Posted by: Kristy on September 13, 2016

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Snap Back to Reality –DarenWilliams_HeadShot

By Daren Williams, ARC Board President

The summer Olympics are over. Kids are headed back to school. The pennant race is heating up (Go Royals!). Summer is over. Bummer. Time to snap back to reality.

As much as I desire to experience that “Endless Summer” the Beach Boys sang about, the reality is that time marches on. So, as a reminder of what’s to come, here are some reality checks:

  • The election is less than two months away (now there’s something to look forward to!).
  • In less than three months we will pause for a few days to focus on what we are thankful for (how about we start now?).
  • There are just over 100 shopping days left until Christmas (I need to start trying harder to make the “nice” list!).
  • A few short days after a month of over-indulging we will resolve to eat less, exercise more, and lose weight (I’m resolving now to end that vicious cycle by indulging a little less and making exercise a holiday tradition).

Feeling better? Me neither.

How about these reminders:

  • Before you know it, the Golden ARC Awards call for entries will go out (now is a great time to start thinking about the great work you have done in 2016 that deserves to be recognized!).
  • In about six months registration will open for the 2017 ARC Annual Meeting in Sacramento (this will be my last meeting as your president and one you will not want to miss!).
  • When the ARC Annual Meeting rolls around, summer will be in full swing again!

Yes, time marches on, but with so much to look forward to it sure beats the alternative! And speaking of what’s to look forward to with ARC as summer winds down and fall is just around the corner, try this on:

  • Continued emphasis on webinars. Our most recent one had 40+ attendees, a record.
  • More professional development at our annual meeting in Sacramento.
  • A new internship program that will be a unique collaboration between ARC and a member company/agency/association.
  • New marketing efforts to get more companies involved in the Golden ARC awards program, the ONLY program for ag communications professionals entirely focused on PR strategies and tactics.
  • A fresh look at our strategic plan for the next five years.

September is one of my favorite months in many parts of the country, especially my home in Colorado. This year I’ll be spending 10 days of it in Southwestern Oregon on a 7-day, 420-mile bicycle tour called Cycle Oregon. Follow along with me and my brother via my BEEFMAN Blog as we traverse the Oregon Coast and climb 5,000 feet up the Rogue River Valley into the Siskayou National Forest.

I hope you enjoy the fall weather in your area or wherever you may travel. Be safe, or as we say in the cycling world, ride fast and take chances!


California Here We Come!

By Daren Williams, ARC Board President

The Embassy Suites hotel is a modern downtown hotel with all the amenities.

(Editor’s Note: The Agricultural Relations Council is headed west to Sacramento, CA, for the 2017 Annual Meeting, June 20-22, at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade. ARC Board President Daren Williams checked out the hotel and surrounding area (on his bike) while visiting family in Sacramento this past month and shared some pictures and impressions with ARCLight members/readers.)

Sacramento is going to be a great location for an ARC meeting. The hotel offers the spacious one bedroom suites and complimentary happy hour (not to mention breakfast) that attract me as a frequent traveler, and the location is ideal. It’s just a few steps from the front door of the hotel where you can walk, jog or bike along the Sacramento River, or eat, drink and shop ‘til you drop in Old Sacramento.”

The headquarters hotel is in Old Sacramento, a 28-acre National Historic Landmark

Step out the front door of the Embassy Suites onto the Sacramento River Waterfront.

Step out the front door of the Embassy Suites onto the Sacramento River Waterfront.

District and State Historic Park featuring shopping, dining, entertainment, historical attractions and world-renowned museums set within the time of the California Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad, including the California State Railroad Museum.

The history of Old Sacramento during the time of the California gold rush led us to the theme of our meeting: “Setting the Gold Standard.” I love the tie to the Golden ARC Awards, which recognize gold standard work in agricultural public relations. ARC members set the gold standard with our work and we are going to set the gold standard in professional development at this meeting.

Against the backdrop of this historic setting, the professional development program will take an in-depth look at the Sacramento region’s ground-breaking Farm-to-Fork Program, an effort to “shine a light on [the region’s] amazing food and agriculture and share it with the rest of the country.”

