The 2013 Missouri State University Agriculture Forum hosted by Missouri State Collegiate Farm Bureau was held at the Christopher S. Bond Learning Center last week. The forum is an evening of speeches about topics that are relevant to the agriculture industry and that gives the general public a chance to ask questions to their political leaders. The forum began with an address from Mr. Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University, touching on the accomplishments of the William H. Darr School of Agriculture as well as an introduction to the main speakers. Following President Smart, came Senator Roy Blunt. He spoke about tax issues and policies that Congress could enact to avoid further financial problems. He also touched on Health Care Bill as well as energy, in which he spoke about the vast amount of resources held by the United States in oil.
Missouri State University students and staff with the speakers at the 2013 Agriculture Forum
Dan Cassidy from Missouri Farm Bureau followed Blunt in speaking about the Right to Farm and Ranch Bill. He spoke of the bill’s passage through the House of Representatives, but also pointed out that the bill was weakened in the Senate. Cassidy said that he hopes to have the bill on the 2014 ballot. In addition, Cassidy touched on health care reform. He stated the fact that a one percent increase in taxes would produce $700 million that would provide care for Missouri roads. To wrap up the evening, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. The audience provided challenging questions about the Farm Bill, energy and international trade.
Photo Courtesy of: William H. Darr School of Agriculture
Chuck Zimmerman and his wife Cindy have been pioneers in the agricultural communications world for years, and their innovation of Agwired.com is one of those pioneering accomplishments that have sent them to expert status. They have revolutionized not only agricultural communications, but also the agriculture industry as a whole with perseverance and haven’t looked back since the creation of their style. Chuck and Cindy are the founders and employees of Zimmcomm Communications, an agricultural communications company that has spread nationally and is a well-known leader in news and event coverage. Chuck and Cindy began their communications journey with degrees in journalism, which quickly developed and helped them form into the social media moguls they are today. They self-taught themselves the vast world of social media and founded one of the first blogs specific to agriculture. For the first couple years they had to educate their potential employers and future clients about what they were doing, and how this would benefit their businesses. For the first two years there were no advertisements or sponsors to be found. The duo now hosts 17 other websites for company blogs and has four online publications that generate income for their household every month. Also, they have turned to social networks that they share blog updates as well as pictures and podcasts about events. One of the main ideas that Chuck shared during his presentation to our class that stuck with me was the fact that his blogs are updated on an average of six times per day. He pointed out that if the blog isn’t up to date and doesn’t have new content, traffic will not come through the server. Chuck and Cindy have been an inspiration for an aspiring communications students like myself. I am encouraged by their success and hope to have the chance to work with them in the future.
Check out Chuck’s posts and event coverage at http://www.agwired.com!
Photo courtesy of: Jamie Bellis Johansen