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Jazzed for the future.

The 2006 Agri-Marketing Conference theme "Jazzed!" fulfilled all of the advanced billing as hundreds of agricultural leaders and marketing professionals from around the country gathered in Kansas City, April 19-21, for the annual event. Originally booked by the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, staff from the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) who host the annual event, worked diligently on every detail to secure Kansas City as the site after devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina made New Orleans an impossible option.

Perhaps the benefits of attending the conference are best articulated through the feedback of those in attendance. "Every trade has an annual event where current and potential leaders gather to learn about each other and to define the future," said Chuck Roth, of Pro Farm/ Farmer Journal Media. "For U.S. agriculture's marcom professionals, that event is NAMA."

Best of the Best

Setting the "Jazzed!" tone of the 2006 conference and trade show, the Best of NAMA Awards Ceremony kicked off this year's event, where creative and communications expertise in advertising, public relations and specialty categories were recognized.

The encore of the Awards Ceremony, the highly coveted Best of Show awards, were announced by emcee John Phipps (John Phipps Communications) as the best in each of the three categories. Best of Show-Advertising was awarded to New Holland NA and agency Colle+McVoy for the "New Holland is the machine for the future campaign." Public Relations Best of Show went to Syngenta Crop Protection and agency Gibbs & Soell, Inc., for the educational PR initiative directed to media and consumers regarding the role Syngenta plays as a leader in technology and soybean rust resources. Best of Show in the Specialty category was awarded to Pfizer, Inc. and agency Brown+Associates for their efforts promoting Solitude IGR technology that deals with the problem of flies in horse operations.

Agribusiness Leader and NAMA Marketer of the Year Named

At the opening General Session, George Thornton, President and CEO of Agriliance LLC was presented with the Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award. This award honors an outstanding leader in agribusiness, education, government service or other related area.

Tom Davis, Group Publisher of Meredith Corporation's Men's Brands, was presented with the NAMA Marketer of the Year award. This award is the most prestigious honor given to an active member of the association and honors outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing.

Connection Point

A major component of every NAMA Agri-Marketing Conference is the chance to mingle with long-time friends and colleagues to discuss the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for our industry. This year's trade show, appropriately renamed "Connection Point" afforded professionals the opportunity to exchange ideas, and experience innovations destined to shape the future of agri-marketing.

With numerous booths, exhibits and demonstrations occurring simultaneously, those who reconnected at "Connection Point" left with insights to enhance their efforts to maximize efficiency and utilize effective marketing communications targeted to their respective audiences.

Inspired by Performance

Aside from the social interaction and networking with other agri-marketing comrades, a major component of the National NAMA Conference is the opportunity to take the knowledge and experience of other professionals and apply these lessons to our own individual situations. To that result, the cast of breakout sessions arranged by the 2006 Conference committee held true to form.

From the opening session discussion about trends that will reshape business by James Canton to methods that will produce extraordinary results from ordinary people by Barrie Richardson, conference attendees left the 2006 AgriMarketing conference with a myriad of ideas to ponder.

Ethics in advertising. The "under 45 generation." Your gut versus your head. Creative thinking. What's next for media? How the 2007 Farm Bill will influence your marketing efforts. Consumer trends. A new generation of rural "lifestylers." And generational diversity in the workplace.

"I always come home with plenty of ideas and 'to do's', several of which will lead to an improved business practice and/or marketing opportunity that will benefit our business and our customers," said Dave Patterson (John Deere Credit). "The National NAMA Conference provides a unique, one-a-year opportunity to discuss with our peers and associates--in person--the issues that affect all of us who gain our livelihood from agribusiness."
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Title Annotation:National Agri Marketing Association conference
Author:Happel, Randy
Publication:Agri Marketing
Geographic Code:1U4KS
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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