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INDUSTRY UPDATES BY LEADERS OF THE COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATIONS
AMERICAN BUSINESS MEDIA (ABM) AGRI-COUNCIL
by Bill Newham, Chairman, ABM Agri-Council food360 Division, Vance Publishing, Lenexa, KS

On behalf of the members of the American Business Media Agri-Council, I am excited to take part in this year's annual AMS in Portland, OR. Our joint venture has yielded positive opportunities for all agricultural media for eight years running. This year is no different.

The foremost gathering of ag communication leaders from agrimarketers to college students, AMS fosters personal growth and development at all levels. It is an ideal event to build relationships with key players in the industry and I look forward to being part of it once again.

As chairman of the ABM Agri-Council, I have witnessed a plethora of forward-thinking ideas put in motion by our members during the past year. A few key opportunities stand out that I am thrilled to report on.

As our partnership with AAEA and LPC grows stronger each year, individual ideas and proposals become intertwined among all three organizations. A prime example of this trend is currently taking place between our organization and AAEA, as they recently adopted ABM's editorial code of ethics (see page 32). This effort further demonstrates the cross threading of ideas occurring among the three bonds that comprise the AMS.

As a separate unit, we are accomplishing one of our own core missions to develop research that demonstrates the value of agricultural media. Building on the foundation created last year from our Harris Interactive study, ABM Agri-Council members recently developed a FAQ e-mail campaign targeting agricultural marketers and agencies. It will shed light on preferred media formats among farmers and ranchers and analyze the use of technology, particularly the Internet, in rural America. This is significant as we continue to mine our research database for information that is useful to our members and the organizations they represent.

With innovative ideas and progressive initiatives in the works, we are looking forward to another exciting and successful year with our AMS partners.

AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL EDITORS' ASSOCIATION (AAEA) by Dan Crummett, AAEA President Farm Progress Companies, Ponca City, OK

Many years ago, the math I learned in Garfield Elementary School taught me 1+1+1=3. Since that time, I've encountered math that doesn't always adhere to that logic, and instructors who couldn't understand why I was so mentally limited as to think "three" was the only answer to the problem. Still, I've usually done pretty well when I add three "ones" and come up with one "three."

That holds true until you apply the same formula to the Ag Media Summit a phenomenon that truly does add up to more than the sum of its principal partners! In chemistry we note a catalyst can alter a reaction without becoming a part of the resulting compound. AMS is much like a three-part chemical reaction with the catalyst of the human spirit and networking thrown in.

I'm convinced the result is a conference that is much stronger, effective and more far-reaching than the combined outcome of three separate "get-togethers" by AAEA, LPC and ABM. That's my firm opinion after watching the growth and enthusiasm generated by AMS since its inception.

There are detractors who say such a meeting takes away from the strength of the individual partners ... to which I say, "BUNK!" The partners must remain strong throughout the year through good organization and open communication or they have nothing to bring to the AMS table.

In a world of shrinking numbers in agriculture, the combined efforts of AMS's three organizations allows more communicators from all facets of our industry to meet, greet and share ideas in collaborative efforts that may not be possible otherwise.

I'm happy to be part of AAEA's leadership for the year 2005-2006, and I think the program, site, and opportunities afforded by this year's meeting in Portland are outstanding examples of what like-minded individuals can do when they join hands toward the common goal of professional improvement.

LIVESTOCK PUBLICATIONS COUNCIL (LPC)
by Lori Maude, LPC President, Gelbvieh World, Westminster, CO

I have a unique perspective on the Ag Media Summit (AMS), formerly the Ag Publications Summit, since I was on the planning committee of the first on held in 1999 in Denver, CO. That first event took years of planning, cooperation, compromise and lots of sheer belief that the event could succeed. My how we have grown since then!

LPC continues to grow and thrive through its involvement with the AMS. In addition to our participation on the AMS Steering Committee and other related committees, LPC members are busy on several LPC projects throughout the year.

The LPC Heritage Center is becoming a reality at the American Royal complex in Kansas City, MO. As part of the American Royal Museum, the Heritage Center will be dedicated to the professionals and the techniques used through the years to make publications possible. We unveiled the wall of plaques honoring the LPC Hall of Fame and LPC Headliner award winners at our second LPC Royal Gala in Kansas City this past October. Our third annual Royal Gala to fund the Heritage Center is in the works for this fall in Kansas City.

LPC continues to offer regional workshops in an effort to reach more of our members and to make educational opportunities available to all sizes of publications. Workshops were offered in Kansas City, Louisville, Denver and Fort Worth this year. These workshops cover a variety of topics and are held in the spring and fall to offer a different time of year to fit more publication schedules, as well as budgets. We are looking to expand into other areas as planning committees are formed.

LPC continues its efforts to reach out to students in the ag communications and ag journalism fields. We are implementing a National Open House Day where our members will open their offices on a designated day to any communications student in the area. LPC members will let Diane Johnson know if they are interested in hosting students and participating offices will be listed on the LPC Web site (www.livestockpublications.com). Students are invited to visit for an hour or a day.

LPC works hard to provide professional improvement opportunities for our members, as well as student communicators. We welcome new members to experience LPC and thank the AMS for the continued opportunity to be involved with such a dynamic event.


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