AG RELATIONS COUNCIL HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING, ELECTS NEW OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS
Mar. 2, 2011
Source: Ag Relations Council sent via AgPR--the news distribution service for agriculture
The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) elected its 2011 board of directors at its annual conference in Fort Myers, FL, Feb. 24-25.
The 2011 ARC Board elected at the business meeting includes: Mace Thornton, American Farm Bureau Federation, board president; Mike Opperman, Charleston/Orwig, first vice president; Janice Person, Monsanto, second vice president; Rebecca Colnar, Cow Camp Communications, secretary treasurer; Deron Johnson, Rhea + Kaiser Marketing Communications, past president. Directors include Mark Ingbritson, consultant; Amy Keith McDonald, McDonald Marketing Communications; Erik Ness, Rosa del Rio Media; and Steve Simms, Illinois Farm Bureau. Departing the board after many years of service were Carroll Merry of Countryside Marketing and Bob Giblin of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.
The ARC experienced excellent growth in the past year, raising its membership to more than 80 and more than doubling the participation in the Golden ARC Awards. "We've made significant strides in the past year," Thornton said, "building on the momentum established the past two years through the work of our past president Deron Johnson. "Our aggressive pursuit of new members has helped us grow our membership base. And through a student membership program we've have been able to add 15 members through the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) organization."
The theme of the 2011 annual meeting was: "Here Comes The Sun -- ARC Style." The annual meeting attendees received professional development through seminars on social media, an update on water and fertilizer issues in Florida and strategic marketing to consumers. Site visits included Worden Farms, a community-supported vegetable farm, and a tour of Longino Ranch, a diversified citrus and cattle operation.
Winners also were announced for the Golden ARC Awards. Information on those award winners was previously released and can be found on the ARC website at www.agrelationscouncil.org.
In other news during the meeting:
• The ARC Board created a Student PR Futures Committee, to be headed by Keri Geffert English of Osborn & Barr. ARC also will begin a mentoring program under this committee.
• Rebecca Colnar was named membership committee chair.
• The ARC Board selected Charleston, S.C., as the site of the 2012 meeting, tentatively scheduled for mid-March.
• ARC will sponsor a workshop at the Ag Media Summit in New Orleans this summer.
• Continuation of the Silent Auction (sponsored by ARC and AMS) at the Ag Media Summit this summer in New Orleans. Deron Johnson will serve as chair of this event.
• It's expected that a number of ARC members will begin accreditation through PRSA during 2012 through a collaborative effort with the organization.
• ARC will investigate re-instituting its scholarship program.
ARC leadership thanks the following sponsoring companies and organizations for supporting its efforts in 2010-2011: Platinum, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health; Gold, Agri Marketing magazine, American Farm Bureau Federation, Bayer Crop Science, CCI Marketing, Gardner & Gardner Communications, ZimmComm New Media; Silver, Agri-Washington, Bader Rutter & Associates, Inc., National Cotton Council of America, National Crop Insurance Services, National Pork Board, Rhea + Kaiser Marketing Communications; Bronze, CropLife America, Countryside Marketing, McDonald Marketing Communications, Southeast AgNet, The Fertilizer Institute.
"ARC is hitting full speed at a time when communicating about agriculture is critical. Across the board, agriculture, from individual farmers and ranchers to companies and organizations, must possess the know-how and the tools to positively and understandably engage with consumers at the dinner-table level," said Thornton. "We are committed to growing the organization and developing programs to meet member needs in the many facets of public relations and public affairs."
For more information about getting involved in ARC, including memberships, sponsorships, committee work, etc., contact Den Gardner, executive director, or Barb Ulschmid, associate director, at 952/758-5811 (firstname.lastname@example.org); or Thornton at email@example.com.