In 2012, Mayor Kevin Johnson declared the Sacramento region “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” and it is hard to argue with him, given the city’s central location in the middle of a vast array of farms, ranches, orchards and vineyards producing everything from apples and almonds to rice and caviar. The traditional farm tours will highlight the agricultural diversity of the region, including its award-winning craft breweries and boutique wineries!

Sacramento offers a great mix of the old and new.

Sacramento offers a great mix of the old and new.

ARC meetings are all about the learning, laughs, and libations. We promise plenty of “offline” social time will be built in to the agenda. We will also take time to recognize the people who set the gold standard in our profession, past and present. I’m referring to the Ag PR Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wednesday and the Golden ARC Awards banquet Thursday evening.

Our organization’s vice chair and co-program chair Rebecca Colnar told me this meeting is going to be one that will be talked about for years to come. I couldn’t agree more. You better mark your calendars now so you will have our meeting already in place when other conflicts come in!

Stay tuned to the ARC Events section of the website and the ARC Facebook Group for additional program details as they become available. A full tentative agenda should be available by the end of the year.

We truly will be “Setting the Gold Standard” next summer. Hope to see you there.


Welcome New ARC Members!

Al Eidson, Eidson & Company

James Gersham, Farm Journal

Aubrey Jameson, University of Missouri

Angela Mayfield, Vivayic, Inc.

Kirti Mutarkar, United Ag


Founders of the Agricultural Relations Council to be Inducted into Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame for 2017

By Den Gardner, Executive Director

The original founders of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in 1953 will be posthumously inducted into the 2017 Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame, which was instituted six years ago and is sponsored by ARC and Agri Marketing magazine. The hall of fame recognizes individuals for lifetime achievement in agricultural public relations.

The first two members of the newly established Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame were inducted. Lyle Orwig, Charleston Orwig, (left) and Don Lerch, retired.

The first two members of the newly established Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame were inducted June 2012. Lyle Orwig, Charleston Orwig, (left) and Don Lerch, retired.

There were 26 original founders of ARC and one, Don Lerch, is the only one currently in the hall of fame, having been inducted in 2012. He also is the lone remaining member still alive at 95 and thriving in Juno Beach, FL. The remaining 25 will be honored in June at the ARC annual meeting in Sacramento, CA, .

Paul Weller, Jr., inducted in 2013, and former executive director of ARC, noted that the ARC was founded at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago in the spring of 1953. “A group of 26 professionals serving in agricultural communications decided that continuing adverse publicity about American agriculture, especially about agricultural chemicals, merited an organization of professionals with experience and talents in public relations to tell agriculture’s positive story,” Weller said.

Weller also noted that ARC placed a plaque in the lobby of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago noting ARC’s founding upstairs. He added that Cap Mast and Roy Battles stepped in some years after the founding and provided a home and staff for the association.

Those original founders are:

Ladd Haystead, (First President), American Petroleum Institute

Ed Lipscomb, (First VP), National Cotton Council

Lowell A. Kern, American Petroleum Institute

Donald G. Lerch, Jr., Lerch & Company, Inc.

Frank B. Atchley,   Grocery Manufacturers Association

Lyle Liggett,  National Cattlemen’s Association

Roy Battles,   National Grange

Carl Bender,  Sperry Corporation

Charles Dana Bennett, Farm Film Foundation

Max Chambers,  Vegetable Growers Association

C.L. “Cap” Mast, Jr.,  Ag Consultant

John C. Davis, Nat’l Council of Farmer Cooperatives

William Foreman, National Cotton Council

Walter B. Garver, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Herbert A. Graff, Ralston-Purina Company

Val E. Weyle, Nat’l Ag Chemicals Association

Floyd Keepers, Barn Equipment Association

John J. Lacey, American Farm Bureau Federation

George Krieger, Ethyl Corporation

William S. Moreland,  Rutgers University

H.P. Quadland, H.P. Quadland Company

Jack Sampier, National Livestock Producers Association

Glenn Sample, Indiana Farm Bureau

Ernest Steward, National Cotton Council

Dave O. Thompson, Sr., Ag Consultant

Louis H. Wilson, American Plant Food Council

Weller added that ARC was formed, and the group agreed to meet at least annually in conjunction with other existing agricultural organizations.

