ZimmNews – May 10, 2013

Hello ZimmComm Fans:

This week Chuck attended Farm Credit’s 2013 Idea Share where he participated in a panel discussion titled, “Meet the New Media.” He’s got more to share from the conference today on AgWired. There were a number of good tidbits you’ll find from the session like this tweet from Emily Zweber, Executive Director, AgChat Foundation, who was on the panel, “Social media is one more tool in the toolbox of risk management strategies for your farm.” @ezweber. The conference Twitter hashtag is: #IdeaShare2013. Yes, social media is the new media of today and that makes us all, “media!!”

We are so pleased with the response to our new agri-blogging internship program. It was tough to choose just one for the summer semester, but we finally decided on Maggie Seiler – a sophomore at Kansas State University dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry.

We are not wasting any time getting Maggie on the agri-blogging highway. She will be joining Chuck next week for the 2013 Alltech Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky and you can expect to meet her at other events this summer.

Welcome, Maggie! And thank you to all the students who have applied. We’ll be selecting fall interns in July.

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How many generations are you removed from the farm?”

Our poll results: Thirty percent say they are “One Generation, My Parents are Farmers,” 23% are “Two, My Grandparents Were Farmers,” 22% say “None, I’m a Farmer,” nine percent are not farmers but work in the ag industry, seven percent have “No Direct Farm Connection,” and three percent say “Three, My Great-Grandparents Were Farmers,” “More Than Three,” or “Other.” It is safe to say that most of our followers are not far removed from the farm, if at all!

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Are so-called “ag gag” bills fair?” In the wake of undercover videos at animal agriculture operations that have shown abuse, and especially those that were compiled over a period of time, edited and then released to the public without doing anything to stop the abuse or take it to the proper authorities, several states have passed legislation making that illegal. Most of the laws simply require mandatory reporting of animal cruelty when it happens but opponents have labeled them “ag gag” laws that would suppress efforts to document and publicize animal abuse. Those in favor prefer to call them “See Something, Say Something” bills. Do you feel that the so-called “ag gag” bills are prohibitive? Will these laws hamper efforts to stop animal cruelty? Does this impede our efforts for transparency in the food systems? Let us know.

Here are some interviews you might have missed this week:

Janet Thompson, farm girl, economist, wife, mom, on farm privacy
Regina Gill, Farm Credit Funding Corporation, on state of Farm Credit System
Janet Riley, American Meat Institute, on new animal handling videos
Ethanol Report with Bob Dinneen, RFA, on current events

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