Growers, Google and the Generation Gap – Boot Camp

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:30 am

NAMA Boot Camp 2013 explores these topics and more during annual event.

“This is your audience.”

 “This is your market.”

The words from the intro video that kicked off the first full day of NAMA Boot Camp 2013 said it all. Those in attendance were there to discover new ways to connect and resonate with growers and producers. The next two days of Boot Camp delivered on that promise and then some.

The producer panel had some younger faces this year and they discussed the challenges agri-marketers face when deciding how to best communicate with a grower population comprised of farmers of the baby boom generation and the millennial generation. Panelists also shared their views on brand loyalty, the farm bill and how they prefer to receive information.

Danielle Smith of Woodruff Sweitzer is a first-time Boot Camp attendee and thought it was well worth a day away from the office. “I really enjoyed this conference. The speakers and sessions were informative and relevant to current industry topics,” she shared. “It’s perfect for anyone entering into the agricultural industry or anyone looking to sharpen their professional skills.”

Breakout sessions rounded out the rest of the day, giving attendees the choice between learning the ropes of agency and client communications or hearing about the basics of row crop and livestock production in Ag 101. True to Boot Camp form, the sessions were fast paced and engaging, with presenters urging input from the audience and veering off script to answer questions and share real-life examples.

Afternoon breakouts picked up after the luncheon keynote provided by well-known ag radio personality, Max Armstrong, who shared his reflections on the state of agriculture today and his views on what ag’s biggest concerns will be in the years ahead. He cited the farm bill, immigrant labor and food safety regulations as key factors the industry will concern itself with in the near future.

After winding down the first day of Boot Camp with Ag 201 or learning about how to best profit from trade shows, Boot Campers enjoyed a reception at Kansas City hot spot, Snow & Co. The chance to network and meet new colleagues in the ag industry was a favorite part of his first Boot Camp adventure for Michael Kirk of Ag Hub.

“The NAMA Boot Camp was a great experience all around. It was an awesome networking experience, and I had the opportunity to meet some very influential people,” he said.

The second and final day of Boot Camp got underway with a presentation on the evolution of social business. Thought provoking conversation and debate were ignited as those in the audience discussed consumer expectations and sharing the story of American agriculture through social media tools and online communities.

A closing session on how to perfect communication skills by taking the time to understand one’s own communication style and that of others capped Boot Camp 2013. The high energy of the conference lasted until everyone made their way out of the Sheraton to head back home or back to the office.

Visit or the NAMA Flickr site to see photos from Boot Camp.

It’s Not Too Late to Register!

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:28 am

The Fall Conference is approaching!  Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to amp up your professional development and learn practical marketing strategies.

Agri-marketers are always looking for opportunities to learn more … to challenge themselves and get better at what they do. The NAMA Fall Conference does all that and more. Take advantage of this chance to reconnect with colleagues and clients and sharpen up your skill set before the end of the year.

Inspired by the best of Agri-Marketing Conference, the Fall Conference was created to provide outstanding professional development opportunities and help you take your career to the next level.

How is it different? The breakouts are more specific and in-depth. You’ll find presentations on mobile digital strategy and dealing with data storage in the Cloud. The ag topics are also anything but run-of-the-mill. We’ll be talking policy and climate change.

So get ready to engage with high level content and high level leadership … energize your career and amp up your professional development … and empower yourself to take it to the next level.

For more information on the NAMA Fall Conference and hotel information visit

To register for the NAMA Fall Conference and/or the Gateway Ag Tour, please visit

If you are interested in sponsoring a session or event at the Fall Conference, contact Jenny Pickett at 913-491-6500 or via email at


Monday, September 16

12:30-6:30 p.m. Gateway Ag Tour (optional)
  Gateway NAMA invites you on an Ag Tour of the Gateway City. Join us for two unique perspectives of agriculture around the St. Louis area.First we’ll experience the Agricultural Technology Tour at the Monsanto Chesterfield Village facility. With new interactive exhibits and new tour stops, you’ll explore the major food production issues facing the world and find out how Monsanto research is contributing to new solutions. The second stop on the tour will be a visit to Chandler Hill Vineyards, just outside of St. Louis, where you’ll enjoy a wine tasting and Q&A session to learn what makes wine making in Missouri unique from other regions.

