How Well Will Your Next Idea Stick?

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:22 pm

Dan HeathWhen Gary Vorpahl of Hoard’s Dairyman magazine and chair of the American Business Media Agri Council, introduced keynoter Dan Heath as a “manic expressive,” NAMA Opening Session attendees didn’t have to wait long to see why the moniker fit.

The entrepreneur-turned-best-selling author began by debunking three highly disparate urban legends. Then, once the crowd was nodding, he quickly shifted into the theory that has made him (and his brother Chip) famous: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.

After extensive research in organizational and entrepreneurial behavior, the Heaths concluded that there are similarities in the way ideas are designed that predispose them to succeed. They’ve narrowed these patterns down to these common traits: the stickiest ideas are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional Stories.

Dan proceeded to demonstrate why not all ideas are created equal … substantiating his hypothesis with anecdotes and examples ranging from medical research to the U.S. Navy to online dating, with a dozen or more stops in between. Along the way, he also sprinkled in a number of hands-on tips, like why you want to “Anchor & Twist” (combine common sense to establish context uncommon sense to attract interest) or how to avoid “the Curse of Knowledge” (assuming everyone has your expertise).

It was a highly entertaining, energetic and informative kick-off to the conference program that left delegates thinking about how to present their own ideas a lot more powerfully!

Special thanks to American Business Media Agri Council for sponsoring the Opening General Session!

Web Community Innovator Shares Benefits of “We” at 2008 Conference

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:21 pm

Barry LibertAgri-marketers explore new ways to engage customers and colleagues.

Barry Libert, founder and CEO of one of Mzinga’s predecessor companies, Shared Insights, discussed social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies with NAMA conference attendees. Libert stressed the growing importance of interacting with customers, clients and colleagues on their terms, and making them an integral part of a company’s decision making process.

Using examples that varied from American Idol online fan clubs to communities created by Dell and GE Healthcare, he explained how drawing upon the creativity and ideas of individuals outside the walls of your organization can lead to innovation and increased profitability. Libert urged listeners to radically redefine the concept of “company” to include anyone interested in sharing ideas and contributing to an organization’s progress.

Throughout his discussion, he emphasized how simple it is to take organizations from “me” to “we.” He said everyone has a basic psychological need to share opinions and feel they’re valued.

“It’s profoundly human to be heard and give back,” Libert stated. He believes the principle of thinking and behaving with “we” in mind can be used to improve both personal and professional relationships, while making companies stronger in the process.

Much of Libert’s discussion was drawn from the book he helped co-author with 4,000 other people using wiki-based contributions, We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business.

Special thanks to John Deere & Syngenta for sponsoring the Second General Session!

Closing Presenter Emphasizes Connections as Key to Life Balance

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:20 pm

Mary LoVerde“You are never, ever going to get it all done.”

With that candid admission along with a heartfelt, personal story, three-time bestselling author Mary LoVerde commenced the Closing Session of the Agri-Marketing Conference on April 18, 2008.

LoVerde, an internationally recognized life balance expert, described the experiences that led her to a career change and what she discovered brings life’s true happiness: connections. Connections with yourself. Connections with family and friends. Connections with colleagues and clients.

“When you can’t keep up, connect!” she insisted.

LoVerde believes much of today’s workforce is disconnected and exhausted. Life balance benefits, she asserted, will be the single most important recruitment tool in the years ahead.

In addition to making more connections, LoVerde advised the audience to establish meaningful rituals that provide stability and predictability. She encouraged the audience to plan for romance, which includes embracing the language, art and beauty around us all.

“Our legacy will not be a stack of completed to-do lists,” she said.

Peppered with inspiring and humorous anecdotes, LoVerde’s session was greeted with roaring laughter and applause.

Special thanks to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and Elanco Animal Health for sponsoring the Closing Session!

University of Florida Wins Marketing Competition

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:19 pm

University of FloridaStudents from the University of Florida took first place at this year’s Student Marketing Competition, sponsored by Monsanto. The competition was held April 16-17 in Kansas City.

The University of Florida team had 11 students involved with this year’s project to market “Masher Meals.” The team spent the last several months doing market research, writing the marketing plan and developing a presentation.

The top six marketing teams this year were: First place, University of Florida; Second place, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Third place, University of Tennessee – Knoxville. Other finalists included: University of Delaware, Iowa State University, and New Mexico State University.

Students decide on a project and develop a plan to successfully bring the product or service to the marketplace. In developing their marketing plan, students follow the same practices and principles used by today’s marketing professionals. Teams submit a written plan summary prior to the competition and then make a formal presentation of their marketing plan to a panel of judges at the competition. The judges’ panel consists of marketing and agribusiness professionals.

Overall, 31 student NAMA chapters participated in the marketing competition. The competition is part of the annual Agri-Marketing Conference. Over 300 student members attended the conference.

For a complete list of all Student Awards and Scholarship Winners visit, and click on the “Students” button on the left.

Award Recipients Honored

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:18 pm

The recipients for the Agribusiness Leader and NAMA Marketer of the Year awards were honored during the 2008 Agri-Marketing Conference.

Agribusiness Leader of the Year
Rick Tolman, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, was presented with the Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award, NAMA’s highest honor, at the Opening General Session of the 2008 Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas City on April 17.

