NAMA Member Passing

Written by NAMA on Thursday, December 17, 2009 , 12:48 pm

Longtime NAMA member, M. (Milton) James Robertson, 82, of Ballwin, Missouri died at home on December 12, 2009.

Robertson joined Monsanto’s textile company in New York in 1968 as Director of Marketing Communications. As such, he was responsible for Wear-Dated communications programs. He developed the partnership promotion concept involving mills, manufacturers and retailers participating in the commercial content of four network television programs each year.

He moved to St. Louis in 1976 to assume similar responsibilities at Monsanto’s agricultural division which involved extensive world travel. During his tenure, he was deeply involved in what became known as the Lasso Patent Expiration Strategy as well as the worldwide introduction of Roundup.

Upon his retirement from Monsanto in 1988 and at their behest, he formed BTB Communications (Advertising Agency). Clients included Monsanto, John Deere, the Potash Corporation, Missouri Southern Seed Corporation and other agricultural accounts before his retirement in 1992.

Extracurricular activities included directorships and/or chairmanships of the Gateway chapter of NAMA, the St. Louis AgriBusiness Club, Solutions Magazine, and the Kirkwood- Webster YMCA. He was involved in the panel participation in the annual selection of Miss Agriculture-USA.

Robertson was preceded in death by his parents, David and Anne Cummin Robertson, his sister, Jean Larson, his first wife, the former Caroline Totten of Teaneck, NJ. (1985) and his beloved grandson, Michael Robertson.

He is survived by his wife, Margie Nehring Robertson, a daughter, Lynda Pasqueretta of Hawthorne, NJ and her husband Thomas, a son, David Robertson of Demarest, NJ, and his wife, Marilyn, and two stepchildren, Pamela Yungermann and David Yungermann and his wife Carla, of Missouri. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Carole, Christine, and Thomas Pasqueretta, Matthew and Joseph Robertson, and Paige and Louis Yungermann.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to The Michael Robertson Foundation, 95 Stewart St., Demarest, N.J. 07627.

Happy Holidays

Written by NAMA on Thursday, December 17, 2009 , 12:48 pm

xmasThe NAMA Staff wishes you all a happy and safe holiday season.

The NAMA office will be closed from December 24 through January 3. But don’t worry, if you need to get a hold of us, just shoot us an email and we’ll respond ASAP. Our email addresses are listed below.

We’ll see you next year!

Jenny Pickett – jennyp@nama.org
Debbie Brummel – debbieb@nama.org
Kathi Conrad – kathic@nama.org
Linda Schaefer – lindas@nama.org
Sherry Pfaff – sherryp@nama.org
Penny Graham – pennyg@nama.org

Trends in Agriculture Examines Connections in Ag Community

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 , 11:40 am

David KohlIn the opening session of the 2009 Trends in Agriculture conference, the speaker noted that 99% of the digital age (those 30 and under) are two generations removed from the farm.

And in the closing session, one panelist emphatically stated, “The social contract between the American public and American farmer is broken.”

These are among the leading challenges to “Connecting to the New Ag Community,” the theme of this year’s conference, held November 10-11, in Kansas City. But throughout, panelists and attendees alike focused on understanding communities and using available tools to implement effective connections.

Opening speaker Dr. David M. Kohl established the framework by “Defining the New Ag Community.” His perspective included both the theoretical (he is Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management, Virginia Tech University) and the practical (and also President of AgriVisions, LLC, a value-added dairy business).

While he emphasized the need to be forward thinking (“What is your youth strategy?” he challenged at one point.), he also cautioned attendees to be extremely selective of new opportunities, warning that digital tools, if not used properly, will commoditize you.

Producer PanelTrends attendees got the chance to see how producers felt in the second session, “Living and Working in the New Ag Community.” David Cleavinger, a fifth-generation Texas grain farmer, got more than a few chuckles as he shared how he accidently joined Facebook when, in logging in to see his sister’s photos, he unknowingly sent invitations to his entire address book.

