Posted by: Kristy on April 6, 2019

Posted in: Home, Newsletter, Updates

Kansas City, Here We Come!

By Rebecca Colnar, ARC President

I hope everyone made it through the winter. Some areas had a difficult winter season, but now everyone is looking forward to rolling into spring and filling out your registration for the ARC Annual Conference. I look forward to this conference every year because of the valuable public relations training opportunities and outstanding networking.

This year we head to Kansas City, a central location for many in the ag communications field. Our planning committee brainstormed a host of excellent ideas and we’ve developed a wide range of workshops with top-notch speakers.

Chris Chinn, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture

The first workshop will discuss the pertinent agricultural issues in Missouri and Kansas, as well as what solutions are being developed to face those challenges. Chris Chinn, director of ag, Missouri; Scott Brown, associate extension professor, University of Missouri; and Ryan Flickner, senior director, public policy, Kansas Farm Bureau are on tap for the panel.

I’ve known Chris Chinn for years. She had been the Missouri Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) chair, then served as the American Farm Bureau YF&R chair. Currently, she is the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Her accomplishments are many, but what will be most interesting to ARC members is she is a communicator. In fact, she has established her brand through social media and public speaking. Her blog and Twitter audiences have attracted more than 10,000 faithful followers who have tuned in to hear her farm story.

Also, from Missouri is Scott Brown, who hails from a northwest Missouri diversified farm. Although I don’t personally know Brown, others on the committee have vouched for him being a provocative and dynamic speaker. His bio states, “Scott Brown is an associate extension professor in the Division of Applied Social Sciences and the director of strategic partnerships for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. Scott has worked with U.S. Congress over the past three decades in determining the quantitative effects of changes in dairy and livestock policies and has testified regarding dairy and livestock policy issues before House and Senate Agriculture committees.”

From across the border in Kansas, ag issues are similar, yet different. Prior to his work for Kansas Farm Bureau, Ryan Flickner served as deputy state director for the Office of U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS). He is actively engaged in a family farming business near Moundridge, Kan.

The second session will cover the fascinating (and maybe a little spooky) National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF), a planned U.S. government-run research facility that will replace the 1950s-era Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. Ron Trewyn will focus on the broader threats NBAF will be tasked with predicting/managing/dealing with, including avian influenza, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, African swine fever and the communications side of biosecurity and crisis communications.

Mark Steward, President and CEO of Agriculture Future of America (AFA)

Following the Hall of Fame Luncheon, our focus shifts to the next generation of young people involved in leadership roles in the ag industry. We’ve all heard of FFA, but there is an organization that takes over where FFA left off: The Agriculture Future of America (AFA). Our speaker, Mark Stewart, is president and CEO of AFA and will talk about the direction his organization is heading. Currently, he leads the organization’s external relationships and strategic planning processes for short- and long-term growth. Before joining AFA in June of 2011, he was the director of development and communications for the Don Bosco Centers, Kansas City, Mo., where he supervised all development, fund-raising and communications operations for the centers. Also speaking will be a representative from the National Agri-Marketing Association and American Royal.

ARC’s final seminar of the day – just before the HOF champagne toast – is a professional development workshop. This year, our speakers will focus on how to work with clients on social media policy. The social media director of VML, a global service marketing agency, as well as their account director on the Boehringer Ingelheim equine account will discuss how to spread messaging across all internal channels to make sure all people follow policy. Challenging, but doable. (I’m personally looking forward to hearing what BIVI has to say about multiple horses.)

I look forward having a great ARC turnout in Kansas City. Kansas City, here we come!

Annual Meeting Logo Captures the Spirit of the ‘Paris of the Plains’

Don’t miss the upcoming ARC Annual Meeting in Kansas City! To give you a “flavor” of the fantastic activities planned, just look at the logo designed by Kansas City’s own Mike Davis with Mike Davis Creative. (Check out Mike Davis Creative at

Highlights of the design include the Kansas City, Mo. skyline and images such as barbeque tongs and grill to remind you not just of our fantastic barbeque, but all of the amazing food and dining you can find in the “Paris of the Plains.”

Additionally, the logo pays homage to Kansas City’s rich jazz music history and the World Champion Kansas City Royals baseball team. It’s a collective visual of all the fun and fascinating things there are to do in Kansas City – so don’t miss the ARC Annual Meeting!


