Posted by: Kristy on July 16, 2016

Posted in: Newsletter

DarenWilliams_HeadShotCalifornia Here We Come!

By Daren William, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, ARC Board President

If you were sitting in your office seeing all of the Facebook posts and Tweets from the ARC Annual Meeting this past month in Minnesota, feeling like you were missing out on the learning, laughs and libations, well, you were right. So now is the time to make plans to join us in California next June! So open your Outlook calendar or planner right now and block June 20-22 for the 2017 ARC Annual Meeting in Sacramento.

Seriously. Do it now. I’ll wait.

Come on, there is no harm and no commitment involved in blocking the dates!

Done? Good!

So now you need to start building a case for your boss? Here are the top five reasons to attend:

1) Professional Development. The primary purpose of the annual meeting is to learn from your peers in public relations. I can tell many stories about the times I have applied what I learned at an ARC meeting to benefit a client or my organization. For a glimpse of what you missed in Minnesota check out the recap below.

2) Networking. We have a term to describe the level of networking at ARC meetings. We call it “professional intimacy.” Don’t worry, there’s no reason to alert HR. Professional intimacy describes the way we learn from each other by sharing our success and failures in a non-competitive environment to advance the art and science of agricultural public relations.

3) The Golden ARC Awards. OK, so we do get competitive for one night during the meeting J Actually, I think the awards banquet is a great celebration of all our collective work on behalf of agriculture – a passion we all share whether you grew up on a farm or just love to eat! Check out the 2016 winners and send them a note of congratulations.

4) The Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame. It was my honor to introduce Carol Bodensteiner at her induction into the Ag PR Hall of Fame Wednesday evening at the Ag Relations Council meeting in St. Paul. Carol broke many barriers for women in agricultural communications – serving as editor of a farm magazine (Soybean Digest) and president of an ag PR firm (CMF&Z) – so it is only fitting that she was the first woman inducted into the Hall of Fame! Who will we induct next year?   your ag PR mentor!

5) Laughs and Libations. Life is too short to not have some fun and we build plenty of social time into ARC events. I met some of my best friends in the business during both the planned and unplanned downtime during ARC meetings over the years. Since this will be my last meeting as your president I promise plenty of fun!

So there you have it. All the talking points you need to make your case (use your best judgement on whether or not to include #5 J). If you need further convincing or would like to help in planning next year’s gathering, drop me a note at


Den Gardner Headshot2016 ARC Meeting in St. Paul Largest in Six Years!

“St. Paul and ARC – The Times They Are A-Changin’”

 By Den Gardner, Executive Director

The Times They Are A-Changin’

By Bob Dylan, (See Lyrics adapted for use by Den Gardner)

Come gather ’round people wherever you roam

And admit that the ARC membership around you has grown

Accept it soon, you’ll be informed to the bone If your time to you is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’, you could sink like a stone

For at ARC, the times, they are a-changin’ Come agencies and agribusiness and PR pros throughout the land

And don’t criticize what you can’t understand

Your colleagues and your bosses, beyond your command The old road is rapidly agin’

So get out of the way if you can’t lend your ARC hand

For at ARC, the times, they are a-changin’ For at ARC, the times, they are a-changin’

The PR plan is drawn, the execution is cast

Our members will always be fast

The present now will later be past

The old methods are rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the ARC times they are a-changin’

The tradition started a year ago with this article – a parody on the lyrics of a famous song. Last year it was a John Denver song about Colorado. It continues this year with Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin’, as ARC easily is adapting to the new world of public relations with an organization that featured its largest crowd in the past 10 years – or possibly longer.

More than 40 participants joined in professional development and tours of Minnesota’s leading companies involved in food and fiber production. Carol Bodensteiner became the first woman enshrined into the ARC Public Relations Hall of Fame. And many organizations were awarded the coveted Golden ARC awards for campaigns and tactics in public relations.

The synergies between Dylan’s song and ARC are eerie. Bob Dylan’s single recording of The Times They Are a-Changin’ — and studio album of the same name –was the first by Dylan featuring all original music written by the singer-songwriter. The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous; many feel that it captures the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.

And as ARC deals with the new era of many new communications tools for getting messages to business-to-business and business-to-consumer audiences, an upheaval about what constitutes appropriate PR is changing every day. Yep, the times are changing and ARC is at the forefront in professional development for its members to meet the needs of ag organizations worldwide.

VofY_JohnBlueREVARC continues to work on growing its membership, a scholarship program back for a second year, a vibrant Golden ARC program, a new inductee into the Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame (Carol Bodensteiner), Volunteer of the Year recipient and a vision based on improving professional development and camaraderie among ag communicators focusing on public relations.

New for 2017 will be the re-introduction of the ARC internship program. This will likely be a unique relationship with an ARC member company that will collaborate with the ARC intern for a 10-week summer program. The internship stipend will be shared by ARC with the company that will host the intern. The ARC Foundation will provide a $3,500 stipend each year to supplement the total internship program in a five-year commitment to the program through a contribution from Gardner & Gardner Communications.

It was a remarkable couple days, thanks to a number of Minnesota PR professionals representing commodity associations, ag businesses, agencies and others. Take a look at the great photos from the event.

Members joined in marketing communications discussions on day one with panels on:

  • Crisis Communications – the Avian Flu epidemic affecting turkey growers in the Upper Midwest,
  • The marketing challenges facing the ethanol industry at a time when oil prices are low and the benefits to use of ethanol are being questioned by consumers,
  • Drone use and how consumer attitudes about use are providing opportunities for the industry to be pro-active in promoting benefits for consumers and ag producers,
  • Communicating ag messages to consumers through the eyes of representatives from a PR agency, state department of agriculture and livestock commodity association.

