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Industry gains intimate understanding of cereals season through Syngenta interactive programs

  • Innovative programs offer first-hand perspectives of cereal production from seeding to harvest
  • Syngenta engages participants to share experiences through multiple media platforms
  • Expanded program features for 2012 include interactive photo share, retailer perspective and birds-eye views of harvest in real-time
Greensboro, N.C., USA “Think like a grower” is the new mantra echoing throughout Syngenta. For its cereal crop brands, Syngenta has been executing this principal the past two years through its Voices Across the Plains program. The program continues in 2012, and Syngenta also is pleased to support the All Abroad Wheat Harvest tour with High Plains Journal this year.
To deliver an intimate understanding of the 2012 wheat and barley seasons, these programs allow growers, retailers and harvest crews to share their unique stories throughout the course of the season via multiple media channels. New features for 2012 include a retail component of Voices Across the Plains, expanded geography and a birds-eye view of combining with the All Aboard Wheat Harvest crews. 
“We’re excited to support these opportunities where growers, retailers and harvest crews can share their unique perspectives about the season,” said Bev Larson, cereals communications lead, Syngenta. “We welcome the new group of growers joining our Voices Across the Plains family in 2012 and are pleased to feature the engaging correspondents from the All Aboard Wheat Harvest tour. These two successful, collaborative programs showcase first-hand accounts of the season and facilitate the sharing of best practices within the industry.”  
Kicking off its third season, Voices Across the Plains offers progressive cereal growers and retailers the opportunity to tell their stories via print, online and broadcast mediums. Participants  share snapshots of their farming operations and management practices via photo, video and blog submissions, as well as discuss pest and production challenges and solutions they’ve found to be effective in monthly printed feature articles and during bi-weekly radio interviews. Serving as an interactive resource for wheat and barley growers across the country, Voices Across the Plains continues to be a valuable and exciting platform for the agricultural industry and growers nationwide. 
“Because wheat growing conditions and production challenges differ greatly from state to state and from year to year, we’re proud to offer and support programs like Voices Across the Plains and All Aboard Wheat Harvest. These programs provide more localized, season-long perspectives, foster new ideas and discuss management solutions that improve production,” Larson added. “Our audience also gains a more realistic view about – and often an increased appreciation for – the inputs, time and work that goes into cereal production.”
Participants in the 2012 Voices Across the Plains program include:
  • Chuck Downey, St. Francis, Kan.: Downey and his wife, Megan, grow dryland wheat and corn in a wheat-corn-fallow rotation across 2,000 acres in northwest Kansas.
  • Nate Riggers,Nezperce, Idaho: Riggers and his brother, Steve, manage Riggers Clearwater Farms, a 6,500 acre operation of 100 percent no-till dryland winter and spring wheat, malt barley, canola and turfgrass seed in north central Idaho. Be sure to follow @ClearwaterFarms on Twitter.
  • Mike Baxa, Belleville, Kan.: Baxa has been dedicated to both farming and the seeds business, Polansky Seed, growing wheat, corn, soybean, forage, cover crops and alfalfa.Follow Polansky Seed on Facebook, too.  
  • Kamren Koompin, American Falls, Idaho: Koompin is dedicated to managing his 9,000-acre diversified and irrigated farming operation located in southeast Idaho, along with his father, brother and other relatives.
  • Mike Miller, Ritzville, Wash.: Miller independently operates his fourth-generation family farm that grows wheat, potatoes, bluegrass and garbanzos.
  • Josh Messer, Enderlin, N.D.: Messer is an experienced grower, agronomist and seed manager at Plains Grain & Agronomy who assists more than 70 growers across seven counties with his extensive knowledge and expertise in cereal crop production.Make sure to follow @PlainsGrain on Twitter.
  • Brian Bezner, Dalhart, Texas: Bezner has been farming for more than 27 years and currently maintains the 12,000-acre family operation that grows irrigated corn, wheat and alfalfa across the Texas and New Mexico border. Look for Bezner Farms on Facebook, too.
  • Reggie Pahl, New Leipzig, N.D.: Pahl and his wife, Amy, own and operate a 5,400 acre no-till wheat and corn farm near New Leipzig, N.D.
  • Bill Ongstad, Harvey, N.D.: Bill Ongstad, together with his wife, Anne, and son, Sam, grows hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat, barley, durum, pinto beans, corn and soybean across 6,000 acres in Harvey, N.D.  
A new aspect of the Voices Across the Plains program in 2012 is a retail/crop consultant perspective from Josh Messer. Messer not only comes from an extensive farming background, but also offers followers a retailer viewpoint and insight to his interactions with grower customers. Other new, interactive features include an option for viewer comments on the Voices Across the Plains blog, and the ability for wheat growers to submit their own crop photos, as well.    
“At Syngenta, we strive to achieve a more profound understanding of customer challenges to ensure we address them accordingly. In addition to providing top-quality products like Axial® brand herbicides, we are continuously focusing on the research and development of new cereal products to bring to the market, such as Palisade® 2EC plant growth regulator and Foxfire™ herbicide,” Larson explained.
“Our participants in Voices Across the Plains and All Aboard Wheat Harvest offer unique insight and useful information for other growers in our key cereal-growing geographies. These programs not only provide a valuable opportunity to collaborate with customers in a way that is easy and effective for them, they also strengthen the Syngenta commitment to advancing agriculture, thinking like a grower and increasing efficiencies to help farmers improve productivity,” Larson added.
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About Syngenta
Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers, we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.  For more information about us, please go to
Media Contacts:
Rebecca Sepiashvili
Bev Larson
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