Posted by: Kristy on October 15, 2018

Posted in: Newsletter

ARC President’s Message

By Rebecca Colnar, ARC President

ARC president Rebecca Colnar reports from a tobacco field in Kentucky.

The survey is in from our 2018 ARC Conference in Lexington, KY, June 19-21 and I’m pleased to say it received high marks. Everything ranked high, with the Kentucky Ag Panel, the reception at the red7e ad/marketing agency and Janice Person’s talk receiving rave reviews. We appreciate the feedback and our membership should know we value your input and will use that as a jumping off place for next year’s meeting in Kansas City.

As with any program featuring diverse workshops, different attendees named certain workshops that especially appealed to them. Thanks again to our very generous sponsors, our attendees and our volunteers who helped develop the agenda. Every time I see a racehorse, sample a little Bulleit Bourbon, see a tobacco leaf, I will remember our excellent tour.

Our 2019 conference is slated for Kansas City June 20-22. Did you know that Kansas City has more fountains than Rome and more boulevards than any city in the word except for Paris? They say that jazz might have been born in New Orleans, but grew up in Kansas City! The conference will be headquartered at the historic Hotel Phillips, which was named Missouri’s most beautiful hotel in 2017 by Architectural Digest. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places, and “maintains much of the historic charm and original Art Deco features which make it a true gem in the heart of downtown.” (Fun fact: Former ARC board member Deron Johnson got married at the Hotel Phillips!)

Lobby of the Hotel Phillips.

Despite KC having a population of 481,000 people (2.3 million if you count the entire metropolitan area), housing developments and office buildings are surrounded by crop fields. In addition, KC is the “global home for animal health” and it abounds with ag-PR professionals, which make it an ideal location for our meeting.

I’ll be honest: When the ARC board chose Kansas City for our 2019 convention, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic. But after doing some research and talking to a few of our Kansas-City-based members, I’m beginning to think this is going to be an extraordinary location for our annual meeting. (Promise to those who attend NAMA in April—our conference will be very different.)

ARC continues to grow its membership, but to stay viable and continue to have such successful conferences and offer other perks, such as our amazing round up of webinars (see John Blue’s column), we need to keep soliciting new members as well as sponsors. If you need membership information, please go to our website at  Click on membership at the top of the home page. Please reach out to colleagues who may work for a company that would be a suitable sponsor. As you produce outstanding work over the next few months, keep those Golden ARC entries in mind as well.

Have a good autumn!


New Webinar Just Days Away

By John Blue, Truffle Media

The 2018-2019 ARC webinar series is getting started on Oct. 18 with “Consumer Perspectives On Food Labels” with Mark Gale, CEO and Partner, Charleston|Orwig. Registration link is: .

Note the time is 3:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), which is later in the day than past ARC webinars.

Other webinars coming up before the end of the year:

* November 8 – “Future Of Consumer Choice” – Dr. Jayson Lusk, Purdue University

* December 13 – “Manners Are a Form of Public Relations” – Dr. Patricia Tice, Agri Manners

And in 2019 the webinars on the schedule include:

* January 15 – “Facts and Fiction: Debunking Myths about Livestock’s Environmental Impact” – Dr. Frank Mitloehner, UC Davis Department of Animal Science

* February 14 – “Understanding Digital Engagement at Dairy Management Inc.” – Aris Georgiadis, Dairy Management Inc.

Webinars are free and just one of ARC’s member benefits. Non-members can also join in at just $35 per webinar.

NAMA & ARC Reception at NAFB Convention

Join your ARC and NAMA friends for the second annual meet-up over cocktails at the NAFB convention. This informal event of ag communications professionals is a great collaboration and partnership. Join us!

November 7
5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Westin Crown Center Hotel
Garden Terrace
Kansas City, MO
Click here for more information on NAFB.

2018 ARC Silent Auction at AMS is a Success

By Kristy Mach, Associate Director

The ARC Silent auction at the Ag Media Summit (AMS) raised more than $3,200.  The funds were split between ARC, AMS and ACE.  In total, 67 generous items were donated by members of the three organizations.

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.  Many of our members also attend AMS, and it is great to visit with old friends and new.

