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Posted by: arcadmin on December 6, 2013

Posted in: Newsletter

A New Vision for ARC

By Mike Opperman, ARC Board President                                       

MikeOpperman.webThe Agricultural Relations Council has gone through a considerable amount of change over the last few years. Your organization has evolved from near extinction to a healthy and vibrant association, thanks to the dedicated work and service of some great individuals. My hat goes off to Deron Johnson and Mace Thornton and their respective committees who have aptly re-established a strong foundation for ARC. What a great opportunity to continue this growth and expand ARC into an even more vibrant organization.

When I was growing up on a farm in rural western Iowa, every summer we would take a family vacation. For several days in advance of our departure, my dad would get out the huge atlas and map out our trip. We knew the destination, but he took time to map out the roads we would take, the places we could stay, sites we would see and so forth. In much the same way, as we look toward the next destination we see for ARC, we are going to be doing the same thing – building a map for how to get there. Over the next few months your board of directors will be meeting to determine just that – identifying our ultimate destination and laying out a strategy that will help us get there.

You’ve already helped us achieve our goal. A few weeks ago we sent out a survey to ARC members, and the feedback from that survey told us a lot about what ARC could offer in terms of professional development. We understand that ARC members are part of the association because they are looking for an organization that will help them grow as public relations practitioners. Much of the programming that we will offer in the coming months and years will focus on just that – helping you grow in your chosen field of public relations. More to come on what those specific opportunities will be.

But as your board goes through this process, we will continue to look to our membership to guide us along the way. If you think of things that you feel you are missing that will help you in your path to becoming a better public relations professional, pass those ideas along so that we can include that curriculum in our programming. If you have a wish list of topics that you would like to learn more about, let us know. Even if you just read a great article or heard an informative speaker, let us know. Our goal is to create an organization that serves your needs as a public relations professional, and the best way for ARC to do that is to hear from members first-hand.

ARC has a strong foundation, due primarily to the foresight of previous leaders. How bright the future of ARC will be is due in large part to its members. We look forward to building the resources that you as members will find valuable.

 

Organization Update

By Den Gardner, Executive Director

ARC Elects Board Members; Maintains Growth in Membership, Programs

The 2013 ARC annual meeting in Oklahoma City is history and the organization continues to make great strides from its rebirth four years ago. Highlights include:

  • Exceeding 100 members – growth continues as 2013 continues and membership growing daily. A new program initiated immediately will provide free memberships for Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) students who are chapter presidents or national officers. This is approximately 20 students.
  • Two long-time veterans of ag public relations – Paul Weller and John Harvey – were inducted into the  Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame. They join Don Lerch and Lyle Orwig, who were inducted last year. The program is sponsored by the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) and Agri Marketing magazine.
  • The Golden ARC awards were presented at the banquet Friday night. There were 56 entries in this year’s contest.
  • Sponsorships were up to more than $12,000, highest in the organization’s recent history.
  • Annual meeting provided several professional development seminars, educational tours and an outstanding awards dinner.
  • ARC will collaborate again with the Ag Media Summit on the Silent Auction in Buffalo, NY, in August.

Please check our web site for additional information – www.agrelationscouncil.org.

Through the efforts of the ARC board of directors, and new board president Mike Opperman  – ARC is poised to provide the leadership to the industry to ag public relations professionals.

A more in-depth look at the work of ARC in the past year follows:

1. Budget Update. ARC manages its budget on a calendar year fiscal year. It is estimated that annual revenue for the organization will be about $42,500 for 2013. Expenses will be about $41,500.

Bottom line: The organization is on firm footing financially.  ARC also has the foundation money market with $4,518. This is in an Edward Jones account. For more specific information, please contact the ARC office.

2. Sponsor Update.
– Sponsorship goal reached for 2013.
– Look at other members as possible sponsor options in ensuing years.

2013 ARC Sponsors are as follows:

Platinum
Agri Marketing magazine

Gold
American Farm Bureau
Zoetis

Silver
Charleston │Orwig
CMA Consulting
Gardner & Gardner Communications
National Pork Board

Bronze
AdFarm
Bader Rutter
The Beef Checkoff
National Cotton Council
National crop Insurance Services
Oklahoma beef Council
Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Osborn Barr
South Carolina Farm Bureau

3. Membership Update.  Through the first third of 2013, ARC membership is slightly north of 100 members. About 25 percent of our membership is new, numerous from marketing agencies. Growth has been excellent, with just  41 at the end of 2009. We had 60 in 2010. We had approximately 85 in 2011 and 106 at the end of 2012.

