Boot Camp 2014 Is Almost Here!

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:19 am

Boot Camp LogoBoot Camp LogoBoot Camp LogoBoot Camp LogoBoot Camp Logobootcamp 170 buttonThe 11th Annual NAMA Boot Camp is just a few days away! This year’s Boot Camp will take place on August 19-21 in Kansas City at the Sheraton Crown Center. And you can still register! We still have rooms available at the Sheraton, or if you live in town you can come and register right before it starts.Boot Camp Logo

This event is filled with great opportunities whether you are just starting out in the working world or you’ve been through Boot Camp many times before. If this is your first time in the agriculture business, then you are in luck; you will get a beginner’s course about the business including a notebook packed with agricultural terminology, facts and case studies. If you are a more seasoned veteran, you can choose from a variety of different breakout sessions and pick the one that interests you most.

Aside from the great speakers lined up for you this year, we also have some fun scheduled into the program. The first night of Boot Camp will have a networking reception where you will have the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people. In today’s working world, meeting the right people can make a huge difference in growing your career – you never know who you could meet! The next night we will have an off-site reception at Snow and Company. Located in Kansas City’s Crossroads Art District, this frozen cocktail bar will quench your thirst and cool you off on a hot, summer night.

Find a complete schedule of this year’s activities here.

And be sure to sign up today so you don’t miss out on these amazing opportunities, register online.

MoKan NAMA Ag Tour

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:18 am

The 2014 MoKan NAMA Ag Tour is the first day of NAMA’s Boot Camp. We will be starting bright and early on Tuesday, August 19th, to make sure we can fit in all the great activities before the Boot Camp Welcome Reception that night. Our first stop will be Wade Farms in Stewartsville, MO. We will learn about new technologies and equipment while touring this 15,000 acre corn and soy operation. You will have the opportunity for a hands-on farm experience like none other.

Next, we will head to Shatto Milk Company for a full tour of the dairy operation and lunch will be provided on-site. Finally, we will finish at Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery. Here we will learn about their unique process that focuses on sustainability. Plus, we will get some samples of their award-winning wines! You do not want to miss out on these great stops filled with agriculture, learning and wine!

Please note: The MoKan Ag Tour is prior to the NAMA Boot Camp. While we hope you’ll attend both, you do not need to be registered for the NAMA Boot Camp to attend the Ag Tour.

To get the full schedule and to register for this event visit the NAMA Boot Camp website.

Chicago NAMA Ag Tour

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:18 am

fair-oaks-signThere are still plenty of spots open on the 2014 Chicago NAMA Chapter Ag Tour! The tour takes place the day before the NAMA Fall Conference. We will be departing from The Hotel Chicago on Monday, September 15th at 12:00 p.m. Lunch will be served on the bus while we are on the way to Fair Oaks Farms where we will be spending the day.

During the tour, you will get the opportunity to see Fair Oaks Farms’ 30,000 cow dairy operation. You will learn how the cows are cared for and visit the rotary milking parlor to learn about this unique milking technology. Then, you will head over to the Pig Adventure to see the interactive displays and observe the gestation and farrowing operations.

The last stop is at the new Farmhouse Restaurant, Bakery and Farmers Market at Fair Oaks Farms where you will get the opportunity to tour the kitchen and interact with the chefs. These chefs will then serve dinner with food produced on-site that is prepared in its completely viewable kitchen.

For a more detailed schedule and to register,  visit the NAMA Fall Conference website.

NAMA Fall Conference 2014

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:18 am

Jon Petz - Headshot 13

The 2014 NAMA Fall Conference will be here before you know it! And attendance is looking great – the NAMA block at The Hotel Chicago is currently at capacity! We have another block of rooms available at a rate of  $289/night with a 2 night stay.  Please call the hotel to get this rate, it is not available online, the number is (312) 245-0333.

Here is a look at two of this year’s keynote speakers:

Jon Petz, engagement expert, will teach you how to make the most out of every meeting, phone call and basically any daily activity. His clients include the US Air Force, IBM, ABC, Marriott – the list goes on! He is also the author of several books including Boring Meetings Suck: Get More Out of Your Meetings, or Get Out of More Meetings and The Best of the Best.


Bob Langert, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at McDonald’s Corp., will close out your Fall Conference experience with a look at the major issues facing the agriculture industry in today’s world. Get a forecast for what lies ahead from an extremely experienced ag veteran.

