WMT’s Bill Alford Chaired Associates, Led National NAMA

Written by NAMA on Friday, February 22, 2008 , 12:20 pm

Revered farm broadcaster and long-time member of the NAFB family, William (Bill) Alford, 81, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Saturday, Feb. 16 following a brief illness.

Bill may be best known for his 24-year career at WMT AM/FM/TV in Cedar Rapids, where he was a popular farm broadcaster and farm editor. His dedication and passion for his work led to his induction into the WMT Radio Hall of Fame.

Born Feb. 4, 1927, in Fargo, N.D., to Ernest and Tressie Alford, Bill grew up on the Alford Guernsey Dairy Farm, which provided the foundation for a lifelong career in farm broadcasting (radio and TV) and sales.

Bill served with the U.S. Army paratroops occupation forces in Japan after World War II. He graduated from Iowa State University (ISU) in 1951 with a journalism degree. He was editor of the ISU Daily and named “Most Likely to Succeed” in his graduating class.

His farm broadcasting career began at WOI AM/FM/TV, Ames, Iowa, where he worked as an assistant to R.C. “Cap” Bentley, and reported market news on radio and TV. From there he moved to Amherst to work as the extension radio and TV editor for the University of Massachusetts Extension Service. He spent two-and-a-half years supplying a daily tape service to 14 New England radio stations and commuted to Boston for a weekly farm television show on WBZ-TV. His broadcast career then took him to Cincinnati where he worked for Bob Miller on WLW and “Everybody’s Farm” before joining WMT in 1957.

Sales claimed his talents in 1964 at WMT and he became National Sales Director. When WMT became part of Orion Broadcasting, Bill was named Ag Sales Director for all four Orion stations in Green Bay, Louisville, Evansville and Cedar Rapids.

In 1981, he became Ag Sales Director for Blair Radio, and finished his career with the Frank Magid & Associates research firm in 1987. He retired at age 62.

Lynn Ketelsen, of the Linder Farm Network, Owatonna, MN, credits his career to Alford, who he said, gave him a chance by awarding him a WMT scholarship. “He was truly a member of the NAFB family,” Ketelsen said. “Bill touched so many people in and out of our industry. It’s hard to assess his contributions right now, there are so many.”

Those contributions include earning national prominence as president of the Iowa chapter and also as national president of the National Agri-Marketing Association.

A member of NAFB since 1953, he was recognized with the Meritorious Service Award in 1974. He remained an active associate member and was elected as Chairman of the Associates several times. He also was on the original NAFB Sales/Marketing Board, leading the development of the first farm listener study conducted by NAFB.

“Bill was one of the finest, most positive and pro-active NAFB marketing pioneers,” said Gene Millard, emeritus member from St. Joseph, Mo. Gene credits Bill for transforming NAFB’s Sales/Marketing Board into a professional marketing organization.

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marilyn Larson Alford, and three daughters: Linda Fritts and husband, Jack, of Cedar Rapids, Amy Nakai of Plymouth, Minn., and Susan Boeckmann and husband, Neal, of Cedar Rapids. His four grandchildren are Lisa (David) Kesse, Jessica Fritts, David Nakai and Andrea Nakai. Also surviving is his stepmother, Verna Alford.

Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday evening, February 18, and funeral services are at 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 19, at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel of Memories. Burial will be at noon Wednesday, February 20, at Callender (Iowa) Cemetery.

Memorials contributions can be made to the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy or Camp Courageous.

Support the ABEF

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 , 1:52 pm

ABEF Donations are needed for the 2008 ABEF Silent Auction, held during the Agri-Marketing Conference, April 16-18 in Kansas City.

Please join your agri-marketing peers in supporting this worthwhile effort by donating to the auction. Fill out the on-line Pledge Form at http://www.nama.org/abef/silentauction/pledgeform.htm to indicate your donation and/or interest in the project by March 21, 2008, to be included in the auction catalog. Any worthwhile product or service will be gratefully accepted.

Please show your support of the ABEF and donate what you can (minimum of $50 value suggested). All proceeds from the Silent Auction support the NAMA Student Careers Program.

Please note that all media and service packages will be auctioned on-line. The on-line auction will take place at the end of March.

For more information on the ABEF and the Silent and On-Line Auctions visit, http://www.nama.org/abef/abef.html.

To make a pledge to the Auction visit, http://www.nama.org/abef/silentauction/pledgeform.htm.

For more information about the 2008 Agri-Marketing Conference visit, http://www.nama.org/amc.

Win an iPod NANO!

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 , 1:51 pm

iPod NANONAMA is launching a membership promotion and as a NAMA member we wanted you to be aware.

New members who join NAMA between January 1 and April 7, 2008, will be entered into a drawing for a 8GB iPod NANO.

In addition, existing NAMA members who recruit these new members will also be entered into the drawing. Just make sure when you recruit a member that they put your name in the “referred by” space on the membership application.

The drawing for the iPod will take place at the Connection Point Closing Reception on Thursday, April 17 at the 2008 Agri-Marketing Conference, but you need not be present to win.

Start recruiting members today and take home your new iPod after the conference!

Be a Part of the Connection Point

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 , 1:50 pm

Leading The ChargeEvery year at the Agri-Marketing Conference, professionals gather to explore the latest in techniques, trends and services. The Connection Point is an integral part of this event. If your target audience is the agri-marketer, you can’t afford to miss the 2008 Connection Point!

Over 1,200 agri-marketing professionals and students will be in Kansas City, April 16-18. These professionals include:

• Marketing executives from agribusiness companies
• Advertising agency professionals
• Public relations executives
• Media representatives
• Commodity and trade association professionals

These attendees have a significant amount of buying power. They are in charge of, or influence, media and promotions purchases. Getting exposure with these professionals could pay off for your company.

What happens in the Connection Point?

Receptions in the Trade Show
Wednesday, April 16, following the Best of NAMA Ceremony, the Trade Show will open with a Celebration Reception courtesy of DTN/The Progressive Farmer. Thursday evening will be a casual fun reception with roller roping and old time photography courtesy of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB).

Other Events in the Trade Show
In addition to the two receptions in the trade show, there will be a hot breakfast Thursday morning, courtesy of High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal in addition to the luncheon with a Country BBQ theme, courtesy of Truffle Media Networks and a break that afternoon sponsored by Gibbs & Soell with ice cream treats compliments of Hoard’s Dairyman magazine. Don’t forget to grab a cool beverage from the refreshment station courtesy of Farm Business Communications.

Trade Show Drawings
A 7” digital picture frame will be awarded at the end of each session to a trade show attendee. Plus, a grand prize drawing for an iPod NANO will be held at the end of the trade show session. Each booth will be provided a box to collect business cards, and they will be combined at the end of each session.

Virtual Trade Show
As an exhibitor at the Connection Point you will be featured as an exhibitor in the Virtual Trade Show. Trade show attendees can determine where you will be located and find out more about your organization before the event.

Relaxation Station
In addition to participating in the programs and events at the conference, you’ll be busy networking with peers, attending to business matters, etc. So stop by the Relaxation Station in the Connection Point to release any stress and ease any aches and pains. The Relaxation Station is sponsored by Nicholson Kovac.

To sign-up for a Trade Show booth in the Connection Point, visit http://nama.org/amc/ts/signup.htm.

To register for the 2008 Agri-Marketing Conference visit http://nama.org/amc/register.html.

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