Register for the 2014 AMC and Signup for Golf and Ag Tour!

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 , 8:20 am


Take a look at our fantastic 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference Breakout Lineup:

  • Next Level Leadership: Managing for Breakthrough Performance
  • Measuring Social Media Marketing ROI
  • Public Relations:  The Evolution Continues
  • cre-a-tive (kre-a-tiv):  Relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas
  • Food for Thought:  An In-Depth Ag-Marketing Case Study
  • How to Get What You Want…The Right Way.  The Power of  Persuasion and Purpose
  • Branding from the Inside Out:  Engaged Associates Drive Your Brand
  • Marketing to Multiple Generations at the Same Time, From the Same Budget:  Producer Panel
  • The Power of Consumers to Shape a Business Model

Visit for Breakout details and schedule.

Florida Ag Tour

Join us for a guided tour of some of the finest farms, ranches and agri-business facilities in the Sunshine State, Wednesday, April 9 from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Florida boasts 9.2 million acres of farmland and ranks 2nd in U.S. production of fresh vegetables, providing 80% of the fresh vegetables consumed in the nation during the winter months. Florida’s cattle industry is one of the 15 largest in the United States, centered around birthing and raising calves. You will see fresh market potato and onion harvesting and packing; commercial vegetable production on plastic; a sod farm, blueberry farm, peach orchard, cattle ranch; and a very special Fresh From Florida lunch prepared by the University of Florida’s Chef David Bearl. Chef Bearl is an inductee of the American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the American Culinary Federation, representing the highest standards of professionalism in the industry. His efforts to support culinary education through ‘Farm to School’ initiatives encourages the use of fresh, seasonal, and locally grown ingredients. The lunch, prepared by Chef Bearl, will feature specially selected items grown in Florida.

Cost for the Florida Ag Tour is $60.

To register for the Florida Ag Tour and for the conference visit If you’ve already registered for conference but want to add the Florida Ag Tour or if you just want to register for the Ag Tour and not the Agri-Marketing Conference, please visit

ABEF Golf Outing

The Agri-Business Educational Foundation (ABEF) will be hosting a Golf Outing, Tuesday, April 8. Gather your foursome and enjoy a relaxing day of golf in beautiful Jacksonville before the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference begins.

The ABEF Golf Outing will take place at the Amelia National Golf Club. A chartered bus will leave the hotel at 11:30 a.m. to take everyone to the golf course and a boxed lunch and beverages will be provided. Tee time begins at 1:00 p.m. An awards ceremony and reception will cap your day on the greens. Cost for the outing is $195 per golfer.  For more information visit

Connection Point

Looking for opportunities to place your company’s products and services before decision-makers in the ag marketplace?  NAMA’s Connection Point is for you.  Click here for details or contact Jan Cichello at 913-491-6500.


Looking for other ways to get noticed?  Get in touch with Jenny Pickett about terrific sponsorship opportunities.

Register today
to save money and get a jump on your 2014 calender!

Beck Named 2014 Agribusiness Leader of the Year

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 , 8:19 am

SonnyBeck14NAMA is pleased to announce  Sonny Beck, president, Beck’s Hybrids, as the 2014 Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the Opening General Session of the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference, “A Fresh Perspective,” April 10, 2014, in Jacksonville, Florida. The award honors outstanding leaders in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness related areas who exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

Sonny Beck, president of Beck’s Hybrids, has led the company to unprecedented growth. As the largest family-owned seed company in the United States, Beck’s Hybrids is now the sixth largest seed company in the U.S. Under Sonny’s leadership, Beck’s Hybrids has experienced a 20 percent increase in sales each year for the last 20 years, doubling in size every four years.

As soon as Beck joined the family operation in 1964, after graduating from Purdue University, he never let grass grow under his feet. Always aiming at building closer, stronger relationships with customers, Beck immediately launched a couple of customer events that are now long-standing traditions.

It was in that same year, Beck started what is now called the Practical Farm Research (PFR)® program. Still today, the PFR program is unlike any other in the seed industry. Focused on farmer’s needs, hundreds of studies are completed at five Beck’s locations in an effort to look at how different management practices perform in different environments. The information is delivered to farmers across the Midwest in a 280-page summary book, website and field shows.

Beck has frequently stated that before 1992 Beck’s Hybrids was a seed producer who happened to do some marketing, but with the arrival of traits, Beck’s became a marketing company who happened to produce most of their own seed.

But it was not just traits that Beck and the Beck’s Hybrids team pursued. In 2001, Beck’s Hybrids was the first to market 100 percent of its seed corn with a seed-applied insect control system called FaSTart®. Over time the seed treatment evolved and in 2009 Beck’s Hybrids became the first seed company to put together a unique set of yield-enhancing products called Escalate® yield enhancement system. Escalate comes standard on all Beck’s corn, soybean, wheat and alfalfa products.

Beck’s dedication and passion for agriculture extends far beyond Beck’s Hybrids. He has played an integral role in leading several agricultural organizations, providing each with a unique leadership approach, ultimately guiding them to newer heights.




