Chuck Zimmerman

Guest Speakers in PR Class Rock

1. How has agriculture communication/journalism changed over the course of Chuck’s career?

Chuck Zimmerman graduated with a degree in journalism and went to work for a major broadcasting company, Brownfield Network. At that time radio was one of the best ways to get information in the agriculture community, however now years later there are many different media outlets and radio isn’t the only way to share information. Nine years ago Chuck and his wife Cindy left the Brownfield company with a plan that to some then and even know think is crazy! They left to start a business that focuses on relaying information through social media and networking. Their business is called Ag Wired and is one of the most widely know sources to get farm reports, interviews,  and coverage over AGRICULTURAL conventions.

The journalism and communication world has changed drastically! Now because of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the Vine and other social media channels people are able to and want information NOW, or WHILE it is happening. This is instant coverage, and this is why Zimmerman’s Ag Wired is so successful. They are able to get reports out and interviews recorded and put online before some newspapers have even started their editing process.

2. How did he embrace those changes to create a new ag business?

Zimmerman embraced this new social world because he saw an opportunity that others weren’t willing to take the risk for. His business has 4 main web publications, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel and a Flicker.

Not only has he made his company successful but as another way to generate revenue Zimmerman helps teach companies and business how to become relevant online as well. He shows them the reasons why they need to be there (online).

3. Looking into the future, do you see the role of agriculture communications/journalism changing or staying the same. If so, what changes do you anticipate?

I see it changing for sure! Everything has to change at some point, this is how our country keeps moving forward, we embrace changes and we become more efficient. The biggest change I see coming IS the presence of agricultural companies and business online. This industry is under constant attack and scrutiny. Farmers  have to be online to stay up with legislation and news, political leaders in the agriculture world need to be online to see the issues and to learn about the people and agricultural companies and businesses need to be online so that they can show their support and can reach their customers.

 

Thanks Chuck Zimmerman for making time to speak to our agricultural public relations class!

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Agriculture Proud

Spring Farm Fest 2013

Had a wonderful weekend and couldn’t wait to share these pictures !

The weather was finally warm enough to spend time outside this weekend and that it exactly what I had planned on doing. Here in Springfield, Mo, the Circus was in town, Spring Farm Fest was open and bonfires had been scheduled. SO I thought in my blog for the week I would just highlight a few reasons on why I am proud to be a member of the agriculture community.

 

I will start with Friday: This was the opening day for Spring Farm Fest and I was scheduled to work with my partner in crime Olivia, at the Greene County Farm Bureau Booth. All morning we got to talk to famers and agriculturalist from all around about their farms and businesses. Nothing makes an old man happier than to have someone to sit and chat with about all the lessons he has learned throughout his life time! The highlight of the day  however would have to be when one elderly farmer was determined to share the best peanut brittle that he had ever eaten in his entire life with Olivia and I. And it just so happened to be the recipe he taught his wife to make and it just so happen to be the peanut brittle he was carrying around in a paper towel in his pocket. I know you are all wondering, so yes, we did finally cave in an try the candy. It may seem strange and maybe a little weird to some but to me it was worth it, to make this mans day by sharing in conversation and peanut brittle.

Olivia and I volunteering at the county Farm Bureau Booth

Olivia and I volunteering at the county Farm Bureau Booth

Olivia and I posing with some really large rabbits in the barns

Olivia and I posing with some really large rabbits in the barns

Next I would like to share about Saturday morning: This was the day my boyfriend traveled to visit me, and my first instinct on what to do for the day was go back to the Farm Fest. So my boyfriend, Tanner, and I traveled to the fair grounds and ventured through all the vendors until we finally made a break for the barns. It was here that the agriculture atmosphere was the strongest. With all the restored tractors, livestock, and country folk it was easy for us both to blend in. No matter what stall we stopped to look in or what tractor we stood to gaze at, there was someone there willing to educate us or tell us a story. My favorite character that morning was another elderly farmer who was in the barns with his brahman cattle. He was fast on his feet when he saw Tanner and I checking out his prized calves! He was happy to engage us in a long conversation about the cattle breed he loved and the history of his cattle business. Never could it be more apparent to see the passion in someones life work. After thanking him for the education and conversation he proceeded to tell us that he was happy to share his knowledge and that he was glad to have us young people find his family cattle business interesting. Needless to say Tanner and I walked away knowing we had made a connection and that there wasn’t a better way to spend our time together than being around passionate agriculturalists.

