Word-of-Mouth Marketing - You Can Make it Work for You!

January 2009 | Departments |

When you hear reference to word-of-mouth marketing do you think “oh, that is the buzz that some firms get who are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and get everyone talking about their product,” like Cabbage Patch dolls in the 1980s or more recently ipods. This buzz is one aspect of word-of-mouth marketing and some companies have been able to successfully sustain that positive talk amongst their customers. Additional examples that come to mind are Saturn owners who...

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Celebrating a Centennial of Service

January 2009 | Special Report |

The year is 1909.

British explorer Ernest Shackleton finds the magnetic South Pole; the Wright brothers deliver the first airplane to the U.S. Army; the United States Mint issues the first Lincoln penny. Shortly after President Taft is inaugurated during a March snowstorm which dumped 10 inches of snow on the nation’s capital, a group of 18 feed manufacturers gathered in Chicago and agreed to form a new organization called the American Feed Manufacturers Association.

After that first...

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Laying the Track for Success

January 2009 | Cover Story | By Elise Schafer

The poultry industry has seen its share of better days. The price for breast meat has plummeted thanks to a gluttonous supply, and although the price of grain has decreased in recent months, it’s still well above average over the previous 30 years. These factors have forced Tyson Foods and other poultry producers across the nation to cut production and close processing plants’ doors for good. These conditions also contributed to the bankruptcy filing of the nation’s largest chicken...

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St. Louis Hosts GEAPS Exchange

January 2009 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

After GEAPS Exchange 2008's record-breaking attendance, it's hard to imagine that the 2009 event could outshine last year's. But that's exactly the goal program coordinators set out to achieve for GEAPS Exchange 2009.

Industry professionals can expect this year's show - slated for Feb. 28- March 3 - to match last year's numbers and provide three days' worth of the most valuable educational programs that GEAPS Exchange has ever offered.

Booth sales for the exchange, held at St. Louis'...

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Cellulosic Ethanol: A Path to Energy Independence

January 2009 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Ethanol producers see a future in which their product is no longer an additive to gasoline, but the primary fuel for America’s vehicles. It’s a vision of energy independence, eliminating imports for fuel.

Using new technology and new feedstocks is the only way to make the notion a reality, and one company claims that technology is on the verge of hitting the market.

The most common source of renewable fuel has been corn ethanol; however, companies and governments across the globe have been...

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Going the Distance for Safety Education

January 2009 | Feature | Gerry Whitty

When drawing up the plans for creating its Distance Education curriculum, GEAPS is in an enviable position. It doesn't need to engage the services of expensive consultants; instead, GEAPS' staff and distance education committee look to the GEAPS membership itself for answers.

"We actively solicit input from the membership on the issues and topics that matter to their business, and the educational needs that need to be met," says Mike Kiel, director, Grain Operations, the Andersons, and...

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Every Four Years, We Need a Wake-up Call

October/November 2008 | Editors Note |

I should have seen it coming. A quick glance at the calendar would have reminded me that 2008 signals the return of unique moments in time and spectacles seen only once every four years.

It begins with Leap Year, where we are "blessed" with an extra day in February. An extra day of winter, what a treat! All in favor of making June 31 days, say "aye."

Then come the Summer Olympics. Two weeks of captivating performances by the world's elite, supremely conditioned athletes, and yet another...

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Bringing’em Safely Onboard: Launching New Employees Successfully

October/November 2008 | Departments |

It’s late on a Friday afternoon, tomorrow you have a day off scheduled (finally!). You kick back in your chair after receiving the phone call you had been hoping for — the new sales manager you have been recruiting just accepted your offer. Life is good and you can enjoy your weekend! She starts in a couple of weeks and you know she will hit the ground running – just get her here, show her the office, and get out of her way! She’s a go-getter with a great track record, and you know she...

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Chicago Wheat Futures: Financial Tsunami of 2008

October/November 2008 | Departments |

The uproar over the soft red winter wheat cash basis has grown increasingly louder. Farmers watched Chicago July 08 wheat futures soar to $11 this spring, but saw local bids lag by up to $2/bushel and their anger grew. Heads should roll!

Cincinnati is a good market to study. The Cincinnati market can reflect barge export values, regional mills, and feed demand from the Southeast. In July 2007 that basis was -50 to -60 but weakened further by late summer. Elevators and terminals remembered...

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Cash-forward Contracting, Financing Strategies to Headline NGFA Country Elevator/Feed Industry Confe

October/November 2008 | Special Report | Diana Klemme

A major half-day session focusing on cash-forward grain contracting and financing strategies for 2009 will headline the program at the National Grain and Feed Association’s (NGFA) 37th annual Country Elevator and 12th annual Feed Industry Conference to be conducted Dec. 7-9 in St. Louis, MO.

More than 600 industry members traditionally attend the day-and-a-half conference and trade show at the Marriott Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. The major trade show, which will occur...

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It’s Not Your Father’s Co-op

October/November 2008 | Cover Story | By Gerry Whitty

Change is all around us and presents many challenges.

However, if you anticipate and manage for the inevitability that is change, it makes it much easier to achieve short-term success and long-term survival.

Being nimble in managing both your risk and your growth hasn’t always been considered a long-suited skill for cooperatives. Oftentimes, limitations due to cumbersome management structures or rigid bylaws have traditionally made cooperatives less likely to pursue an aggressive stance...

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Producing Energy Efficiently

October/November 2008 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

To an untrained eye all ethanol plants look identical. They’re usually surrounded by corn fields and all have storage vessels, grain receiving equipment and boilers that are nearly indistinguishable from one facility to the next. However, all plants are not created equal. Some operate far more efficiently than others.

The EPA presented East Kansas Agri-Energy (EKAE), located in Garnett, KS, and POET’s Ashton, IA facility with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for...

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International Feed Expo and International Poultry Expo is Just Around the Corner

October/November 2008 | Feature | Diana Klemme

The 2009 IFE promises to be even bigger and better than before. It will once again be co-located with the International Poultry Expo and, for the third year, the trade show will be included in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program.

IFE is where the feed industry meets to network, learn and see the latest in new technology. IFE offers an unprecedented opportunity to access a dynamic purchasing audience, key decision makers and international customers from all...

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Sure, change can be good but I don’t have to like it, right?

August/September 2008 | Editors Note |

Sure, change can be good but I don’t have to like it, right?

Change is all around me and I’ll be the first to admit, it drives me crazy sometimes. As a parent of two teenagers and a pre-teen who is convinced she’s ready to live on her own, changes are dramatic. One moment they hang on your every word like you’re some wise mystic, a proverbial stacked-trait soybean with tons of value. Now, it seems my end-user audience finds my valid driver’s license as the only “value added” component of...

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Measurement and Information: The Currency of Grain Quality

August/September 2008 | Special Report | Gerry Whitty

Anyone who doesn't buy into the fact that we operate in a truly global marketplace is only fooling themselves.

That point was clearly reinforced as I sat down for the opening luncheon at the 2008 International Grain Quality and Technology Congress. Joining me at the table were two Argentine researchers, a South African grain industry representative, our keynote speaker representing a Dutch-based financial giant that is a major player in U.S. agribusiness, and all of this, taking place in...

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