The 2019 Ag Media Summit takes place in Bloomington, MN, partially in conjuction with the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). It’s never too early to start thinking about auction items to donate!

Apply Today  to Host the 2019 ARC Intern

The ARC internship program will again offer an ARC member business/association/agency the opportunity to host the 2019 intern. ARC members interested in hosting in 2019 must submit the attached application no later than Friday, December 29, 2017.

The internship (valued at a total of $5,000) is a collaborative program between the ARC Foundation and the hosting organization, and is

ARC 2018 Intern Winner Madeleine Beznick, Texas A&M University, pitched in with her photography skills at the Louisville annual meeting.

offered to a deserving university student interested in a career in public relations. A $3,000 grant from the ARC Foundation, underwritten by Den and Sandy Gardner of Gardner & Gardner Communications, will combine with a $2,000 donation from the intern-hosting company  (through the foundation) to compensate the winning intern. The student receives $4,000 in compensation and $1,000 is used for travel expenses to the ARC annual meeting.

The internship will occur during 10-12 weeks of summer 2019. During this time period, the student will work at the office of the hosting company. As noted, the student will also be asked to attend the 2019 annual ARC professional development meeting June 20-22 in Kansas City, Missouri. There, he/she will assist with meeting coordination.

The internship will be coordinated by ARC, and the candidate will be chosen by a committee consisting of a hosting company representative, Gardner & Gardner Communications, and an ARC Board member. The intern will spend 80% of his/her time on host company/organization projects and 20% to support and attend the ARC annual meeting.

This annual internship program represents another benefit for ARC members. In addition to providing assistance to the hosting company, this program increases visibility for the field of agricultural public relations and the opportunities within the industry.

The Agricultural Relations Council is the only association dedicated to serving the unique needs of public relations professionals working in agriculture, food, fiber and other related industries. ARC is a conduit for problem-solving, idea-sharing and collaboration among members, who share a passion for excellence in public relations.

Click here for the host application.

For more information, email or call Kristy Mach at the ARC office – or (952/758-5811).

ARC Scholarship Applications Open

Do college students react when you shout, “FREE MONEY!” How about a $1,500 scholarship? Then send any deserving college students interested in pursuing a career in agricultural public relations to the ARC website. ARC offers a $1,500 scholarship to worthy students. There is plenty of time to apply, the application deadline is March 15, 2019. Please contact Kristy Mach at with any questions.

ARC Membership Renewal for 2019 Coming Soon

By Kyle Wieskus, Membership Director

Membership renewals will be sent out in early November.  As we prepare to enter into the new year, we’re proud to be 125 professional members strong and hope you’ll help us grow again in 2019! Thank you for your past membership and support, ARC is nothing without our members.

Take a look again at our member benefits:

2018 Golden ARC Award Winners at the ARC Annual Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky.

  • We will continue offering the Golden ARC Awards program, showcasing the very best in agricultural public relations;
  • We’re continuing our Young Professionals Program, which many of you participated in last year (see below for more info);
  • Our webinars have been enhanced to provide better professional development;
  • Our internship program is in its third year. See our website and apply to host by the end of the year. A great bargain – ARC pays $3,000 and the intern host organization pays just $2,000 for 10-12 weeks of work!
  • We continue to provide a $1,500 scholarship to a deserving student entering ag PR;
  • Our annual meeting, in Kansas City at the Hotel Phillips this year, will provide the best ag public relations workshops and seminars.

Renewing memberships as a group provides tremendous savings for your organization. Perhaps this year, you’ll even consider increasing your organization’s presence in ARC by adding more members. And we are, once again, offering the Young Professionals Program in 2019.  With every two paid memberships from an organization, you get a FREE young professional membership! (YP must be 35 years or younger).  ARC membership is $190 per year for the first member and $115 for the second and all subsequent members.  Now, with the Free YP program – you can get 3 memberships for only $305! Please contact Membership Director, Kyle Wieskus to take advantage of the Young Professional program.

ARC will also continue to offer the special $100 rate to state and federal Farm Bureau Federation or commodity group members. Please note that online registration and payment at this special $100 rate is not available.  Please contact Kyle Wieskus at to take advantage of this rate.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the ARC office with any questions about your membership.


Comments are closed.