Happy Holidays From ZimmComm New Media

ZimmComm Ag Events Calendar

zimmcomm calendarOne day I was thinking to myself, “I wish there was a calendar that had all the ag events for the year on it.” I had never seen such a thing, so I decided to make one.

This was not an easy task. It took me about a month to get it the way I wanted it, including photos from events throughout this past year and getting as many dates for the major ag events included. Not sure how it would actually look in person, we ordered a limited quantity to give as Christmas gifts to some of our clients.

We think they actually came out pretty sweet and now we are wondering if there is any interest among AgWired readers to get their very own copy.

You can order your calendar here: Order 2012 ZimmComm Ag Events Calendar.

The cost is $20 each plus $2 shipping/handling.

Congrats to @agriblogger for NAMA Award of Excellence

Chuck Zimmerman, better known to many as @agriblogger on Twitter, was honored to receive one of the National Agri-Marketing Association’s 2012 Professional Development Awards of Excellence during the Trends in Agriculture conference last week in Kansas City. Chuck received the award for Excellence in Public Relations.

In good company, Chuck was honored with Stephanie Gable (left) of Novus International for Product/Species Management and Margaret Fogarty, Farm Credit for Marketing Communications. The fourth winner in the Sales category was Sue Lee of Farm Journal Media who is not pictured because she was attending another meeting. All are well deserving of the honors.

Here’s what NAMA had to say about Chuck:

From on-line photo album development for key industry events, to news reporting and media liaison activities for various commercial clients, to ‘blogging’ his way across the land, Chuck has become a common sight at just about any type of meeting or event in the agriculture industry. He has also done a great deal to get many others involved in new media endeavors.

ZimmComm’s primary website, www.AgWired.com, continues to grow in web traffic and involvement by industry professionals and agriculturists alike. He regularly crisscrosses the country from one event to the next, hired by PR professionals and companies of all types and sizes to perform a specific but expanding list of New Media, Social Media and related Public Relations services.

As part of the ZimmComm, Inc. business model, Chuck has developed numerous websites, some of which are focused on one commodity or industry enterprise. Some have become very viable website “channels” for a specific industry purpose. Some of these websites are owned by ZimmComm, Inc. and others are built and maintained by ZimmComm on a contractual basis for their clients. Many of these website concepts were born out of brainstorming about a specific challenge or need in the industry, and then developing a web presence to serve that need.

Chuck has been active in NAMA throughout his career and he continues his membership in a very active way now in his role representing his own company, ZimmComm, Inc. He has given countless hours and days to NAMA service in many, many ways over the years. He has always been active in his local chapters, and has been involved in program planning and leadership at local levels. He is currently a nominee to the Executive Committee.

Stephanie turned the tables on Chuck and interviewed him about his award. Listen to that here: Stephanie Interviews Chuck

2011 NAMA Trends in Agriculture Photo Album

September Slow Down

We have gotten to take a much-needed break from the road in September and enjoy the beautiful late summer weather here in mid Missouri. It has been by far the longest stretch of decent weather we’ve had here all year – and the longest stretch of time off the road! It’s been nice to catch up and catch our breath.

Of course, Chuck did spend over a week in Ontario, Canada for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) annual congress this month, so we weren’t TOTALLY home bound. Check out all of the more than 1,000 photos from the trip here. Thanks to Pioneer for once again sponsoring our coverage of this great event.

As for Cindy – well, I spent a grand total of one day on the road in September – and now feel fully caught up. My one trip was to Minnesota for the official opening of the REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant. We would like to sincerely thank the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council for allowing us to cover this event on their behalf and congratulate all involved for getting this plant back up and running to meet the advanced biofuel needs of the state of Minnesota and the rest of the country under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Gearing up to get back on the road, both of us will be heading to Madison, Wisconsin the first week of October to cover the World Dairy Expo on World Dairy Diary for sixth year in a row. Thanks to our sponsors Charleston Orwig and several of their dairy clients, including Hoard’s Dairyman, Accelerated Genetics, and Dairy Business Association; as well as Alltech – a first time sponsor for this event for us, but a long time supporter.

Hope to see you all somewhere on down the agriblogging highway!

ZimmComm Coverage from Coast to Coast in August

August may have been our busiest month ever.

ncba cbb herman cainWe started out the month with cattle producers in the Sunshine State for the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference. The joint meeting of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) in Kissimmee, Florida featured Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Click on the photo for a larger version and see the CISC 2011 photo album for more. Posts about the CBB side of the meeting can be found on BeefBoardMeeting.com, where meeting photos, interviews and committee reports going back to 2007 are archived.

rosy riverWe also covered the AgCareers.com 2011 Ag HR Roundtable for the first time. The event was held on the campus of Purdue University and brought together representatives from agribusiness and academia to discuss how to recruit and prepare young people for careers in agriculture.

