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It's always exciting to present the Best of NAMA winners and see the terrific, creative work agri-marketers are producing in an effort to differentiate their products to gain traction in the market place.

In fact, the roots of this magazine go back to Best of NAMA. In the 1960s, the epicenter of agri-marketing was the Chicago area. At the time many of the major ag-oriented companies' headquartered there including International Harvester, Harvestore (livestock feed storage structures), Velsicol Chemical, Dekalb, IMC (fertilizer, Wayne Feed, Surge (dairy equipment), White Farm Equipment plus their ad agencies.

For years, agri-marketers were submitting their ads in the Chicago-area Ad Club's annual competition but never won since they were going up against major consumer package brands from Procter & Gamble, Quaker Oats, etc. So they started a competition for just "farm marketer" ads.

Other ag-oriented competitions popped up around the country in New York, Kansas City and Minneapolis. The leadership of those groups decided to have a national competition and present the awards at a meeting in Chicago. They were snubbed again when Ad Age magazine only ran this space filler article about the event: "600 farm marketers met last week in the Drake Hotel." That was it.

Incensed by the lack of respect they were receiving, the leaders met again and determined a new publication was needed to report their activities. The ad agencies approached the media and other vendors and invited them to support the new publication with advertising. Enough was secured and Agri Marketing was launched by Phil Miller who, at the time was the Chicago sales representative for Doane Agricultural Services' magazine.

There have been many changes in the ag industry over the years including all of the companies and agencies have new ownership, people have entered and departed the agri-marketing business, new ways to engage ag producers have been launched, to name just a few.

But the Best of NAMA and Agri Marketing continue as strong as ever!

Lynn Henderson


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Title Annotation:FOR OPENERS
Author:Henderson, Lynn
Publication:Agri Marketing
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:Apr 1, 2019
Next Article:QS, in partnership with Elsevier, releases its seventh annual ranking of the world's best Agricultural Colleges.

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