Found 5 Corgie Puppies and almost took one home

Found 5 Corgie Puppies and almost took one home

While walking around the barns on the fairground we found this pretty calf.

While walking around the barns on the fairground we found this pretty calf.

Found these little guys at Spring Farm Fest

Found these little guys at Spring Farm Fest

Last I will share about Saturday night: Picture and farm girl in the middle of a city on the first warm day of Spring, where do you think she would want to be… the answer is a farm out it the country. I love my school campus but sometimes it is nice to get away from the car horns and truck sirens. Thank goodness for a good ole’ bonfire!

A big fire+ a great boyfriend+ s’mores + the students from the MSU Agriculture Department,  all add up to what? A good time! Breaking free from the stress at school to spend an evening in the dark listening to the coyotes, and dancing to the latest country songs. All good, clean fun with everyone just looking to enjoy each others company. That’s what I call a great ending to a good day.

My boyfriend and I sharing a beautiful night with a bonfire and friends

My boyfriend and I sharing a beautiful night at a bonfire with friends

The first warm night in Springfield

The first warm night in Springfield

Great shot from my Saturday night

Great shot from my Saturday night

After reading this post I hope you can understand the welcoming, easy-going, passionate group of individuals that make up the agriculture industry. I am proud to be a part of them and I am proud to have grown up within a  community that is based off hard work, friendliness, knowledge, and passion. I would recommend this life to anyone!

Love

Bringing it to the Table Quotes

 

I wrote in a past post about the benefits of growing up on a farm and I gave my top 5 reasons and promised to go more in depth… Here will be my first post doing this. This post is all about Love; when I saw it, how I learned it, and how I was taught to show it.

Growing up on a farm for me, meant I didn’t have many neighbors. I grew up in a rural community, with acres of farm land, pastures, ponds and woods. Of course living in an area like that you might think it would be lonely, and at times it was but to me these were the times you could see love.

I saw it between my parents, who depended on each other. I saw it between mother and daughter and father and daughter. Then I saw it in my mothers eyes as she went to take care of the horses, when she brushed their manes and fed them hay. I could see it when my dad looked over his land and his family and his animals. I saw it in his eyes when he would bring home a new goat or chicken or turtle for my sisters and I to take care of. And I saw it in my sisters eyes when they ran around in a yard full of green grass, chasing after goats and hold kittens and playing with the dogs.

I grew in an environment full of love and I learned how to treat others and how to be there and take care of those whom I loved. As I got older I had responsibilities on the farm; watering the horses, filling up the bird feeder, walking show cattle. Within those responsibilities I learned fast that those animals and my family members were counting on me, and if I failed to carry out my jobs I would be letting them down. So I learned to enjoy everything I did, I was taught to be excited to walk the show cattle, to feel important because I was in charge of watering the horses. And because of all of that I learned how to love.

Now it’s a whole other story to be taught HOW to love, but I found that the best way to practice (before trying it out on actual people) was to practice showing love to all the animals on my farm. As a little girl you always go through falling in love, and the embarrassing moments when you share your love to someone you doesn’t deserve it. But the plus side to living on a farm is you have space to run and hide, to evaluate your feelings and you have animals to cuddle or talk to about your problems because that kind of love doesn’t go away. Those bonds are unbreakable and they gave me the courage to stop hiding, to get over it and to share my love with the people in my life who would love me back.

I can’t say that I wouldn’t know all of those things if I grew up in a city or even a town, but I can say that my ability to love is one of my greatest and strongest qualities. Here in the present I have an amazing family that loves me, I am in a strong long distance relationship, and I am surrounded with honest, happy and caring friends. All of these people in my life deserve my love and because I grew up on a farm and experienced it had role models to show me, I know I can love them!!