Another stop this month was in Toledo, Ohio for the CTIC Conservation in Action Tour, which featured a full day of visits in the area around Lake Erie. This rosy sunset over the Maumee River greeted us as we returned from the tour. I really love that photo – click on it for a larger version, and check out the CTIC 2011 tour photo album for more.

sturgis 2011The Sturgis Motorcycle rally in South Dakota was definitely a first for us. Chuck covered that for the Renewable Fuels Association, which partners with the Buffalo Chip Campground to promote ethanol. See his photos from Sturgis here. No, he didn’t ride a motorcycle, but he did sleep in a very comfortable RV at the campground – it was an experience!

Without too much of a break, Chuck headed to Kansas City for the NAMA Bootcamp and then to Nashville for the AgChat Agvocacy 2.0 conference.

bivi north carolinaCindy’s next two trips sent her from coast to coast. First to the Boehringer-Ingelheim annual swine health seminar in North Carolina. This is the fourth time we have been able to attend this event and it is always fun because it is so family-oriented. They invite their producer and partner clients and their families for a really nice weekend on the Carolina coast. It was a pirate theme this year and all the kids really enjoyed it!

Five days later, Cindy headed to Seattle at the request of the United Soybean Board to attend the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s first Animal Utilization Stakeholders meeting. The weather was glorious in Seattle and as a weird coincidence, Cindy got to attend the wedding of a very close high school friend who lives in Tacoma.

jd product launchThe month wrapped up with the biggest product launch in the 174 year history of John Deere in Indianapolis. Chuck got lots of great photos and video there. The photos have already been viewed over 2600 times and the three videos collectively have been seen almost 10,000 times! Cindy attended the GROWMARK annual meeting in Chicago, then we both got together and headed to Decatur, Illinois for the 2011 Farm Progress Show. Together we uploaded over 600 photos that have been viewed more than 3,000 times.

All totaled, we traveled over 16,000 miles in August, uploaded nearly 4,000 photos, and did more than 400 posts on all four of our websites. We are definitely looking forward to a break from the road and a little R&R on Labor Day before we get back at it in September!

New Holland Boomer 555 Contest Goes Social

It’s hard to believe we’re half way through July and we haven’t updated you on all the things we’ve been doing. Could be because we’ve been doing a lot. So I’ve got more updating to do. But let’s just focus on a big announcement we made last week. It’s a project we’re doing for New Holland. Here’s the details.

Announcing the New Holland Boomer™ 555 Contest. Eight lucky winners will receive a 5-year lease (150-hour per year) on a New Boomer 30 with a 240TLA Loader with the 5-year Boomer Guard5 Limited Warranty. All you have to do is fill out the entry form and describe how you would use a New Holland compact tractor.

You can find out all you need to know, including contest rules and regulations, on the Boomer555.com blog. I’m going to be the Boomer™ 555 Contest blogger throughout this campaign, updating you frequently with announcements and sharing selected entries and feedback from the folks I meet. Yes, that does mean I’ll be out and about. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook too.

Here’s a picture of a Boomer 30. Picture that on your place!

So, let’s learn more about the contest from Doran Herritt, New Holland Brand Marketing Manager. We spoke by phone. Doran says New Holland decided to conduct the Boomer™ 555 Contest as part of their introduction of the new 5 year limited warranty on the new Boomer tractors. The 5’s represent 5 months to enter to win a 5 year lease on a Boomer 30 with a five year warranty. Doran encourages you to think creatively about how you would use a Boomer tractor/loader and enter the contest. Whatever you can dream up is okay. It’s time to get Boomer555 Fever!

You can listen to my conversation with Doran here: Doran Says - Get Boomer555 Fever

If you aren’t familiar with the New Holland Boomer Tractors then learn all about them on the New Holland website.

Agwired App In Android Market

The AgWired App is now available in the Android Market. You asked for it and you’ve got it. One of the new features we’re offering in this app (and soon to be added to the iPhone version) is the ability to share out stories via multiple mechanism like email, Twitter, etc.

Just like its iPhone predecessor, the app offers one-touch access to all the latest news and information in the agribusiness and agricultural marketing world posted on Agwired.com, including audio, photos and video, and connections to other ZimmComm news sites. The AgWired App features a news tab drop down menu to select ZimmComm News Network feeds as well as individual news on AgWired.com by category.

You can find the AgWired App in the Android Market with this link. The AgWired iPhone App has been downloaded onto almost 3,000 iPhones/iPod touches/iPads since we introduced it and is being opened for viewing between 3 to 5 times per day, showing a high level of use by those who have it.