He balanced that gaffe with a story about texting his combine-operating-son while in Japan on a trade mission, and drove his point home by pointing out, “You can’t discount the coffee shop—no matter what the technology, the communication is going to be there.”

Daphne Holterman, owner of Rosy-Lane Holsteins, a dairy farm and milk trucking company, shared techniques she has used to reach out to the community, a reluctant activism that started when she began to see the family farm as a (family) business that happened to be a farm.

And, Karen Ross, President, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), warned of the dangers of “mistaking consumers’ love of our product for how neighbors saw our impact on their daily life.” Faced with negative pushback to the growth of vineyards, CAWG implemented a series of multi-stakeholder forums out of which has grown a very successful Sustainable Winegrowing Program.

Tuesday morning began with what may have been the most challenging session of the conference to traditional marketers as the “How Marketers are Building New Community Ties” panel examined mobile technology and social media.

NAMA Trends SessionJoe Grigsby, Director of Mobile Strategy, VML, pointed out that 85% of Americans have mobile phones, while only 73% have Internet access. “The key opportunity is in determining how we as marketers can provide utility and value to our customers in a way that leverages the unique value of a mobile device’s persistent connectivity.”

Joel Jaeger, President of COMMODITY UPDATE, the leading provider of Agricultural Information to mobile phones, showed how his company puts this philosophy into action by “harnessing the kind of information we rely on to make business decisions and being able to have access to it when we need it.”

Leslie Bradshaw, Director of Engagement and Public Affairs, New Media Strategies, showed how she uses social media – tweeting, twitpic-ing and blogging – to expedite connections and raise awareness as she tells the story of her family’s Bradshaw Vineyards.

Most ag products are still sold through multiple tiers, and the session, “Distribution Chain Reaction” offered an opportunity to look at how new technologies are being used in channel.

Ed Martin, President and CEO of Influence Media Network (IMN), the national distributor for Thomson Grass Valley’s MEDIAEDGE Digital Media Management System (DMMS) presented that product as “the last real push media,” noting particularly that it is an “opportunity not just to push information, but to have it there when the user is ready to grab it.”

Larry Schermerhorn, Vice President, Farm Supply, Country Operations of CHS Inc., reminded marketers in attendance that “all the information you’re getting out to growers, is what the grower comes into the retailer to ask about.”

So, how do you wrap up a far-ranging discussion of ag communities and send marketers back to their office with something to think about?

Lindsay Hill, Owner of ABN Radio and recently elected National Vice President of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting moderated the  panel discussion, “Speaking for Agriculture.”

“How do consumers view producers?” she asked in opening the session. “How do we reach them? What is the most notable shift in relationship?”

Gary Baise, Principal, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz PC, a law firm specializing in agriculture litigation and corporate governance issues was blunt in his response. “They don’t like us. They don’t like the way we produce the food. They don’t like mass production. And it’s manifesting itself in the form of lawsuits,” he said.

Tami Craig Schilling, Director of Strategic Communications and Operations, Monsanto, offered further explanation. “Our platform has been science; I no  longer believe it can be,” she said. “There needs to be an emotional connection, a relationship, a personal face in our industry.”

William (Bill) Boehm, recently retired Senior Vice President and Officer, The Kroger Company, offered another consideration, the changing structure of agriculture. “Agriculture today is so dramatically different than the American public or Congress envisions,” he noted. “Concentrated agriculture presents an air pollution problem and water pollution problem that didn’t exist in 50s. Consumers today are seeing a vulnerability in the way we produce food.”

Charlie Arnot, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Food Integrity, summarized his organization’s research by saying, “Consumers still hold farmers in high esteem, but they don’t think what we’re doing today is farming. Intensification, increase in scale, use of technology, nonfamily labor … they don’t believe that’s farming.”

So, how does the ag community overcome such a dichotomy?

awards2009Panelists agreed that it requires genuine connections with consumers. And those will be based on trust in the competence of the food system as well as confidence in shared values.

