Business Leaders Build Broader View

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:50 am

“My goal is to provoke some thought, stir some ideas and discussion; I think that’s where I can add the most value,” said Jeff Simmons, President of Elanco, in his opening remarks to a joint session of the NAMA 2011 “Trends in Agriculture” conference and the NAFB 68th Annual Convention.

“You are the leaders,” he continued, “This is the issue of the century.”

The session, “Productivity to Feed a Growing Population,” was the culmination of a series of strategic perspectives examining current trends and opportunities in agri-marketing.

“Progress through Productivity” was the theme of this year’s conference, attended by agribusiness leaders from across the country. Like Simmons, several of the presenters challenged attendees to examine their own role in advancing the industry.

“Food security is the threshold question,” said Thomas Dorr, President & CEO, U.S. Grains Council, in a session on the growing demand for exports. “When trade works, the world wins. U.S. farmers win. It’s not a zero-sum game; it grows the pie.”

Experts in alternative fuels examined advances in technology and explored possible pricing pressures that could result from reduced support incentives combined with the growing global demands for grain.

And a panel of producers shared their perspectives on how to increase productivity, whether in the field or in the feedlot … as well as the consequences of increasingly competitive grain availability.

“My focus has been on risk management,” said Terry Jones, who owns and operates Circle J Grain, a grain origination and transportation business with operations in the U.S. and Brazil.

J.D. Alexander, owner of Alexander Cattle & Farms and current President-Elect of the National Cattlemen’s Association, reinforced that approach.

“It takes twice as much capital to run a cattle operation as it used to,” he explained. “That means it increases your risk. Risk management is essential.”

Alexander also underscored the reason these business leaders had gathered to examine strategic issues.

In response to a question about the value of social media, he quipped, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

View photo’s from the 2011 Trends In Agriculture fall meeting on Flickr. Photo’s courtesy of Chuck Zimmerman, ZimmComm New Media LLC (

View the Trends In Ag presentation by Jeff Simmons, President, Elanco, on YouTube at

Awards of Excellence Winners Honored

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:49 am

NAMA honored four recipients of the 2011 Professional Development Awards of Excellence at the 2011 Trends In Agriculture fall meeting on November 9. These awards honor NAMA members based on outstanding achievement in the professional development areas. This year, Awards of Excellence were presented in the areas of marketing communications, public relations, product/species management and sales.

Margaret FogertyMarketing Communications ~ Margaret Fogarty, Farm Credit
Margaret Fogarty joined Farm Credit almost exactly 18 months ago, and her accomplishments during her tenure have had a truly profound impact on the organization and the industry.

Margaret and her team built a comprehensive, integrated marketing communications program to introduce a collective national brand and unify reputation management efforts in the Farm Credit System. In doing so, she introduced and implemented dozens of new concepts with more than 90 Farm Credit System entities that had nearly a century-long legacy of local, disparate brand-building.

Frequently presented with diverse (and often outdated) technical capabilities, geographical dispersion, varying business philosophies and styles of communication, Fogarty executed an integrated strategic communications program that encompassed corporate brand identity, internal communications, online communications, public and media relations and national contributions.

Margaret is more than an active member of NAMA; she is also a leader and educator. As soon as Fogarty joined the ag industry, she became a NAMA member and attended the 2010 annual conference. She valued what she learned through her membership and wanted to give back, so she created opportunities within NAMA to connect peers and Farm Credit associations, as well as to ensure that Farm Credit was a strong financial supporter of NAMA.

Ms. Fogarty embraced the 2010 conference opportunity by implementing 2011 Idea Share NAMA Pre-Conference, Farm Credit’s first systemwide internal communications conference, to coincide with the NAMA event and collaborated with NAMA organizers to ensure all Farm Credit efforts were complementary and supportive of NAMA activities.

Chuck ZimmermanPublic Relations ~ Chuck Zimmerman, ZimmComm New Media, LLC
From on-line photo album development for key industry events, to news reporting and media liaison activities for various commercial clients, to ‘blogging’ his way across the land, Chuck has become a common sight at just about any type of meeting or event in the agriculture industry. He has also done a great deal to get many others involved in new media endeavors.

ZimmComm’s primary website,, continues to grow in web traffic and involvement by industry professionals and agriculturists alike. He regularly crisscrosses the country from one event to the next, hired by PR professionals and companies of all types and sizes to perform a specific but expanding list of New Media, Social Media and related Public Relations services.