Thank you FARMnWIFE

Lessons Learned 

A big thank you to Judi Graff, also know as FARMnWIFE, for speaking to my Agriculture Public Relations class yesterday!

For those of you who do not know about FARMnWIFE I really encourage you to check out her blog! It has a ton of helpful hints about how to blog and also includes her personal farm stories.

FARMnWIFE Blog

My assignment this week for class is to blog about the top 3 most helpful/interesting things Judi Graff taught us. So here we go…

1) An interesting thing I learned was how and why FARMnWIFE got started and why she is continuing to blog.

– Judi started her blog because she wanted to share pictures of her children showing animals at their county fair for 4H.

– Judi believes in preserving the story of her farm so that her children and grandchildren will know all the struggles the family farm has overcome. (Judi Graff was not born or raised on a farm, she married into farming)

-Judi continues to blog now because she wants to help others record the stories of their farms and also she helps agriculture businesses become more successful by using a blog. She also continues to preserve her own story.

2) A great tool FARMnWIFE taught our class about was how to create a contact page.

-This is a REALLY great tool for an agriculture business because the contact page allows the customers to get in touch with the company and ask questions they might not be comfortable asking online. ALSO this allows bloggers to see that there is a person behind the blog who is willing to build connections with customers and potential customers.

– I chose not to put a contact page on my blog just for the simple fact that I am  just telling a story. I am not in an official position therefore I will stay online and present to create conversations on my blog.

3) I LEARNED WHAT A GRAVITAR WAS!!

– Just a simple picture and a short about me was something I added after learning how and why I should from FARMnWIFE.

– I love this because now those who visit my blog can see ME right on the top of the page. Everyone can see  atypicalaggie really is real!!

National Agriculture Day !

“Without you we wouldn’t have a table.”

 

Happy National Agriculture Day everyone! Today I wanted to share a great video made by AmericanFarmers.com. They are an organization that is all about promoting a positive voice for agriculturalists and showing others what farmers really do for people here in American and all around the world.

Please enjoy this video and hopefully it makes for think about where your food comes from and I also hope you get the sudden urge to THANK A FARMER!!

Thank You, America’s Farmers

 

Thank You to Farmers!!

Thank You to Farmers!!

Farm Life

Today I wold like to blog about the benefits to growing up on a farm, and how it has contributed to the person I am today.

I was raised on a farm about 15 minutes from the closest town and 30 minutes from an actual city. All my life I was able to enjoy the many wonderful things about living in a rural community; no neighbors within walking distance, plenty of open space to run around in, animals to play with, and stars to light up the sky at night.

But I will have to say the greatest thing about living on a farm would be the strong family bonds that are created. My family is the center of my world and I owe all my successes in life to the support that comes from home. Now living in a college dorm in the middle of a busy city I have come to appreciate all the lessons I learned on the farm and can say they have made me into the individual I am today.

I am going to list the five most important things living on a farm has given me, and feel free to comment on any one of them.

1) Love

My ability to love was shaped on the farm. I got to experience the love between a family, the love between humans and animals, and the love within a community.

2) Passion

My passion for agriculture started on the farm and has now grown to include many different types of agriculture. Such as production agriculture, industrial agriculture, crop agriculture, agricultural communications, and many agricultural organizations.

3) Room to Grow

On a farm mistakes are going to happen. When growing up in life mistakes are going to happen, but on a farm the mistakes can turn into life lessons.

4) A Home

My farm is my home, and the people and animals are my family. They are what is familiar, what is comforting and what I am proud of.

5) Way of Life

Farming is not just a way of life for the farmer, but for all of us. Everyone who eats, wears clothes, gets gas,  and has a home. Without those who farm, we would al be in trouble.

 

These were just a few main points that I will be expanding on in the near future, so stay tuned if you are interested in hearing the real details!

Farming Video- Hangman Style

Farming Hangman

 

 

This video was part of an assignment for my agriculture public relations class. Our job was to create an impromptu, three minute video on why farming is important. I know it is a little rough, but the facts are what’s important. Enjoy!

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