Awards of Excellence

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 , 12:12 pm

Forum LogoIt’s time to begin thinking about who to nominate for the 2006 Professional Development Awards of Excellence. The deadline for submitting nominations is September 1, 2006.

These awards will be presented at the 2006 Agribusiness Forum, November 14-15, at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.

These awards honor NAMA members based on outstanding achievement in each of the Professional Development Areas (PDA): (1) Marketing Communications; (2) Product/Species Management; (3) Public Relations; and (4) Sales. Nominees must be NAMA members. Nominators should target individuals with direct planning and execution responsibilities in the respective Professional Development Area from agribusiness and related companies.

The deadline for submitting nominations is September 1. If you have any questions regarding these awards, please contact Eldon White at

To download the nomination form in an Adobe .PDF format, visit

You can also fill out the form on-line at


Written by NAMA on Monday, May 8, 2006 , 11:33 am

AMC LogoThe 2006 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show is over! If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to fill out the on-line survey at Your feedback will help in the planning of the 2007 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show, April 11-13 in Dallas!

On another note, we would like to thank all of our conference sponsors that helped to make this conference a success. We couldn’t have done it without you! For a complete listing of this year’s sponsors visit,

If you’re interested in signing up for a sponsorship for the 2007 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show in Dallas, e-mail Eldon White at the NAMA office at to convey your interest

Presentations Available

Written by NAMA on Monday, May 8, 2006 , 11:33 am

Some of the presentations from the Agri-Marketing Conference are available to hear and view. The audio of these presentations are available in an mp3 format and the slides in handout form in a pdf format.

If you were a registered attendee or participant of an event, you were sent the password to access the files. If you do not have the password, contact the NAMA office at

If you did not attend the event, visit and click on “Purchase” at the side of the event to order the file or password.

All That Jazz!

Written by NAMA on Monday, May 8, 2006 , 11:32 am

Best of ShowThe Best of NAMA Awards Ceremony kicked-off this year’s 2006 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show, April 19 in Kansas City.

The Best of NAMA awards competition recognizes excellence in creative agri-marketing communications. Companies and agencies must first qualify through regional competition in order to advance to the national level.

Entries were first judged at one of six regional levels in November and the top two entries were eligible to advance to the national judging which was held in February in Kansas City. Nearly 1,300 entries were submitted at the regional levels and 502 entries were judged at the national level.

This year’s award ceremony was emceed by John Phipps with John Phipps Communications and award presenters were Colleen Parr with Fleishman-Hillard and Jim Haist with Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications.

Best of ShowThree Best of Show awards were given in the areas of Advertising, Public Relations and Specialty categories. Below are the Best of Show winners:

Client: New Holland NA, Dawn Fox
Agency: Colle+McVoy, Jamie Moran
Message: New Holland is the machine for the future
Audience: Entrepreneurial livestock producers, row crop producers and rural lifestylers

Public Relations
Client: Syngenta Crop Protection, Kim Dawson
Agency: Gibbs & Soell, Inc., Caryn Caratelli
Message: To educate the media and consumers on Syngenta as leader in technology and soybean rust resources
Audience: Soybean growers and retailers

Client: Pfizer, Inc., Dan Kramer
Agency: Brown+Associates, Sue Brown
Message: Solitude IGR is new, scientifically-advanced technology for dealing with the age-old problem of flies in horse operations
Audience: Horse owners, trainers, breeders and equine veterinarians

Look to the AgriMarketing Magazine web site for a listing of all the winners at

General Session Presenters get Conference attendees all Jazzed up!

Written by NAMA on Monday, May 8, 2006 , 11:32 am

by Randy Happel (North Central NAMA)

Three diverse topics and equally diverse presentation styles, the three professionals who addressed the general sessions of the 2006 NAMA Agri-Marketing Conference certainly provided valuable insights and crucial considerations for the agri-marketers in attendance.

James CantonIn his discussion titled “The Extreme Future: Top Trends that will Reshape Business and Society,” James Canton, PhD, Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures, outlined key changes likely to influence agriculture moving forward. “A new era is emerging that will demand you embrace learning more about the next generation,” said Canton. He sited changing demographics of both consumers and the workforce as a component of this new era, and suggested the importance of collaboration of people in different places in a different manner, including competitors, because doing so will benefit all parties.

“The combination of cross generations (Gen X, Gen Y and Baby Boomers) coupled with innovation will become a key opportunity to be exploited by all industries, but especially agriculture,” Canton stated. “Aging Baby Boomers will transform everything.” Canton believes “functional foods” and the convergence of trends are key opportunities for agriculture, where what we “eat” will predispose what we “treat” as foods with built-in attributes and will soon dictate customized diets.

