Former football pro using sports as a platform for agriculture

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When a sports fan heads to the stadium to cheer on their favorite team, it is safe to say that one of the last things on their minds is agriculture. But, thanks to some help from an Ohio farm boy turned NFL football player,  the ways those in the stands think about farming and how it correlates with many aspects of the sporting event they are attending are changing.Behind that concept is Ohioan Mark Inkrott, who grew up in Glandorf with a long agricultural family history behind him. His grandfather converted a flour mill to a grain elevator that has been in the family since 1942. In fact, Inkrott’s father still delivers feed to farmers throughout Putnam County.“When I was a kid, whenever I wasn’t in school I was in my dad’s bulk truck,” Inkrott said. “That’s when I got to know all of the farmers and found out what they did and started to understand everything that goes into food production.”Although Inkrott has never forgotten those lessons from his rural neighbors, his life’s journey took him far away from home. He followed a career in football, which began at the college level at the University of Findlay and then professionally with the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants. He even spent time on the gridiron in Europe.After hanging up the cleats, Inkrott came back to Ohio to attend graduate school and then found himself back in the industry where he started.“When I think back to when I was younger and thinking about what was ahead, I didn’t think agriculture would be where I ended up in my career,” Inkrott said. “It’s funny how you end up where you’re supposed to be and be working with farmers again has been very rewarding in the sense that they are value-based people who know what hard work is.”After working in the dairy industry for a while, Inkrott came up with a concept to fill what he saw as a need for agriculture. So he and a business partner, a fellow Glandorf native, founded UpField Group, a sports marketing and consulting firm specializing in agriculture and farm to stadium programs. The team also consists of a farm policy specialist and a rancher’s daughter. Together they bring a unique skill set to their agricultural endeavor  and have teamed up with associations ranging from the NFL Alumni to Mossy Creek Outfitters and Dairy Management Incorporated.“At one point in my life I just assumed that everyone across the country knew where food comes from but that certainly isn’t the case,” Inkrott said. “After my football career it occurred to me that sports have a powerful platform to be influential and to tell great stories about agriculture and food production.”UpField Group founder Mark Inkrott and professional wide receiver Larry FitzgeraldUpField Group specifically saw the most potential in the stadiums, which already are used to deliver messages from the teams on the field and from the sponsors that are plastered all around the venue.“Sports transcend throughout the community and it brings people together,” Inkrott said. “No matter what your political stance is, or your background or beliefs, when you go to a ballgame we can all agree on the team we are rooting for.”Inkrott said that when he did play football in cities like Charlotte and New York, he noticed things that very few people around him might have picked up on.“The first time I went to an NFL game, I was playing in it and even then I recognized the agriculture component to a ballgame,” Inkrott said. “As fans were enjoying a cold beer I knew that there were hops and barley farmers somewhere that made that possible. The same goes for hot dogs, popcorn and lemonade and the examples go on and on.”The vision of UpField Group is to make those connections to food and sports easier to see for everyone involved, closing the many gaps that are in between farmers and consumers.“Consumers, in general, are confused about their food and more labels and misleading marketing aren’t helping,” Inkrott said. “Transparency about how food is made is trendy and so is buying local, especially in urban markets and that is where UpField Group can come in and share the messages that people need to hear about farming and its misconceptions. Sports is a great platform for that.”And UpField Group believes that message should come from no one else but the farmer, so they have developed a strategic alliance with ag accounting firm K Coe Isom to help give consumers a 360-degree view of the farm through their many farmer clients.“The information we glean through this partnership is allowing us to create fact-based marketing and go find new opportunities in new markets,” Inkrott said. “We can meet with companies like a brewery, for example, and introduce them to a farmer and the corn crop they raise, their sustainability record and value of their message and offer that brewery a great ambassador and face for where their product comes from.“Then, we can do an event at that brewery with the farmer and he can talk about what happens on his farm, giving the consumer confidence and trust and a great image of where the product comes from.”On a bigger scale, UpField Group sees potential in making the farmer-to-consumer connection inside sporting arenas by placing producers on the Jumbotron to share what they farm to make the spectator’s experience that much more enjoyable.“Consumers are smarter than ever and they have access to more information than ever before so there’s no trick marketing and no gimmicks in what we are doing here,” Inkrott said. “Since the core values of a farmer are honesty and hard work, helping them tell their story will be the best way to regain the trust of the American consumer.”last_img read more

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More regular rains take Brazil’s soybean planting to 58%