As part of the conference, NAMA also named its Professional Development Awards of Excellence. Winners include: Lou Ireland, Pioneer Hi-Bred International (Marketing Communications); Deron Johnson, Rhea + Kaiser Marketing Communications (Public Relations); Gary Robertson, Fort Dodge Animal Health (Product/Species Management); and Pete Weil, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal (Sales).

NAMA’s Next Webinar is This Thursday!

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 , 11:40 am

web123NAMA’s next webinar on Emerging Technologies, will take place this Thursday, December 3 at 1:00 p.m. (Central Time).

Mobile and emerging technologies are making it easier for direct marketers to connect with their customers.  But this landscape can be intimidating and confusing if you don’t know how to navigate it.

This session will introduce you to mobile marketing and its ecosystem of players.  Learn how to launch a mobile marketing campaign from experts who have done it successfully – and see what other emerging technologies are on the horizon.

Angela Ridpath and Pamela Sandler have helped national brands like Payless ShoeSource, Burger King and Beauty Brands adapt and excel in this era of change.  And they can help you, too!

To register for this webinar, please visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=7.

Best of NAMA Regional/Chapter Events

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 , 11:39 am

nama2010Mark your calendars to save the date of a Best of NAMA ceremony near you! The following regions and chapters will be hosting events. If you’re planning an event and it’s not listed below, please contact Debbie Brummel at debbieb@nama.org in the NAMA office about your event.

Region II ~ January 7
This Best of NAMA event will take place on January 7, 2010, at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, MO.

Cost for the event is $65. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the awards presentation at 7:00 p.m.

To register for the Region II Best of NAMA event visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=9.

A block of rooms is being held at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center and the Hyatt Shuttle will be available to take you to and from Boulevard Brewing. The hotel cut-off date is December 31. Make your reservations by calling 816-421-1234. Make sure you mention “NAMA” to receive the discounted rate of $109.

For more information visit www.nama.org/amc/bon/region2.htm.

Region III ~ January 14
The Region III Best of NAMA ceremony will take place on January 14, 2010, at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

Cost for the event is $70. The program will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the awards presentation at 7:30 p.m.

To register for the Region III Best of NAMA ceremony visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=10.

More information on hotel accommodations coming soon. Visit www.nama.org/amc/bon/region3.htm for the latest details.

Region IV Best of NAMA ~ January 21
The Region IV Best of NAMA ceremony will take place on January 21, 2010, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Madison, WI.

The cost of this event is $65. The program will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. and the awards presentation at 8:00 p.m.

To register for the Region IV Best of NAMA ceremony visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=11.

You can make hotel reservations at the Crowne Plaze by calling 877-454-5025. Make sure you mention “NAMA” to get the special rate of $104. The hotel cut-off date is January 7.

For the latest information on the Region IV Banquet visit www.nama.org/amc/bon/region4.htm.

Carolinas/Virginia NAMA ~ January 26
The Carolinas/Virginia NAMA chapter will hold their Best of NAMA event at the Chatham Hill Winery in Morrisville, NC.

More information on this event will be coming soon…stay tuned to www.nama.org/amc/bon/carvir.html.

Western Pacific NAMA ~ February 9
Western Pacific NAMA will be hosting a Best of NAMA event at the VIP tent at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA.

The event will be a reception/mixer from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

More details about the cost for this event are on the way. Visit www.nama.org/amc/bon/westpac.htm for the latest information.

Awards Nomination Deadline January 15

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 , 11:39 am

The deadline for submitting nominations for the Agribusiness Leader and NAMA Marketer of the Year awards is January 15, 2010. Both awards will be presented at the 2010 Agri-Marketing Conference, April 21-23 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Agribusiness Leader of the Year
The Agribusiness Leader of the Year is NAMA’s highest honor. The award honors an outstanding leader in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness related areas. Nominees do not need to be NAMA members.

Fill out the nomination form on-line now at http://www.nama.org/awards/agribusinessform.htm. Or download the Agribusiness Leader Nomination form in an Adobe .PDF format by visiting, http://www.nama.org/awards/agbusapplication.pdf.