Other items of interest:

  • Rebecca Colnar will remain as member chair is doing great work.
  • We have added approximately 20 students through the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow – with some significant funding for student memberships coming from Warren Clark.
  • Anyone joining ARC between now and the end of 2013 will get in for half price – or just $87.50.

4. Golden ARC Awards Update.  Manager Amy McDonald notes that total submissions were down to 54 in 2013, from a high of 71 entries in 2012. The number of entries for 2013 was similar to 2011. ARC will continue to vigorously promote the Golden ARC awards in 2014 with some new efforts to attract more entries. 

– Find agencies out there that believe in this program.

– Teach people how to enter contests and meet the objectives.

– From a revenue standpoint, we were short of our revenue budget, but took steps to assure our expenses budget was reduced to be sure the contest has a profit each year.

For more information please check at www.GoldenARCawards.com to read the news release on the 2013 program.

5. Silent Auction and AMS Meeting in Buffalo, NY, Albuquerque Aug. 3-6.  Associate Director Barb Ulschmid will lead this effort again in 2013. Board members Amy McDonald and Mace Thornton will assist. Other details:

– Barb will manage the booth while there and have board members take shifts being there as visibility for ARC.

– All board members and members are asked to consider contributing a minimum of a $50 item towards the silent auction. All board members contributed something in 2013.

– The silent auction has been a big hit the past three years cooperating with AMS.

– Our goal is to increase the items from mid-30s to 40 or more.

– We need this to grow our revenue from about $3,750 (split in half with AMS) to $5,000.

– We will get the Silent Auction online a couple weeks prior to the start of AMS so bidding can begin early.

6Annual Meeting 2014. – After a long discussion, the board opted to move the annual meeting to the summer. The 2014 meeting will be June 24-26 in Madison, WI. The meeting also will utilize a Tuesday to Thursday format, as opposed to the recent Wednesday to Friday format.

In addition, professional development workshops will increase as the meeting will have two full days of activity – up from one and one-half days the past four years. Details are sketchy at this point, but suffice it to say the new Tuesday to Thursday timing, longer professional development sessions and move to the summer will be positive developments for ARC members.

The ARC board also tentatively selected the Denver area for 2015.

7. Election of Officers. The following team was elected in Oklahoma City:
Mike Opperman, President
Daren Williams, First Vice President
Rebecca Colnar, Second Vice President
Reggie Hall, Secretary/Treasurer
Mace Thornton, Past President
Deron Johnson, Director
Amy Keith McDonald, Director
John Blue, Director

Janice Person leaves the board after many years of service. Keri Geffert English leaves the board as she has left agricultural public relations for a job outside the industry. Thanks to Janice and Keri for their great service.

8. Hall of Fame Program – New inductees – John Harvey and Paul Weller – were recognized Friday night of the annual meeting.

For specific information about each inductee, please go to the ARC web site.

“We are thrilled to recognize these winners,” said Lynn Henderson, Agri Marketing magazine publisher and award sponsor. “This award program for ag PR professionals who have distinguished themselves and promoted this profession is long overdue. We are excited that four ag PR veterans have now been awarded this distinguished honor.”

ARC will annually recognize ag PR professionals each year 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 50 years since its inception, the ARC provides premier professional development for agricultural public relations professionals in North America.

In other overall organizations news:

– Foundation update. The foundation has about $4,500 in its account. Based on the board’s previous comments, we will leave it in the foundation until ARC is back fully from a financial standpoint. For another year for sure.

– Accreditation update. Ken Gordon did training for three or four students two years ago. Because of a job change, no action was taken in 2012. It is hopeful the program can be re-instated in 2013.

– Member survey. Approximately 40% of members participated in a survey on ARC that was sent in March. The response was nothing short of amazing. Details of the survey will be included and used by ARC board members as they begin work on a new strategic plan. Work will begin this summer on efforts to fine-tune the branding of ARC. Details to come.

– Regarding professional development, a committee of Daren Williams, Deron Johnson and Janice Person will investigate what webinars will best meet the needs of ARC members.

– Online payments for dues and contest entries, etc. Board member John Blue will provide options for consideration for board members in July. We will look at implementation in 2014, if financially it is feasible.

– Web site update. Rhea + Kaiser helped ARC get back up and running with pro bono work five years. An update is needed. We are working with a web hosting firm to update the web site. Again, financial decisions will be made during the year to determine next steps.

