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Agrimarketing : June 2009
37 AgDay Article:32 Feature Story 6/12/09 12:57 PM Page 37 AGRI-MARKETER’S UPDATE 2009AGDAYCELEBRATESAGRICULTURE Gathering on theHill honors the abundance and capability of the agriculture industry. byMonica Tiffany,Merrigan&Co. T he Agriculture Council of America (ACA)welcomed leaders fromnational agricultural associations, congressionalmembers and student representatives from FFA, 4-Hand AFA to our nation’s capitol in celebration ofNationalAg Day onMarch 12, 2009. United States Secretary ofAgri- culture, TomVilsack, addressedAg Day participants during an intimate dinner on theWhitten Patio of the USDAinWashington, D.C. The National Pork Producers Council supplied pork and provided a highly acclaimed chef to prepare themeal. During the evening, Kelly Kohler, Redwood Falls,MN, read herwinning essay, “Agriculture, Every Day in EveryWay.” Earlier that day, the student delegates delivered themessage of Ag Day to over 100members of Congress and their staff. GregWebb,ACAChairman and Vice President of State Government Relations forADM, a valuedAg Day Partner, said hewas “astonished and pleasedwith the poise and ability of the students. keep agriculture progressive.” Following theHill visits, theACAhosted aMix-andMingle Luncheon in the Caucus Room, which featured a short program hosted byOrion Samuelson. Kentucky State FFAOfficer Quint Pottinger spoke, aswell as an ambassador of TomHarkin’s staff. BarryNelson,Manager ofMedia Ag Day Boardmember Linda Tank, CHS, Inc., presents a check totaling $1,000 to Redwood Valley (MN) High School 10th-grader Kelly Kohlerwho won the annual Ag Day Essay Contest. and Channel Relations for JohnDeere, another esteemed Partner ofAgDay, values the opportunityAgDay provides formany voiceswithin the industry to come together and publicize the strength ofU.S. agriculture. “Ag Day allows everyonewho participates to gain a newperspective on agriculture and also show support for our industry,” says Nelson. “And it’s a tremendous benefit for students to develop their professionalismand social skills in this venue.” Nelson also WGN radio, andmember of the Radio Hall of Fame Orion Samuelson (l) was emcee at the event’s dinnerwhich featured USDA Sec’y Tom Vilsack. “These youngmen andwomen are going tomake a better, stronger tomorrowfor our industry,” he shared. “Theywere comfortable leading discussions and itwas rewarding to see thembegin to learn howpolicies created by the government help pointed out that in many respects, agriculture is a “minority voice.”He applaudedAg Day’s efforts to educate the population about exactlywhere their food, fuel and fiber come from. As part of that educational push, theACAprovidesmaterials to agricultural organizations and schools across the country.Webb said the Councilwill be doingmore followup and learnwhat isworkingwell, and howthe tools andmaterials currently being offered can be improved. “The real dynamic ofAg Day is in the individual celebrations in cities and states,”Webb explains. “This grassroots activity needs to constantly be energized to keepAg Day andAgricultureWeek a strong and continuing program.” NationalAgricultureWeekwas celebratedMarch 15-21, 2009,with NationalAgriculture Day being the first day of spring,March 20. The ACAessay contestwas sponsored by CHS Inc., The Council for Agricultural Science&Technology, High Plains Journal,National Association of FarmBroadcasting, National Agri-Marketing Association, Country Living Association andMcCormick Company. TheACAis an organization uniquely composed of leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities dedicated to increasing the public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society. TheAgriculture Council ofAmerica and theNational Ag Day programwas started in 1973 to educateAmericans about the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. Learnmore at www.agday.org. AM June 2009 s Agri Marketing 37
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