Badger NAMA Grape-Picking Adventure

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 , 8:01 am

Badger NAMA membersAbout 20 Badger NAMA members braved the chill of Wisconsin’s fall September air to experience a firsthand look at the state’s winemaking industry while raising funds for NAMA students.

The UW-Platteville and UW-Madison student NAMA chapters utilized an offer from Botham Vineyards & Winery to help with the annual grape harvest in exchange for donations to each chapter’s treasury.

Volunteers spent the day walking in teams of two down each side of a row of grapes, clipping bunches from the vines and putting them into lugs that hold approximately 25 pounds of grapes. The lugs were then hauled to the winery to be crushed.

About 40 percent of Botham’s grape crop was harvested that day, which will be made into a Wisconsin Dry Red Wine called Uplands Reserve. Uplands Reserve is the only red wine made solely from grapes grown at Botham Vineyards. Botham supplements their crop with grapes grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York and make 10 wines, four of which are red and six white.

This was a significant fund-raising opportunity for both student NAMA chapters,” said Sarah Botham of Botham Vineyards.

She also said that both the professional and student NAMA volunteers received an education about one of Wisconsin’s alternative ag sectors.

“People generally have a very romantic perception of wine making, but agriculture is very much involved,” Botham said.

Sarah Botham owns Botham Vineyards and Winery with her husband, Peter, in Barneveld, Wis. Sarah is also the UW-Madison student NAMA advisor. For more information about Botham Vineyards & Winery, visit their website at http://www.bothamvineyards.com.

Mark Your Calendars

Written by NAMA on Monday, October 16, 2006 , 8:02 am

Mark your calendars for the regional Best of NAMA Ceremonies. These regional ceremonies are celebrations of those entries that won first or merit in the regional competition.

Entries that win first or merit at the regional competition and score above the minimum point standard are eligible to advance to the national competion in February. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the national Best of NAMA ceremony which kicks off the 2007 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show, Think Big, April 11 in Dallas, Texas.

Dates for the regional ceremonies are below:

Region III – January 11, 2007
Fargo, ND

Region IV – January 18, 2007
Chicago, IL

Region II – TBD
Kansas City, MO

For more information on the regional Best of NAMA ceremonies, keep checking the NAMA Calendar at http://www.namablog.org/?page_id=16.

NAMA’s Newest Advocates

Written by NAMA on Monday, October 16, 2006 , 8:01 am

NAMA Advocate ProgramNAMA is proud to announce 3 new additions in the Advocate Program since the beginning of summer. The goal of the new advocates is to help recruit new members and advocate for the organization.

Special thanks to our new advocates:

Kara McDonald, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association
Jeff Winton, Schering-Plough Corp.
Tom Mahoney, Lee Publications

For a complete list of NAMA Advocates visit, http://www.nama.org/advocate.

If you are interested in becoming an advocate, you will receive membership materials from the NAMA office to help you get started. In addition, you will get the satisfaction of helping the organization and you’ll be recognized in the NAMA News section of AgriMarketing magazine, NAMA e-news and Grassroots newsletter. You’ll also be recognized at the Agribusiness Forum and the Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show with a ribbon on your name badge. You will also be invited to the “First Timer/Leader” reception at the conference.

Start advocating today! Sign-up at http://www.nama.org/advocate/advocatesignup.htm.

Ethanol: Distilling Hope from Hype with North Central NAMA

Written by NAMA on Friday, October 13, 2006 , 8:46 am

North Central PanelBeginning the 2006-07 NAMA year, the North Central Chapter recently held its first meeting, Sept. 28, themed, Ethanol: Distilling Hope from Hype.

Drawing more than 35 members, the panel featured three industry experts: Gerald Tumbelson, president of the National Corn Growers Association; Randy Doyal, chief executive officer of Al-Corn Clean Fuel; and Ralph Groschen, senior marketing specialist in biofuels from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Each panelist offered different perspectives on the fast-paced ethanol industry.

“We’re not going to quit consuming oil. We just have to add to it,” says Tumbelson, pointing out that renewable fuels, such as ethanol, will not just help meet the country’s need for petroleum, but also to meet the growing demand.

Also noting the fuel versus food issue that’s been raised, Tumbelson says, “We really do produce food. Food will always be number one. People will be number one.”

All three presenters pointed to the need for constant improvement of the ethanol manufacturing process and efficiency, as well as the transition to new renewable fuel options. One example: converting celluloses (such as corn stalks) into ethanol.

While research in this area is advancing, Groschen also cautions that infrastructure and logistics of sourcing celluloses needs to be considered. Details from picking up corn stalks to dealing with weather at harvest can impact the product.

Panelists point out that addressing the nation’s energy crisis goes beyond just sourcing renewable fuels. Doyal notes there is a wide-difference in miles-per-gallon efficiency for vehicles that run on E85. Some show no difference compared to use with regular fuel, while others show a decrease in efficiency.

Effort needs to come from the auto manufacturers to create these efficiencies. It is possible, Doyal adds, referencing a university competition, where students created a 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency with E85.

“It’s frustrating when GM owns Saab. Saab in Sweden owns a 995 turbo in flex fuel that gets 20 percent more in fuel economy and more horsepower, but they aren’t importing it,” says Doyal.

As fast as the ethanol industry is growing, panelists’ comments imply there are numerous misconceptions amongst the general public.

A special thank you goes to Myrna Krueger of Colle+McVoy for moderating the panel, Padilla Speer Beardsley for hosting the meeting and Leslie Shuler of CHS for securing the speakers.

Chicago NAMA Members “Find the Time”

Written by NAMA on Friday, October 13, 2006 , 8:45 am

ChicagoNAMAIt seems that ‘not having enough time’ is a common problem these days. During a recent program by the Chicago NAMA Chapter, members learned successful time management skills from Frank Reed. Reed is the Staff Development Manager and Head Trainer for Rural Press Ltd., Sydney, Australia. Rural Press is the parent company for Feedstuffs and Farm Progress Companies.

Seventeen members enjoyed an hour-long program at Pheasant Run Resort in Saint Charles where they evaluated their own time management skills and learned tips on how to become more efficient. After the program, members enjoyed a cocktail hour and had a chance to network with peers in the industry.

Julia Goebel, Rhea & Kaiser, was the winner of an iPod shuffle, the door prize for the event.

Special thanks to Sarah Muirhead of Feedstuffs for coordinating the speaker, to Farm Progress Companies for their sponsorship of the speaker, to Frank Reed for his enlightening presentation, and to Jeff Walter & Ben Church of Rhea & Kaiser for coordinating the meeting arrangements.

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