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Source: Agricultural Relations Council news release sent via AgPR--the news distribution service for agriculture

Winners of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) 2014 Golden ARC Awards Contest were announced June 26 at the organization's annual professional development meeting in Madison, WI. Recipients of this year's 20 Golden ARC Awards and 22 Merit Awards join an elite group of highly-respected leaders in agricultural public relations in this near quarter-of-a-century old awards program.

For the third straight year the Golden ARC de Excellence Award was awarded. The 2014 winner was Ketchum on behalf of Zoetis for the entry entitled "Zoetis Achieves Global Company Debut in Eight Months." This year's selected entry was from the Campaigns Division, Global Communications category. Ketchum first received a Golden ARC Award for the entry.

On the client side, Zoetis not only acquired the highest award of the night but also received the largest quantity of Golden ARC Awards. Zoetis won four Golden ARC Awards, along with one Merit Award, recognizing work submitted by both Ketchum and Bader Rutter.

Agencies Ketchum and Broadhead tied for winning the most Golden ARC Awards, capturing three Golden ARC Awards and one Merit award per agency. Ketchum received awards on behalf of clients Zoetis and National Cattleman's Beef Association, while winning submissions from Broadhead represented clients The Mosaic Company and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Many organizations collected two Golden ARC Awards each, some also earning Merit Awards. Bringing home honors for two Golden ARC awards and one Merit each were CropLife America, FLM+, The Mosaic Company and Weber Shandwick. Winning the two Golden ARC Awards were organizations DuPont Pioneer, Farm Credit Services of America, Mycogen Seeds and The Meyocks Group.

Other multiple award winners were Bader Rutter, winning one Golden ARC Award and four Merit Awards; Osborn Barr and Swanson Russell collecting one Golden ARC Award and three Merit Awards each; and Merck Animal Health, earning one Golden ARC Award and two Merit Awards.

Acquiring one Golden ARC Award and one Merit Award each were organizations such as the Center for Food Integrity, CMA, Charleston Orwig and the Illinois Soybean Association.

The remaining Golden ARC Award recipients included last year's Golden ARC de Excellence winner the American Farm Bureau Federation; the Ohio Soybean Council; the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the Propane Education & Research Council, for work submitted by their agencies or their own communications teams.

"Entries continue to improve from year to year, and this year judges were immensely impressed by the caliber of the submissions" said Amy Keith McDonald, contest co-manager. "This response from the judges was not surprising, however, because in its history, the Golden ARC Awards Contest has established a precedent of being the most prestigious agricultural PR awards program in the nation."

"The Golden ARC Awards Contest is unique in that it is the only award competition directed to agricultural marketing communications professionals that is not judged by our peers in agriculture," she continued. "The competition is judged by public relations professionals who are not directly or indirectly linked to the entries."

This year's competition was judged by members of the Maine Public Relations Society of America. "The judges focused on a number of objectives including audience analysis, creativity, execution and campaign results, especially measurability," she said. "They then provided constructive feedback to allow entrants to grow professionally from the opportunity."

Originated in 1990, the Golden ARC Awards Contest recognizes the best and brightest in agricultural public relations, and is open to both ARC and non-ARC members. The 35 categories reflect the broad scope of contemporary public relations activities.

The format and requirements for the Golden ARC awards are similar to other leading public relations awards programs, based on best practices for public relations campaigns and tactics. More information is available at or at the ARC website,

To view a complete winners' listing of the 2014 Golden ARC Awards click here.

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