ARC to Meet in Kansas City, June 18-20

From classic Kansas City-style barbecue to its ironic city name, Kansas City, Mo., provides a prosperous place of business – particularly for agriculture. Despite its proud agricultural heritage, it seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. Among Kansas City’s (Missouri) numerous nicknames you’ll find “Gateway to the Southwest,” “City of Fountains,” “Paris of the Plains” and “Heart of America.” All of those nicknames share a common thread – agriculture.

Given the importance of agriculture to Kansas City and the surrounding area, ARC will hold its annual meeting at The Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, Mo., June 18-20. See the tentative schedule below and make your Kansas City travel plans today. Other articles in this newsletter provide additional information about the meeting, speakers, presentation topics, tours and venue.

June 18

2:00 p.m.            Board of Directors Meeting

5:30 p.m.            Informal gathering of attendees at The Hotel Phillips bar

Lobby of the Hotel Phillips.

6:00 p.m.             Reception for all attendees at AdFarm (Kansas City office)

7:30 p.m.            Board of directors dinner (board members only)

June 19

8:00 a.m.             Welcome and introductions

8:15 a.m.             Breakfast, sponsored by National Association of Farm Broadcasters

9:15 a.m.             Session 1 – Kansas/Missouri agriculture hot topics.

10:30 a.m.          Break

10:45 a.m.          Session 2 – New National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility at Kansas State University

Noon                    Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame Lunch, sponsored by Agri Marketing

1:30 p.m.            Session 3 – Ag Future of America, The American Royal and National Agri-Marketing Association panel

3:00 p.m.            Break

3:15 p.m.            Session 4 – Social Media

4:30 p.m.             ARC Business Meeting

4:45 p.m.             Champagne Toast to the Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Almond Board of California

5:30 p.m.            Reception, hosted by Sage

June 20

7:30 a.m.             Board Bus for tours

8:30 a.m.             Roasterie

9:30 a.m.             Kansas City BBQ Society headquarters

11:30 a.m.           Lunch

Noon                    Board bus

12:45 p.m.           Guetterman Brothers

3:30 p.m.             Stone Pillar Winery

6:30 p.m.            Reception and awards banquet

Tour Stops to Provide Food for the Soul and Food for Thought

The 2019 ARC Annual Meeting will feature a jam-packed tour day on June 20, with an array of thought-provoking discussion topics and tour sites you won’t want to miss.

Our day will start with a visit to The Roasterie (, one of the most renowned specialty coffee roasters in the United States. You’ll learn the fascinating story of how Iowa-born owner Danny O’Neill first discovered his love of coffee and coffee roasting, and how one summer in Costa Rica as an exchange student helped found his lasting commitment to direct trade with farmers at the product’s origin. We’ll enjoy a tour and chat with Roasterie staff about how and where they source their product and how they communicate the value of local sourcing to the consumer.

Next, we’re off to the Kansas City Barbeque Society, where we’ll be treated to a cooking demonstration and discussion about their consumer marketing efforts. The demonstration will feature one of the organization’s new marketing campaigns, “A BBQ Meal In An Hour,” and you’ll hear from one of the Society’s member Pitmasters to get insight on their own marketing strategies. In addition, David Eahart with Seaboard Foods will be on hand to discuss how the company (and the Society) use influencer marketing in their communications strategies. Then, we’ll enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch.

After lunch, we’ll head just south of Kansas City to Bucyrus, Kan., where we’ll visit the Guetterman Brothers Family Farm. Brothers Paul, Steve, Danny and Gary Guetterman started the farm in 1966. They added a grain elevator in Bucyrus in 1991 and the operation has continued to evolve over the years. Today, Paul runs the 100 percent no-till farm with sons Ted, Tom, Mike and Nick. We’ll tour the farm and learn why Paul and his family have such a strong commitment to land and soil conservation, and see some of the many improvements they have made in these areas. Also, we’ll learn about the family’s philanthropic commitment and their work with the Foods Resource Bank to raise money to help provide training and basic inputs to poor farmers around the world through The Bucyrus Growing Project.

To cap off our tour day, we’ll head to Olathe, Kan., and visit Stone Pillar Vineyard and Winery. Owners George and Brandi Hoff will share the story of how this operation – the oldest continuously operated family farm in the state of Kansas – has evolved from a row crop farm 160-plus years ago to a popular winery and vineyard. They’ll talk about the amazing evolution they have seen in this part of Kansas – where once there were corn, soybean and wheat fields, and cattle pastures as far as the eye could see, to the modern-day suburbia that surrounds the winery. We’ll tour the vineyard and production facility, and then sample their outstanding selection of wines.