L to R: Lynn Henderson, Carol Bodensteiner, Daren Williams

L to R: Lynn Henderson, Carol Bodensteiner, Daren Williams

“We are thrilled to recognize these winners,” said Lynn Henderson, Agri Marketing magazine publisher and award sponsor. “As the founding partner with ARC in this program, we believe recognizing these distinguished founders is appropriate and continues the tradition of honoring those who broke ground in establishing this much-needed organization of ag PR professionals.”

ARC annually recognizes ag PR professionals at its annual meeting. ARC is the only association dedicated to public relations professionals working in agriculture, food, fiber and other related industries. More than 60 years since its inception, the ARC provides premier professional development for agricultural public relations professionals in North America.

Current inductees in the hall of fame are: Lyle Orwig, Don Lerch, 2012; John Harvey and Paul S. Weller, Jr., 2013; Richard Howell and Gary Myers, 2014; Steve Drake, 2015; and Carol Bodensteiner, 2016.

For more information about the hall of fame, contact Den Gardner, executive director, at the ARC office at More details about the founders will be provided in upcoming issues of ARC Light.


The 2017 Golden ARC Awards Contest Update

By Kristy Mach, Golden ARC Awards Contest Manager

GoldenARCdeExcellence AwardREVThe 2017 Golden ARC Awards Contest call for entries might seem far off now but it will be upon us before we know it. There is exciting work occurring behind the scenes to ensure the contest is continuously improving, providing the most efficient methods for you to enter this prestigious contest for ag PR professionals.

Watch for information on an upcoming webinar showcasing the Golden ARC de Excellence winner and all the work behind a successful, award-winning campaign.   The webinar will be open to all current ARC members and prospects.

The contest committee is reviewing the categories to make sure that we are covering all aspects of the ag PR industry.  This group of volunteer ARC members will also offer insight and direction on how we can improve the contest for the upcoming year.   Improvements may possibly include a newly designed website and restructuring of categories.   If you would like to be a part of this committee please let us know.

Additional information can be obtained by calling Kristy Mach, the Golden ARC Awards Contest manager, at 952-758-5811.

Keep thinking about what you’re doing this year that can be entered into the Golden ARC Awards contest in 2017!


ARC Starts Year Three of Scholarship Program for University Students Studying Ag Communications

By ARC Staff

The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) is pleased to announce year three of its reinstated scholarship program for college students studying ag communications. The organization, through its foundation, will grant one, $1,500 scholarship for the 2017-2018 school year. Last year’s program had 25 applications.

JD Rosman - 2016 ARC Scholarship recipient

JD Rosman – 2016 ARC Scholarship recipient

JD Rosman, a junior at Oklahoma State University, was our 2016 ARC Scholarship winner. JD is pursuing an Agricultural Communications degree, with his goal to graduate in May of 2017.  Last year’s winner was Kate Griswold of the University of Wisconsin. Thanks to donations to the ARC Foundation from many members and hall of fame recipients, the program awards a $1,500 scholarship. ARC leadership will enhance the scholarship program in years to come and focus on other programs for college students seeking a career in ag communications after graduation.

The board is also reinstating our internship program as well. A career in public relations can be satisfying and rewarding. Scholarships and internships are ways to show college students the value of pursuing jobs in this area.” The internship program will be explained more fully in the coming month.

Notices of the scholarship program will be sent to universities now and January announcing the program. Students will have until March 1, 2017, to submit their applications. Among those contacted will be Ag Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) students through its state chapters.

DEADLINE: The 2017 ARC Scholarship Program Application and all supplemental materials must be emailed no later than March 1, 2017. Application materials should be emailed to:

Please direct all questions to the ARC office; email ARC at, phone: 952/758-5811.