A bus will pick up attendees from the host hotel and return at the conclusion of the tour.

Tuesday, September 17

10:00-11:00a.m. NAMA Board of Directors’ Meeting
11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. NAMA Leader Workshop
1:00-2:30 p.m.Dr. Benjamin Akande
Dr. Benjamin Akande
Leading From Where You Are
Dr. Benjamin AkandeDr. Benjamin Akande believes the most effective leaders are those who are willing to take personal responsibility for the future of their organizations. In his keynote presentation, he’ll share thought-provoking ideas and suggestions on how to be an effective, result-focused leader within your organization.

A Nigerian-born American citizen, he is Professor of Economics and Dean of Webster University’s largest academic unit, the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, a position he has held since June 2000. Since November 2010, Dr. Akande has also served as Chief of Webster University’s Office of Corporate Partnerships. Currently, he is completing work on the book entitled The iPOD Generation: It’s Their World, We’re Just Living In It.

Sponsored by John Deere

2:30 – 3:00 p.m Break
Sponsored by National Cotton Council
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.Tim Letscher
Tim Letscher

Jay Harrison
Jay Harrison

Heather Rueschhoff
Heather Rueschhoff

Joe Leahy
Joe Leahy

Toni Edinger
Toni Edinger

Breakout Sessions
Choose between one of three sessionsMobile Use in Rural America
Tim Letscher, Director of Digital Strategy & Analytics, Colle+McVoy

As the adoption of cell phones, especially smartphones, has exploded around the globe, how has it taken root in rural America? When broadband connectivity for desktops and laptops continues to be a challenge, the availability of fast data over a cell connection becomes a worthy alternative. In this session, we’ll look at the ways the smartphone revolution has impacted rural America and what’s to come.

Big Data’s Effect on Marketing
Jay Harrison, Data Mining Innovations Director at Maritz, Heather Rueschhoff, Director, Marketing and Communications, evolve24

How can data influence messaging, new markets, media strategy and customer relationships? As the volume, variety and velocity of data increases, so do the challenges for agribusinesses. Hear fresh perspectives on the opportunities for marketing that are available through smart use of big data. This panel presentation will discuss how social and content-based data can guide strategies for marketers.

A National Addy Winning Case Study: The St. Louis Cardinals
Joe Leahy – Partner, Chief Creative Officer, HLK
Toni Edinger – Senior Brand Manager, HLK

As the evolution of media consumption continues to become broader and more diverse, we have to change the way we approach communication. Traditionally, we act as advertisers in the sense that we push short, key messages through mass media to elicit a desired response. This approach no longer works. Learn how HLK worked with the St. Louis Cardinals to turn a campaign into a full-blown content strategy using a few videos and allowing fans to be a part of the conversation. This content ended up on their website, in online polls, as billboards, TV commercials, in social media and much more. And, took home over 20 awards including two national gold ADDY awards.

4:30-6:30 p.m.Brighton Networking Reception at Brighton AgencyJoin your colleagues for a networking reception at Brighton Agency, conveniently located near the Ritz-Carlton.

