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Agrimarketing : October 2012
October 2012 Agri Marketing 101 Picture a grain and livestock producer in Iowa. His span of trade associations has a broad reach. He is probably a member of his state corn and soybean association. On the livestock side, he has a state associations too. And each of these state organizations has a national counterpart he belongs to. His animals eat, so he does business with a feed company, which also belongs to a trade association. The animals will need medical care, so a veterinarian will be involved, along with any medication that is necessary for proper health, both of which have trade associations. This farmer is likely to work with a crop consultant, who is also part of an association, to maximize yields. He gets his weather, marker reports and industry news from farm radio and magazines, which also each have trade associations. To plant and harvest the crops, he purchases and maintains machinery, and the equipment dealer is also represented through a trade association. As well as the machinery manufacturer. Crop protection products will enhance yields by reducing various weeds and pests, and his chemical company belongs to a trade association. Fertilizer replenishes nutrients in his fields, and fertilizer companies have their own trade association too. He markets the crop through a grain company or farmer- cooperative, which also belongs to a trade association. And to pay for all this, the farmer needs a lender, who also belongs to a trade association. And so on. DIVERSE INDUSTRY Today there are hundreds of agricultural trade associations working to advance their own specific aspect of the industry. They serve virtually every aspect of agriculture: seed, feed, fuel, fertilizer, crop protection products, equipment, finance, professional services and market development, both at home and abroad. U.S. agriculture undoubtedly produces and markets a great product domestically and internationally, but there are a lot of great products on the market. It takes a well-organized, highly focused, visible industry to outpace competitors, and that is one of the great strengths trade associations bring to U.S. agriculture. They organize us and give us a single voice when we need it. ACHIEVING TOGETHER The associations are governed and funded by the producers and businesses they serve. They are member-driven and funded through dues paid by members and other organizations who are affiliated with them. Trade associations provide individual farmers and the companies that serve them with the resources and expertise to accomplish things they cannot do on their own, such as member education, leadership development, networking, lobbying, consumer relations and domestic and international market development. They enable farmers to feed the growing world population while protecting their freedom to operate and increasing the market value of the products they produce. While our Iowa farmer and livestock producer may think he spends a lot of time going to meetings of his trade associations, or participating in the information and professional development programs they offer, he also realizes that his associations do things for him and his suppliers that would not otherwise be done. The trade associations influence favorable legislation by educating state legislators and members of Congress about the specific part of the industry they represent. They work for favorable domestic and international policies to further increase market power, demand and profit for agricultural products and services. They improve consumer relations for agriculture by educating the public about the productivity as well as the sustainability of today's farming. And they work with others in both the public and private sectors to break trade barriers and keep markets open for U.S. agricultural products and by-products. Trade associations allow farmers to concentrate on what they do best --- producing quality and competitive food, fuel and fiber for a growing world. Associations protect freedom to operate for farmers and the entire agricultural industry by keeping us competitive, profitable, sustainable and appreciated. POWER IN NUMBERS There is power in numbers, and strength in unity. Trade associations provide the numbers and the unity for farmers, their suppliers and marketers. They are the reason behind the strength of the "united state" of agriculture. WORLD OF CHECKOFFS BEEF. It's what's for dinner. Over 88% of Americans recognize the slogan, which was released ten years ago. Pork. The other white meat. debuted in 1987 and is now the fifth most memorable promotion tagline in history, according to a study con- ducted by Northwestern University. Begun in 1989, Cotton. The fabric of our lives campaign still features Hollywood movie stars. The Got Milk? campaign, released in 1993, not only turned around milk sales, but changed consumer marketing. Healthy People. Healthy Animals. Healthy Planet., an educational initiative of the Animal Heath Institute, (AHI) was recognized in 2010 as one of the top international TRADE ASSOCIATIONS AND CHECKOFFS by Kayla Bullerman, FLM+ (more on page 102)
November December 2012