The Professional Development Awards of Excellence Winners were honored at the Trends In Agriculture Luncheon on Wednesday, October 6, at The Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis.
NAMA honors its members with hands-on responsibility in each of the Professional Development Areas (PDA). This year, awards were given in the areas of Marketing Communications, Public Relations, Product/Species Management and Sales. The recipients shared their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in agri-marketing at the luncheon.
Marketing Communications ~ Scott McClure, Brighton Agency
A 25-year veteran of publishing and marketing communications, Scott has used his expertise and talents to advance the field of agricultural marketing on multiple levels.
Since joining Brighton in 2002, Scott has led the design and implementation of strategic marketing plans for major agricultural companies such as BASF, Monsanto, Delta and Pine Land Company, Horizon Ag, Bo-Jac Seed Company and Iron Solutions.
In 2009, Scott fostered a unique partnership between Monsanto and The Weather Channel to develop an online destination for targeted messaging. Dubbed Farmers’ Forecast (www.weather.com/farming), the innovative microsite offers farmers climate conditions, degree growing units and other important agricultural information in one location.
Scott also oversaw the creation of the Cotton Community (www.cottoncommunity.com), the ag industry’s first social networking site for cotton farmers. Since it went live in December 2008, Monsanto’s innovative networking website has had more than 4,300 individual visitors, while more and more farmers are steadily creating profiles and joining discussions with their regional neighbors about new variety performance.
Scott has served as a National NAMA committee member of the Agri-Marketing Conference Committee. He has also been a Student NAMA judge, Best of NAMA judge, and moderator for numerous Agri-Marketing seminar panel discussions.
Public Relations ~ Sue Otten, AGCO Corporation
Sue Otten, Director of Corporate Marketing & Brand Communications Worldwide, launched AGCO’s comprehensive social media initiative less than a year ago while educating global marketing teams on benefits, policies, technologies, tips & process. Learning as she went, Sue took calculated risks to get the buzz going both internally & externally. AGCO soon was ranked along with Coca-Cola & Delta Airlines with a perfect engagement score and won NAMA’s “Best of” award (Broadcast PR).
As Social Media tools were becoming more popular, it was important to develop a cohesive communications strategy and process within the company. This was important to not only ensure effective use of resources, but to also present a consistent digital message to our market and key stakeholders. Sue developed AGCO’s Social Media strategy and developed a process to get the many global brand and product divisions involved while still maintaining a unified Social Media presence.
At the same time, there was a need to develop the expertise of the AGCO employees. Sue, along with training specialists with the AGCO University department, developed a training course for employees to learn about not only AGCO’s Social Media objective, policy and philosophy, but also shows employees via a guided tour of AGCO’s social media sites how to access the sites and engage with customers, fans and followers.
Since joining AGCO two years ago, Sue has been an active member of NAMA, participating in the Southeastern chapter. Sue also participated in the NAMA mentor program, working with college students on their resumes and interview process, and helped to evaluate student groups before they went on to present at the National NAMA conferences.
Product/Species Management ~ Elena Lindemann, Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, LLC
Elena’s Marketing Manager position was created by Land O’Lakes in 2006 to develop and market value-added, R&D-based calf feeds for the dairy industry. Land O’Lakes is the US market leader in calf milk replacers, but had previously not focused on value added calf feeds.
Elena led a cross-functional new product development team to launch AMPLI-Calf dairy feeds in 2008 across the United States at more than 30 Land O’Lakes Purina Feed manufacturing locations. The new product’s performance on young calves caught producers’ attention. AMPLI-Calf starter feed was consumed by calves with 11% more intake in pounds, increased calves’ weight by 14%, and grew calves 3% taller than competitive feeds. Previously, dairy producers used commodity type feeds for this lifestage of calf (starter feeds).
Today, AMPLI-Calf dairy feed represents approximately a $5 million annual business and is projected to keep growing at more than 15% for each of the next 2 years. A product extension is planned for the “grower” lifestage.
Elena is an active member of NAMA, has attended local/regional meetings when not traveling in the field with customers.
Sales ~ Marvin Kokes, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Marvin Kokes knows the key to a successful sales career is in cultivating relationships—and that Marvin has mastered. He is a dedicated and well-respected ag professional who excels at his job and nurtures others to flourish as well.
Known as an ‘idea man,’ Kokes is responsible for contributing more than just time and energy, but ideas and connections to continue to build a stronger ag community. He brings this strength to his daily leadership responsibilities in the areas of corporate relations, sponsorships, convention and meetings for NCBA.
At National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Marvin has responsibilities that include sales for NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen and sponsorship sales for the NCBA Convention and Trade Show. What makes his task unique is living and selling the NCBA brand to a variety of corporate partners from animal health to largest of food service entities. Each day, Marvin will sell the value of supporting NCBA’s work to protect the business climate for cattle producers and building beef demand. Marvin provides partners a perspective of every segment of the business from the cow/calf operation through retail and foodservice. In his role at NCBA, he works with each sector of the beef business, providing information, connecting people and resources, and most of all, bringing the passion and spirit that defines the American farmer and rancher. Coming from a five generation Colorado ranch, he has significant accountability back home with his brothers and nephews, who depend on NCBA to represent their interests in Washington and the consumer marketplace.
Marvin’s commitment to professional development is evident in his work as the long-time leader of the Young Cattlemen’s Conference over the last 16 years. In 2010, he led the successful transformation of the Young Cattlemen’s Conference, which underwent a significant shift in sponsorship and itinerary. But Marvin never missed a beat, leading the largest YCC class across country, building young cattlemen into future industry leaders.
Each June, Marvin leads a group of approximately 60 young cattlemen on a cross-country tour, a literal farm to fork agricultural adventure. The trip is an experience that encompasses not just education, but also networking, friendship building and experiences that last a lifetime. It has been through this type of effort, the YCC program celebrated its 31st year with over 1000 proud alumni.
“Involved” would be the word to describe Kokes’ level of participation in the National Agri-Marketing Association. Starting as a NAMA student member at Colorado State, he’s been a part of the organization for more than ten years. He is currently a board member, was the President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NAMA and also serves on the NAMA Executive Committee.