• Featured Video:University of Florida plant pathologist Richard Raid talks about the Everglades Agricultural Area barn owl project during 2014 CTIC Conservation in Action tour.
  • ZimmNews – October 17, 2014

    ZimmNews – October 17, 2014

    2014 CTIC Conservation in Action Tour - CTIC Conservation in Action Tour of the Everglades Agricultural Area - October 14-15, 2014

    ZimmNews – October 10, 2014

    ZimmNews – October 10, 2014

    2014 AgCatalyst - The AgCatalyst event is sponsored by AdFarm with a theme of, “It’s all about the content.”

    ZimmNews – October 3, 2014

    ZimmNews – October 3, 2014

    2014 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo - The NABCE is held in Minneapolis, MN. and Chuck was there to capture this year's event.

    ZimmNews – September 26, 2014

    ZimmNews – September 26, 2014

    2014 Canadian Farm Writers Federation Conference - The CFWF conference held October 2-5 at Prince Edward Island. Thank you Trudy Kelly Forsythe for covering the event ZimmComm.

    ZimmNews – September 19, 2014

    ZimmNews – September 19, 2014

    2014 World Dairy Expo - The New Holland Pavilions ribbon cutting took place on day one of the 2014 World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI.

ZimmPoll Grades Sec. Vilsack

What grade did you give U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for his mid-term? I think the results of our last ZimmPoll show how difficult it is to please everyone. We asked the question, “What mid-term grade would you give Ag Sec. Vilsack?” The votes for an A and an F were the highest and equal. 24% give him an A while 24% give him and F. Those grades are followed by 20% giving him a B, 19% a D and 13% a C. If you feel strongly about a certain grade feel free to leave a comment about why. We love getting your opinions and comments lets you freely express them!

And if you have any questions you want to suggest for future ZimmPolls please let us know.

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

Facebook Top Social Network

It looks like Facebook is the big dog in the social media world according to you. Our last ZimmPoll asked the question, “Which social network do you use the most.” A majority say Facebook, 64%, followed by Twitter, 16%, YouTube, 8%, Linkedin, 5%, Other, 5%, Classmates.com, 1%, Flickr, !% and MySpace, 0%. I can’t remember when I’ve checked my MySpace account either.

Our next ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “When will planting season start this year?” It’s that time now that we’re in Ag Week with spring just around the corner! Let us know what you think and thank you for participating.

You can see all ZimmPolls with this archive link.

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

Even Busier February

Karl RoveIf January was busy for us, February was ever busier, if that’s possible!

We started out the month in Denver for the Cattle Industry Convention, where we covered the event for both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. We did have a little trouble getting there, since our blizzard hit on the day we were scheduled to fly out of Kansas City. But, three canceled flights later, we did arrive and only missed the first day. We saw former Senior White House Advisor Karl Rove give the keynote address during the second general session and Larry the Cable Guy at the Cowboy Comedy Club.

Iowa Power Farm ShowWhile we were in Denver, Joanna was covering the Iowa Power Farming Show in Des Moines, thanks to the sponsorship of AgLeader Technology on Precision Pays. This is the second year we have attended that event.

Next stop on the agriblogging highway was Phoenix for the National Biodiesel Conference. This was the sixth year we blogged this event on the Biodiesel Conference blog, which we set up for NBB in 2006. When you go to that blog, you can go back and see all the photos and posts from the last six conferences – which is pretty cool. Of course, we also covered the event on Agwired and Domestic Fuel, and took lots of photos.

Chuck moved right from Phoenix to Louisville for the National Farm Machinery Show, with the sponsorship of both John Deere and New Holland for the fourth year in a row, and AgLeader for the second year. The weather was better this year in Louisville than it has been the past two years, so that was a plus and it resulted in record attendance for the show.

Not done yet. Next stop was Phoenix, again, for the National Ethanol Conference. This was the fifth year for this event, which is the annual meeting of the Renewable Fuels Association. The weather there was pretty un-desertlike on the first day, with rain and 40 degree temps, but it cleared up and was very pleasant for the rest of the event. We were treated to a spectacular desert sunset during the reception on the second night.

From Phoenix, we came back to Missouri and split up to attend the Agricultural Relations Council meeting in Ft. Myers and the Western Farm Show in Kansas City. Chuck got the bad end of that deal with a nasty ice and snow storm that came up out of nowhere to make for a treacherous drive to KC. But he made it there and Chuck did two social media seminars there plus we had a booth with some giveaways. Meanwhile, the weather was fabulous in Florida and the ARC meeting was a blast.

Speaking of Florida, we are starting out March with Commodity Classic in Tampa, which is where we are heading tomorrow. Hope to see you down the road in our travels!

