May 10, 2013  

Hello ZimmComm Fans:


This week Chuck attended Farm Credit's 2013 Idea Share where he participated in a panel discussion titled, "Meet the New Media."  He's got more to share from the conference today on AgWired.  There were a number of good tidbits you'll find from the session like this tweet from Emily Zweber, Executive Director, AgChat Foundation, who was on the panel, "Social media is one more tool in the toolbox of risk management strategies for your farm." @ezweber.  The conference Twitter hashtag is:  #IdeaShare2013.  Yes, social media is the new media of today and that makes us all, "media!!"


We are so pleased with the response to our new agri-blogging internship program. It was tough to choose just one for the summer semester, but we finally decided on Maggie Seiler - a sophomore at Kansas State University dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry. 


We are not wasting any time getting Maggie on the agri-blogging highway. She will be joining Chuck next week for the 2013 Alltech Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky and you can expect to meet her at other events this summer.   


Welcome, Maggie!  And thank you to all the students who have applied.  We'll be selecting fall interns in July.

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, "How many generations are you removed from the farm?" Our poll results: Thirty percent say they are "One Generation, My Parents are Farmers," 23% are "Two, My Grandparents Were Farmers," 22% say "None, I'm a Farmer," nine percent are not farmers but work in the ag industry, seven percent have "No Direct Farm Connection," and three percent say "Three, My Great-Grandparents Were Farmers," "More Than Three," or "Other." It is safe to say that most of our followers are not far removed from the farm, if at all!


Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, "Are so-called "ag gag" bills fair?" In the wake of undercover videos at animal agriculture operations that have shown abuse, and especially those that were compiled over a period of time, edited and then released to the public without doing anything to stop the abuse or take it to the proper authorities, several states have passed legislation making that illegal. Most of the laws simply require mandatory reporting of animal cruelty when it happens but opponents have labeled them "ag gag" laws that would suppress efforts to document and publicize animal abuse. Those in favor prefer to call them "See Something, Say Something" bills. Do you feel that the so-called "ag gag" bills are prohibitive? Will these laws hamper efforts to stop animal cruelty? Does this impede our efforts for transparency in the food systems? Let us know.


Here are some interviews you might have missed this week:


Janet Thompson, farm girl, economist, wife, mom, on farm privacy

Regina Gill, Farm Credit Funding Corporation, on state of Farm Credit System

Janet Riley, American Meat Institute, on new animal handling videos

Ethanol Report with Bob Dinneen, RFA, on current events


Now for some news from the ZimmComm News Network:

 AgWired  AgWired     

Wells Fargo Moving Into New Ag Territory

The name Wells Fargo is forever linked with the image of a six-horse stagecoach thundering across the American West, loaded with gold. The California-based company, founded in 1852 by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo, also has a rich history in agribusiness. In fact, Wells Fargo has extended more credit to U.S. food and agribusiness than any bank, mostly in California but now moving eastward. MORE


Protecting Farms & Promoting Animal Care 

Protecting animals, farms, food and consumer confidence was the theme during the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit. More and more states are taking legislative matters when it comes to protecting farmers. And that was a hot topic addressed during the recent event held in Arlington, Virginia. MORE


Meet Our First Agri-Blogger Intern 

We are so pleased with the response to our new agri-blogging internship program. It was tough to choose just one for the summer semester, but we finally decided on Maggie Seiler - a sophomore at Kansas State University dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry. MORE
DomesticFuel  Domestic Fuel 

Ethanol Report on Current Events

In ethanol-related news over the past week or so we have seen senators request a probe into the European Union's anti-dumping duties on ethanol, comments to the House energy committee on the RFS, and legislation introduced for an energy title in the next farm bill. MORE


Beef Ranches as Biodiesel Refineries 

The next set of biodiesel refineries will probably continue to be in rural America, but they might be part of livestock operations. This article from says Arkansas State University researcher Kevin Humphrey sees real potential for ranchers to produce their own biodiesel from oil seed crops, waste oil or tallow. MORE

New Database Tracks Energy Legislation 

Colorado State University's Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) has launched an Advanced Energy Legislation (AEL) Tracker, a database tracking energy-related state legislation pending in all 50 states. Types of energy include solar, wind, biofuels, natural gas and more. The AEL was created in partnership with Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and the system will also enable CNEE to conduct analysis of trends in state energy legislation.MORE 
 Precision Pays

Ag Leader Summer Dealer & Customer Training 

Ag Leader offers a variety of SMS™ training sessions to help answer grower and dealer questions about the software. MORE


USDA's 110 Value-Added Grants Include Biomass

The USDA has named the recipients of 110 Value-Added grants for agricultural producers and rural businesses. This agency news release says the grants include biomass-based products and is hoped to spur the rural economy. MORE

Farm Safety App Could Save Lives

Save lives in a rollover? There's an app for that. Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed an application for smartphones that uses GPS systems to locate farmers who have rolled their tractors.MORE  



Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit

Last week I attended the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, Virginia. The event brought industry leaders together to discuss Activists at the Door: Protecting Animals, Farms, Food and Consumer Confidence. The two-day conference started thought provoking conversations throughout the agriculture community on animal rights, transparency, crisis management and much more. MORE
Interview with Wells Fargo Agribusiness Head

Wells Fargo recently named Rob Yraceburu as head of its National Food & Agribusiness Division to lead the group's expansion to untapped markets in the Midwest and East. A fourth-generation family farmer who holds both a bachelor's in agricultural business and a master's in agricultural economics from California State University Fresno, he has worked in finance for his entire 28-year career. MORE
 Interview with GROMARK Agronomist

Planting progress continues to be slowed by wet and cold weather in most of the major corn producing states. MORE

 World Dairy Diary  



Studying Effects of Weather and Climate on Cattle 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $19.5 million to support research, education and Extension activities associated with climate solutions in agriculture aimed at the impacts of climate variability and change on dairy and beef cattle. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. The announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy. MORE 

Clovis Cheese Plant to Expand


Dairy Farmers of America owned Southwest Cheese Co. LLC plant in Clovis, N.M. will soon undergo a $100 million expansion. MORE 

Holterman Wins Scholarship 


Congratulations to Taylor Anne Holterman, the recipient of the 2013 Dairy Calf & Heifer Association Scholarship! MORE 
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