This award honors an outstanding leader in agribusiness, education, government service or other related areas.

Tolman has been a driving force in solidifying the demand for corn. The growing ethanol market is a real win for corn farmers and rural America. Today, ethanol has become a symbol of corn grower success. And it is the efforts surrounding the many successes of corn producers in 2007 that distinguish Rick among his peers. Acting Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Conner, had characterized the results of Congress in 2007 as fairly lackluster – except in agriculture. The energy bill, Water Resources Development Act, free trade agreements and developing the farm bill are examples of legislation Congress passed and paid attention to in 2007. And NCGA helped lead the charge for all of them–benefiting corn growers and all of agriculture.

With foresight and planning, Rick led the NCGA Corn Board in its strategic plan in mid-2006 to call for production of 15 billion bushels of corn, of which 5 billion bushels can be used for the production of 15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015. This blueprint was instrumental in the historic energy legislation signed by President George W. Bush in December 2007. The bill specifically calls for 15 billion gallons of ethanol from corn. Rick’s planning extends to NCGA action teams and committees, which are charged with implementing and executing the priorities of NCGA member states. Each team and committee creates three-year business plans to help chart the course for the current year and two years ahead. These plans have been instrumental in NCGA’s many accomplishments.

NAMA Marketer of the Year
Dave Rhylander, Marketing Lead for Delta & Pine Land – a new division of Monsanto, was presented with the NAMA Marketer of the Year Award during the Second General Session at the 2008 Agri-Marketing Conference on April 17 in Kansas City.

This award is the most prestigious honor awarded to an active member of the association and honors outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing. Nominees are solicited from agribusiness and related companies with overall marketing and/or sales responsibilities.

A 32-year veteran of Monsanto, Dave Rhylander is recognized as a visionary leader and highly innovative marketer not only within the ranks of his own company but also throughout the agribusiness industry. As U.S. Director of Traits Marketing for Monsanto, his creativity, sales and marketing skills have played a major role in driving the adoption of new trait technologies that have had a significant, positive impact on American farmers. Through aggressive marketing communication campaigns, grower on-farm trials and strategic pricing programs, Monsanto continues to be the trait leader within the industry. Dave has moved on to the Marketing Lead for Delta and Pine Land which is a new business unit of Monsanto.

In annual grower surveys, YieldGard and Roundup Ready Corn 2 technology has consistently received satisfaction ratings by more than 90 percent of those surveyed. “This shows we are not only getting broad farmer trial, but we are also meeting their established expectation at a much higher level than alternative trait providers,” explains Jim Zimmer, Vice President of U.S. Branded Business for Monsanto. “This is due to Dave’s leadership in always educating farmers on the real benefits Monsanto traits deliver.” Zimmer adds, “Dave Rhylander leads by example. He has a tremendous sense of urgency to put new products in the marketplace to help farmers.”

Leader Awards Announced

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:18 pm

NAMA named the organization’s national leadership award recipients during the Second General Session on April 17.

The President’s Award was given to Stephanie Gable, Fort Dodge Animal Health; Gary Vorpahl, Hoard’s Dairyman magazine, received the R.C. Ferguson Award; The Workhorse of the Year Award was given to Melissa Sanders, AdFarm; Patty Jolliffe, Weyforth-Haas Marketing, and Leigh Ann Cleaver, Blasdel Cleaver Schwalbe Communications, received the Outstanding Chair Awards; Paul Redhage, FMC Corporation, took home the Dilworth Award for Innovation; and four meritorious achievement awards were given to Sally Behringer, Nicholson Kovac; Jim Haist, Rhea & Kaiser; Melanie Acklin, Specialty Fertilizer Products; and Melinda Oberly, McCormick Company.

Attendees Get Connected

Written by NAMA on Thursday, May 1, 2008 , 12:17 pm

The 2008 Connection Point trade show kicked off with the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Best of NAMA Celebration reception on Wednesday, April 16. Attendees enjoyed a martini slide, tapas and great give-a-ways.

New to the Connection Point this year was the Relaxation Station, courtesy of Nicholson Kovac. The Relaxation Station provided attendees with an opportunity to get a massage and relax before heading on to their next activity.

A luncheon was held in the Connection Point on Thursday, April 17, courtesy of Truffle Media Networks. During the luncheon, several professionals were able to take time and visit with students in the mentor luncheon, courtesy of Technekes and MoKan NAMA. Attendees were also able to play a little Bingo during the luncheon. Participants took their Bingo Cards to various booths and once a Bingo was made they were entered into a drawing for a $250 Best Buy gift card. Other attendees took time to stroll through the booths and sign up for another chance to win a 7″ digital picture frame.

The Thursday afternoon break in the Connection Point gave attendees a chance to network during breakout sessions and enjoy some ice cream, courtesy of Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine. In addition, attendees had a chance to win a Wii system!

The closing reception, hosted by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, gave attendees a chance to practice their roping skills and get their picture taken in western cut-outs. In addition, attendees were able to make their final bids on items in the Silent Auction area and register for one last chance at a 7″ digital picture frame and an iPod NANO.

Congratulations to all the winners in the Connection Point!

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