As part of the ZimmComm, Inc. business model, Chuck has developed numerous websites, some of which are focused on one commodity or industry enterprise. Some have become very viable website “channels” for a specific industry purpose. Some of these websites are owned by ZimmComm, Inc. and others are built and maintained by ZimmComm on a contractual basis for their clients. Many of these website concepts were born out of brainstorming about a specific challenge or need in the industry, and then developing a web presence to serve that need.

Chuck has been active in NAMA throughout his career and he continues his membership in a very active way now in his role representing his own company, ZimmComm, Inc. He has given countless hours and days to NAMA service in many, many ways over the years. He has always been active in his local chapters, and has been involved in program planning and leadership at local levels. He is currently a nominee to the Executive Committee.

Stephanie GableProduct/Species Management ~ Stephanie Gable, NOVUS International, Inc.
Since September, 2008, Stephanie Gable has worked as the Global Ruminant Market Manager for Novus International in St. Louis, Missouri. She is responsible for developing marketing strategies and plans to reach their dairy and beef customers in six world areas including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia and Europe.

Stephanie has always been in charge of the marketing for the Beef and Dairy segment, but this year she has taken on additional responsibilities with Pork and the General Feed Line businesses at Novus. Stephanie’s business sense and get it done attitude has helped build awareness and support for the sales teams of these four segments. Stephanie will be a co-author on her first scientific article.

Prior to joining Novus, Stephanie was the Companion Animal Pharmaceutical Product Manager for Fort Dodge Animal Health near Kansas City, Missouri, where she re-launched a canine heartworm product. She also worked as the Strategic Initiative Product Manager and initiated livestock, equine and companion animal programs and rebates.

Previously, Stephanie was the communications manager for Bayer CropScience in Durham, North Carolina. Her overall responsibility was as the key client contact with their communications agencies in all markets including corn, cereals, cotton and horticulture. She was accountable for developing effective communications plans that were strategic and measurable.

Stephanie has taken several steps to not only grow herself through organizations like NAMA, but she has also taken the time to develop her staff into professional agri-business employees that will make a difference. In addition, Stephanie has been involved in NAMA on every level; local and national. She served for many years on the Careers Committee and then as a member of the executive committee for seven years. She currently serves on the Agri-Business Educational Foundation Operating Committee.

Sue LeeSales ~ Sue Lee, Farm Journal Media
Sue is the national sales manager for Farm Journal Media – no small task in itself, considering the number of properties the company has to ‘sell.’ Sue does an excellent job of networking and meeting individually with clients and potential clients before, during and after trade shows and other industry gatherings, and has a tremendous ability to communicate with any type of personality. Without being pushy, Sue really gets to know clients and their needs before trying to jump them with the sales pitch.

Sue takes her job seriously, but she obviously loves her work, too. She is a strong example of what NAMA stands for in terms of integrity, opportunity, and down-right respect for agriculture and those who pour their hearts into it on a daily basis.

And Sue has put her passion to work directly for NAMA in so many ways. At the chapter level, she has served as president, Best of NAMA chair, secretary, treasurer, program chair, Agri-Marketer of the Year chair, careers chair, and membership chair. And at the national level, she has served as National Continuing Education co-chair, as a member of the Agribusiness Forum national committee, and as a regional director – and currently serves on the national membership committee.

Awards Nomination Deadline Jan. 20

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:48 am

The deadline for submitting nominations for the Agribusiness Leader and NAMA Marketer of the Year awards is January 20, 2012. These awards will presented at the 2012 Agri-Marketing Conference, April 18-20, 2012, in Kansas City.

NAMA Marketer of the Year

NAMA will recognize an active member 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.

Nominees are solicited from agribusiness and related companies with overall marketing and/or sales responsibilities. Nominees must be NAMA members.

To nominate someone for the NAMA Marketer award, download the application in an Adobe .pdf format at or fill out the online application at

Agribusiness Leader of the Year

The Agribusiness Leader of the Year award recognizes leadership achievement in agriculture and the food and fiber industry. This award is for agribusiness leaders and leaders in private, public or academic service. Nominees do not have to be NAMA members.

The Agribusiness Leader of the Year award is NAMA’s highest honor. The award honors an outstanding leader in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness related area. Solicited from senior level position holders in private, public or academic service, nominees should exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

To nominate someone for the Agribusiness Leader of the Year award, download the application in an Adobe .pdf format at or fill out the online application at

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Conference

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:47 am

The 2012 Agri-Marketing Conference planning is underway and it’s time to sign up to be an Exhibitor in the Connection Point! The conference will be held April 18-20, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center (formerly the Hyatt Regency Crown Center).