Wednesday, September 18

8:00-8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
Sponsored by Penton/Farm Progress
8:30-10:00 a.m.Brian Billick
Brian Billick
General Session
The Essential Elements for Success
Brian BillickHear from one of the NFL’s most successful and respected coaches on how to get the most out of your team …and raise morale in the process. In 2001, Brian Billick led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory only two years into his tenure. He credits his success to passion, teamwork and accountability. An innovative motivator who prides himself on leading by example, he demands a lot from his team and has the victories to prove his method works. Join Billick as he demonstrates how dedicated management, enthusiasm for the cause and respect and trust for your team will lead you to achieve your goals. You’ll learn the essential elements for success that make up any dream team—on the football field or in the workplace:

• Power and passion
• Respect for teammates
• Sacrificing personal gain for the greater good
• Personal discipline and responsibility
• Exceeding goals

10:00-10:15 a.m. Break
10:15-11:30 a.m.Sara Wyant
Sara Wyant

Rodger Getz
Rodger Getz

Dr. Patrick Westhoff
Dr. Patrick Westhoff

Breakout Sessions
Choose between one of the following sessionsWill We Ever See a New Farm Bill?
Moderator: Sara Wyant, President – Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

This year’s farm bill has taken more twists and turns than a mountain roadway. These industry insiders give you the latest update on what’s happening now and share their perspective on what’s around the next curve.

Climate Change and Agriculture – What It Means for Agri-Marketers
Rodger Getz, AWIS Weather Services, Inc.

Nothing affects agriculture more than the weather. This insightful session will take you well beyond the local weather report as you begin to consider the consequences of climate change on farmers AND agri-marketing.

Baseline Agricultural Outlook
Dr. Patrick Westhoff, Director, Food and Agricultural Technology Institute-Missouri (FAPRI)

Markets are still feeling the aftereffects of the 2012 drought, and commodity prices in the months ahead will be very sensitive to new estimates of the size of the 2013 crop, developments in the macro-economy and a host of other factors. Dr. Westhoff will discuss FAPRI-MU’s latest outlook projections, the reasons why the outlook is uncertain, and what that implies about the risks and opportunities faced by U.S. agriculture. The farm bill debate has also seen many twists and turns the past two years. Westhoff will cover the latest farm policy news, some possible scenarios for the future, and what it all means to farmers, agribusiness, consumers and taxpayers.

11:30 a.m. –
1:00 p.m.
Awards Luncheon – Closing SessionEnjoy lunch as we honor the Professional Development Awards of Excellence award winners and pass the gavel to the incoming NAMA president. Each year, NAMA honors members with hands-on responsibility in marketing communications, public relations, product/species management and sales. Awards will be given in each of these areas and the recipients will share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in agri-marketing.

Professional Development Awards sponsored by Penton/Farm Progress

Through the Lens of a Leader
Tom Wilson, Monsanto US Marketing Leads, Seed, Traits and Chemistry

A perfect closing to the Fall Conference. This session welcomes an industry leader from Monsanto for a view of what ag is facing today and what lies ahead.

Sponsored by National Ag Day


Meet the 2013 Professional Development Award Winners

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:21 am

Gary Sakin

NAMA is proud to introduce this year’s recipients.  Congratulations!

Marketing Communications – Gary Sakin, Monsanto
Gary joined Monsanto in November of 2006, and has made impactful changes to how Monsanto approaches branding, measures marcom impact, and engages with its audiences. Currently, Gary is a key member of Monsanto’s U.S. Marketing Leadership Team, serving as Director of  Advertising,  and is involved in providing strategic recommendations and counsel that includes Monsanto’s seed, biotechnology, prescriptive agriculture and chemistry brands. He manages multi-agency relationships, oversees tradeshow contracts and participation, identifies and monitors industry trends and their impact on Monsanto marketing objectives, drives overall brand planning, and helps guide Monsanto’s significant overall advertising presence.

In the last 2 years, Gary has led efforts to create a digital vision for Monsanto that includes efforts ranging from external and internal communications to online measurement of both digital and traditional media and customer reach. He also has provided support for efforts as diverse as the 100th anniversary of the DEKALB brand to the successful launches of new products and technologies.

Gary serves on the Advisory Board for the Marketing Supply Chain Institute, a dedicated knowledge center focused on benchmark studies, cost audits and competency assessments, content aggregation, report publication and syndication, peer-to-peer interactions, best practice development, vertical industry analytics, and global models and frameworks for strategic sourcing and supplier management.