________________________John Blue, Truffle Media

Webinars Update:

By John Blue, Webinar Manager and ARC Board Member

viar-photo-squareWebinar: Brand and Issues Management Through Online Listening – This webinar with Michelle Viar, FLM+, outlined approaches to using digital channels to listen to and understand customer conversations. This information can help companies and organizations better sustain their brands over time and be prepared when a crisis occurs.

The presentation by Michelle Viar was held on August 25 and is now available to all ARC members: (and below).

Email for the access code to watch the webinar.


2016 ARC Hall of Fame Recipient - Carol Bodensteiner.

2016 ARC Hall of Fame Recipient – Carol Bodensteiner.


Carol Bodensteiner – Interview on PR, Writing, and Iowa Life – Carol Bodensteiner [audio link] is the 2016 Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame award winner, sponsored by ARC and Agri Marketing magazine. Carol shares her thoughts on how Iowa influenced her life, what public relations as a career was like for her, and how she has continued to write after her retirement from doing public relations.





2016 ARC Silent Auction at AMS is a SuccessSilent Auction Activity

By Barb Ulschmid, Auction Coordinator

The ARC Silent auction at the Ag Media Summit raised nearly $4,000.  The funds benefit youth programs and will be split between ARC and AMS.  In total, 45 generous items were donated, and a big thank you to all ARC board members, each of whom contributed at least one item to the auction.

The Ag Relations Council receives an incredible amount of visibility from the auction at AMS, which adds to the monetary value it produces for our youth initiatives.

Olklahoma State BasketItems receiving the highest bids included techie gadgets, University apparel and gift baskets. Oklahoma State had the highest bid of $185 among ACT chapters for their silent auction item.

The 2017 Ag Media Summit takes place at the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Snowbird, UT – July 22-26. We look forward to receiving your incredible donations.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.



Barb Ulschmid Departing G&G After 9+ Years

 By G&G Staff

 It’s with great excitement for Barb Ulschmid and selfish sadness among G&G staff that we announce Barb’s last day with G&G on Sept. 23. After more than nine years of wonderful service with us, Barb is moving on to a new position that will afford her even more opportunities to enhance her many skills.

We are immensely proud of her time with G&G, and the tremendous growth she’s had since she first came to us in the summer of 2007. Her meeting planning and office manager role within G&G has been invaluable to us.

But most of all we will miss her friendship, her warm heart, her family (who helped us a lot with projects over the years – everything from putting plates on trophies to mowing the lawn), her can-do-it attitude, going the extra mile for annual meetings and always knowing that our members came first in all she did.

It goes without saying that she truly contributed to G&G’s success every day of our more than nine years together, which is almost half of the time that G&G has been in existence.

Working in association management means constantly meeting deadlines, finding ways to lessen stress one week (or more) before an annual meeting, making sure just the right food is ordered for just the right group, nudging volunteer members when deadlines were missed and so much more. Barb did this all with enthusiasm, subtlety, patience and humor. In this business, ALL those attributes are necessary.

Barb, your contributions the past nine years will help keep us on the right track here at G&G in the future. We thank you. We will miss you. Best of luck (although you won’t need luck – you have talent) in your new position and we hope it brings you all the same joy you brought to us all these years.

Barb UlschmidA Fond Farewell

By Barb Ulschmid

To my ARC family,

After a wonderful 9+ years with Gardner & Gardner Communications I’ve made the tough decision to pursue a new chapter in life and accepted a FT project assistant/event planning position elsewhere.

I would like to sincerely thank each of you for the honor of being a part of this amazing group! Every experience shared, friendship made, opportunity offered and good times had during this time will never be forgotten. I will miss you!

I don’t like good byes, so for now I will say I hope our paths cross again someday. My new email address is

Take Care!

Fall Calendar of Eventsautumn image

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

March 1, 2017: 
ARC Student Scholarship application deadline

ARC Internship application deadline

March 15, 2017: Ag PR Hall of Fame application deadline

March 31, 2017: Golden ARC final entry deadline

June 20-22, 2017: ARC Annual Meeting

Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade100 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA  95814



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