Agri Council Intelligence Report : October 2011
Promoting Conventional Agriculture: Why We Must Tell Our Story
Donnie Smith to speak at National FFA Convention's executive breakfast
On Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, President and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc., Donnie Smith, will speak on "Promoting Conventional Agriculture: Why We Must Tell Our Story" at the 84th Annual National FFA Convention’s executive breakfast. The event, sponsored by the Agri Council of American Business Media, will take place in the Severin Ballroom at the Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
A native of Tennessee, Smith has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry. He joined Tyson Foods in 1980 and spent seven years in live poultry operations in Tennessee before moving to Springdale, AK, where he eventually became a senior leader in the purchasing and supply chain departments. He has since held other leadership positions in the company, including chief information officer and group vice president of logistics and operations services. He also served as group vice president of consumer products before becoming senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods. Smith was named to his current position in November 2009.
For more information about the convention, click here.
USDA Issues Grants to Specialty Crop Initiatives
Last week, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that USDA will be investing in 55 specialty crop block grants that will fund 740 initiatives across the United States and its territories. The grants will help strengthen the market for specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture, according to the USDA news release.
"Agriculture plays a vital role in the health and strength of our economy, and by investing in specialty crop growers and producers across the country, we can help spark new markets and job creation, while expanding production of healthy, safe and affordable food," said Merrigan.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for fiscal year 2011 supports initiatives that: increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption; improve efficiency within the distribution system and reduce costs; promote the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices while encouraging audit fund cost-sharing for small farmers, packers and processors; support research through standard and green initiatives; enhance food safety; develop new/improved seed varieties and specialty crops; control pests and diseases; create organic and sustainable production practices; establish local and regional fresh food systems; and expand food access in underserved/food desert communities.
An increasing number of specialty crop producers are selling into local and regional markets and many of the grants announced today help support specialty crop producers and small businesses expand their business locally. These markets offer a significant opportunity to create jobs for farmers and entrepreneurs. Funds will be used by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). To read fiscal year 2011 project summaries and for a listing of awards by location, click here.
DTN/The Progressive Farmer Debuts its Digital Edition
This month, due to audience demand, The Progressive Farmer launched a digital edition of its print issue.
The edition will contain the same content of the print edition, but the digital version will be "more interactive and provide bonus information." Some stories, for example, will include a video embedded in the article. Readers will be able to click on the video to receive additional comments and insights.
Check out the first digital edition here.
Q&A with Ken Jennison, Editor of Feed International
WATT announced editorial staffing changes for its Feed International agribusiness title as part of a company-wide effort to strengthen its content in agribusiness and pet food markets. Among those changes, Ken Jennison was named editor of Feed International in addition to his post as editor of Feed Management. Jennison is an experienced journalist who joined WATT in 2005 and has served as managing content editor for the company since 2008. In that role, he has worked on all of WATT’s agribusiness titles, and has been involved in the magazines, websites, video editing and other reporting for WATT titles.
"Ken has done a great job of taking on the responsibilities of Feed Management editor the past two months and he will bring his enthusiasm and professionalism to Feed International as well," says Bruce Plantz, vice president – director of content at WATT. "With Ken editing both magazines, we can take full advantage of the synergies between the two titles."
ABM had the opportunity to learn more about Jennison and pick his brain on a few editorial concerns.
In your new role as editor of Feed International, what is your top priority?
KJ: As I take the helm of Feed International, my main priority is to maintain and increase the scope of its coverage. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent in regard to crops and feed production, there is no place for isolationism. What happens on the other side of the world is, in many ways, as important as what is happening in our own backyard.
How do you determine what’s important to your readers and which platforms they want their content delivered?
KJ: We maintain an ongoing dialogue with our international readers by way of AnimalAgNet.com, as well as through other social media channels (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn). We have found social media to be an excellent way to monitor what is important to our readers. Research has already shown us that our international readers tend to prefer online content delivery over paper. We deliver content both ways, but we offer a much larger content experience in the Feed section of our website. There, readers can access videos, blogs, white papers, podcasts, archived webinars and a number of other resources.
In order to gain a strong presence abroad for the publication, what goals are in place for your international correspondents?
KJ: The contributor pool for Feed International is quite exceptional, and it represents recruiting work done by WATT over a span of several years. However, no matter who the contributor is, they need to constantly ask themselves: "How does this article benefit readers?" In the international marketplace a solution may, at times, be as simple as information – particularly in those parts of the world where information doesn't flow freely. At other times, the solution may be something more concrete, such as how to run a feed facility more efficiently or more profitably. In short, if a contributor is unable to see the solution offered in their work, then they need to go back and re-think their content. Content value is the banner that flies over everything we do.
WATT to Showcase Portraits at Rockford Art Museum Art Annex
Largest single collection of rare poultry breed portraits worldwide on display
Experience a piece of agricultural history during "Hatching History: A WATT Collection of Rare Poultry Breed Portraits", a select showing of pieces from the WATT collection of poultry breed paintings (1926-1950).
The complete collection is comprised of 57 framed oil paintings created by three American artists, A.O. Schilling, L. Stahmer and F.L. Sewell, and was commissioned by J.W. Watt, founder of Watt Publishing Company in the mid-1920s. Approximately 15 of these paintings will be on display at Rockford Art Museum (RAM) Art Annex from Friday, August 19 thru Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011.
With WATT corporate headquarters based in Rockford, Ill., the RAM Art Annex offers a venue for the local community to appreciate the beauty of the artists’ interpretations of rare poultry breeds and learn about the company’s rich history and its contributions to the poultry industry over the past 94 years.
The cost to attend is free.
The American Business Media Agri Council Intelligence Report delivers news, research and case studies, both Ag-specific and related to the overall business media industry, to Agri marketers, agencies and media companies. The Report is published on a bi-monthly basis. Visit www.AgriCouncil.com to learn more about ABM’s Agri Council initiatives.
We value your input! Contact Marie Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a contribution to the newsletter or to be added to the subscription list.
Click here to follow ABM on Twitter!
Click here to become a fan of ABM on Facebook!
Click here to join the ABM Group on LinkedIn!