 

IMG_3963.webSpeakers, Jeff Fowle, Suzie Wilde & Debbie Lyons-Blythe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4006.web2013 ARC Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4048.webExpress Ranches tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4059.webWheeler Bros Feed lot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4099.webARC Award of Excellence –
Mace Thornton receives from Daren Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for photo album. This takes you to Dropbox website.
Must have account or create a new account to view photos.

 

“Second Class” of Honorees Inducted into Ag PR Hall of Fame

By Daren Williams, President-Elect, ARC

The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) is pleased to announce two new inductees into the Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame: John Harvey and Paul S. Weller, Jr. The two longtime friends and colleagues were inducted at a ceremony held during the 2013 ARC Annual Meeting. The program is sponsored by the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) and AgriMarketingmagazine.

Both inductees were on hand to accept the honor and offer their words of wisdom to the professionals gathered to discuss communication challenges facing agriculture today. Congratulatory letters sent to the inductees highlighted their impressive professional achievements but the one accomplishment recognized by all was their impact as mentors to up-and-coming agricultural public relations professionals.

“Although I’ve heard some people refer to these two guys as ‘second class’ – I’m pretty sure they were referring to the second class of inductees for the Ag PR Hall of Fame,” said Tom Waldinger, former ARC president and president of Waldinger Creative. “In fact, nothing but FIRST CLASS describes Paul and John. Both men were great role models, mentors, respected guides and good friends to me as I began my career in ag communications.”

A rural Missouri farm kid, John graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S. in Agricultural Journalism. He began his career in the 1960s writing for Missouri Farmer, Successful Farming and Farm Journal and later transitioned to Milwaukee agency Reiman Associates. John remained involved with his alma mater as a member of the national board for his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, for six years.  In 1976 John joined DuPont as public relations manager for the ag-products division and directed the promotion of more than 30 new products, coordinated press conferences and special events, and wrote corporate speeches. While there, he was honored by the American Soybean Association for his work with their young leaders program, mentored students from the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) program and was active in the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) and National Farm City Council.

“You were my mentor at Reiman Associates. You patiently honed my writing, taught me how to craft cover letters to ag editors, reinforced the importance of a deadline, and taught me the basics of the public relations craft,” wrote ARC past president Gary Myers, former president of Morgan and Myers. He was hired by Harvey for his first ag PR job. “By the force of your creativity, personality, unique skill, and wry humor, you became a role model for a generation of ag PR pros.”

Paul Weller has been an advocate for agriculture in the Nation’s Capital for more than four decades, leading communications for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and serving as the president of his agricultural public affairs firm, Agri/Washington. Weller has helped ensure American agriculture stays top of mind with policymakers and thought leaders in Washington, D.C. during eight Administrations, going back to President Richard Nixon and Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz.

Weller was the driving force that brought together the major agricultural communications organizations every four years from 1984 to 2000. The U.S. Agricultural Communicators Congress (USACC) brought farm magazine editors, farm broadcasters, ag public relations professionals and other communicators in agriculture together to meet with high-ranking government officials including Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton, numerous Secretaries of Agriculture and Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle. Weller also began his career writing for farm magazines on the editorial staffs of Pennsylvania Farmerand National Future Farmer.

“You were the Executive Secretary when I was ARC president back in the day,” Myers wrote to Weller.  “For you, ARC was obviously a labor of love for many, many years. You professionalized our trade organization and in the process, built lifelong friendships and associations that continue to serve our industry. Under your leadership, ARC became a fraternity of communicators dedicated to service to agriculture and to one another.”

Both Harvey and Weller are also recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Agricultural Editors’ Association.

IMG_4109.webDaren Williams, John Harvey,
Paul Weller and Lynn Hendersen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Golden ARC Awards Program Recognizes the Best in Ag PR

By Amy McDonald, Golden ARC Program Manager

The 2013 Annual ARC meeting in Oklahoma City, OK, ended on a high note with the Golden ARC Awards Contest. During the closing awards dinner, contest manager Amy Keith McDonald recognized the 14 Golden ARC winners and 18 Merit winners.

For the second year, the Golden ARC de Excellence Award was awarded. This award was for the best all-around entry in the campaign division. The winner this year was the American Farm Bureau Federation for the public relations campaign, public affairs entry “Estate Tax Campaign.” The American Farm Bureau Federation was also awarded a Golden ARC Award for the entry.

Agency CharlestonlOrwig took home the greatest number of awards, earning five Golden ARC Awards and three Merit awards for clients Novartis Animal Health, Illinois Soybean Association, Smithfield Foods Inc. and the AgChat Foundation. Judges praised the entries for their strong measurable objectives, integrated tactics and focused strategies.

