Chuck Zimmerman

MonsantoST. LOUIS (February 24, 2006 – AgNewsWire) – Two college students pursuing careers in agricultural communications will receive some on-the-job “new media” training at next week’s Commodity Classic, March 1-4 in Anaheim, Calif. The Monsanto Company is sponsoring the students’ trip as a part of its Future Ag Journalist Fellowship.

Margy Fischer, a senior at the University of Missouri, and Mary Irelan, a sophomore at the University of Illinois, will be attending Commodity Classic for the first time. They will be blogging their experiences at the combined corn and soybean growers annual meeting on, a ZimmComm New Media weblog devoted to what’s new in the world of agribusiness.

Monsanto Public Affairs Manager Mica DeLong says the opportunity will provide the students with a unique real-world media experience. Monsanto has a long- standing commitment to promoting youth involvement in agriculture by supporting programs such as Future Farmers of America, 4-H, Agriculture Future of America, Ag in the Classroom and other notable agriculture youth and leader development organizations. (Full Release)

ag chem, Broadcast

Youth Leader Addresses National Co-op Meeting

Chuck Zimmerman

NRECAORLANDO, February 21, 2006 (AgNewsWire) – A high school senior from Hattiesburg, Mississippi addressed more than 10,000 members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Tuesday in Orlando, Florida. Kent Ford was chosen as national spokesperson of the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) for the NRECA 64th Annual Meeting. Representing Mississippi and sponsored by Pearl River Valley Electric Association, Ford was one of the young representatives from 44 states chosen to assist the national trade association in conducting its Annual Meeting this year.

“When we came here to the national meeting this year, my job was to speak about the benefits of the Youth Leadership Council to the general assembly. And then we’ll also continue working to promote rural electric cooperatives as well as the work that they are doing for their communities.”

Ford was chosen to represent the council last summer during NRECA’s Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. He says that YLC members get the opportunity to increase their knowledge about national energy issues affecting electric cooperatives and the consumers they serve.

“One of our main functions here is to work what’s known as the Congressional Action Center where we actually try to get the people who are here for the national conference to send emails to their congressmen. So, we’re kind of taking on the role of semi-lobbyists in having a direct hand in seeing not only how the government work, but being able to have a chance to influence that government as well.” (Full Release)

audio, Cooperative, Electricity, Uncategorized

English Praises Co-op “Select Few” Who Make a Difference

Chuck Zimmerman

NRECAORLANDO, February 21, 2006 (AgNewsWire) – At the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 64th annual meeting this week, CEO Glenn English praised a “select few” Americans –the leaders and grass-roots activists of the nation’s electric cooperative network. He compared co-op support for balanced, effective energy legislation to the steady and reasoned leadership of great military and political leaders.

“The United States Marine Corps talks about a select few – they’re recruiting a select few. The reason that the Marine Corps has taken this approach is because they understand that it is a very few people who can spell the difference between victory and defeat,” English said. “The electric cooperative program, when you think about it, over the past 70 years, we’ve seen a select few people who’ve spelled the difference between success and failure.”

English told more than 10,000 rural electric cooperative leaders gathered in Orlando that their efforts made passage of last year’s Energy Policy Act a reality. (Full Release)

audio, Cooperative, Electricity

Consumer Education Is Key To Ethanol Effort

Chuck Zimmerman

Ethanol Promotion and Information CouncilOmaha, Neb. (February 16, 2006) (AgNewsWire) The ethanol industry is riding on a wave of momentum created in the wake of President Bush’s State of the Union address and new commitments to ethanol by U.S. auto manufacturers. However, the industry must meet the enthusiasm with education, according to Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, or EPIC.

“In December, consumer research showed that 70 percent of consumers still didn’t know what ethanol was or if they did they certainly weren’t considering putting it in their vehicle, so we’ve got a long, long way to go,” said Slunecka. “But with a platform like President Bush’s speech and General Motors’ announcement on E85 and Ford as well, we can start to move the needle.”

