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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 2004 Agricultural Publications Summit a success. The following is an update from each of the contributing organizations.


Tom Davis, Chairman

Once again the ABM Agri Council is pleased to be a part of the Agricultural Publications Summit (APS) in Tampa, Fla. We are proud to partner with the Livestock Publications Council and the American Agricultural Editors' Association to help bring professional development and networking opportunities to the agrimarketing communications industry.

The ABM Agri Council represents 15 agriculture publishing companies and is a part of American Business Media. 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 the past six years, APS has become the premier event for agrimarketers, ag publishers, farm and ranch editors, public relations specialists and students to meet and learn from each other. It is the ideal event to meet the key people involved in agricultural communications today.

A showcase of the APS conference is the InfoExpo. This trade show, featuring more than 60 exhibitors representing all facets of agriculture, is the perfect place for agrimarketers and ag communicators to meet and discover what's new in the industry and develop long-term contacts. This is the ideal venue to build those relationships and sources for future story ideas and promotions.

Of course the cornerstone of APS is the professional development opportunities offered to all of the attendees. Some of the industry's most creative and leading experts are featured in the programs. It is one of the "hardest-working" conferences in ag communications today. Everyone can benefit from this program.

And there's always some fun thrown into the mix. Past APS meetings have included bowling competitions, cow milking contests, armadillo racing, ag Olympics contests, talent shows...and more. The purpose of these events is to raise money for student scholarships. Many students have benefited from these scholarships, and hundreds of APS attendees have enjoyed the camaraderie these events encourage.

The ABM Agri Council is proud to be a part of this exciting event.

Betsy Freese, President

Members of the American Agricultural Editors' Association are excited to be a part of this year's APS, as well as several new AAEA programs.

First, we are charged up about our Campaign of Excellence, which is raising money for scholarship and other professional improvement causes. Under the program, contributions to the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation (PIF) are closing in on $10,000. Thanks to generous contributors, PIF expects to fund several projects, including college scholarships to aspiring ag journalists. You can show your support by making a contribution. Mail it to AAEA, 120 W. Main St., P.O. Box 156, New Prague MN 56071.

Second, we are kicking off a new member campaign through the end of 2004. The pilot membership program will allow new members to join AAEA for $75, half the normal membership fee. This will provide a membership through the end of 2004, when all AAEA memberships come up for renewal. In addition, the membership committee is undertaking an aggressive new member campaign focused on attracting new members from Canada, state Farm Bureau organizations and agricultural communicators in the Northeast. Please contact us at if you are interested in becoming a member.

Third, AAEA has launched a "Virtual Experts" program to help ag communications students learn more about our profession. We asked award winners from our latest writing contest to answer four questions, and then posted their responses on our Web site. Here's what we asked them:
1. How did you plan the story that won your award?
2. How did you research the story?
3. How did you write the story?
4. Tell about the value of an organization like AAEA to your career.

The Virtual Experts were asked to treat the assignment as if they had been invited to speak to a journalism class about how they do their job. We found that when it comes to helping beginners in our profession, AAEA members are great givers.

To read tips from our Virtual Experts go to, click on AAEA Programs on the left, then Virtual Experts Program.

Wayne Bollum, President

Great times in Tampa!

Another educational, exciting and entertaining conference is planned for the Agricultural Publications Summit (APS), July 25-28. The agenda of the Summit consists of a full set of professional improvement seminars - no matter what segment of the agricultural communications field you serve, you will find pertinent programming.

I am honored to serve as president of the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) during its 30th year. We will have several anniversary activities at APS to commemorate the unique heritage of LPC. Attending this year's Summit will be many of the leaders who have charted LPC in its successful history. These alumni are all too often forgotten as we engage in our day-to-day business activities. In Tampa, we will pause to remember and recognize these people for the foresight they possessed. Our success today is because of their wisdom yesterday.

Expanding member services should be a goal of all professional organizations. The Livestock Publications Council is to be commended for its ever-expanding list of benefits. In particular, the growth of the regional workshops is worth noting. These one or two day meetings are designed to focus on writing and design skills. Capturing efficiencies and improving publication quality by implementing changing technologies continue to challenge LPC members. Participants have reported that these intense workshops have helped them to adapt to new technology at a rapid and less frightening pace.

The Livestock Publications Council membership roster now exceeds 200 publications and service organizations. A newly emerging territory of member growth has been the student and alumni areas. These individual memberships help keep information flowing to interested individuals whether they are starting their career or enjoying their senior years.

For more information on LPC activities or member services, contact Diane Johnson at or visit the Web site,

Let's thank the APS committee members, sponsors, exhibitors and all the attendees for another successful Ag Publications Summit, and let's work together for another productive year in livestock publishing. AM

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