Hartz Named 2014 NAMA Marketer of the Year

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 , 8:18 am

jeffhartz14 NAMA is pleased to announce that Jeff Hartz, director of marketing, Wyffels Hybrids, has been named the 2014 NAMA Marketer of the Year. The NAMA Marketer award will be presented during the Second General Session of the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference, “A Fresh Perspective” on Thursday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. in Jacksonville, Florida and is sponsored by Agri Marketing magazine.

Jeff Hartz spent his first 6 to 12 months at Wyffels Hybrids just listening. He asked a lot of questions and attended a lot of meetings. He talked to employees, seed reps and customers…and even competitors. Through this intense discovery period, he defined what Wyffels stood for, how they are different than competitors, what the marketing team needed to focus its efforts on and new, strategic growth strategies.

Hartz has been instrumental in improving customer retention year over year. Each year his goal is to meet or exceed 60% of new customers’ business in year two. As of today, Wyffels Hybrids has reached 67% retention rate of new customers and 78% continued customer retention, the highest in the business along with one of the industry leaders, according to market research.

Hartz understood that Wyffels Hybrids is a challenger brand in a cluttered and confusing market. He took what he already knew through his years of experience about challenger brands and applied that knowledge, along with market research, to Wyffels. He also considered what he found to be true about the company’s products and people through his discovery process. Then, he built a branding document around that knowledge and insight that company leaders and all employees now use to help guide nearly every decision they make.

As the marketing director, Hartz oversees all strategic marketing efforts including advertising and public relations and the development of the Wyffels brand. He works closely with growers, the sales force and the National Sales Director to develop programs and materials that meet their needs and reinforce Wyffels’ position as one of the leading independent seed corn companies in the industry. His role is constantly evolving as a member of the leadership team.

Hartz became active on a national scale with NAMA when he joined the Careers Committee in 2008 and provided value to that committee for three years, motivating future members of the ag marketing industry. He also encouraged one of his team members to join the committee, securing a continued commitment from Wyffels Hybrids.

His work as vice chair, then chair of the Best of NAMA Committee in 2012 ensured members received recognition for the outstanding work accomplished. He also served as a national awards judge in 2010 and 2014. As a former advertising creative copywriter, Hartz has always had an eye for excellence in marketing communications efforts and thrives on applauding the creative efforts of his peers, realizing that some of the best work in today’s marketplace is coming from those in agriculture.

Join NAMA & AAEA at Commodity Classic

Written by NAMA on Saturday, February 8, 2014 , 8:22 am
Join NAMA & AAEA at Commodity Classic

You are invited to a joint cocktail reception hosted by AAEA and the National
Agri-Marketing Association at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

When: Friday, February 28, 2014

Where: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room: 006A
(on the River Level, below street level)

Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Stop by after the trade show closes but before you head out to dinner!

No cost or registration necessary.

Thanks to BASF, Great Plains, Southwest and
Rocky Mountain NAMA Chapters.

Regional Best of NAMA Winners/Highlights

Written by NAMA on Thursday, February 6, 2014 , 11:43 am

Best of  NAMA Regional Winners

Congrats to all the Best of  NAMA winners!  If you placed first or merit at the regional level, you are eligible to advance to the national competition.  You should have received an email from the National office about advancing your entries.  If you have questions, call 913-491-6500.

Please click on a region below to view winners and check out photos at flickr.

Region I

Region II

Region III

Region IV

Region V

Region VI

Best of NAMA Highlights

Region 1 Best of NAMA

The AdFarm office in Sacramento, California, hosted a reception and awards ceremony on January 27 to honor the best work for the Desert Southwest and Western Pacific chapters.  Those attending also got to hear the California Rice Commission’s fascinating marketing story, presented by Jim Morris, Communications Manager for the Commission.


Best of Show Advertising

Category:  Premiums/Specialties directed to farmers, growers, ranchers or others serving agribusiness

Company:  Canola Council of Canada (CCC)

Agency:  broadhead.

Campaign:  Canola Meal Calculator Launcher


Best of Show Public Relations

Category:  Media Relations

Company:  U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)

Agency:  Ketchum

Campaign:  The Faces of Farming & Ranching are Leading the Food Dialogues


Region II Best of NAMA

Nearly 150 people attended the awards banquet at the Boulevard Brewing Company on January 16 in Kansas City, Missouri.  The ceremony honored the best work for the Cornhusker, Gateway, Great Plains, Missouri-Kansas, Rocky Mountain and Southwest chapters.

reg2Best of Show Advertising

Category:  Multimedia Campaigns – Regional

Company:  Great Salt Lake Minerals Corp.

