Quick Response Codes – The Next Big Thing in Agricultural Marketing?

Written by NAMA on Friday, February 18, 2011 , 8:34 am

Chances are if you’ve picked up a magazine, browsed a supermarket aisle or checked out billboards, you may have noticed an unusual, square black/white graphic in the corner of an increasing number of advertisements and labels.

Quick response (QR) codes are two dimensional bar codes intended to be read by camera-equipped mobile phones or smartphones – and they’re beginning to get a foothold in the many marketing campaigns across the globe. Information encoded in the code can direct the viewer to additional product advertising, coupons, sweepstakes, online sales, subscription services, traffic driving incentives, contact information, etc., all with a simple swipe of their phone.  Additionally, some print media are using QR codes to direct readers to online videos, product information or other value-added content to help support their stories.

But how can QR codes fit into agriculture marketing and media?

Join Ken Rohman, SVP and Director of Digital Services at archer>malmo, as he presents NAMA’s next webinar on Thursday, March 10, at 1:00 pm central time.  Ken has spent the last ten years in the trenches of interactive and digital marketing.  His background includes digital strategy formulation and deployment, along with key tactical elements.

He will discuss QR codes, how they work, and creative ways they’ve already been used in marketing and media.  Additionally, he’ll discuss the possibilities of QR codes as a viable option for agricultural companies and publications.

In the meantime, you can find some additional information on QR codes at:

Cost for the webinar is $50. To register, please visit http://www.nama.org/ConferenceRegistration/Default.aspx?confid=33.

Region III Best of NAMA Awards Banquet

Written by NAMA on Friday, February 18, 2011 , 8:34 am

The State Historical Society of Iowa building provided a unique venue for the Region III Best of NAMA Awards Banquet on January 27.  Over 100 people gathered that evening for dinner before moving into the auditorium for the awards ceremony.

Ken Root, a veteran agricultural reporter, announced the first place and merit winners for the region, which includes the Cornbelt, Iowa, North Central, and Northern Prairie Chapters.  The evening concluded with the Best of Show winners announced in the Advertising and Public Relations categories.

The Advertising Best of Show winners were South Dakota Corn Growers Association and Paulsen Marketing for their “South Dakota Corn Growers True Environmentalist Teaser Campaign – http://www.trueenvironmentalists.com.”  The Public Relations Best of Show winners were Midwest Dairy Association and Demeter Communications for “Midwest Dairy Academy for Retail Excellence.”

All first and merit winners are eligible to advance to the national judging. They received an email from the national NAMA office the next day with instructions on how to advance their entries. Those entries that win at the national judging will be announced at the Best of NAMA Ceremony that kicks off the 2011 Agri-Marketing Conference, April 13-15, at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.

Jeff Simmons Named Agribusiness Leader of the Year

Written by NAMA on Friday, February 18, 2011 , 8:33 am

NAMA has named Jeff Simmons, President, Elanco Animal Health, as the 2011 Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the Opening General Session of the 2011 Agri-Marketing Conference, “Harvesting Ideas,” April 14, 2011, in Kansas City, Missouri. The award honors outstanding leaders in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness related areas who exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

Jeff Simmons is a dynamic, young, visionary leader that has positioned Elanco for significant innovation and growth. Located in Greenfield, Indiana, the global company is comprised of 2,300 employees with offices in more than 40 countries.

Jeff’s previous role of executive director, global research and development/global strategy, laid the foundation for the company’s transformation into the innovative, booming organization he’s been at the helm of since 2008. In the past six years, the company has obtained more product approvals in the United States than any other animal health company. In fact, the company is planning for six major product launches in the first four months of 2011 alone. This explosive innovation has propelled sales growth, rising from $995.8 million in 2007 to $1.35 billion in 2010. Th ecompany is on track to meet a global plan of doubling company size in five years. Already, Elanco has moved from number 8 to number 5 in the industry.

Raised on a dairy and grape farm in New York, Simmons intricately understands the lifestyle and business of agribusiness. In fact, Simmons says maintaining ownership of the 70-acre grape operation is part of what keeps him grounded and focused on what’s important.

While his business acumen has played an important role in Elanco’s growth, he is a highly motivational leader who has focused on engaging employees in the company’s vision of “Food and companionship enriching lives.” Jeff understands the most inspired, loyal employees feel they are a part of something bigger. Under his leadership, the company has focused on being part of the food production system, and the important role animal health and technology plays in that larger system. As such, fighting world hunger and pursuing technologies to provide a safe, affordable, abundant food supply, has become one of the company’s five social pillars. The company has committed to help end world hunger for 100,000 families through a partnership with Heifer International®.