For more information, visit www.GoldenARCawards.com or contact Amy Keith McDonald at 254-445-4333.  A complete list of winners is listed below.

Begin thinking now of what you will enter in the 2014 Golden ARC Contest. The deadline will be announced in the fall to occur in early 2014, and the work entered must have been completed full or partially in 2013.

 

IMG_4067.webAmy McDonald and Adelita Tyson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden ARC Award Winners:

Category

Program Conducted for…

Winning Company

Campaigns Division — Public Affairs

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Farm Bureau Federation

Campaigns Division — Marketing Communications for Non-Agricultural Audiences

Nebraska Soybean Board

FLM+

Campaigns Division — Agricultural Image

National Pork Board

Weber Shandwick

Campaigns Division — Issues Management

Novartis Animal Health

CharlestonIOrwig

Campaigns Division — Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

National Pork Board

Weber Shandwick

Campaigns Division — Open Category

Monsanto (America’s Farmers Program)

Osborn Barr

Tactics Division — Print Media Relations for Agricultural Audiences

Merck Animal Health

Osborn Barr

Tactics Division — Print Media Relations for Non-Agricultural Audiences

Illinois Soybean Association

CharlestonIOrwig

Tactics Division — Media Relations: Media Events and Conferences

Illinois Soybean Association

CharlestonIOrwig

Tactics Division — Video Programs

Smithfield Foods, Inc.

CharlestonIOrwig

Tactics Division — Research and Evaluation

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

FLM+

Tactics Division — Feature Writing

Merck Animal Health

Osborn Barr

Tactics Division — Digital and Social Media: Other Innovative Use of Social Media

AgChat Foundation

CharlestonIOrwig

Tactics Division — Special Events

National Pork Board

Weber Shandwick

 

Merit Award Winners:

Category

Program Conducted For…

Winning Company

Campaigns Division — Public Affairs

Ohio Soybean Council

FLM+

Campaigns Division — Marketing Communications for Agricultural Audiences

Pfizer Animal Health

Bade Rutter

Campaigns Division — Agricultural Image (tie)

Illinois Soybean Association

CharlestonlOrwig

Campaigns Division — Agricultural Image (tie)

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

FLM+

Campaigns Division — Internal

Illinois Soybean Association

CharlestonlOrwig

Campaigns Division — Open Category

Merck Animal Health

Osborn Barr

Tactics Division — Media Relations: Print Media Relations – Agricultural Audiences

Merck Animal Health

Osborn Barr

Tactics Division — Media Relations: Television/Video News Releases – Agricultural Audiences

Pfizer Animal Health

Bader Rutter

Tactics Division — Video Programs (tie)

Minnesota Pork Board

Weber Shandwick and Minnesota Pork Board

Tactics Division — Video Programs (tie)

Merck Animal Health

Osborn Barr

Tactics Division — Print Publications: Magazines

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

FLM+

Tactics Division — Print Publications: Single-Issue Publications

CropLife America

CropLife America

Tactics Division — Collateral/Literature

Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

David & Associates

Tactics Division — Speeches

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Farm Bureau Federation

Tactics Division — Feature Writing

Pfizer Animal Health

Bader Rutter

Tactics Division — Digital and Social Media: Websites

CropLife America

CropLife America

Tactics Division — Digital and Social Media: Other Innovative Use of Social Media

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

FLM+

Tactics Division — Special Events

Ohio Soybean Council

FLM+

Tactics Division — Annual Reports: Non-Financial Annual Reports

Illinois Soybean Association

CharlestonlOrwig

Tactics Division — Unique Tactics and Execution

Merck Animal Health

Osborn Barr

 

 

AMS Silent Auction Proceeds Nearly $4,000 – Looking for 2013 Items from ARC Members

By Den Gardner

The 2012 AMS Silent Auction raised nearly $4,000 in Albuquerque last year. Now, the 2013 AMS in Buffalo is seeking items for this year’s auction. The auction is managed by the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) with net profits split between ARC and the Ag Media Summit. This is the fifth year of the silent auction collaboration.

“We are very pleased with the overall results and want to thank everyone who donated something to last year’s auction,” said Barb Ulschmid, associate director of ARC and manager of the auction. “We had 40+ items in the auction. This year we’re hoping for even more.”

ARC board members all contributed an item to the auction, along with many ARC members. Board members Amy McDonald and Mace Thornton will assist ARC staff on this year’s auction.

