Monday, December 15, 2014

2015 Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award

To recognize the contributions of the hundreds of volunteers and leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities who are dedicated to increasing public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society, the Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award will be presented to an outstanding individual who has contributed as an advocate for communications between farm and city.
• The nominee can be any person over 21 years of age.
• Current members of the Agriculture Council of America Board of Directors are not eligible.
• The person may be nominated by anyone active in agriculture.
• The completed application should be forwarded to the the Agriculture Council of America via email at info@agday.org or submitted online at www.agday.org by February 15, 2015.
• A three-member committee, including at least one member of the ACA Board of Directors will judge the applications and select the recipient.
• The award will be presented at the National Ag Day Luncheon in Washington, DC on March 18, 2015.
• The winner will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses to attend the annual Farm-City event to receive the award including coach airfare or mileage for reasonable driving distance, 2 nights hotel room and a $50 per diem for meals and other expenses.
The Charles Eastin Outstanding Service Award is named in honor of Charles “Charlie” Eastin, DVM, who passed away at the age of 86 on January 28, 2011. Dr. Eastin played an important role as a board member of the National Farm-City Council for many years. He served as the 35th Chairman of the NFCC from 1992-1994 and through the years, has chaired and served on many committees. Through his efforts, Lexington, Kentucky hosted a NFCC National Conference in the early 1990’s. As chairman of the Rural Urban Committee, he worked to build and maintain collaboration between the Lexington Rotary Club and University of Kentucky to host activities to further National Farm-City Council goals during Farm-City Week every year.


Charlie’s passion and dedication will continue to inspire those who work on behalf of promoting a greater understanding between rural and urban folk. The award’s tradition continues with the acquision of the Farm City Council by the Agriculture Council of America The Agriculture Council of America is privileged to present this award in his honor.

2015 National Ag Day Essay Contest

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) calls on ninth- to 12th-grade students to submit an original, 450-word essay or a two-minute video essay about the importance of agriculture. This year’s theme is “Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations ” and the deadline is January 30, 2015. The ACA asks teachers and parents to encourage student participation.


The theme, “Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations,” presents an opportunity for students to address how the agriculture industry is an endless source of opportunity for growth and development. Entrants may choose to either write an essay and/or create a video focusing on how today’s growers are overcoming challenges to provide a safe, stable food supply and sustain the significant role agriculture plays in everyday life.


“CHS enthusiastically supports rural youth and is proud to showcase their ideas,” says Annette Degnan, marketing communications director, CHS Inc., one of this year’s essay contest sponsors. “The essay and video contests provide an engaging platform for their voices, vision and dreams to be shared with a broader audience.’”


The national written essay winner receives a $1,000 prize and round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C., for recognition during the Celebration of Ag Dinner held March 18 at Whitten Patio at the USDA. During dinner, the winner will have the opportunity to read the winning essay as well as join with industry representatives, members of Congress, federal agency representatives, media and other friends in a festive ag celebration. The video essay winner wins a $1,000 prize, and the winning video will play during the Celebration of Ag Dinner.


This is the 42nd anniversary of National Ag Day. The goal of the ACA is to provide a spotlight on agriculture and the food and fiber industry. The ACA not only helps consumers understand how food and fiber products are produced, but also brings people together to celebrate accomplishments in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.


The Ag Day Essay Contest is sponsored by CHS Inc., High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, National Agri-Marketing Association and Penton Farm Progress.


All written entries should be sent to: 2015 Ag Day Essay Contest, Agriculture Council of America, 11020 King Street, Suite 205, Overland Park, KS 66210, or submitted by e-mail to essay@agday.org. Students may upload video essays at http://agday.leapfile.net and follow the directions on the page, or students may choose to mail video entries on a compact disc to the address above. Visit www.agday.org to read official contest rules and for more details regarding entry applications.

2015 National Ag Day Celebration

In response to growing attention on the global availability of food, and in recognition of National Agriculture Day, March 18, 2015, the Agriculture Council of America has announced a full two-day lineup of high-profile events in the nation’s Capitol.


“This is undoubtedly the most important Ag Day program in our history,” said Jenny Pickett, President, Agriculture Council of America. “Our goal is to ensure the eyes of the nation are on the contributions American agriculture makes not just here in the United States, but also around the world. That’s the message we’re taking to the Hill, and the message that will be carried through communities across America.”
2015 events include:

March 17, 2015

TBD


March 18, 2015

Mix-and-Mingle Luncheon - A luncheon emceed by legendary agricultural broadcaster Orion Samuelson and featuring the Outstanding Young Farmer honorees and members of Congress. Venue: Cannon Caucus Room, 11:30 - 1:30 p.m.(EST) FREE OF CHARGE. Registration information coming soon!


