state to showcase North Carolina ag products and connect consumers directly to growers. We’ll visit the granddaddy of them all – a 75-acre site with dozens of vendors, wholesale produce distribution and more. We’ll enjoy lunch at one of the the onsite restaurants and allow time for browsing.

Syngenta Biotechnology Inc., Innovation Center | Here, we’ll see how one of the world’s leading agricultural companies is bringing technology to bear on the challenges of providing food and fiber for the world.

Cotton, Inc. World Headquarters | The center for textile research and development to maintain and build cotton’s position as the world’s favorite fiber.

Fall Conference Hotel Rooms Still Available

Written by NAMA on Thursday, September 1, 2016 , 2:51 pm

2016-LogoNAMA Still Has Rooms for Fall Conference!

Do you still need a room in Raleigh? NAMA still has rooms available at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel! If you need a room for 9/20 and/or 9/21, please send us an email or call the NAMA office at (913) 491-6500.

NAMA has two overflow hotels with availability 9/19-9/22:

Holiday Inn Raleigh Downtown Hotel
320 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
0.7 miles from the Sheraton
(919) 832-0501

The hotel room rate is $179 for a standard room. Make sure you mention “National Agri-Marketing Association” when making your reservations. The hotel cutoff date is September 5. Call the hotel to make a reservation, 1 (855) 914-1878.

Courtyard Raleigh Midtown Hotel
1041 Wake Towne Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27609
4.2 miles from the Sheraton
(919) 821-3400

The hotel room rate is $157 for a king room with sofa bed. Make sure you mention “National Agri-Marketing Fall Room Block” when making your reservations. The hotel cutoff date is September 5. Call the hotel to make a reservation, 1 (800) 321-2211, or reserve your room online.

The early bird registration date is this Tuesday, September 6. If you haven’t registered for Fall Conference yet, there is still time to do so at the lower rate. Register today and save yourself some money!

Check out the Fall Conference Website for all the information you will need in Raleigh!

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