This year’s breakout sessions will focus on what’s going on in agribusiness in today’s changing world. Sessions will include: updates on trends in agriculture, how to anticipate a PR crisis, how drones could play a part in the future of agriculture and much more. Plus you will have a great opportunity to meet the right people at the Networking Reception, sponsored by Brighton Agency. Unwind after the first day of Fall Conference in the amazing Crimson Lounge of The Hotel Chicago.

See you in the Windy City on September 16th & 17th for the best Fall Conference yet!

For a full schedule, registration details, hotel information and anything else you need to know, visit the Fall Conference 2014 website.

PDA Awards: And the Winners Are…..

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:18 am

NAMA is proud to present the 2014 Professional Development Award Winners!

Marketing Communications:

Ryan Parkin, Marketing Communications Manager, Beck’s Hybrids

Ryan Parkin is the marketing communications manager at Beck’s, a family-owned, retail seed company. With his leadership, encouragement, enthusiasm, and motivation, he has led an in-house marketing team to award-winning success. But most importantly, Ryan’s innovative ideas, excellent leadership, and knowledge of the seed industry have helped increase sales across Beck’s marketing area.

Not only is Ryan dedicated to being the most successful marketing communications manager, he’s committed to touching the lives of farmers throughout the country. In 2013, Beck’s launched the “Why I Farm” movement in an effort to honor the American farmer. Ryan’s vision went beyond caring about his role, but doing something bigger than all of us. Since the release of the movement, there have been nearly 16 million online impressions with more than one million page views on the “Why I Farm” website.

Each year, Ryan and his in-house team strive to develop sales materials and an advertising campaign that triggers an emotion, leaves a lasting impression, and generates discussion that ultimately helps to increase sales. In 2013, Beck’s won the Best of Show in Advertising at the Best of NAMA Awards in Kansas City, Mo., for their “Suspect of Success” campaign.

Ryan continues to be engaged in regional NAMA activities. He has helped host a regional meeting and attends meetings when management duties allow. When the Mid-America chapter started to become more active, Ryan encouraged his team members to get involved.

Product/Species Management:

Kelly Smith, Product Management Administrator, Kuhn North America, Inc.

Kelly has greatly added to her overall knowledge of Kuhn products and strategies by becoming more actively involved in the development of one of their key products, the SR 100 GII SpeedRake. She took it upon herself to be a driving force to setup the marketing activities for this product range, including working with marketing on a photo and video shoot for the machine, helping develop the features and benefits PowerPoints and sales booklets that are given out to dealers, as well as writing and delivering the product review video that is shared with customers and dealers through our website and YouTube channel.

Kelly has developed an extensive knowledge of price pack and machine price list creation. She is in charge of developing the Kuhn and Kuhn Knight price books, which include the features and benefits for all of the machines. One major area where Kelly is involved is the Kuhn North America Competitive Intelligence Monitor. This program was initiated last year and is a global initiative to collect information on competitive companies’ sales, developments and marketing activities in order for the company to be well-informed and make better decisions. This allows colleagues in other countries and factories to be more comfortable discussing and investigating opportunities and issues as they know Kelly personally.

Kelly is an active member of Badger NAMA serving as a Careers Co-Chair. In this role, she helps cultivate future agri-marketers as liaison for the University of Wisconsin – Platteville’s student (Pioneer) NAMA chapter. As a liaison for Pioneer NAMA, she offers her professional opinion on marketing plan drafts, serves as the contact between Badger NAMA and Pioneer NAMA, and encourages students to reach new heights with their marketing and career plans. In addition, she sets up meetings between both organizations and encourages student involvement with professional events and tours.

Public Relations:

Lisa Adams, Principal, Public Relations, Sage Virtual Communications

Throughout her career, Lisa Adams has become one of the most recognized and respected agricultural communications and public relations agency professionals in crop production. After more than 20 years of experience encompassing work within highly respected communications agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, AdFarm and Woodruff Sweitzer, Lisa took the ultimate leap and established Sage Virtual Communications, her own public relations entity, in September 2011.

 Leveraging her industry experience, vast network and numerous media relationships, Lisa has built Sage Virtual Communications to be the means by which she can concentrate her time and talent on the strategic as well as tactical needs of clients in a more focused, fast-paced approach that is unmatched by larger agencies. From collaborative crop e-newsletters with highly respected industry editors to forging partnerships with university experts and working with sales personnel to creatively extend their reach, Lisa observes no boundaries when building a successful communications plan.