The social epicenter of the conference, the Connection Point is the place to meet new faces, reconnect with old friends and forge new relationships. Schedule plenty of time in your conference plan to visit the over 60 exhibiting companies and mingle with industry leaders. You’ll get a first look at the latest products and services entering the industry. Plus, most booths host drawings for door prizes and other giveaways. Expand your network, peruse new technology and services and win cool stuff—see you there.

Put your company front and center in the Heartland. With nearly 1,200 professionals in attendance, there’s no better way to get noticed. Influencers and decision-makers will take note when you purchase booth space on this tradeshow floor. Lunch and refreshment breaks are scheduled to maximize traffic and draw the clients and customers you want to meet!

The Connection Point will be open Wednesday, April 18 from 6:00–7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 19 from 12:30–2:00 p.m., 3:00–4:00 p.m. and 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Booth space price (10’ x 10’ space) is $475 (includes one exhibit hall only pass). Trade in your exhibit hall only pass and receive $100 off one full conference registration. Additional exhibit hall only passes are $250 with a maximum of two per booth space.

Multiple space discount:
2 spaces = 10% off of the single booth price for a total of $855
3 spaces = 15% off of the single booth price for a total of $1,210
4 spaces = 20% off of the single booth price for a total of $1,520
5 or more spaces—call for price

Exhibitor Fees Include:
• One 10’ x 10’ exhibit space
• Uniform back wall and side rails (both draped)
• One-line company identification sign

To sign up for a booth in the Connection Point, visit or contact Jenny Pickett at or call 913-491-6500.

Iowa NAMA Hosts Sips & Sweets

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:46 am

In a late afternoon gathering, Iowa NAMA Chapter members and guests gathered at Jasper Winery in downtown Des Moines on October 27, to hear a presentation made by Chocolate Storybook owner, Steve Shearer, and enjoy a wine tasting.  Steve Shearer’s Des Moines based company, Chocolate Storybook, specializes in not only chocolate, but corporate and personalized gifts.  Attendees were able to view and enjoy various gift ideas for clients, partner companies and employees.

The remaining portion of the event was entertained with a wine tasting of Jasper Winery selections. Those attending shared in some laughs as they were taught how to properly swirl, smell and select wines.  Information was also shared with the group about the operations of the Jasper Winery and how their marketing is coordinated with minimal staff.

This was an enjoyable afternoon event for members and guests.  Please consider attending the next Iowa NAMA Chapter social event!

Mid-America Reception at FFA Convention

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:45 am

Exhibitors at the FFA Convention in Indianapolis appreciated the opportunity on October 20 to attend a reception hosted by the Mid-America NAMA Chapter.  It gave them a chance to sit down and relax while enjoying food and drink.  Exhibitors from all over the US took advantage of being able to network and relax at the end of a long day.

North Central Hosts Understanding the Animal Activist Movement

Written by NAMA on Thursday, November 17, 2011 , 10:44 am

With a changing environment for animal agriculture, the October 20th North Central NAMA event featured Rick Berman, founder of and Center for Consumer Freedom, sharing his unique insight. Nearly 60 NAMA members and Minnesota agribusiness leaders attended this event at the University of Minnesota Alumni Center.

Berman shared some of his strategies in combating the messages from Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).  Berman says he works to marginalize the message and reputation which will help redirect money from the group. He said it is important to give people an alternative. “When we expose that HSUS spends less than a half of a percent of the money raised on supporting local animal shelters, we have to give them an alternative,” said Berman. “We ask them to give the money directly to their local shelter, not HSUS, if they really want to support animals.”

This experienced lobbyist also said that it is important to create common knowledge. He explained that common knowledge is created by sharing the information in so many different ways and with such frequency that people begin quoting the information without always citing a source.

Berman said that when dealing with animal activist groups don’t be afraid to use criticism to get a message across. “Criticism stays with people longer than a happy emotional message,” said Berman. “We use facts to counteract their message and criticize their position.”

Berman admitted it is easier for a group like to use criticism as a tactic than for an agribusiness company or producer organization. He did say that all of agriculture needs to be consistent in calling out inaccuracies in media reports, news articles and letters to the editor. “You can’t just hit it occasionally—you have to be consistent,” emphasized Berman.

One success story Berman shared with the audience is that HSUS raised the same money in 2010 as in 2009. However, they had to spend $9 million plus in media in 2010 compared to $1.2 million in 2009 to raise the same money. “Public opinion doesn’t change overnight but we are making progress.”

Berman wrapped up his presentation by saying that the greatest challenge in battle HSUS is that the protein industry doesn’t have an overall leader. “We move the ball down the field but we don’t score the big win because we don’t have the firepower directed at the same target,” said Berman. “We need to focus on one goal to have success.”

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