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Agrimarketing : May 2008 Supplement
30 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 2008 NAMA MARKETER OF THE YEAR D ave Rhylander’s acceptance speech as recipient of the NAMA 2008 Marketer of the Year award was focused on praise for co-workers at Monsanto who put him in the position to win the presti- gious award and an upbeat assess- ment of the future of the agricultural industry for young people who are now completing their schooling and beginning careers in agriculture. “I don’t normally accept awards, but instead am much more comfort- able handing awards out to others, rather than making acceptance speeches,” said Rhylander, speaking to approximately 1,200 National Agri-Marketing Association mem- bers at NAMA’s recent annual con- vention in Kansas City, MO. “This is — without a shadow of a doubt — the highest award I have ever received in my entire career.” TEAM EFFORT After thanking all the people involved in the award selection process, Rhylander turned his atten- tion to his co-workers at Monsanto, where he has already spent 31 years in a variety of marketing positions. “This award is really not about Dave Rhylander,” he said. “It is about a team of people that I have been fortunate enough to work with. I look at this award like Eli Manning would look at the MVP award in the most recent Super Bowl. It was Manning’s team that enabled him to win that MVP award. It was the team that was with him every step of the way. Rhylander observed that his co- workers at Monsanto were the peo- ple who made it possible to win the Marketer of the Year award. “Monsanto has always provided great opportunities to learn new things and take risks, and the com- pany has great products that satisfy customer needs,” he said. “So, as far as I am concerned, this award is not only for me, but also for the com- pany I work with.” Rhylander singled out the tech- nology team at Monsanto, saying that, without their creation of great new products, there would have been no opportunity for an award of this magnitude. “Without having people like this surround you, you would never get an award like this,” he said. THE DINNER NAPKIN The 2008 Marketer of the Year also cited Linda Arnold, Monsanto’s for- mer Traits Marketing Communica- tions Manager and current Customer Outreach Lead, saying that she had been with him every step of the way with advertising, public relations and other communications efforts. “People always joke that I’m the type of guy who writes new ideas down on a din- ner napkin,” Rhylander said. “I do write on dinner napkins, but Linda Arnold is the recipient of those nap- kins with scribbling on them — and it has been up to her to make those ideas go from dinner napkin to reality.” Rhylander also had special thanks for the communications agencies that he has worked with, including Osborn & Barr Communications , Paradowski Creative , Petrik-Smith and Beck Ag. Without their out-of-the-box thinking and approach to communications, he said, Monsanto would not have real- ized so many successes. “When you introduce new tech- nologies that no one has ever seen before, you have to think outside the box and create a vision for people, so it will make them do things differ- ently compared with the old way,” Rhylander said. “These agencies have done a remarkable job of mak- ing this happen.” When it comes to the future of the agricultural industry, Rhylander had some powerful words for the young people in attendance at the NAMA conference, especially stu- dents who are just beginning their careers in agriculture. “I am very proud to work in the agricultural industry,” Rhylander said. “The opportunities for young people are tremendous, and they should remain tremendous as we move into the future.” FEEDING THE WORLD He cited two fellow airline passen- gers on a St. Louis-Kansas City flight the previous evening. One was involved in aviation, while the other was a civil engineer. When they asked their fellow passenger what he did for a living, Rhylander told them, “I help feed the world.” That is the attitude the people involved in agriculture need to pro- ject, Rhylander emphasized. “Help- ing to feed the world is a great mis- sion to be on,” he explained. “Agriculture is in a unique posi- tion to provide solutions to some of mankind’s most daunting chal- lenges — how do we feed a fast- growing global population? How do we get higher crop yields on limited farmland? How do we determine whether the cities or the farmers get limited water supplies, and how to we do all of this in an environmen- tally responsible manner? We — the agricultural industry — will solve problems that no one else can tackle.” AM RHYLANDER PAINTS A VERY BRIGHT FUTURE FOR AGRICULTURE Dave Rhylander making his acceptance speech of the NAMA Marketer of the Year award at the association’s annual Agri-Marketing Conference held in Kansas City, MO.