Trends in Agriculture Sets Records; Reveals Rural Lifestyle Market

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 , 1:23 pm

Note: If you attended Trends In Agriculture and have not yet filled out the survey from the meeting, please visit Your responses will help shape the next Trends In Agriculture meeting!

“What will the future look like and what investments does your organization need to make to take advantage of it?”

This was the question posed by Franck Schuurmans, PhD, Senior Consultant for Decision Strategies International, Inc. And it was the ideal forward-thinking platform from which to launch the inaugural 2008 NAMA Trends in Agriculture Conference.

This year, NAMA changed the name of the Agribusiness Forum to Trends in Agriculture. The move was made to directly reflect the meeting’s mission of exploring emerging trends and challenges faced by agri-marketers across the industry.

This year’s topic was the burgeoning rural lifestyle market and the decision makers who define it. A record-setting 175 professionals attended the two-day event, up more than 35% from last year.

Dr. Schuurmans opened the conference with an eye-opening look at how limiting our own experience-based perspective can be as we consider future strategic options. He used a number of case studies and exercises to demonstrate how the cost of excessive focus can be loss of peripheral vision.

Dan Duffy, CEO of United Country Real Estate—a national real estate franchise system specializing in properties in and around small cities and towns—quickly gave attendees the chance to apply those principles.

There has been considerable publicity on the current challenges of real estate. Sales of rural acreage, while stronger than many sectors, are also slowing. In response, United Country has honed its strategies of promoting and supporting lifestyle amenities and helping owners increase the value of their land by improving recreation assets.

The company’s approach is based on a combination of careful analysis and proprietary research and attendees benefited from a broad range of supporting data they could apply to their own market situation.

Wednesday began with a revealing session on the demographics, attitudes, buying habits and other key indicators about the rural lifestyle market from Susan Spaulding, Market Directions, and Courtney Yuskis, Country Living Association.

Spaulding emphasized that extensive research revealed that rural lifestylers are connected with their communities and engaged with multiple social networks. She also noted rural lifestylers are more technologically savvy than most people realize and receive an enormous amount of marketing messages.

Craig Elbert, a Marketing Strategist with Hallmark Cards explored the concept of winning customers by understanding your brand essence in terms of the “jobs” your product or service performs for them.

For Hallmark, one of America’s most well-established and well-recognized brands, that essence is “caring.”

Yet, as Elbert explained, the company’s success has never been based solely on understanding the historical context, but by projecting brand essence through changing market conditions. He shared how the company uses its “Value StarTM” to apply this process to individual products.

The closing panel, moderated by Bruce Thomas, Rural Lifestyle Communications Consultant, explored the “commonalities” and “conflicts” of the two primary segments in today’s agricultural marketplace: the rural lifestyle and farmer markets.

Primary differences noted included gender roles and perspectives on the quality/cost (value) continuum. However, panelists also emphasized that both segments share a strong sense of independence/self-reliance, appreciation of outdoor activities and belief in the importance of family.

As part of the conference, NAMA also recognized its Professional Development Awards of Excellence Winners. Honors went to Paul Redhage, Communications Manager, FMC Agricultural Products; Beth Andersen, Senior Vice President, Managing Partner, Charleston Orwig, Inc.; and Vernon Benes, Director of Business Development, Beck Ag, Inc.

Special thanks to all of our Trends In Agriculture/Regional Best of NAMA Judging/Rural Lifestyle Resource Center Sponsors as well as our ABEF Sports Night sponsors!

Ag Speakers Network
AgriMarketing Magazine
Associations, Inc.
Beck Ag, Inc.
Blasdel Cleaver Schwalbe Communications
Broadhead + Co.
Cattle Mail, USA
Cattlemen’s Beef Board
CHS, Inc.
Country Living Association
DF Bryant & Company
DTN/The Progress Farmer
Farm Progress Companies
Fastline Publications
High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine
Hurst & Associates
John Deere
Living the Country Life
Martin Williams
McCormick Company
National Cotton Council of America
Ogden Publications
Osborn & Barr Communications
Paulsen AgriBranding
Quarry Integrated Communications
Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications
Truffle Media Networks
ZimmComm New Media, LLC

ABEF Sports Night Sponsors:
Blasdel Cleaver Schwalbe Communications
CMA Consulting
FMC Agricultural Products
High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
J.L. Farmakis
John Deere
KFRM Radio, The Voice of the Plains
National Pork Board
Pioneer Hi-Bred Intl., Inc.
Rhea + Kaiser Marketing Communications

Check out the highlights from Trends In Agriculture at

NAMA Welcomes New Leaders

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 , 1:23 pm

Join us in welcoming new leaders for the 2009 calendar year!