Note: The Agri-Marketer of the Year Award was changed to the Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award in 2001. Below is an honor roll of the past Agri-Marketer/Agribusiness Leader of the Year awards.

2009 Leon Westbrock, CHS, Inc.
2008 Rick Tolman, National Corn Growers Association
2007 Dale Ludwig, MO Soybean Assn. & MO Soybean Merchandising Council
2006 George Thornton, Agriliance, LLC
2005 James Irwin, Case IH
2004 Bernie Staller, National FFA Organization
2003 Richard Clauss, Hilmar Cheese Company/Clauss Dairy Farms
2002 A. Charles Fischer, Dow AgroSciences
2001 Emmett Barker, Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers
2000 R.W. “Bud” Porter, Deere & Company
1999 Bruce Bickner, DeKalb-Monsanto Global Seed Group
1998 William Kirk, DuPont Agricultural Enterprises
1997 Arnold Donald, Monsanto
1996 H.D. “Harry” Cleberg, Farmland Industries, Inc.
1995 Edward McMillan, Purina Mills
1994 Dwayne Andreas, Archer Daniels Midland Company
1993 Robert Wichmann, Pioneer Hi-Bred Intl., Inc.
1992 Gary Parker, Lindsay Manufacturing Co.
1991 William Griffith, American Cyanamid
1990 Thomas Dille, Rhone-Poulenc Ag
1989 Nicholas Babson, Babson Brothers Co.
1988 Olin Andrews, Farmers Hybrid Companies
1987 David Garst, Garst Seed Co.
1986 Leo Bontempo, Novartis Seeds
1985 Dr. Kenneth Bader, American Soybean Assn.
1984 John Churchman, Ford Tractor Operations
1983 Owen Newlin, Pioneer Hi-Bred Intl., Inc.
1982 Nicholas Reding, Monsanto Ag Group
1981 Robert Lanphier, AGMED, Inc.
1980 Joe Ecker, Gehl Co.
1979 Robert Book, Elanco Animal Products/Eli Lily Co.
1978 Roland Hendrickson, Pfizer Ag Division
1977 Donald Fritz, Farmers Hybrid Co.
1976 Harold Noren, DeKalb Ag Research
1975 E.W. Cook, Cook Industries
1974 Walt Buescher, Allis Chalmers
1973 Bill Bricker, Diamond Shamrock Chemical
1972 Fred Stines, Successful Farming
1971 Del Walker, Funk Brother Seed Co.
1970 Dr. James Affleck, American Cyanamid
1969 Lyle Yost, Hesston Corp.
1968 Dr. Robert Spitzer, Murphy Products
1967 Emory Dearborn, Ford Tractor Operations
1966 Maurice Turner, Amchem Products
1965 George Varnes, Eli Lily Co.
1964 Morris Reid, J.I. Case
1963 W.J. Jensen, Butler Manufacturing
1962 Don Murphy, Wallace’s Farmer

NAMA Marketer of the Year
NAMA recognizes its active members with senior management of marketing and/or sales responsibilities with the NAMA Marketer of the Year award. 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 directly to ag producers. Nominees MUST be NAMA members.

Fill out the nomination form on-line now at http://www.nama.org/awards/namamarketerform.htm or download the NAMA Marketer of the Year nomination form in an Adobe .PDF format by visiting, http://www.nama.org/awards/mktrapplication.pdf.

Please note: This award was created in 2001. Below are the past NAMA Marketer of the Year award recipients.

2009 Jon Anderson, OPEN ROADS
2008 Dave Rhylander, Delta & Pine Land – Division of Monsanto Co.
2007 Phil Johnson, Colle+McVoy
2006 Tom Davis, Meredith Corporation
2005 Rick Turner, Gustafson, LLC
2004 Raymond Hoyum, IMC Global
2003 James Seaver, AGCO Corporation
2002 Donald Hecht, Elanco Animal Health
2001 Wendell Knehans, Monsanto-Corn States

This Web site is hosted by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).
NAMA is not responsible for comments or views expressed by users.