Lisa’s tremendous work ethic and dedication to her clients’ success has flourished beneath her own entity.  Lisa took the opportunity to start her own business in order to truly dedicate her time and talents on directly impacting her clients’ short and long term business.

A MoKan NAMA Chapter member for years, Lisa’s most profound NAMA impact is through her volunteerism as a Student NAMA Marketing Competition Judge. At the 2012 competition, Lisa served as a semi-finals judge and the year prior as a preliminary round judge, graciously giving of her time, talents and expertise to guide the next generation of agricultural marketers. After her very first judging experience, Lisa expressed that she was “hooked” by the students’ passion, energy and enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to judge again. As a role model for those who think outside the box, Lisa’s own passion for agriculture and agriculture communications shines through to the students while her fair and honest critiques provide valuable insights on areas for improvement toward next year’s competition. As a professional member, being involved in the student competition is one of the greatest, most unselfish contributions one can make toward the future of NAMA, and Lisa benevolently does so year after year.


Gary Vorpahl, Director of Marketing, Hoard’s Dairyman

Gary was hired by W. D. Hoard & Sons Company in 1984 and currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing for Hoard’s Dairyman. Gary’s responsibilities encompass managing a national sales staff, internal market research, publication marketing, and income enhancements. During his tenure, Gary has worked tirelessly to change or help implement change not only at Hoard’s but overall in the world of ag BTB publications.

Here is a sampling of his career achievements; the creation of Hoard’s exclusive-content webinars starting in 2011 and Hoard’s Dairyman Intel starting  in 2013. He provided guidance in the launch of Hoard’s website in 1996 and re-launched with additional staff in 2009 and helped facilitate building the welcome center as part of the new Hoard’s Dairyman parlor/barn facility built in 2007. Gary has been working to make the annual Hoard’s Dairyman Marketing Study the most complete producer survey available to the dairy industry. And working with agencies to develop Hoard’s Dairyman annual Agri-Marketing Cow Judging Contest that has garnered much recognition (wins and merits) at both Regional and National Best of NAMA.

Gary’s enthusiasm for agriculture has led to his involvement and leadership in many industry organizations. He is a key player in the Wisconsin Agri-Business Council, a group comprised of agri-business people and farmers who look out for the interests of agriculture in the state legislature and the public. Since 1984, Gary has been a vital cog in the organization, serving as president for most of his time on the board. He is also past chairman of the American Business Media-Agri Council, which represents the leading agricultural magazine titles in the U.S. and Canada.

Gary has been an active NAMA member since 1974 and has served in a wide array of positions on the chapter, regional and national level including nearly twenty years of service as a chapter officer. He likely holds the chapter record for events attended, and rarely passes up the opportunity to sponsor an event when asked. Perhaps his greatest achievement in all those years of service in NAMA has been in the role of mentor to hundreds of younger members and being an inspiration for anyone looking to succeed in agricultural communications or sales.

Badger NAMA Presents “Bridging the Generation Gap”

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:18 am

Thursday, September 11 | 3:30 p.m. | Café Centraal | Bay View, Wisconsin

With multiple generations in the same office, it’s more important than ever to avoid communication mishaps amongst different ages and capitalize on the skills each person brings to the team.

In this interactive and informal workshop, Bob Hagenow, Vita Plus sales manager, will help attendees explore common generational preferences, habits, and fears as well as strategies to enhance communication and collaboration for all ages.

The workshop will begin at 3:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Start bridging the generation gap now!  Bring a coworker or client from another generation to be entered into a special Badger NAMA drawing!

Cost:  $30 for Badger NAMA members, $50 for non-members and $15 for students.

Questions?  Contact Sarah Duwe ( or Andrea Bloom (

Farm Progress Reception

Written by NAMA on Friday, August 15, 2014 , 8:17 am

Are you attending the Farm Progress Show? If so, the Iowa and Cornbelt NAMA Chapters are co-sponsoring a reception there for you. They will provide an opportunity to take a break and interact with other NAMA members on Wednesday, August 27, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Exhibitor Building. Appetizers and drinks will be provided (yes, adult beverages, too).

Look for the big building just outside of gate 6 near the intersection of South Avenue and Sixth Street.

Questions about the reception? Contact Kurt Lokenvitz at or at 309.945.3915.

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