Regional Directors
The regional director election is over and the newest regional directors have been selected. A regional director serves as a director for two years. Terms within a region are staggered so one director from a region retires from the board each year. Below are the newest and current regional directors by region:

Region I
(new) Joseph Middione, Jr., AGRIAN
Diana “Dee” Monsen, CAPCA

Region II
(new) Becky Rasmussen, Drake & Company/Natl. Christmas Tree Assn.
Kendal Frazier, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Region III
(new) Bev Larson, NK Seeds
Colin Clarke, AdFarm

Region IV
(new) Sheri Seger, DTN/The Progressive Farmer
Krista Wolf, GROWMARK, Inc.

Region V
(new) R. Frank Timberlake, R.F. Timberlake & Company, Inc.
Allison Bass, AGCO Corporation

Region VI
(new) Andy Vance, AdVance Broadcast & Communications, Ltd.
Gardner Hatch, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations

Executive Committee
Qualifications of an Executive Committee member are: (1) Be an active, dues-paying member of NAMA; (2) Have served as president of an affiliated chapter or as chair of a council or national committee or as a regional director; (3) The President-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer must have served on the Executive Committee as a Vice President. The Executive Committee is elected by the Board of Directors by a majority affirmative vote at the annual Board of Directors meeting with nominations by the following procedures: (1) A five-member Nominating Committee prepares a slate consisting of one or more nominees for each retiring office of the Executive Committee and presents that slate to the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee consists of: The immediate past president, who will serve as chair; The next, most recent, past president who agrees to serve; One current chapter president (appointed by the chair); and two other current members of the Board of Directors who are not chapter presidents (appointed by the chair). Nominations may be made from the floor during the annual Board of Directors meeting by any director. Nominees must give oral or written consent to serve prior to nomination. Every effort is made to assure a balanced representation of the various components and geographical diversity of the agri-marketing industry on the Executive Committee. Officers elected to the Executive Committee at the annual meeting will take office on January 1, 2009.

The 2009 Executive Committee Members are:

National President
Carol Anderson, Mariposa Partners

National President-Elect
Susie Decker, Farm Progress Companies

Vicki Henrickson, Blasdel Cleaver Schwalbe Communications

Vice Presidents
Barry Nelson, John Deere
Beth Burgy, Broadhead + Company
Paul Redhage, FMC Agricultural Products
Robert Ratliff,
(new) Ken Dean, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
(new) Kenna Rathai, Kenna B. Rathai Communications

Congratulations and welcome new leaders!

NAMA Members Win Big At Trends In Agriculture

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 , 1:23 pm

Several contests were held in conjunction with the 2008 Trends In Agriculture meeting November 11-12 and we’d like to take a moment to congratulate the winners!

Trends In Agriculture Rural Lifestyle Quizzes
Two quizzes were sent to all NAMA members to test your knowledge of the Rural Lifestyle market. The quizzes were based on Country Living Association survey results. Everyone who responded was entered into a drawing for a Cabela’s $50 Gift Card. Those who answered the question correctly were entered into a drawing for a free registration to the Agri-Marketing Conference in April in Atlanta.

The winner of the $50 Cabela’s Gift Card was Joe Zink, Midwest Messengers and the winner of the 2009 Agri-Marketing Conference registration was Katherine Brozek, Padilla Speer Beardsley.

Trends In Agriculture Registration Promotion
Everyone who registered for Trends In Agriculture by the early cut off date (October 27) was entered into a drawing for a complimentary registration to the 2009 Agri-Marketing Conference in Atlanta, April 15-17, 2009. Congratulations to Marc Ford, Bernstein-Rein who won the conference registration!

Member Get-a-Member Promotion
This promotion called upon NAMA members to recruit a business associate, peer, or friend as a new NAMA member before November 5 and both were entered into a drawing for a new GPS. Congratulations to Mike Campbell, Walz Tetrick Advertising, for taking home a new GPS!

ABEF Raffle
The Agri-Business Educational Foundation (ABEF) hosted a sports night reception at the Trends In Agriculture meeting on Tuesday, November 11. Special thanks to our ABEF Board members listed below for their help in selling raffle tickets to raise money for the ABEF. The prizes given for the ABEF Raffle were a $200 gift card to Bass Pro Shops and two $50 gift cards to Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grills. Congratulations to Greg Guse, Paulsen Marketing, for taking home the $200 Bass Pro Shop Gift card and to Steve Betts, United Suppliers, Inc. and John Vasichek, Red River Farm Network, for taking home the Whiskey Creek gift cards!

