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Agrimarketing : November December 2008
AGRI-MARKETERS UPDATE EXCITINGEVENTSFOR2009AGDAY by the AgriMarketing Editors I n a trial run last year, the Agricul- ture Council of America (ACA) changed its activities inWashing- ton, D.C., at its annual event com- memoratingAgricultureDay. Itwas so successful, it is ramping up its activities for the 2009 ceremony, scheduled to be held Thursday, March 12, 2009. In the past,Ag Day activities included a luncheon at theNational Press Club in downtown D.C., fea- turing a high-profile political leader or representative fromthe adminis- tration. The luncheonwas followed by an FFA rally held at USDA’s Whitten Building. It also hosted an essay contest in which high school studentswere provided a theme towrite about with thewinner and their parents being flown to D.C. to read their essay at theAg Day luncheon.ACA also provided planning guides, posters and othermaterials to groups around the country thatwere interested in hostingAg Day events in their local communities. “The FFArally and essay contest have been successful andwe are con- tinuing them,” saysGregWebb, ACAChairman and VP State Gov- ernment Relations, ArcherDaniels Midland. “However at our D.C. eventwewere not attracting the crowdwewanted, both in the num- ber of peoplewho participated and who they represented.Ag Daywas launched to bring attention to consumers andmembers of Congress the vital role that agricul- ture plays to supply a boun- tiful and nutri- tious food sup- ply,aswell as providing for their needs of fiber and, now, fuel. A highlight of the 2008 Ag Day activitieswas a banquet at USDA’sWhitten Building. Here, USDA Sec’y Ed Schafer and hiswife gatherwith FFAmembers who attended the event. NEWACTIVITIES “Wedecided that ifwewere to be suc- cessful in reaching our intended audi- ences,we needed to change the venue for theAgDay luncheon,”Webb explains. “Since Congressional lead- ers, their aides and otherswewanted to reach are so busy,wemoved the event fromdowntownD.C. to one of the Senate office buildings. “In addition,we flewin FFAStar Awardwinners to D.C. to attend the event.Appointmentsweremade to meetwith their own Congressional representatives, aswell as other members, and bring to their atten- tion the importance of agriculture to the nation.” In addition, the group added a dinner at USDA’sWhitten Building. TheMaster of Ceremonieswas ACA BOARDMEMBERS The 2008-09 Agriculture Council of America (ACA) Board of Directors include: Chairman:GregWebb, ADM Vice Chairman:Dr. John Bonner, CAST Past Chair:Gerald Tumbleson,MNfarmer representing theNat’l Corn Growers Association Sec’y/Treas: Linda Tank, CHS Executive Director: Jenny Pickett,NAMA Members: TerryGilbert, Amer. FarmBureauWomen’sCommittee LynnHenderson, AgriMarketingmagazine Doug Loudenslager,Nat’l FFAOrganization MelanieMiller, The Sugar Association BarryNelson, JohnDeere AM 44 AgriMarketing s November/December 2008 WGNradio’sOrion Samuelson and the featured speakerwas the Secre- tary ofAgriculture Ed Schafer. By all counts,ACAhad a hit on its hands. “Ourmeet and greet event on theHill attracted our largest crowd ever,”Webbreports. “Our visitswith Congresswere verywell received and the turn out, and resulting publicity at theUSDA,were outstanding.” 2009’S EVENT Buoyed by its success,ACAis creating an even larger event for its 2009Ag Day activities. “Weare broadening the number of youth participating in the event and hope to have a representa- tive fromeach state,”Webbsays. “In addition to FFA,we are alsoworking with 4-HandAgriculture Future of America (AFA) to have some of their members attend.Wehave invited state commodity associations to participate in the programand very pleasedwith the supportwe have received.” Looking ahead,Webb says the activities being held in the nation’s capitol could be duplicated in state capitols. “Wewill beworkingwith state-based organizations next year to accomplish that goal.” ACAwas formed in 1973. Finan- cial support comes fromindividuals, foundations, trade associations and corporations including ADMand JohnDeerewhich are the organiza- tion’s Premier Partners. Formore information go to www.agdat.org or contact Jenny Pickett at 913/491-1895, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. AM
American Seed Trade Association