Fall Conference Hotel Cutoff Approaching

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 , 3:44 pm

Start making your plans to join NAMA in Milwaukee this September for Fall Conference 2017!

The hotel cutoff date for Fall Conference is earlier than in past years. If you are planning to join NAMA in Milwaukee this September, please reserve your room at the Hilton soon.

August 27 is the cutoff date for the hotel — that’s in 11 days!

Find all the information on the Fall Conference website. We hope to see you in Milwaukee!

Badger Ag Tour

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 , 3:43 pm

Join the Badger NAMA Chapter as they host the 2017 Fall Conference Ag Tour. Get a unique perspective on some of the most enterprising ag operations in the great state of Wisconsin. The cost for this tour is $75 and includes breakfast and lunch. See below for a full schedule of the day’s activities.

Does this sound like a great way to start off your Fall Conference experience? Register Now! 

Tuesday, September 19

7:30 a.m.: Depart the hotel.

Stop #1 – Theresa, WI: 

Confections for Any Occasion | Chocolate is a specialty for this blind entrepreneur, Joel Bernhard. All of his delectable chocolates are made with real Wisconsin butter and his company proudly participates in Something Special from Wisconsin, Travel Wisconsin and Discover Dodge County. In addition to gourmet chocolates, the store features a variety of other Wisconsin-made products, including sausages, mustards, maple syrup, cheese spreads and honey. We’ll tour the store, learn a little bit about chocolate making and, of course, do some shopping.

Widmer’s Cheese Cellars | This cheese plant has been home to three generations of Widmer cheesemakers. Joe Widmer, current owner and master cheesemaker, still makes Brick cheese the old-fashioned way by using bricks to gently squeeze the whey from the curd. Widmer has won many awards for his handcrafted cheeses. We will learn about the company’s history, watch cheesemaking in action and sample cheese.

Stop #2 – Fond du Lac, WI: 

Vir-Clar Farms | Katie (Boyke) and Grant Grinstead and JR Boyke are the third generation on this family farm and currently manage it with their parents, Gary and Rose Boyke. The family has 2,000 cows and farms 2,800 acres of land. Methane digesters produce enough renewable electric power for approximately 800 homes. Cows are milked three times a day in a double-30 parlor. All the calves are raised on the farm and the family counts on 32 full-time employees to help Vir-Clar run smoothly. Katie will lead us on a tour of the entire farm and explain how this modern dairy farm gives animals the best care possible to produce wholesome, nutritious milk.

En route to Milwaukee: Beer and Cheese Pairing | We’ll match three Wisconsin craft beers with specialty cheeses, explaining how the flavors complement each other.  Participants will get a taste of so many award-winning products crafted in Wisconsin.

Stop #3 – Milwaukee, WI: 

Miller Brewing Company | Miller Brewing Company has been brewing “confoundly good beers” for 160 years. This tour begins at the Visitor Center and includes a four-block walk, allowing for an inside look at the brew house. Learn how Miller-Coors products are made, packaged and distributed worldwide. We’ll conclude the tour with product sampling and sodas.

3:45 p.m.: Arrive back at the hotel.

14th Annual NAMA Boot Camp Looks to the Future

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 , 3:43 pm

Attendees brought an obvious enthusiasm for all things agriculture to the 2017 NAMA Boot Camp. Agri-marketing newcomers and industry veterans alike grew knowledge and friendships at the two-day conference.

Many attendees came early to Kansas City for the Ag Tour, sponsored by the MoKan Chapter of NAMA. The day did not disappoint. The group explored agricultural operations at a 15,000-acre corn and soy operation, and then sampled delicious and unique flavors of milk at a regional treasure, the Shatto Milk Company. The cotton candy milk in particular reminded attendees of a bowl of Lucky Charms.

The fun continued with a wine sampling and tour of Missouri’s first green vineyard and winery, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery. Attendees learned how Jason and Colleen Gerke develop their business through strategic marketing and creative events. Jason and Colleen then introduced the group to the sheep and chickens that control weeds and insects at the 6-acre sustainable vineyard.