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!

iPhone and Android are Smartphone Leaders

When it comes to smartphone platforms, our audience is using a mix with iPhone/Android/Blackberry on top. According to the latest ZimmPoll, sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, 32% say they use iPhone, 32% are using Android, 28% are Blackberry lovers. A small minority (5%) said Other and only 3% are using Windows.

We may have to ask that question again later this year since there’s lots of changes coming up in mobile phone carrier systems and phones.

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

Busy January for ZimmComm

After a nice quiet holiday season, ZimmComm immediately got back on the road with the new year.

We started out the month in “Icelanta” covering both the second AG CONNECT Expo and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting. The weather was okay for the first couple of days, but on the first day of the AFBF meeting we saw five inches of snow and ice hit the southern city with only six snow plows! It was an experience we will not soon forget. Farm Bureau has never had a meeting like it!

Besides the snow and ice, the highlights of the meetings included being part of a really great show for AG CONNECT with lots of content that we are still using on all of our on-line publications – and meeting Mike “Dirty Jobs” Rowe. He is really a great advocate for agriculture.

Check out the coverage of AFBF on Agwired here and all the stories from AG CONNECT Expo here.

We had the opportunity to welcome a new sponsor for Agwired and Precision Pays during the month of January – GROWMARK and their FS Green Plan Solutions. Chuck visited ​GROWMARK headquarters in Bloomington and Cindy attended a conference on the company’s “Pursuit of Maximum Yields” program in East Peoria. Look forward to learning lots more about this regional cooperative that started in 1927 and provides agriculture-related products and services, as well as grain marketing in the Midwest and Ontario, Canada.

IPE/IFE

At the end of the month, Chuck headed back to Atlanta for the International Poultry Expo, with coverage sponsored by our friends at Novus International. This is the third year in a row that we have covered this event for them and once again they featured a well-known sports figure at their exhibit. This time it was a football theme with NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus. The weather was much better this time!

While Chuck headed south, Cindy went north to Des Moines to attend the 5th annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit for the first time to enjoy a fantastic program that included two potential presidential candidates – Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum. The great event was made possible by sponsorships from Domestic Fuel supporters Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association.

We are supposed to get back on the road this week, heading to Denver for the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show, but that will depend on the weather as the forecast is calling for a major snowstorm. We’ll get there at some point to start off another big month of travel in February. Joanna is in Des Moines for the Iowa Power Farm Show this week and Chuck is scheduled to head directly from Denver to Phoenix for the National Biodiesel Conference. Later in the month, we’ll be at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, the National Ethanol Conference in Phoenix, the Agricultural Relations Council meeting in Naples (yeah!) and the Western Farm Show in Kansas City. Praying for better weather everywhere and hope to see you all down the road!

We Love Farm Groups

The ZimmPoll keeps rocking along. The latest question: “What do you think about the number of farm groups?” Our readers are not shy about letting us know their opinions and we appreciate that. The results: 33% say there are too many, 28% say the more the merrier, 25% say some are not needed but most are and 14% say there are just enough for everyone to have a voice. What do you think? Got a different answer? For our part we love working with all farm groups and the people who work for them!

Our next ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What does “sustainability” really mean to the public? This ought to be interesting. Let us know what you think and thank you for participating.

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

Latest ZimmPoll Results on Biofuels Policy

It should be an interesting year in the biofuels debate. The response to our latest poll shows some pretty divided results with most thinking we’ll see just another one year extension of incentives. It will be interesting to see how Congress handles things after hearing from their constituents. In answer to the question “What do you think will happen with biofuels policy this year?” Our results are that 38% say there will be another one year extension of the tax incentive, 22% say there will be new incentives for infrastructure, 20% say there will be no federal biofuels incentives, 14% say there will be a multiple year extension and 6% chose other. If you chose other then feel free to comment with what you think will happen.

Our next ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What do you think about the number of farm groups? Let us know what you think and thank you for participating.

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

Latest ZimmPoll Shows Weather As Most Influential

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What do you think will have the biggest influence on ag in 2011?” Here are the results. Most respondents (40%) think weather patterns will have the biggest influence. Other responses include: general U.S. economy (24%); new Republican leadership in House (13%); farm bill (10%); other (10%) and company consolidation (3%). So if you selected other as an answer or have another choice to answer this please submit it in comments.

The new poll is now live and the question is, “What do you think will happen with biofuels policy this year?” The lame duck session of Congress passed a one year extension of the ethanol and biodiesel tax credits. How do you think this will fare with a new Congress? We look forward to your responses.

Remember, you can submit your questions for us to pose and add your feedback anytime by using the comment feature.

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