September 23, 2011
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:

Now for some news from the ZimmComm News Network:


AgWired  AgWired  

Biodiesel Falls Under Minnesota Ag Marketing & Development        


Fields of soybeans surround the newly re-opened Renewable Energy Group REG Albert Lea biodiesel plant in southern Minnesota, serving as a reminder of where the renewable fuel is rooted.   MORE   




IFAJ Congress Review

At the beginning of the 2011 IFAJ Congress we heard a preview from Owen Roberts, Co-Chair of the event. Now we're going to get a look back from Lilian Schaer, the other Co-Chair.  MORE



Canadian Cooperative Thriving With Dry Beans & Edible Soybean

Hensall District Co-operative welcomed IFAJ members last week. Here's CEO, Earl Wagner, who gave us an overview of the various business units of the co-operative. Before we settled in for his presentation and a tour of the facilities in Hensall, ON, we were treated to a variety of foods made with their products. They are known for their dry beans and edible soybeans and almost all of the products they grow are GMO free which has been important to their customers in Japan. One of the products we sampled was carrot cake made with bean and corn flour. I ate way more than I should but it was incredibly good.  MORE


Hensall District Cooperative - Bean Sorting
Hensall District Cooperative - Bean Sorting

Groups representing small engine, automakers and marine manufacturers announced a formal legal challenge to regulations and labeling proposed for the use of 15% ethanol blends (E15) in older model vehicles.  MORE

Minnesota Biodiesel Plant Means Jobs   

At the opening celebration of the Renewable Energy Group (REG) REG Albert Lea facility on Monday, Minnesota state representative Rich Murray (left) and local Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Randy Kehr (right) both congratulated REG president Dan Oh (center) on fueling the economy by creating new jobs.  MORE 


Podcast 2

Growth Energy Honors Vilsack for Ethanol Support 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed members of Growth Energy at their Second Annual Legislative Conference in Washington DC this morning and was honored with the ethanol organization's "Fueling Growth" award for his dedication and support of domestic, renewable fuels. Vilsack (left) is pictured here receiving the award from Growth Energy Co-Chairman Jeff Broin of POET and CEO Tom Buis.  MORE

I attended the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress in Canada last week. While there I got to spend a day at Canada's Outdoor Farm Show. It was a beautiful day but we only had a few hours to wander this very large farm show.  MORE  

FS Green Plan Offers Solutions to Maximize Every Acre

When farmers want to increase their yields - and what farmer doesn't? - they really need a systems based approach to maximizing what they get from every acre, and that is what FS Green Plan Solutions is all about. MORE

Ag Leader Technology Developing New Territory

At the Farm Progress Show I met Hans Stiekema (not pictured) who has just recently joined Ag Leader Technology. Hans is the Regional Manager - EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa). His job is to introduce and grow Ag Leader in this market by working with existing distributors and establishing new distributors in new areas. He's also going to be working with OEM's in the region.  MORE   

World Dairy Diary 

Learning About The Dairy Business In Canada     

Last week I joined with other members of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) for the 2011 IFAJ Congress. We meet every year in a different country to learn about agriculture there and for professional improvement sessions. This year we were in Canada and visited some dairy farms. My tour group visited Claynook Farms where we met owners, Wayne and Dennis Wagler.  MORE


Claynook Farms - 2011 IFAJ Congress Tour
Claynook Farms - 2011 IFAJ Congress Tour

USFRA and AgChat Foundation Partner for Social Media 

The AgChat Foundation (ACF) and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) have partnered up to help farmers and ranchers share their stories with the general public. MORE    
House Hearing Focuses on Feed Availability

Dairy, livestock and poultry producers were represented during a hearing this week before a House Agriculture subcommittee on concerns about feed availability and the main theme of all the witnesses was the impact of ethanol policy on feed availability.  MORE 

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