I’ve been asked who we worked with to develop the AgWired App and will point you to rock solid mobile app developer WillowTree Apps.

App sponsors are being sought. Contact ZimmComm for more information, including rates. First time and early sponsor discounts available.

Celebrating Seven Years

Did you know that ZimmComm New Media is the same age as Facebook? Unfortunately, we’re not worth tens of billions of dollars – but the good news is that no one is suing us!

The really good news is that we enjoy what we do and we have the best clients in the world! When we started the company seven years ago this month, we never had any idea that it would go in the direction that it did. Facebook had not yet graduated from Harvard. Flickr had just launched and no one knew what it was. YouTube didn’t even start until 2005. Blogging was just starting to break into the mainstream and we ended up hopping on that train and have been just enjoying the ride since then. Our initial goal was really to provide content for media, which was why the Talking News Release service was started, and that is still one of our primary functions. But we just keep evolving along with the tools and technology.

Thanks to the people who helped us get this party started. Looking forward to keeping it going for a long time yet!

ZimmComm Wins Golden ARC for Corn Commentary

ag relations councilWinners of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) 2011 Golden ARC Awards Contest were announced at the association’s annual awards banquet in Ft. Myers on Friday night. A total of 24 Golden ARC winners and 19 Merit winners were recognized as the elite in agricultural public relations. The number of entries this year was twice what it was last year!

In the category of Blogs/Electronic Newsletters category, the winner of the coveted Golden ARC was the National Corn Growers Association and ZimmComm New Media for the organization’s Corn Commentary blog, which we designed several years ago for them and recently updated. The photo shows me receiving the award from Mace Thornton of the American Farm Bureau Federation, who is the new president of ARC.

The competition was judged by members of the North Florida chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, according to contest manager Amy Keith McDonald of McDonald Marketing Communications. “The judges focused on a number of objectives including audience analysis, creativity, execution and campaign results,” she said. “They then provided constructive feedback to allow entrants to grow professionally from the opportunity.” Originated in 1990, the Golden ARC Awards Contest recognizes the best and brightest in agricultural public relations, and is open to both ARC and non-ARC members. The 38 categories reflect the broad scope of contemporary public relations activities.

Find out all the winners in all the categories here.

Really enjoyed attending the ARC meeting – you can get a taste for the highlights here.

We’ve Got Demographics!

Thanks to a three month survey asking readers of all the ZimmComm publications who they are and what they do, we now have some good data to share with those folks who wonder about that stuff.

Let’s look at Agwired first.

According to the survey, the largest percentage of our 14,000 visitors each month are in Advertising/Marketing/Sales or Communications/Public Relations – making up 20% in each category for a total of 4 out of 10 of our readers. Another 13% are with agribusiness associations or organizations and 7% are media. Over 20% are in crop or livestock production – including crop and livestock producers, dairy farmers, crop consultants, etc. There were some categories that applied to production agriculture but several also checked the “other” category.

We had responses from 21 states, three countries, and the District of Columbia, with the Midwest significantly leading the pack. Most responses came from Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

On Domestic Fuel, we now are getting 30,000 unique visitors a month. The survey says that the largest percentage of those visitors (13%) are existing biofuels producers. The next largest categories were Advertising/Marketing/Sales (9%), Consulting (8%), Engineering (7%), Consumer/General Public (7%), and Association/Organization (6%).

We had responses from 38 states the District of Columbia and Canada. Most responses came from California, South Dakota, Missouri, Minnesota, and Iowa.

Nearly 12,000 visitors go to World Dairy Diary each month for news about the dairy industry. According to the survey, the largest percentage are dairy farmers or milk producers – about 14%. Another 11% are nutritionists in the dairy business and about 7% are consultants. Over ten percent of respondents said they were with dairy organizations, media, or in public relations for agribusiness. About two in ten of our visitors are consumers, students, homemakers or retirees – falling into the “other” category. We also have a good number of beef cattle producers, farmers, and input dealers in the other category.

We had responses from 33 different states and three other countries besides the United States. The states with the most responses are among the largest dairy producing states – Wisconsin, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, and Michigan.

Finally, visits to our precision agriculture publication Precision Pays are up to 5,000 per month. The survey found that 22% of them are actual crop farmers of mainly corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. The next largest category was Equipment & Services at 18%, followed by education at 15%. Another 11% each fell in the categories of Crop Consultant or Advertising/Marketing/Sales.

We had responses from 15 states and Canada. Most responses came from Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, California and Oregon.

Hope that answers some of the “Who reads your stuff?” questions!