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Agrimarketing : May 2015
2015 NAMA MARKETER OF THE YEAR SUCCESS THROUGH CAREER DIVERSITY B by Mike Gustafson, Deer’s Landing Communications orn in 1951, National Agri-Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year Paul Redhage was raised on a dairy farm just south of Union, MO. According to town historians, Union was founded in 1826 and named for the ideal of political unity. Perhaps that had some influence on young Redhage, as he was determined to gain a wide variety of experiences, obtaining a greater understanding of all sides of any issue. “I was very active in many youth organizations,” recalls Redhage. “FFA and 4H, of course. And I was very involved the Boy Scouts and was able to reach the rank of Eagle Scout.” He was also state President for JFA, a youth organization associated with the MFA Cooperative in Missouri, was a representative at a Youth Power food congress in Chicago, and ran cross country and track in high school. Redhage’s interest in gaining broad experiences and understanding continued as he attended college, the first in his family to do so. “I obtained a bachelor of science degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1973,” he notes, “My school advisors, Dr. Dick Lee and Delmar Hatesohl, were very supportive, not only while I was at the university, but also for many years after when prospective employers were looking to fill key agricultural communications positions.” “I also received a master of arts in liberal studies from Duke University in 2004,” he adds. “I found that this was important to help me refine my communications and targeting skills with considerations from the study of sociology and psychology.” EARLY CAREER SUCCESS Redhage began his professional career as Publications Editor for Kent Feeds in Muscatine, IA. “Kent Feeds was a very family-oriented 46 Agri Marketing s May 2015 Paul Redhage (c) is awarded NAMA’s 2015 Marketer of the Year plaque from NAMA President Marvin Kokes (l), Sr VP National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and NAMA Professional Recognition Committee Chair Deron Johnson, Sr VP, FLM+. The presentation was made last month at NAMA’s 2015 Agri-Marketing Conference held in Kansas City, MO. organization,” says Redhage. “Everyone there was supportive of a young professional getting started in a career in agriculture. “During those years, a highlight for me was overseeing the series of Kent dealer award banquets where I traveled with one of the guest speakers, Charlie Plumb, a Vietnam War POW and Author. And, during that period, I coordinated with three county cattlemens’ associations and helped plan an annual consumer education event, Beef Salute Days, when consumer affairs commissioners from New York City, Washington, D.C. and Syracuse, NY were hosted with on farm visits to help develop a better understanding of agriculture among consumers.” After four years at Kent Feeds, Redhage joined Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, in Indianapolis, IN, “I worked in product publicity for both the crop and animal divisions, then became Advertising Manager for Treflan which, in those days, was the world’s largest-selling herbicide. “While at Elanco, I was fortunate to have sponsored and served as host for several Young Farmer Spokesmen for Agriculturemedia tours to cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Phoenix and Dallas.” Redhage’s experience continued to grow as he became a crops sales representative in Ohio, then moved back to advertising on the animal health side of the business in Indianapolis. Agency experience became the next chapter in his career. “I left Elanco in 1985 to join Kenrick Advertisingwhere I obtained ad agency experience working on Land O’ Lakes, Sandoz, MetLife Healthcare Network, Home Brands foods, Elanco and Concordia Publishing Company,” recalls Redhage. When Kenrick went out of business, Redhage helped start the Brighton Agency in 1989, working on client Sandoz and new business development as Senior Account Supervisor. “After that, I decided to go back to the company side of things and moved to North Carolina to join BASF as Communications Manager in 1990,” adds Redhage. “During my 13 years with BASF, I worked on all of their crop markets at one point or the other. And, I was involved in the integration of Sandoz, Micro-Flo and