Canton feels the acceptance of a culturally diverse workforce will be critical to the future success of agriculture-based companies and marketers. “They may not look like you, or act like you, but the future of your company can lie in your acceptance of their ideas and pre-dispositions because they represent the expectations of the future,” Canton said. “Industries and companies will disappear if they don’t change their mindset of the newly emerging workforce.”

The great challenge for agriculture will be to meet the need for increased grain production due to the demands of a growing world population. This will be especially difficult given the presence of certain threats … global warming, pollution, extreme weather conditions, water rights, food bio-terrorism, the end of cheap energy and increased competition.

Canton sees bio-fuels, Ethanol, Hybrid/Hydrogen power and bio-farming as great opportunities for agricultural interests. Nutritional discoveries converging with production agriculture also hold great promise, where nutrients specifically engineered for specific individuals will completely change the way food is produced.

Finally, Canton believes that adoption of changing technology will dictate how people make transactions in the future, and how marketers will interact with customers. “With over five billion cell phones worldwide, all functioning as transaction portals to buy, sell or be influenced in real time, what will be your strategy,” Canton asked.

Laura RiesLaura Ries, President, Ries & Ries, in her presentation titled “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR” suggests it’s publicity that builds brands, not advertising. “It’s not enough to be first, but rather, to get into the mind and establish your brand,” says Ries. “And that can only happen with the credibility that publicity provides.”

Ries contends that the media doesn’t find value in writing about what products are “better” since doing so represents a subjective judgement. The real value in building a brand comes through word of mouth and third party endorsement, not what you are saying about yourself (i.e. advertising). “PR gets you into people’s minds, advertising re-affirms what PR establishes.”

Ries does believe that advertising is necessary, but can only be effective if the idea is already in the mind of consumer. “It’s the credibility factor … what you’re saying about yourself versus what others are saying about you that forms the distinction between advertising and PR. Advertising can only serve to reinforce what is already in the mind.”

Ries used an analogy of advertising and PR to a hammer and nail, where PR is the nail, the sharp object that penetrates the mind, while advertising is the hammer—the blunt force that pounds away but by itself rarely makes the impact. “PR establishes the brand; advertising maintains the brand and accelerates it.”

In order for a brand to be truly successful over the long haul, Ries encourages marketers to seek as much publicity and public relations exposure as possible. Word of mouth and third party spokesperson endorsements are critical, followed by company publicity and PR for your CEO. She contends that product hype is created by talk among customers resulting in media attention and subsequent publicity that reinforces brand credibility.

Ries also cautions that marketers should not use advertising in an attempt to counter negative PR. “You can’t fight adverse publicity with paid advertisements that ‘pound’ into people what you want them to believe,” Ries says. “Again, it all comes back to the issue of credibility.”

Dr. Barrie Richardson, Dean of the Frost School of Business at Centenary College, in his entertaining presentation comprised of parables and magic titled “The Plus 10% Principle—How to Get Extraordinary Results from Ordinary People” provided various concepts to assist managers in getting better performance from their employees.

“God made us all extraordinary, but the immense potential we have is limited,” contends Richardson. “The more competitive things are, the smaller the margin is to be in the winner’s circle. To be extraordinary, all you have to do is pull out of where you are and expect more.”

“If we have all this capacity,” Richardson asks, “why is it that our performance, on balance, is so ordinary?” Richardson cites the resourcefulness of individuals in devising different ways to accomplish things as the key. Opening the mind to accomplishing goals and completing tasks in a different, non-conventional way is what makes ordinary people extraordinary. Getting “stuck” in our groups and finding the deviant person who devises a different way is what makes the difference.

Instead of problem solvers, Richardson suggests looking for opportunity finders. “There exists a lot of different ways to approach and solve problems and tasks, and those who are the most resourceful in their approach are the ones who will be the most successful.”

Richardson shared several practical techniques managers can employ to get workers to voluntarily want to give their best efforts. Begin by creating an environment where workers feel secure and safe. They can’t be made to feel like they are disposable. A very powerful motivator can be to simply ask for help. Asking for help tells a worker that he or she is needed. Richardson suggests that being an empathetic listener is also key, which means truly listening and understanding, without judgement. Additionally, Richardson contends that everyone wants to be needed … so tell them you need them. And lastly, few things can be more effective in motivating extraordinary behavior than a hand-written note for a job well done.

Albeit simple things, it’s the humanly acts we often take for granted that can produce extraordinary results from ordinary people. “Come to the edge and don’t be afraid to fall, but rather, be prepared to fly! For only a person who risks, is truly free.”

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