Appy New Year from ZimmComm New Media

Appy New Year from ZimmCommAppy New Year from the ZimmComm Team.

We’re betting that many of you now have a new smartphone or tablet. So whether it’s an iPad of any version or an Android you can get your ZimmComm news on it most easily via the AgWired App! Within the app you’ll also find the news feeds from all of our ZimmComm News Network websites,;; and You’ll also find our main Twitter feeds and the feed from our YouTube and Flickr accounts.

Best of all it’s Free!

So click here to find out where you can get the AgWired App and have an Appy New Year.

Merry Christmas from ZimmComm New Media

Merry Christmas from ZimmComm

ZimmComm Served up on Joyent Cloud

For several years now ZimmComm has enjoyed the web hosting services of the industry pioneer, Joyent. Why did we choose Joyent (originally TextDrive)? Because they not only provided state of the art hosting services and technology but seemed to embody that same willingness to try something new that we have. We have never been sorry.

This weekend we took another step forward with Joyent as we moved to the new Joyent Cloud.

Why constrain your ideas using yesterday’s cloud architecture and infrastructure? Build reliable and resilient applications on a high-performance cloud infrastructure service that powers many of the best mobile, social, gaming and e-commerce enterprises in the industry.

Joyent Cloud provides the essential features to develop, launch and scale web and mobile applications. Our high-performance cloud is designed to improve the productivity and success of application development teams and administrators. Rely upon the stability and reliability of Joyent to create your next innovation.

These folks have taken another big step forward with their move to the next innovation in cloud hosting. So we’re proud to be on their client list along with LinkedIn and Adobe!

But as good as the Joyent Cloud is we couldn’t do it without the Robert, the ZimmComm webmaster! Robert moved us without any disruptions or problems. He’s the best when it comes to not only what you see on our websites but also what you don’t see. So thanks to Robert and Joyent. Looking forward to many more years together.

We’re Seeking Freelance Multi-Media Producer

We’re looking for the right person (or people) to become a ZimmComm producer. We’ve been blessed to have a number of incredibly talented folks work with us over the years and are very proud of them and their accomplishments both professionally and personally. We stay in touch with each and every one of them. Now we’re looking for some new talent.

The right person would be very self-motivated and passionate about agriculture, as well as having most or all of the following skills (listed in order of importance):

  • 1. Computer savvy – Mac or PC
  • 2. Flexible work schedule for on-site assignments
  • 3. Digital photography – composing, shooting, editing
  • 4. Audio production – conducting interviews, editing
  • 5. Short format writing skills
  • 6. Social Networking experience – Blog, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
  • 7. Video production (web style) – shooting, editing
  • 8. WordPress experience

We would like to see examples of work that ideally will include social networking accounts.

A ZimmComm producer needs to be able to shoot photos on the go, conduct spur of the moment interviews, edit photos/audio/video quickly and upload and post to WordPress websites. This includes writing story posts to go with the posted media. The work will include periodic travel to ag related events of different kinds – probably not more than 10 days per calendar year. You will need to be equipped with notebook computer and camera to take hi-res photos. Personal digital audio/video recorder and/or iPhone a plus.

Payment will be negotiated depending on experience and ZimmComm will supply on-the-job training for the right candidate. So are you up to the challenge?

If so, please send me your interest including things like resume/work examples via email.

A Full Year Of ZimmPolls

After our first full year of our ZimmPoll I thought it would be interesting to take a look back and share some statistics with you. I am frequently asked how many people responded and what their demographics are. The number of respondents is easy but knowing who they are and details about their life is not since there’s no registration process. But here are a few numbers I can share with you.

To start with, the average number of responses is 110. I’m not sure about you but I think that’s a pretty good number. The total varies widely each week and I think that has a lot to do with the question itself and the particular week and activities that might draw attention elsewhere. So the swing in number of responses goes from highest for the question, “What do you think of USDA’s proposed GIPSA rule?” at 446 to lowest for the question, “With net farm income up this year, how is your income?” at 32. I’ve also noticed that the number of responses varies to some extent by how aggressively we promote it via social media channels like Twitter and Facebook.

Some other questions that generated a higher level response include: “Which biofuel feedstock do you think has best future?”; “Do you believe in man made climate change?”; “What’s Your Favorite Meat?”; “What mid-term grade would you give Ag Sec. Tom Vilsack?”; “Will higher cost (13%) of Thanksgiving dinner affect your meal?” and “Which Republican Candidate for President is best for Ag?.”

So with question choice being very important I’d like to ask what questions you’d like to see us ask. Please post your ideas in comments. Is there something you’d like to ask the agricultural marketing community? What would it be? Thank you and I look forward to another year of checking the “pulse” of the community.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, a full-service advertising/public relations agency.

Happy Holidays From ZimmComm New Media

ZimmPoll Now One Year Old

The ZimmPoll is one year old! And you can re-visit all of them since they are all archived right here on AgWired. Thank you Rhea + Kaiser for your sponsorship and support.

In our latest ZimmPoll we asked the question, “Will higher cost (13%) of Thanksgiving dinner affect your meal?” Apparently it won’t for most of our respondents. 64% said, No, same as usual; 22% said Yes, Fewer items on table; 9% said Yes, Planning smaller portions and 5% said No, Bigger dinner this year. A story in yesterday’s USA Today seems to reflect this response. It says that some will be cutting back.

