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Editor's Note: The ABM - Agri-Council, American Agricultural Editors' Association and Livestock Publications Council have worked together to make the 2003 Agricultural Publications Summit a success. The following is an update from each of the contributing organizations.


Tom Davis, chairman of ABM - Agri-Council
The ABM - Agri-Council (formerly known as the Ag Publishers Association) is proud to partner with the Livestock Publications Council and American Agricultural Editors' Association in welcoming you to the largest gathering of agricultural media in the world - the Agricultural Publications Summit. The ABM - Agri-Council represents more than 15 agriculture publishing companies and is a part of American Business Media, The Association of Business Companies. ABM, founded in 1907, has a current membership of more than 225 companies, representing more than 1,200 magazines, 1,350 Web sites and 850 trade shows and conferences.

In five short years, the APS meeting has become the premier event for agrimarketers, ag publishers, farm and ranch editors, public relations specialists and students to meet, mingle and learn from each other. It is the ideal meeting to reach the key people involved in ag communications today.

The meeting has much to offer agrimarketers and ag communications professionals. Professional development is the cornerstone of this meeting, and it's packed with leading industry experts, speakers, training sessions, workshops, personal motivation and professional achievement recognition.

There's also a great trade show. InfoExpo showcases more than 50 exhibitors representing all facets of agriculture, demonstrating their best products and services and updating the industry on the latest issues. InfoExpo gives attendees an "up close and personal" opportunity to have in-depth contact with the exhibitors, learning about their products and building relationships for future story ideas and promotions.

And there's always some fun thrown into the mix. Past APS meetings have included bowling competitions, cow milking contests, armadillo racing and an ag Olympics competition. These events are designed to have fun and raise money for student scholarships. In short, the Agricultural Publications Summit is a great place to be if you are serious about agrimarketing, meeting new people, reacquainting yourself with old friends and networking with the leaders in agricultural publishing and agrimarketing ... and having some fun along the way.

The ABM - Agri-Council is committed to the growth and continued success of the APS and is proud to be a part of this exciting event.


Greg Lamp, president of AAEA
Still a toddler, the Agricultural Publications Summit now celebrates its fifth birthday. Like any child, it continues to grow stronger each year with its supportive sponsors, a varied InfoExpo and top professional development programs.

The idea of separate groups coming together in one meeting has been a hit. The breadth of programming - with more available funds - far surpasses what any of the groups could accomplish on its own. When AAEA operated its own communication clinic just for its membership, programming was limited. The caliber of speakers couldn't touch the quality now available.

Also, when writing and photography workshops were offered, they came with an extra charge. Today, with APS, everything is included in one all-encompassing fee.

Sometime, take a look at other conference fees. You'll find APS to be a bargain. Where else could you find the variety of breakout sessions and keynote speakers for a $245 pricetag?

But beyond the professional development APS provides, it's just fun to once again see your friends and peers.

Cleveland is also a great location for fun. It's a city on Lake Huron that's been revitalized and re-energized, and it's home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. My favorite exhibit is the multimedia theater on level three. It's a 45-minute production that combines film footage, music interviews, animation and photography to tell the stories of the Hall of Fame inductees. APS will even offer discount passes so you can take a musical trip down memory lane.


Wes Ishmael, president of LPC
One thing about the accelerating pace of concentration in most industries is if your product or service fails customers, you won't have long to bleed - you can become a memory quicker than a hummingbird's wink.

With that in mind, the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) - 117 publications, 77 communications organizations and 12 students - used 2002-03 to take conscious stock of the organization's relevance to members, as well as the livestock industry that its members serve. This involved an intensive SWOT analysis by the LPC Board of Directors, which will be used as the foundation for the most extensive long-range planning process the organization has ever undertaken.

LPC continues to be a low-cost, high-return way for livestock publications and livestock communication organizations to engage their entire staffs in continuing education (seminars, workshops and the like), critical evaluation of editorial and advertising expertise (annual critique), and livestock publishing's largest, most expansive membership network.

Like other membership organizations, though, LPC realizes producer attrition and dwindling budgets within allied industries mean the opportunity to maintain or grow member participation will likely become more challenging in the future.

Consequently, as the organization takes initial steps with its new long-range planning and evaluation, key components include:

  • Increased membership service, including more localized professional development opportunities;

  • Broader third-party critical evaluation of editorial and advertising efforts;

  • Renewed focus on forming partnerships of mutual benefit with organizations and private industry; and

  • Increased membership involvement via enhanced committee structure.

As well, LPC will continue to leverage the resources of its members through participation in the Agricultural Publications Summit, a joint effort with American Agricultural Editors' Association and the ABM - Agri-Council.

Most importantly, we'll continue to dance with the ones who brought us from a mere idea in 1973 - like-minded peers who want to trade ideas and experiences in the name of serving this nation's livestock producers more effectively. AM

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