The National Agri-Marketing Association

The nation's largest association for professionals in marketing and agribusiness

2020 Agri-Marketing Conference


Sponsored by AgriLife Studios, National Cotton Council of America and WATT Global Media

2:00 to 3:00 P.M.

Crafting the Customer Experience: Making Your Business Exceptional and Setting the Bar
Kelly McDonald, Founder/Owner, McDonald Marketing

The ag industry is going through a sea change. Consolidation is creating new, enormous players, there’s a lack of fresh, young talent and technology is changing how business is done and what customers expect. Success is predicated not only on what you sell, but the experience customers have when doing business with you.

A "one-size fits all" approach to the customer experience is no longer viable. Using real world examples and best practices from top companies, McDonald will give you expert advice and show you how catering to customers’ differences can differentiate you from competitors for an edge in a demanding field.

And don’t let the word “customer” limit your thinking. Whether the “customer” is external (prospects, consumers) or internal (boss, associates, team, suppliers), each of us is responsible for satisfying our constituencies.

Learn how stop struggling in a sea of sameness and foster long-term loyalty and brand preference through exceptional and customized customer experiences. Then, participate in interactive discussions to identify how to apply the principles presented to YOUR business.

Media Training for Today’s Marketers
Richard Gearhart, Associate Professor, California Polytechnic State University

With today’s 24-hour news cycle, you can’t risk being unprepared for a moment in the spotlight. Whether it’s the agricultural industry’s connection to consumers or breaking company news, media outlets are no strangers to asking for comments, information or a story. Agri-marketers and PR specialists are expected to go beyond articulating and responding appropriately. It’s their duty to lead and train their respective teams in planning ahead for media interaction.

In this session, Richard Gearhart, Associate Professor at Cal Poly, uses his tenured career as a producer, reporter, assignment editor and current anchor for KSBY, to get attendees prepared to take interviews, train their local teams, and reach out to media proactively through social media and other channels. He will emphasize the importance of having a good plan in place for media policy while also engaging needs from attendee’s own experiences.

The Unique Challenges Facing California Agriculture

We often hear that what happens in California will influence decisions on the rest of the country. That’s particularly true in California agriculture where the legislature continues to pass regulations that make farming more challenging and costly, coupled with constraints over water, labor and crop protection products. This session is your chance to hear top leaders in California agriculture discuss what’s ahead.

Moderator: Sara Wyant, President, Agri-Pulse Communications

Invited Panelists:
Ruthann Anderson, CEO, California Association of Pest Control Advisers
Jamie Johansson, President, California Farm Bureau Federation
Dave Puglia, CEO, Western Growers Association

3:30 to 4:30 P.M.

Packing Parachutes
Charlie Plumb, Captain, USNR, (Ret.)

In a world where downsizing forces us to do more with less, we must empower the team. “Packing parachutes” can mean the difference in your survival. Each of us has assets we often times don’t tap into until we’re challenged. Whether we realize it or not, we all have the inner strength and resources to meet whatever business or personal challenges come our way.

Captain Charlie Plumb survived almost six years as a prisoner of war (POW) after being shot down while flying combat missions over North Vietnam. His incredible career in the United States Navy and heroic tale of enduring the extreme hardship of his POW experience will inspire you to see what you’re capable of achieving and motivate you to look for opportunities in any situation.

Tips and Tricks for Taking Social Media to the Next Level
Kelly McDonald, Founder/Owner, McDonald Marketing

You're blogging, tweeting and posting away, and your fan base and followers are growing accordingly. Now what? What are the next steps in social media? How do you monetize it, track it and keep it growing?

This session will focus on how to use social media to build your brand and elevate your B2B marketing. The social media landscape is changing fast and new tools are entering the picture that make consumer connection, dialogue and purchase influences easier and better than ever. Hear what's new in social media marketing as well as best practices and top tips to try. Along the way, a few social media myths will be shattered.

With a wealth of expertise, McDonald will discuss:

  • The latest developments in social media marketing with actionable strategies and tactics you can implement immediately
  • What other successful marketers are doing in the social media sphere and how it's working
  • Updates on the latest tools and apps as well as how specific tools, such as iPads, are being used to close sales and enhance customer service
  • Best practices and specific strategies illustrating how companies and organizations are using powerful tools to grow business and deepen relationships
  • Looking at the horizon and seeing what's coming

Powerful Collaboration: Client and Agency Panel

Advertising agencies and agricultural companies rely on each other to promote and support the greater ag industry on top of their defined, collective objectives. But how can they work together in the most effective manner to create the best output? Listen to a panel of agency and client leaders share what each group needs from each other to create a long-lasting, effective partnership.

Moderator: Deron Johnson, FLM Harvest

Leigh Thiel, Senior VP, Director of Client Services, broadhead.
Scott McClure, Senior Vice President, Brighton Agency
Doug Reynolds, Marketing & Digital Communications Leader, US, Corteva Agriscience
Bob Wilhelm, North America Brand & Marketing Communications Strategy Lead, Crop Science Division at Bayer