NAMA has tremendously benefitted from Gary’s energy and imagination, both personally and professionally. He has served as a Best of NAMA judge at both the regional and national levels for multiple years, and encouraged both Monsanto and agency personnel to volunteer as regional judges. He is chair of the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference Committee, leading the committee as it identifies topics and speakers in support of the professional development of conference attendees. Gary also helped shape sessions as vice chair in 2013 and served as a session moderator in 2012 and 2013.

Linda RomanderPublic Relations – Linda Romander, broadhead.
A senior public relations manager at leading agribusiness marketing agency broadhead., Linda has achieved a great deal since her arrival in 2005. Since day one, she has fast become the go to resource for clients seeking sound PR strategy and vision, as well as a mentor for our firm’s younger staff and teams.

At broadhead., Linda is a long-time and deeply trusted counselor for the Almond Board of California (ABC). Since 2009, Linda has spearheaded content development for ABC, deploying more than 300 pages across ABC’s grower and handler websites (, Linda is now working on re-branding ABC’s California Almond Sustainability Program, including an outbound initiative to inform almond growers of the program and its value for them.

Linda is overseeing the creation of several industry pieces for the California Avocado Commission (CAC). The CAC came to broadhead. after witnessing the food safety communications program for ABC. Projects assigned include assisting in the development of the CAC’s sustainability program and Good Agricultural Practices/Good Harvesting Practices program, which serve as resources for California avocado growers to help them make their operations as efficient as possible.

Linda first joined the National Agri-Marketing Association in the early 1970s. In addition to helping develop regional and national Best of NAMA winning work, she has held a variety of leadership roles, including serving as president of the Western Pacific Chapter. Linda is currently a regional director for Region I. In the more than 40 years she has been involved with NAMA, she has participated in NAMA programs and has consistently provided leadership at the local and regional levels. Linda has always been an outstanding voice for the agriculture industry and has led by example for countless fellow NAMA members.

Zach HetterickProduct/Species Management – Zach Hetterick, Case IH
Zach has distinguished himself in the past two years, leading the charge at Case IH for the Livestock/Hay/Forage business as Livestock Marketing Manager. While in this role, he has successfully spearheaded several new product launches, including the Case IH LB4 large square baler, and current launches for the WD3 series windrower, DC3 series disc mower conditioner, and RB565 round baler. In addition, he’s overseen Farmall marketing managers in successfully launching the Case IH Farmall B CVT, C, and U tractors. These may seem just like ordinary product launches, but for livestock producers, this equipment will meet their unique needs for versatile, rugged equipment, and Zach keenly understands and communicates to others the impact this equipment can have to a livestock producer’s operation.

In addition to successful product launches, Zach has confidently weathered internal Case IH business model changes directly affecting the livestock/hay/forage area. The livestock/hay/forage division has recently added eight new livestock/hay/forage specialists out in the field to assist Case IH dealers and customers, and Zach has played an integral role in this effort.

Zach has been invaluable to the growth of the mutually beneficial working relationship between Case IH and Farm Bureau, both on state and national levels. He has overseen the expansion of the Farm Bureau discount program, allowing farmers in many states to receive $300 to $500 off when purchasing qualifying Case IH equipment from participating dealerships, including tractors, hay tools and utility vehicles that can boost their productivity and add value to their operations.

Zach has stepped up his NAMA involvement in the past year, attending various events to improve his professional expertise and build his professional network. In addition, he has served as an excellent Case IH representative and has helped build and maintain positive business relationships through his NAMA participation. In April, he joined the Badger NAMA Board of Directors, and is already contributing value to the group by offering new, refreshing ideas, agricultural business perspective, and enthusiasm. He also serves as a Best of NAMA co-chair for the Badger chapter and is assisting with planning for special events and professional development opportunities for his fellow marketing colleagues.