CarolBodensteiner_ARCHofF2016Hall of Fame Induction: Wednesday night found the induction of Bodensteiner, the first woman in the Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Agricultural Relations Council and Agri Marketing magazine. The Hall of Fame was started six years ago by ARC. She joins Lyle Orwig, 2012; John Harvey and Paul S. Weller, Jr., 2013; Richard Howell and Gary Myers, 2014; and Steve Drake, 2015, as a member of this group.  Continue reading

To view a power point presentation of Carol’s career and award evening, please click here

Tours: Thursday tours included the expanded research facility in Stanton, an update on consumer marketing at CHS, Inc., the world’s largest ag cooperative, and a visit to Land O’Lakes.

Golden ARC Awards: The ARC meeting culminated with the presentation of the 2016 Golden ARC awards. Recipients of this year’s awards join an elite group of highly-respected leaders in agricultural public relations in the elite awards program.

For the fifth straight year the Golden ARC de Excellence Award was awarded. The 2016 winner was The Beef Checkoff for the entry entitled “World Health Organization Reviews Red Meat and Cancer Risk.” This year’s selected entry was from the Campaigns Division, Issues Management.  The National Cattleman’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and Ketchum Public Relations also won a Golden ARC award for the entry.

Click here for a full list of contest winners.

The evening festivities ended with a dance and sing-along event featuring Little Chicago, a pop band playing ‘60s and ‘70s music. The band is led by Den, ARC executive director. He’s the drummer and a mediocre singer in the group.

The ARC has accomplished much in the past year. Here’s a roundup of activity by its members and actions members can look for in the months ahead.

 The 2016-2017 ARC board (and ARC Foundation) is:

  • Daren Williams, President
  • Mike Opperman, Past President
  • Rebecca Colnar, First Vice President
  • John Blue, Second Vice President
  • Sally Behringer, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Deron Johnson, Director
  • Cindy Cunningham, Director (newly elected)
  • Mark Crouser, Director
  • Stephanie Meyers, Director

(Please note: Terms of office as board members are two-years, BUT board members can be re-elected to new two-year terms as often as they would like.) The ARC Foundation Board Lineup for 2016-2017 is the same group.

 Click here for highlights from the board meeting/annual business meeting.


2016 Golden ARC Winners AnnouncedGoldenARCrecipients

By Kristy Mach, Golden ARC Program Manager

Winners of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) 2016 Golden ARC Awards Contest were announced June 24 at the organization’s annual professional development meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. Recipients of this year’s 28 Golden ARC Awards and 18 Merit Awards join an elite group of highly-respected leaders in agricultural public relations in the elite awards program.

Continue reading


Daren Williams_Golden ARC de Excellence AwardREVjpgGolden ARC de Excellence Award Winner! World Health Organization Reviews Red Meat and Cancer GoldenARCdeExcellence AwardREVRisk

(Editor’s Note: Following is a summary question and answer segment on the 2016 Golden ARC de Excellence Award winner — National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and Ketchum Public Relations “World Health Organization Reviews Red Meat and Cancer Risk”. Entrants included Daren Williams, Season Solorio, Shalene McNeill, Shawn Darcy, Elizabeth Elegant Public Relations. Campaign – Issues Management.)

By Rebecca Colnar

On October 26, 2015, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its review of the science on the carcinogenicity of red and processed meat, ranking processed meats in highest hazard category (Group 1, carcinogenic to humans) and red meat in the second highest category (Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans). The resulting media coverage and social media conversation made it the biggest news day for red meat in recorded history. However, in spite of sensational headlines comparing the cancer risk of eating meat to smoking, consumer perceptions about the role of red meat in a healthy diet remained unchanged. As Paul Harvey would say, this is “the rest of the story.”

Continue reading


 Behind The Scenes of an ARC WebinarIndiana University Alumni Association 6.17.11 & 6.18.11

By John Blue

Learning and discovering new ideas is one of the key benefits of being an ARC member. One of the ways ARC is delivering on that promise is through the ARC webinar series. Over the last year we have brought you five webinars that covered social media, awards programs, and understanding shared values. Also in the archives are webinars on dealing with media critics, influencing water policy, and social media monitoring.

Continue reading…


Last chance to donate to the AMS/ARC Silent AuctionAMSLOGOupdate

 Tech gadgets. Trips. Sports. Local fare. Handmade jewelry. Designer purses. Artwork.

 The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) is partnering with Ag Media Summit (AMS) on the 2016 silent auction to raise funds for student programming and activities at AMS and student scholarships through ARC.

Oklahoma State had the highest bid of $350 among ACT chapters for their silent auction item last year. We’re happy to reward another ACT chapter this year.

Please fill out the donation request form with item information. Check out the 2015 auction contribution catalog for some great ideas!

If you have any questions regarding the silent auction, contact Barb Ulschmid at or 952-758-5811.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

The 2016 Ag Media Summit takes place in Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch and we look forward to receiving your incredible donations.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.


Summer Calendar of EventsES_bridge_ViewfromEmbassySuites

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July 24-27

Ag Media Summit

July 25-26

ARC/AMS Silent Auction

June 20-22, 2017

2017 ARC Meeting – Sacramento

Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade


WELCOME! New ARC Members

David Buchholtz, David & Associates

Sasha Forsen, Green Plains Inc.

Sarah Friedli, broadhead.

Whitney Gray, Crop Life America

Tom Harding, Infinity Direct

Claire Haupt, broadhead.

Sarah King; broadhead.

Sarah Kutz, Filament Marketing, LLC

Kelly Loganbill, Woodruff Sweitzer

Heidi Nelson, Harvest PR & Marketing

Joan Olson, FLM+

Karyn Ostrom, G&S Business Communications

Shawne Ungs, Karwoski & Courage


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