Some are holding potluck dinners instead of springing for the entire feast. Others are staying home rather than flying. And a few are skipping the turkey altogether.

Our new ZimmPoll is now live. We’re asking the question, “Do you use Facebook or Google+?” Google+ now allows company pages but so far they don’t seem to have attracted the kind of audience found by companies using Facebook. Which “house” do you live in? Feel free to chime in. We appreciate it.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, a full-service advertising/public relations agency.


Hello ZimmComm Fans:

It’s pheasant season so you know where Chuck is this weekend. We’re pretty sure he’ll be sharing some photos. Remember you can follow him on Twitter too: @AgriBlogger.

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Are Farm Show Smartphone Apps Helpful?” Although 55% said they had Never used one, 27% said Yes and only 18% said no. These results probably reflect the fact that these apps are new. We’ve used several during the course of the year and some are more helpful than others. One of the useful features is being able to open a show map to find where you’re located and where you want to go to find a particular exhibitor. Have you used any of these apps? What did you like or wish was different about the ones you used?

Our new ZimmPoll is now live. We’re asking the question,”How do you view the new free trade agreements for U.S. ag?” President Obama signed legislation last Friday implementing free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama. These agreements were supported by most agricultural member organizations. What do you think? Take our poll and feel free to comment. Thank you.

Here are some interviews you might have missed this week:

Juli Paladino, FS Partners, on using QR codes
Scott Myrick, New Holland, about what customers like about Boomer tractors

You can find the full e-Newsletter here and subscribe here.


Hello ZimmComm Fans:

There seems to be a lot of optimism in the dairy industry based on our conversations with farmers and dairy business companies during the 2011 World Dairy Expo. The ZimmComm team has been on location this week covering the show for the 7th year in a row. We’ve got a lot of photos online and more stories to come on World Dairy Diary.

We have to mention the passing of Steve Jobs which was a big shock to us and a lot of you. Farm podcasting was made possible by the iPod and Agriblogging is just more fun on a Mac. Thank you Steve. You will be missed.

Our latest ZimmPoll question, “Do you think the world population will be 10 billion by 2050?” generated some mixed results. This prediction is being used by all kinds of organizations for all kinds of purposes. But how accurate is it? Here’s what you think. 40% said Exactly or really close; 24% said How can anyone know; 19% said Much more and 17% said Much Less. A lot of people point to a United Nations report for this number. However, they readily admit that no one can know. Here’s an excerpt from the 2004 report that says it pretty clearly. You can find the latest report with revisions here (pdf).

Projections recently issued by the United Nations suggest that world population by 2050 could reach 8.9 billion, but in alternative scenarios could be as high as 10.6 billion or as low as 7.4 billion. What will population trends be like beyond 2050? No one really knows. Any demographic projections, if they go 100, 200, or 300 years into the future, are little more than guesses. Societies change considerably over hundreds of years-as one can readily see if one looks back at where the world was in 1900, or 1800, or 1700. Demographic behaviour over such long time spans, like behaviour in many spheres of life, is largely unpredictable.

Our new ZimmPoll is now live. We’re asking the question,”How do you feel about the corn supply/demand status?”It has been a tough weather year in some areas of the corn belt. After listening to an NPR show yesterday that featured as a guest Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association, it was obvious there is a lot of worry and misinformation about our corn supply in the public and on the part of activist environmental groups. What do you think? Take our poll and feel free to comment.

Here are some interviews you might have missed this week:

Opening of new John Deere Olathe Facility
Mark Clarke, General Manager, World Dairy Expo
Steve Larson, Hoard’s Dairyman and National Dairy Shrine Guest of Honor
Charlie Hammer, WI grain farmer, going full precision with Ag Leader Technology

You can find the full e-Newsletter here and subscribe here.


Hello ZimmComm Fans:

Chuck and Cindy are getting a break from the agriblogging highway. Chuck returned from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in Canada and Cindy attended the Renewable Energy Group (REG) official grand opening of the REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant in Minnesota.

Well, our latest ZimmPoll about jobs didn’t excite anyone judging by the low response. With jobs all the rage in the political scene maybe you’re burned out on the word? Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is best for ag to add jobs to the economy?” 46% said All of the above to our choices. We also had 24% choose Support development of next generation biofuels; 18% choose Invest in rural economic development; 8% choose Pass FTAs with Colombia, Panama and Korea and 4% choose None of the above. We’ll see what happens as the budget and farm bill debates continue to unfold.

Our new ZimmPoll is now live. We’re asking the question, “Can farmers effectively reach out to consumers with social media?” Seems like a timely questions with Thursday’s Food Dialogues, a USFRA program driven by social media. You probably know where I come down on this. But with all our efforts, are we “reaching” consumers? What do you think? Did you participate? Did we reach the right audience?

We get asked a lot of questions about equipment to do farm podcasting with. Here’s a link to an ongoing series of posts highlighting various products you may be interested in.

Here’s some interviews and audio you might have missed this week:

REG President/COO Dan Oh at biodiesel plant grand opening
Hensall District Co-operative, Canada, CEO Earl Wagner
Richard Doyle, President, Dairy Farmers of Canada, on their supply management system
Rick Stott, Agri Beef Co, discusses USFRA Food Dialogues
Christina Connelly, MN Dept. of Ag, bioenergy programs/REG grand opening
Hans Stiekema, Ag Leader Technology, opening new markets

You can find the full e-Newsletter here and subscribe here.