Sessions Announced for Trends In Ag

Written by NAMA on Monday, August 3, 2009 , 7:51 am

trend-in-ag-logoThe Trends In Agriculture fall meeting will take place November 10-11 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.

With a goal of exploring the changing nature of the agri-marketing industry, NAMA’s 2009 Trends in Agriculture conference will focus on how sociological, technological, and political forces are changing the traditional ag community and on practical ideas agri-marketers can apply to stay engaged in the new marketplace.

Our theme this year is Connecting with the New Ag Community. The conference takes place November 10-11, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City – just before and overlapping the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Annual Meeting. Sessions will help define the forces that are expanding the need and ability of farmers to reach outside their previously small sphere of influence. Farmers and livestock producers will describe what it means to live and work in this new market environment. And experienced marketers will share successful efforts to leverage traditional and new media to build trust and become welcome citizens of the new ag community.

Please plan to join us to learn more about how these trends affect your customers purchase decisions and to network with your colleagues.

Sessions for Trends In Agriculture are below:

Defining the New Ag Community

Dr. David M. Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management, Virginia Tech University, and President, AgriVisions, LLC

Changes that are forcing and enabling U.S. farmers and livestock producers to reach out beyond their traditional communities to ensure the success of their enterprises are taking place. Ownership is passing to a new generation. Growth requires diversification or expansion to new communities. Powerful detractors are drawing producers and agri-businesses into public debate about agriculture. New technology including smart phones and social media are opening new doors to collaboration and business opportunities. Drawing from years of academic and personal experience, Dr. David M. Kohl will discuss how these forces are changing the way producers choose their suppliers and define how marketers must adjust to the new ag community to keep and win business.

Living and Working in the New Ag Community Panel

A diverse panel of four farmers and livestock producers will share specific examples of how success and growth today require more than good agronomic practices. The scheduled panelists include an influential specialty crop grower from California’s bellwether farming environment, a dairy producer building a new operation outside his home state, a southern producer diversifying the operation, and a row crop grower looking to expand. By better understanding their customers’ challenges and goals, agri-marketers have a better chance to build trust and connect with the new community.

How Marketers are Building New Community Ties

3G-enabled smart phones, the “Tweeting Farmer,” and unusual partnerships are all part of the new ag community. This general session will feature practical case studies from marketers inside and outside of agriculture that have forged new links with their customers using new media and non-traditional collaboration.  Mike Wehrs, President & Chief Executive Officer, Mobile Marketing Association, Leslie Bradshaw, a farm kid and University of Chicago educated Communications Manager with New Media Strategies in Washington, D.C., and others will share their experiences.

Distribution Chain Reaction

Growers and producers have always had a strong loyalty to the businesses in their local community. Yet as farming enterprises have consolidated and changed, the competitive environment for retailers – and in turn the entire distribution chain – has grown more intense. Some retailers have responded successfully by grafting innovative sales and service offerings onto their community roots. Representatives from farm supply chain companies will share how their organizations have embraced the opportunity to meet the changing needs of their customer base.

Panel Discussion: Speaking for Agriculture

At last year’s Trends in Agriculture conference, NAMA examined the remarkable impact of “Rural Lifestylers” on agri-marketing. Part of that meeting examined the potential conflict in our rural communities created by the divergent views of established producers and the newcomers. Complicating the picture is the distance between most Americans and the farms that produce their food. It is a gap being filled more and more by media-savvy, sophisticated detractors that “have demonized farmers and ranchers for being ‘giant agribusinesses.’”* As a result, producers, their suppliers, and the greater agricultural industry are trying to raise awareness of the truth about American agriculture.

NAMA and NAFB will bring together C-Suite executives and agricultural stakeholders in this joint session to update agri-marketers and broadcasters about these efforts and to stimulate innovative approaches to this growing challenge to the new ag community.

The panel includes:

Larry Combest, former Congressman, President of Combest, Sell Associates and Key Spokesperson for The Hand That Feeds US (Invited); Tami Craig Schilling, Director of Strategic Communications, Monsanto; Charlie Arnot, CEO, Center for Food Integrity;  and Gary Baise, Principal Attorney at the noted Washington, D.C., firm of Olsson  Frank Weeda (invited).

*The Hand That Feeds US,

Sponsorships for Trends In Agriculture are now available. Please contact Jenny Pickett at or call 913-491-6500 to convey your interest in sponsorship.

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