Jay CarlsonSales – Jay Carlson, Penton Media – BEEF Magazine
As regional sales manager for BEEF magazine and its digital communications properties, Jay is arguably the nation’s top marketer on a volume basis of print and online livestock advertising. He has been a key innovator in U.S. livestock publishing, developing a number of key instruments and programs that continue to meet the needs of both U.S. livestock producers and U.S. product marketers.

Among these is his role in the creation of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly, the most successful weekly newsletter in livestock publishing; American Cowman, a digital newsletter and website for small-scale U.S. beef producers; BEEF Daily electronic newsletter; and BEEF Vet, a spring 2012 startup print publication for U.S. beef cattle veterinarians that began running quarterly in 2013.

Jay Carlson has long been a top promoter of livestock publishing in North America. He was awarded the Ed Bible Distinguished Service Award in 2006 for his record fundraising efforts on behalf of the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) Gala.

Jay has been a member of the MoKan chapter since 1987. His NAMA duties and recognitions include: Chapter, Agri-Marketer of the Year chair; Chapter, Careers chair; National Agri-Marketing Conference Trade Show Committee member; Chapter, Recognition chair; Chapter, Special Projects chair; Chapter, 2nd/3rd Vice President; Chapter, Membership chair; National Membership Committee member, vice chair and chair; and Chapter, President. Under his leadership, the chapter earned the Gold Outstanding Chapter award.

Attending Farm Progress?

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:20 am

Are you attending the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL this month?

If so, join other NAMA members at a reception provided by Heartland NAMA.  It’s a great opportunity to take a break on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Exhibitor Tent, located near Gate 6 on the corner of East and Sixth.

Food and drink will be provided (yes, adult beverages too).  If you have any questions, contact Lisa Rigoni (, 217-553-6781).

National Ag Day

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:19 am

The Ag Day Board of Directors met in conjunction with Ag Media Summit to begin planning on 2014 Ag Day events. The theme for Ag Day 2014 is Agriculture: 365 sunrises and 7 billion mouths to feed. Ag Day events in Washington, DC will take place on March 25, 2014.  Events include a reception, courtesy of Agri-Pulse, a mix and mingle luncheon on the hill and dinner at USDA.  Watch for details at

MoKan Ag Tour Visits Ag Operations

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:17 am

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, NAMA Boot Camp kicked off with the MoKan Ag Tour on August 14, in Kansas City, Mo. The group visited two operations in Garden City, Mo., focused on seed production, swine production and meat market retail.

The day began at NeCo Seed Farms, which opened in 1978 and is family-owned. Michael Marconett, NeCo Seeds, discussed the variety of corn and soybean seed options available to growers, including GMO, organic and nonGMO seed. During the tour, attendees observed the seed cleaning process, where the seeds go through multiple cleaning processes to ensure uniform seed size and quality.

Following the tour at NeCo Seeds, the group toured Kurzweils’ Farms and Kurzweils’ Country Meats. On the farm tour, Dennis Kurzweil explained the family is involved in row crop, swine and cattle production.  The group viewed the swine facilities and learned the feed ration is made up from the harvested corn crop. After the farm tour, the group spent time at the meat market. Chris Kurzweil showed everyone how to make bratwurst, one of their top products.  Kurzweil said they have 39 bratwurst flavors and he described how they develop different flavors. The tours concluded with a smoked pork chop lunch at Kurzweils’.

NAMA Reception at Ag Media Summit

Written by NAMA on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 , 10:16 am

The Century Grill - Buffalo, NYOver 100 people attended the NAMA reception at the Ag Media Summit. The reception took place at the Century Grill in Buffalo, New York, and was sponsored in part by the Rocky Mountain chapter of NAMA and MustangRed Communications.

The NAMARitaville reception was the first NAMA has held in conjunction with AMS.  Based on the success of this reception, NAMA is already looking ahead to next year’s summit in Indianapolis.

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