Agency:  Salva O’Renick

Campaign:  Almond Replenish Campaign

Best of Show Public Relations

Category:  Company Publications – Annual Reports
Company:  Farm Credit National Communications

Agency:  In-house

Campaign:  Producing Excellence Commemorative Book


Region III Best of NAMA

With over 155 people in attendance at the awards banquet on January 30 at Target Field in Minneapolis, the ceremony honored the Cornbelt, Iowa, North Central and Northern Prairie chapters.

reg3kennaBest of Show Advertising (not pictured)

Category:  Multimedia Campaigns – Local

Company: Bayer CropScience

Agency:  MacLaren McCann 

Campaign:  Folicur Bushels to Bottles Campaign

Best of Show Public Relations (not pictured)
Category:  Overall PR Program – Directed to farmers, growers, ranchers or others serving agribusiness

Company: RAM Trucks

Agency:, with The Richards Group

Campaign: RAM Truck God made a Farmer Campaign


Region IV Best of NAMA

The Badger, Chicago, Heartland and Mid-America Chapters celebrated their Best Work on January 23 at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with over 160 in attendance.

reg4winBest of Show Advertising (not pictured)

Category:  Producer or Company-funded
advertising directed to consumers

Company:  Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board/Wisconsin Cheese

Agency:   Shine United

Campaign:  Love Letters

reg4grBest of Show Public Relations (not pictured)

Category:  Social Media

Company:  Wisconsin Milk Marketing

Board/Wisconsin Cheese

Agency:  Shine United

Campaign:  Wisconsin Cheese 2013 Social Media Campaign


Carolinas/Virginia Best of NAMA

The Carolinas/Virginia Chapter celebrated its annual Best of NAMA awards ceremony on January 21 at the Hamner Conference Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

14carvirgrBest of Show Advertising within the Chapter

Category:  Customer Brochures, Catalogs – farmer directed-1 or more elements

Company:  Syngenta

Agency:  Gibbs & Soell

Campaign:  Grow More Corn Grower Profiles


Best of Show Public Relations within the Chapter

Category:  News or Feature Article – Trade Media

Company:  Syngenta

Agency:  Gibbs & Soell

Campaign:  Mystery Solved


Midsouth Best of NAMA

The Midsouth Chapter gathered at Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 23 to celebrate winners for their work in Midsouth agriculture.


Best of Show Advertising within the Chapter

Category:  Television – Single or Series

Company:  Deltapine

Agency:  Brighton Agency

Campaign:  Deltapine Texas TV


Best of Show Public Relations within the Chapter

Category:  Company Publications – Annual Reports

Company:  Tennessee Farmers Cooperative

Agency:  In-house

Campaign:  All That Matters


Southeastern Best of NAMA

Cinco, in Suwanee, Georgia, was the site for the Southeastern Chapter’s Best of NAMA Awards ceremony.  Winners gathered on January 23 to receive awards and congratulations.


Best of Show Advertising within the Chapter

Category:  Direct Mail – directed to dealers, distributors, sales reps or others serving agribusiness – three dimensional

Company:  Chemtura AgroSolutions

Agency:  Charleston|Orwig

Campaign:  Rancona® Dealer Follow-Up Direct Mail Series


Best of Show Public Relations within the Chapter

Category:  Events – Customer

Company:  South Carolina State Fair

Agency:  Post No Bills

Campaign:  South Carolina State Fair’s Indie Grits 48 Hour Film Blitz




Welcome to NAMA!

Written by NAMA on Thursday, February 6, 2014 , 11:38 am

Welcome our new NAMA members for the month of January:

Augie Aga, Northern Broadcasting Systems, Inc.

Lisa Bryant, Charleston|Orwig, Inc.
Casey Hushon, Charleston|Orwig, Inc.
Hannah Keitel, Charleston|Orwig, Inc.
Kristi Olson, Landmark Services Cooperative
Cassandra Strommen, Landmark Services Cooperative

Melissa Chu, Bayer CropScience
Cathrine Ibanez, Bayer CropScience

Kathryn Freeman, Titan International, Inc.
Richard Wohlner,  Precision Laboratories

Alexis Abel, Swanson Russell
Dave Hansen, Swanson Russell
Shannon O’Neill-Peterson, Valley Irrigation

Jennifer Clark, University of Florida

Sheryl Bennett, Renaissance Savery Hotel
Brad Burnett, DuPont Pioneer
Kylee Deniz, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
Jon Vial, PigCHAMP

Jim Patrick, Fastline Publications

Morgan Smith, Helena Chemical Co.
Stacey Swain, Helena Chemical Co.

Brock Campbell, Sullivan Higdon & Sink
Paul Diamond, DMH
Scott Flemming, Sullivan Higdon & Sink
Lisa Homer, Woodruff Sweitzer
Donna Taylor, AdFarm

Ben Sander,  Summers Manufacturing

Andy Vance, Penton/Farm Progress

Steve Howorko, Horizon Ag-Products

Cameron Stewart,

The Passing of Ernest T. Marshall

Written by NAMA on Thursday, February 6, 2014 , 11:37 am

The first official Executive Director of  NAMA (1974 -1978), Ernie Marshall,  passed away on October 7, 2013 at his home in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Ernie had an extraordinary life, playing right end on the ISU football team and graduating with honors with an Iowa State degree in Industrial Economics (now the College of Business).  He went on to have a very successful career in advertising, marketing and as a public relations executive with Continental Oil Company (Conoco).  He later worked for a large advertising agency.  As the first executive director of the National Agri-Marketing Association, he expanded Agricultural Day to become a national program.


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