Slunecka says while the commitment by car companies to making and promoting vehicles capable of running on ethanol blends of up to 85 percent is great news for the industry, consumers need to understand those vehicles can run on normal gasoline if E85 is not available. Additionally, there is concern about the price of E85 currently being
higher than gasoline, which is mainly due to large quantities of ethanol being purchased by major oil refiners as a replacement for MTBE in big metropolitan areas. (Full Release)

EPIC, Ethanol

Producers Need To Evaluate Crop Insurance Options Carefully

Chuck Zimmerman

Crop1 InsuranceDes Moines, Iowa (AgNewsWire) The Bush administration’s fiscal year 2007 budget includes proposals to enhance crop insurance coverage, and reduce costs to deliver the program, so that crop insurance will provide coverage that is sufficient to sustain most farmers in times of loss. Because the current budget situation in Washington is tight, farmers can no longer expect to receive federal aid when disaster strikes, which makes crop insurance more important than ever and means it is vital for farmers to have the right crop insurance plan for their particular operation.

Farmers need to make sure they ask the right questions when they go to purchase crop insurance, according to Rob Boysen, chief operating officer with Crop 1 Insurance.

“One of the first questions is to ask if the agent is qualified to offer an opportunity for a crop insurance discount on their program this year. There are a number of companies that are eligible to do that. Then in addition, they should ask what’s their history in delivering those discounts.” (Full Release)

crop insurance

MFA Health Track Director Elected President of NCBA

Chuck Zimmerman

MFA INCORPORATEDColumbia, MO (AgNewsWire) – A Missouri cattle producer who is also the director of MFA Health Track Beef Alliance is now wearing yet another hat as the new leader of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Mike John of Huntsville, Mo was elected president of the 230,000 member organization on February 4 in Denver, CO.

John says one of the most important issues facing the cattle industry right now is trade. “We need to make sure that we’re staying proactive in that process. There’s been some good news with additional markets opening up and talk of a free trade agreement with Korea, so that’s good news,” said John. The new NCBA president says he is very excited about the beef cattle industry’s new Long Range Plan. (Full Release)


MFA Health Track Developer Recognized With Regional Beef Industry Vision Award

Chuck Zimmerman

MFA INCORPORATED(Columbia, MO) (AgNewsWire) The primary developer of the MFA Health Track program was recognized at the recent Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Denver as a 2006 Beef Industry Vision Award regional winner. As regional winner, Dr. Kent Haden was a finalist for the national award which recognizes outstanding beef innovations which have been incorporated into cattle operations and helped to enhanced the individual business as well as the cattle industry overall.

“I was the one to accept the award. They had to put a name to it, somebody had to walk forward. But, it’s really the 550-600 producers who will participate in Health Track this year who are the true innovators,” Haden said. (Full Release)


EU Approves YieldGard® Rootworm

Chuck Zimmerman

MonsantoSt. Louis, MO, (February 2, 2006 – AgNewsWire)– The European Union’s (EU) recent decision to approve YieldGard® Rootworm Corn for food ingredients has paved the way for YieldGard Rootworm to be used in human foods in Europe.

Monsanto Business Manager for Biotech Grain Phoong Tang says this is great news for all segments of the corn industry.

“This approval is expected to open doors into European markets that had previously not accepted YieldGard Rootworm and should therefore increase the number of places where growers can sell their single-trait YieldGard Rootworm grain.” (Full Release)

ag chem, Corn, insect protection

Beef Recipe Scores For Super Bowl Parties

Chuck Zimmerman

Missouri Beef Industry CouncilColumbia, MO (AgNewsWire) Beef is always a sure favorite to win on Super Bowl Sunday and this year’s number one recipe pick from the Missouri Beef Industry Council is Taco Beef Nuggets with Tejano Dipping Sauce, according to program coordinator Emily Melies.

“That recipe was actually a National Beef Cook-Off 2003 Winner, so it’s been tested and loved,” said Melies. “It’s a very simple recipe that’s really targeted towards kids because it’s easy to make, but it also makes a great finger food that adults will enjoy too.”

Melies says the recipe uses simple ingredients, including ground beef, taco seasoning, cheese, and tortilla chips.

“It can be prepared ahead of time, get it all mixed together, and then when you’re ready to have your party you can simply just put it in the oven.” (Full Release)


Crop1 Can Help Farmers Get A GRIP

Chuck Zimmerman

Crop1 Insurance(Des Moines, IA – AgNewsWire) Group Risk Income Protection, or GRIP, could provide more effective crop insurance coverage for some farmers, according to authorized Crop 1 Insurance representatives.

Kurt Koester with AgriSource, Inc. in Waukee, IA explains that GRIP is a county-based revenue protection plan.

“In other words, instead of using your own yield history, you’re tied to a county yield and then claims are paid based on the actual outcome for the county. It works very much like the Revenue Assurance or CRC plans that many farmers are already using.” (Full Release)

crop insurance