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Source: American Ag Editors' Association news release

In the past, print was often the sole vehicle that ag editors relied upon to bring a story to life. That's no longer the case.

Story-telling in the digital world often begins somewhere online, which opens up a host of options for connecting with the media consumer. Increasingly, video is a key part of that process. YouTube, along with camera and storage technologies, have revolutionized the video production industry.

As ag editors increasingly make use of video with today's technology, it only makes sense to include video production as part of AAEA's annual awards. This July, when Ag Media Summit touches down in Snowbird, Utah, AAEA will recognize its first-ever video production award winners as part of the Digital and Social Media contest.

There will be two divisions for Video Production entries: Publishing and Marketing Communications. Each individual or brand/organization is limited to three entries per division. The maximum length of each entry should be no longer than 10 minutes. The purpose of these stipulations is to ensure the judging team is not overburdened with evaluating enormous amounts of video footage.

All entries should be submitted in the form of a URL or link for streaming or downloading the video. If additional log-in instructions are necessary to view the video, those should be included in the objectives PDF that accompanies each contest entry.

In addition to these basic submission guidelines, here is a list of FAQs to assist AAEA members when making contest entry decisions. Should other questions pop up, feel free to email

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes "published" for entry in the publishing division? A video that is hosted on a corporate website or has been aired on a television network would qualify as published. Additionally, a video published on a corporate YouTube (or similar outlet) would qualify as published.

Should I enter the Publishing or MarComm division? Great question! The DSM committee mapped out some basic ground rules on the differences. The most obvious distinction will follow the traditional guidelines that govern the other AAEA contest submissions. (Please reference the DSM Awards Call for Entries section for a summary that explains the difference between the two.)

Sponsored content should be submitted in the MarComm division. Sponsored content would include video segments that are produced by a traditional publishing outlet as a direct result of advertising dollars provided by the sponsoring company. Typical advertising sales without the intent of directly influencing content would not be included as part of the sponsored content stipulation.

Finally, content created as a result of commodity checkoff dollars should be submitted in the MarComm division. The DSM committee recognizes that additional questions regarding publishing vs. MarComm will come up in the future. Please know that the committee is committed to addressing these questions in a timely and fair manner.

How much editing can be done to segments prior to submission? The only editing allowed is the removal of advertisements, and cutting the segment to the desired length. The intent is to present judges with a true representation of what was published or distributed. To that end, "sizzle reels" are not allowed. (A sizzle or demo reel is a condensed promotional segment that includes only the highlights from a program.)

Can I submit an entire series? Initially, the contest is not scoped to accommodate series submissions. After the first year, the DSM committee will re-evaluate the scope and make decisions on expansion.

Should entries be submitted as an individual or on behalf of a brand/organization? Submitting as an individual or brand/organization is at the discretion of each contestant. Ideally, that decision will be made depending on the level of production/team involvement. If the segment was produced as a result largely of an individual's efforts, an individual submission would be appropriate.

Feedback Needed

With any new awards category, there is a lot to consider and anticipate prior to launch. The DSM committee looks forward to ensuring the Video Production category evolves with the organization and the contest.

Please help the committee shape the category by submitting feedback to Or, feel free to provide feedback in person this year at AMS in Utah. The DSM committee includes: JoAnn Alumbaugh, Farm Journal Media; Pam Caraway, Rhea + Kaiser; Pam Smith, DTN/The Progressive Farmer; and Bill Spiegel, High Plains Journal.

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