Elanco’s first project with Heifer began in 2009, supporting animal gifts in the Lampung province of Indonesia. In total, the five-year project will provide 2,100 families with cattle, ducks, plants and trees. The 2010 project focused on the Copper Belt region of Zambia and will ultimately affect 6,210 families. In addition to the gifts of animals, Elanco and Heifer are working jointly to help establish local milk market outlets, improve production and conservation practices, train animal health workers and provide 2,000 energy stoves.

Elanco employees around the world have become particularly invested in the cause. In addition to the Elanco and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, support of these projects, employees donated $91,863 (including a Lilly Foundation match for U.S. employees) to Heifer International from their own pockets in 2010, to total $167,315 in just two years of the partnership.

Aiding in local hunger efforts is also critical to the company. The company has committed to ending childhood hunger in Indianapolis by 2015. Jeff serves on the board of directors of Gleaners Food Bank in Central Indiana.

Elanco created partnerships with organizations such as FFA and 4-H to nurture skill, responsibility and growth. In 2009, Jeff served as the chairman of the Sponsor’s Board for the National FFA Foundation. Highlighting his belief in life-long learning, Jeff has been involved with FFA since his student days. He recognizes the extreme need to develop leaders and visionaries if our industry is to effectively and sustainably feed 9 billion people in just 4 decades.

Jeff also chaired the Animal Health Institute’s (AHI) board of directors in 2009-2010, and also serves on the board of the International Federation of Animal Health. He is a member and has been a featured speaker at Harvard University’s PAPSAC (Private & Public, Scientific, Academic, and Consumer Food Policy Council).

Jeff is the type of visionary, motivational young leader that will be responsible for driving agriculture forward and achieving solutions to some of the most pressing issues our world has ever faced. His passion for feeding the world is fueled by a boundless energy and belief that agribusiness is uniquely qualified to meet the challenge.

Roger Reierson Honored as 2011 NAMA Marketer of the Year

Written by NAMA on Friday, February 18, 2011 , 8:33 am

Roger Reierson, President and Chairman, AdFarm, has been named the 2011 NAMA Marketer of the Year. The NAMA Marketer award will be presented during the Second General Session of the 2011 Agri-Marketing Conference, “Harvesting Ideas” on Thursday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m. in Kansas City, Missouri and is sponsored by Agri Marketing magazine.

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 NAMA’s most prestigious honor awarded to active members of the association and honors outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing.

In the early 1990s, the Parker Group based in Canada and Flint Communications in the United States realized they had synergies in the work for a common brand, each representing Flexi-Coil on opposite sides of the border. They began working together on Flexi-Coil for a common purpose and realized the opportunity for further growth in the North American ag marketplace. AdFarm was formed as a partnership of the two companies’ focus on agricultural communications. From its humble beginnings in the early 1990s and under the leadership of partners including Roger, AdFarm has grown to be one of North America’s largest marketing communications firms, unique in the fact that 100% of the company’s business is focused on agriculture.

Roger possesses the type of leadership and charisma that generates energy  for a cause to “get things done.” These abilities have benefited countless clients, organizations, peers and associates, as well as the companies with which he is directly involved.

Roger has played a key role in the growth of AdFarm throughout North America. From the original locations in Calgary, Alberta, and Fargo, North Dakota, AdFarm has grown to now include offices in Guelph, Ontario, Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, and in 2010, Sacramento, California. Additionally, numerous AdFarm employees are deployed remotely throughout North America.

Roger’s vision and leadership contribute to his innovative ability to “make things grow.” The beneficiaries include the many clients, associates, initiatives and organizations who have had the good fortune to work with him. Ask anyone who has served on a committee with Roger, participated in a leadership session facilitated by him or tackled a grass-roots project with him. Roger’s passion for the work is admirable, his commitment infectious and his energy is envious.

Roger’s history with NAMA runs deep. He was part of a core group of individuals who established the Northern Prairie Chapter back in 1986. He has served as Chapter President during the early years and reprised his role again from 2006 to 2009.

He has also served as a Regional Director and in 2005 was a national conference committee member. He has served as emcee for the Region III Best of NAMA awards show and participated on numerous chapter and national level committees related to NAMA.

Commitment to Student NAMA is something that Roger has held in very high regard throughout his NAMA involvement. He has served as a mentor for the North Dakota State University Student Chapter for years and has freely donated the time of his AdFarm employees to mentor and grow student involvement in NAMA. In 2007, he led the planning for a growth initiative within Northern Prairie NAMA designed to place greater focus on the development of Student NAMA Chapters within the Northern Prairie region. That plan is now in place and continues to be executed by fellow Northern Prairie Chapter leaders, members and students.

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