The silent auction in the past four years has averaged about $3,500 annually in donations. “We would really like to take the auction to the next level,” Barb said. “We will look at some new creative ideas to get more items with higher values for next year.”

Members can donate an item or provide a cash donation and committee members will purchase appropriate items for the auction this year in Buffalo.

The dollars raised by the two organizations are used for programs to emphasize future ag communicators. “ARC is pleased to collaborate with the AMS partners in this program,” Barb added. “It’s another way for us to help promote agricultural public relations and raise money for those who are the future of our industry.”

 

Membership Growing and ARC Has a Great New Membership Offer

By Rebecca Colnar, Membership Chair  Second VP, ARC Board

The March ARC meeting in Oklahoma City was a wonderful time to talk about the organization’s growing membership. ARC is on a roll, and looks forward to having more members join our organization. Everyone agreed ARC is an excellent organization for everyone in agricultural public relations, but even more so, it’s a great group of people, and the organization presents stellar opportunities for networking and friendships. The board is working hard to develop new programs to make your membership even more valuable.

ARC has presented all of the state chapter presidents and national officers with Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) with an ARC membership, and Warren Clark, president, CCI Marketing, is kindly paying for 10 student memberships. Gardner & Gardner Communications is paying for the rest of them. That should total about 20. Warren is a great supporter of youth members in ARC and Den, of course, is executive director of ARC.

It’s A Deal—It’s A Steal

ARC has a smokin’ good deal for new members for the rest of this year.  Become a member today for half price! That’s just $87.50 (annual membership fee is regularly $175).  For $87.50 you’ll have the opportunity to “attend”  any professional development webinars ARC has, receive a listing of all ARC members with contact information, which provides you with the ability to network with many professionals in all aspect of public relations, (marketing agencies, government agencies, associations, small freelance and boutique communications shops, etc.) and more.

Most members will say that the ARC networking opportunities are possibly the most valuable part of belonging to the organization – along with professional development at the annual meeting. This is a group you can truly be a part of  for many years .  The ARC board wants to hear from its members and implement their ideas. Of course, when you renew in 2014, then you’ll have a change to participate in the Golden ARC Awards, nominate folks for the Hall of Fame and attend the extremely exciting, informative, educational and, yes, FUN, annual conference. That will be in June in 2014  in Madison, WI. Join today for only $87.50 and be a part of the industry’s only “strictly PR” agricultural group.

We’re happy to add new members to our roster! Welcome to Erin Anthony, American Farm Bureau Federation; Dan Danford, Case IH; Tracy Grodine, American Farm Bureau Federation; Carah Hart, Osborn Barr; Lindsay Keller, Osborn Barr; Shannon Linderoth, Charleston Orwig; Meg Miller, Produce Marketing Association; Rachel Robinson, Osborn Barr; Judy Rupnow, Morgan & Myers; Katharina Streng R.D., Network for a Healthy California; Melanie Wilt APR, Wilt Public Relations; Mary Emma Young, CropLife America; Kari Lidgett, Kellie Worstel, Jill Heggen and Melissa Dohmen, Swanson Russell.

If you have any colleagues you think should belong to ARC, have them visit our website for more information on joining us, or contact me at cowcamp@wavecom.net, 307-461-0150. And you can always call the ARC office at: 952-758-5811 and ask for Barb or Den.

 

Calendar of Events

August 5-6, 2013
ARC/AMS Silent Auction
Hyatt Regency, Buffalo, NY
Monday, August 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Open for bidding
Tuesday, August 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Open for bidding (closing bids at 2 p.m.)
Bidding closes on Tuesday, August 6th at 2 p.m.

June 24-26, 2014
ARC Annual Meeting

Hotel to be determined
Madison, WI

 

New ARC Members, 2nd Quarter 2013

ARC welcomes the following new members:
Erin Anthony, American
Farm Bureau Federation
Dan Danford, Case IH
Melissa Dohmen, Swanson Russell
Tracy Grodine, American Farm Bureau Federation
Carah Hart, Osborn Barr
Jill Heggen, Swanson Russell
Lindsay Keller, Osborn Barr
Kari Lidgett, Swanson Russell
Shannon Linderoth, Charleston Orwig
Meg Miller, Produce Marketing Association
Rachel Robinson, Osborn Barr
Judy Rupnow, Morgan & Myers
Katharina Streng R.D., Network for a Healthy California
Melanie Wilt APR, Wilt Public Relations
Kellie Worstel, Swanson Russell
Mary Emma Young, CropLife America

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