ABEF Board
Mick Sibbel, Ayres Kahler

Vice Chair
Mike Gustafson, Deer’s Landing

Russ Parker

Dennis Erpelding, Elanco Animal Health
Stephanie Gable, NOVUS Intl., Inc.
Lia Guthrie, One Grower Publishing
Lou Ireland, Pioneer Hi-Bred Intl., Inc.
Tom Taylor, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
Marjory Walker, Natl. Cotton Council of America
Linda Basse Wenck, APR, Morgan&Myers

Regional/Chapter Best of NAMA Events

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 , 1:22 pm

Mark your calendars for the regional/chapter Best of NAMA Ceremonies. These ceremonies are celebrations of those entries that won first or merit in the regional competition.

Entries that win first or merit at the regional competition and score above the minimum point standard are eligible to advance to the national competition in February. Winners of the national competition will be announced at the national Best of NAMA Ceremony which kicks off the 2009 Agri-Marketing Conference, Hot Ideas, Sizzling Solutions, April 15, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dates for the ceremonies are below:

January 8 Region II Best of NAMA Banquet in Kansas City, MO
January 15 Region III Best of NAMA Banquet in Johnston, IA
January 22 Region IV Best of NAMA Banquet in Hoffman Estates, IL
January 22 Carolinas/Virginia Best of NAMA Banquet in Durham, NC
January 27 Midsouth Best of NAMA Event in Memphis, TN

For more information on the regional Best of NAMA ceremonies, keep checking the Best of NAMA Calendar at

Hot Ideas & Sizzling Solutions

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 , 1:22 pm

The registration for the 2009 Agri-Marketing Conference, Hot Ideas, Sizzling Solutions, is open. The conference will take place April 15-17 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Register now to get the payment in your 2008 budget year! Registration rates remain the same as in 2008! Early registration rates will end on March 25, 2009. After that, late rates apply.

For the latest Agri-Marketing Conference information visit

For registration information visit

To register online now for the conference, visit
In addition, hotel reservations can now be made online. We are pleased to have this year’s conference at the beautiful Atlanta Marriott Marquis, which has just completed a $185 million renovation.

Hotel rates are $115 single/double (that’s not a type-o folks, it’s really $115!). The hotel cut-off date is March 17, 2009. Reservations made after March 17 will be subject to higher rates and potential unavailability.

Once again, we will be offering two room blocks, one for the professionals and one for the students.

To make your hotel reservations under the professional block, visit

To make hotel reservations under the student block, visit

Connection Point
Every year at the Agri-Marketing Conference, professionals involved with selling products and services into the agricultural marketplace gather to explore the latest in techniques, trends and practices. If your target audience includes agrimarketers, you can’t afford to miss the 2009 Connection Point.

In today’s world of voice mails and e-mails, the Connection Point offers a unique opportunity for face-to-face contact.

Connection Point Hours
6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Best of NAMA Celebration/Trade Show Grand Opening

12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Luncheon
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Break
5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Closing Reception/ABEF Silent Auction

For more information on the Connection Point visit

To sign up for booth space now visit

Note: Exhibitors who sign up for a booth by February 4 will receive a complimentary registration for NAMA’s February 5th webinar on Maximizing Your Trade Show R.O.I. with Scott Hanna, Skyline Displays.

Awards Nomination Deadline Jan. 15

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 , 1:22 pm

The deadline for submitting nominations for the Agribusiness Leader and NAMA Marketer of the Year awards is January 15, 2009. Both awards will be presented at the 2009 Agri-Marketing Conference, April 15-17 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 Or download the Agribusiness Leader Nomination form in an Adobe .PDF format by visiting,

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.

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 or download the NAMA Marketer of the Year nomination form in an Adobe .PDF format by visiting,

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

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

Morton Buildings Looks to Rural Lifestylers as Growth Opportunity

Written by Paulsen AgriBranding on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 , 4:31 pm

NAMA’s Trends in Agriculture: Rural Lifestyle Marketing wrapped up with a panel discussion of marketers and retailers talking about the effect of the changing rural economy on the marketplace. The $32 billion rural lifestyle market is seen as a true growth opportunity. Tim Nix, Marketing Manager for Morton Buildings talked about how to meet the needs and expectations of the market.

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