Celebration of Agriculture Dinner - Event speaker to be determined and we will honor the winners of the Ag Day essay, video essay and poster contests as well as the Charles Eastin Award Presentation. USDA Whitten Patio, 5:00 p.m. TICKETS: $150 PER PERSON, OR $1,500 FOR A RESERVED TABLE OF 10. Registration information coming soon!


Hotel reservations can be made at The Helix, 1430 Rhode Island Avenue N.W., Washington, DC  20005
202-462-9001
www.hotelhelix.com
 
Room Rate: $209/night - make sure you mention Ag Day when making your reservations.


National Ag Day is made possible by a number of partnering organizations and sponsors. 2015 Partners include John Deere, Farm Journal Media, Meredith AgriMedia, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, Farm Progress, AgHub, CHS, U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., Farmers Feeding the World, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and Walmart. A complete listing can be found at www.agday.org.


National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America and celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's role in modern society.
Founded in 1973, National Ag Day encourages every American to:
  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.
Learn more and register for events at www.agday.org.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Celebration of Ag Dinner a Great Success


The USDA Whitten Building Patio was decked out on March 25, 2014, for the annual Celebration of Agriculture Dinner. Nearly 175 people were seated for a delicious dinner featuring pork provided by the National Pork Producers Council and prepared by the esteemed Mark Salter of Robert Morris Inn.

Beloved agricultural broadcaster Orion Samuelson, WGN Radio, This Week In Agribusiness, emceed the event. Deputy U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden expressed her appreciation of American agriculture and remarked upon the installation of Dr. Norman Borlaug’s statue in the National Statuary Hall earlier that day.

Dr. Borlaug developed high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties that greatly increased food security for Mexico, Pakistan and India. He is known as “the father of the Green Revolution,” and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his research and contributions to agriculture.

The 2014 written and video essay contest winners were also both recognized during the dinner. This year’s essay theme was “American Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.” The winner of the written essay contest was Clara Knipp from Tipton, Mo. Brackston McKnight from Jacksonville, Texas, won the video essay contest.

The Ag Day essay contest was sponsored by CHS, Inc., High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, National Agri-Marketing Association, Country Living Association, Farm Progress Companies and McCormick Company.

Lindsay McQueen, Union/Jackson County, Ill. Farm Bureaus, accepted the Charles Eastin Award during the dinner. This prestigious honor recognizes individuals who stand out as advocates for accurate communication between rural and urban audiences.

This festive evening was a fitting and lively tribute to the importance of American agriculture and its vibrant future.

Students Emphasize Importance of Ag in D.C.

Nearly 100 students representing 4-H, AFA, FFA and Student NAMA convened in our nation’s capitol to share the message of American agriculture with legislators.

After a day of message training, students took advantage of opportunities to meet face to face with Congressional leaders from their home states and share their views and aspirations.

The student delegates also enjoyed a tour of Washington, D.C., and an exclusive screening of the documentary, "FARMLAND—The Education of a Tradition."

Industry Events Hosted to Celebrate National Ag Day

Several agriculturally-focused organizations held events in the nation’s capitol in conjunction with Ag Day 2014. On March 24, 2014, Sara Wyant, President of Agri-Pulse, led a discussion with USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden at the Hart Senate Office Building.

More than 400 people gathered for this annual event that also doubled this year as a celebration of Agri-Pulse’s 10th anniversary.

On March 25, 2014, a dedication ceremony was held to install the Dr. Norman Borlaug statue in the National Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill. The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance also hosted a panel to discuss issues facing “The Next Generation of America’s Farmers and Ranchers.”

Two documentaries that tell the story of American agriculture were also screened during this year’s Ag Day celebration. “The Great American Wheat Harvest” was shown on March 25 and “FARMLAND” debuted on March 26.

Mix & Mingle Luncheon Draws Leaders

After more than 100 student delegates visited Congressional leaders and discussed the importance of American agriculture, they joined their colleagues in the Russell Caucus Room for the Ag Day Mix & Mingle Luncheon.

Orion Samuelson, WGN Radio, emceed the event at which the Outstanding Young Farmer award winners were recognized and U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) spoke to luncheon guests about the remarkable contributions of American agriculture to our nation’s economy and culture.

The Outstanding Young Farmer program was initiated in the 1940's. John Deere sponsored the first Outstanding Young Farmer National Congress in 1977 in Bismarck, N.D.

This year’s Outstanding Young Farmer honorees were: Patrick Zimmerer, Wyo.; Christian and Julie Richard, La.; Ali and Scott Ferry, Mich; Jennifer and Brian Harbage, Ohio.