After the tour, we’ll head back into the city to the event hotel, The Hotel Phillips. (Want a fun fact? The Hotel Phillips was named Missouri’s most beautiful hotel in this 2017 article in Architectural Digest.) We’ll wrap up our evening with a celebration of the “crème de la crème” of agricultural public relations excellence at the awards banquet.

Now you can see why the ARC Annual Meeting is an event you can’t miss. See you in Kansas City in June!

The 2019 Golden ARC Awards Contest will accept entries through May 3, 2019.

Click here, to enter the contest.

Public relations professionals can get feedback on their entries, and see how their work stacks up against the best in the business.

To be eligible, entries must be completed in full or partially in 2018. A complete list of the revised categories, reflecting the evolution of agricultural public relations and with an added focus on social media, can be found here.

Entries may be submitted until May 3, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Entry fee per CAMPAIGN category is $125 and per TACTIC category is $75.

Both ARC members and non-members may enter the competition. Non-members pay an additional $190 with the first entry, thereby becoming a member of the respected organization. New ARC members who have not entered in the past may contact Sandra O’Rourke to set up a profile. This profile must be set up at least 24 hours before entries can be accepted.

Winners will gather and share in their accolades at the ARC annual meeting, June 18-20 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Golden ARC de Excellence award for the best all-around entry in the campaigns division will also be presented at the awards dinner.

The Golden ARC Awards Program began in 1990 and came to be recognized as the most esteemed award in the agricultural public relations industry. The restructured Contest reflects the many hats worn by today’s PR practitioner – with categories recognizing everything from full campaigns to tactics such as media relations and innovative new uses of social media.

The Golden ARC Awards contest honors the stellar work created by professionals in the agricultural industry.  The format and requirements for the Golden ARC Awards are similar to other leading PR awards programs, based on best practices for public relations and public affairs campaigns and tactics.

Contact: Sandra O’Rourke
Contest Manager
Golden ARC Awards Contest
Tel: 952-758-5811 

ARC’s May 2 Webinar Features Communicating Science

The next ARC Webinar is set for May 2, with Mike Dahlstrom, Iowa State University associate professor of journalism and mass communication, addressing “Communicating Your Science: What’s it Really about?” Dahlstrom will provide thoughtful insight on what really works when communicating with people on controversial topics related to food, agriculture and science. All ARC members and their colleagues can find value in this important topic.

Webinar attendees will learn about science communications and its many approaches. Dahlstrom will discuss the strengths of each approach. Also, attendees will learn about the power of fact vs. the power of shared values.

To register for the May 2 webinar, starting at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, go to:

If you missed ARC’s January and/or February webinars, you may access the recordings. In January, Frank Mitloehner, University of California, Davis, presented “Facts and Fiction – Debunking Myths about Livestock’s Environmental Impact.” Watch it at: And in February, Aris Georgiadis, Dairy Management Inc., shared information on “DMI’s On-site Creative Newsroom, Staff and Monitoring/Engagement Processes.” Watch it at: The password for the early 2019 ARC webinars is ARCPR7827 (case sensitive).

As always, ARC members can join future webinars or watch past webinars at no cost, as they are included with your ARC membership. All the webinars, interviews and selected presentations from past ARC events can be found at:

Ag Communicator Kellie Lasack Joins ARC Team

Kellie Lasack

Please welcome Kellie Lasack, an enthusiastic communicator who lives in eastern Iowa, to the ARC family. In her new role, Lasack will lead ARC’s social media and electronic communications activities.

Lasack grew up on an Iowa Shorthorn cattle farm and learned the meaning of worth ethic, dedication and patience. Her passion for agriculture and communications blossomed at Iowa State University (ISU). In 2012, she earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and advertising. After spending six years growing her knowledge and placing herself in new experiences, she opened her own business, Roan Marketing and Communications.

In 2016, Lasack married her “Prince Farming.” They live on a farm near Oxford Junction, Iowa, with their dog, Lily, cat, Angus, and a herd of Angus and Shorthorn cattle.

Ron Scherer Obituary

Ron Scherer

Ron E. Scherer, 74, Columbia, Ill., died Feb. 10, after an eight-year battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois and spent nearly 40 years working in marketing communications. Ron’s career included serving as director of corporate communications for Dekalb Corporation and owning his own agency, Ron Scherer & Company. He served as president of Agricultural Relations Council, St. Louis AgriBusiness Club and Gateway Chapter of National Agri-Marketing Association. For his complete obituary, go to:

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