On Wednesday, Gail Calhoun kicked off the conference with a dynamic presentation centered on identifying communication styles and preferences, and how to work more cohesively with team members.

The conversation continued with a NAMA Boot Camp favorite, the Producer Panel. Farmers discussed what influences their purchasing decisions, the obstacles they face in the field and how agri-marketers can best partner with them through strategic use of emerging channels.

The second panel of the day, “Media in Farming: Will Our Market Ever Be Like Any Other?” dug into the business side of media selling, buying and creating, and gave attendees firsthand advice on how to navigate the ag-agency world, which panelists agreed is a market unlike any other. Panelists also confirmed that print has held strong in agri-marketing, even with the explosion of digital channels. Patrick Smith of Bader Rutter said, “The need for research is greater today than ever before. We need to do it efficiently, and use data to understand who the consumer is and why they’re interested.”

Breakout sessions rounded out the remainder of the day. Attendees explored “A Year in the Life of a Producer,” presented by Illinois farmer Chad Bell, and listened to “Lessons Learned from a Career in Crisis Management,” presented by David Mehlhaff.

The conference kept rolling with a session on Farm Economics and the Commodities, presented by Arlan Suderman, which investigated global macro-economic factors influencing corn, soybeans and wheat. The other session focused on unlocking “The Secrets of a Strong Client-Agency Relationship.” Later, Amy Bugg shared several entertaining anecdotes from her work in both the client and agency worlds.

The first day of the conference ended at Brick House in the Martini Corner. Attendees sampled top-notch KC fare and cocktails, while enjoying networking and laughs with fellow agri-marketers from across the country.

The final day of Boot Camp began with a conversation on the importance of farm radio for the agriculture industry and then continued with an interactive session with Diane Martin, Amy Bradford and Matt Coniglio. The panelists gave their favorite tips on how to build a successful career in agribusiness.

A crowd favorite among attendees was the closing session, presented by Paul Spooner of the United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), on what’s to come in American agriculture. Armed with videos, data, tips and trends in the industry, Paul explained how animal welfare concerns are high on consumers’ list of priorities, and there is currently a major gap in tying sustainability to GMOs. Spooner concluded his presentation by urging farmers and agri-marketers alike to turn the ongoing food wars into a conversation led by farmers and ranchers, and to use personal stories and photos on blogs and social media to go about this urgent work.

Sara Steever, a member of the 2017 NAMA Boot Camp Steering Committee, was pleased with the caliber of the event’s presenters and attendees alike.

“I’ve been a member of the NAMA community for years, and I’m always so impressed with these events,” she said. “Providing education and networking opportunities for the next generation of agri-marketers is one of the most important things NAMA does.”


Check out some great photos of both the MoKan Ag Tour and Boot Camp on the NAMA Flickr. #namacamp17

Join NAMA at the Farm Progress Show

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 , 3:43 pm

Are you attending the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL?  If so, join other NAMA members at a reception hosted by the Chicago, Gateway, Heartland and Mid-America NAMA chapters.

It’s a great opportunity to take a break and interact with other NAMA members on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Exhibitor Food Tent, located near Gate 6 on the corner of East and Sixth.

Appetizers and drinks will be provided (yes, adult beverages, too).

If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Feik Pinkerton at wendy.pinkerton@zoetis.com or at 217.255.2548.

For more information on the Farm Progress Show, visit farmprogressshow.com.

Join NAMA Tomorrow for the August Webinar

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 , 3:43 pm

Move Over Content. Here Comes Connectivity. The Shifting Landscape of Communications

Tina Charpentier and Megan Fairchild Anderson, Padilla, will provide an overview of implications and insights into the ever-evolving communications landscape — moving past the era of “content is king” and into deeper connection strategies.

The presentation will include a discussion of where these changes are happening, who is driving them, and the role of communications pros.

When: Thursday, August 17, 2017

Time: 2:00 p.m. (Central)

Cost: $40 for members and $50 for non-members

Click here to register for this webinar!

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