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Brazilian farmers had planted 58 percent of their 2019/20 soybean area by Nov 7, according to a weekly survey conducted by AgRural. That represents a progress of 12 percentage points in one week and keeps the new crop planting pace slightly ahead of the five-year average. There is still a delay, however, in comparison to last year.Favorable weather conditions seen last week took the area already planted to 94 percent in top-producer Mato Grosso, where the soybean crop develops well so far. The only issue, for now, is that the state will not have new soybeans entering the market as early as in the 2018/19 season, when some farmers were already harvesting in late December.Mato Grosso grows about 65% of Brazil’s second corn crop, which will be planted right after the soybean harvest, in January and February 2020. That means that a good chunk of the Brazilian corn crop will not be behind schedule or have any significant problem caused by delays in the soybean planting. Corn planting might face some disruptions if it rains too much in early 2020, but that is another story and belongs to the future.In number-two producer Paraná, much-needed rains hit the state last week and farmers were finally able to catch up, after a dry, hot, nervous October. But, since part of the soybean crop was planted after the normal dates, part of the second corn crop will be sown in March, and that is not exactly good for corn yields. The same will happen in parts of Mato Grosso do Sul. Is that a big threat to the corn crop that Brazil will harvest in the second half of 2020? Not exactly. Not yet.In the rest of the country, irregular rains have kept the soybean planting slower than normal, but forecasts look good for the remainder of November. Potential production is seen by AgRural at 121 million metric tons, a new record. Right now, and despite the problems faced since September, there is no reason to believe that that number will not be met. But, of course, the blooming stage is just beginning in areas planted earlier and the best – or the worst – is yet to come.last_img read more

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Spotify Coming to the U.S.: Too Little, Too Late?

first_img12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts mike melanson Streaming music service Spotify has such an air of mystery in the U.S. that even a glimpse of the program’s interface draws in readers. For the past year, we’ve discussed again and again when the company would make its way overseas and now the New York Post reports that the popular European company is “finally crossing the pond.”“After trying to crack the US market for more than a year, Spotify is close to a deal with one major music company in the US and has gained the support of at least one other,” reports the Post. But is it too little, too late?Of all the things we write about. Spotify is certainly the most inaccessible to most of our readers. From all tales (including those of us who may or may not access the service via proxy server), the service is killer. It’s like having access to a ridiculously huge music collection with all of your friends’ playlists and recommendations, wherever you are, for free. Does this sound too good to be true? It does to the music labels too, though a launch date of Q3 2010 and early 2011 was predicted last March.When Spotify CEO Daniel Ek spoke at SXSW last year, the buzz on the street was a U.S.-launch announcement. Instead, U.S.-based music aficionados have been left to look toward alternatives like Slacker Radio, Pandora, MOG, Rdio, Napster and others. The post quotes an anonymous “music executive” as saying that “Spotify is launching in the U.S., for sure. They’ve got the deals now.” While these other services have gained traction, Spotify currently offers something that none of them do – an “all-you-can-eat” music service that costs nothing except for your time. That is, the free service contains ads and users can pay $10 a month to get rid of advertising. By comparison, the free version of Pandora, which does not let you choose precisely what you want to hear, but rather a customized channel of streaming music, also has ads as well as a monthly time limit. All-you-can-eat services like MOG and Napster, on the other hand, have no free version. It’s pay or go away. The big question here, then, is whether or not Spotify will be allowed to come to the U.S. with this type of functionality still in place. If not, we’re not sure that there is much of a difference between Spotify and other “all-you-can-eat” services, which generally offer access at $5 for home access and $10 for mobile. The Post explains that labels are urging the company to stress a subscription model, instead, and make upfront payments estimated to exceed $100 million. If we get European-style Spotify, expect things to be shaken up quite a bit. If not? It’ll be the same as usual, just with one more option. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img Tags:#music#news#web 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img read more

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Motion Graphics Tutorials For Video Editors

first_img1. Simple Motion Graphics Techniques for Editors2. How to Create a Zoom Out from Space Effect3. TV Glitch and Particle Effects4. Motion Graphics Inspiration – Apple Intro Effect5. Discover the Latest Features in After Effects Being able to design and create motion graphics that work in your edit is a great skill to have, these resources will help you get there.As an editor, producers and directors will often ask you if you ‘know After Effects’, by which they mean can you add in some simple animations here or some fancy graphic overlays there. If you can deliver the goods they’ll love you for it.Personally I find the design process much harder than the technical process of making things move but this round up of resources should help you on both fronts. Although most of the resources in this post focus on Adobe After Effects or Apple Motion you can still apply the concepts and techniques in many other applications.In the tutorial above Angie Taylor from Video2Brain talks you through some of the essential basics for working with text in your video project in three packed minutes.Post highlights include (click to jump to each section): Simple Motion Graphics Techniques For EditorsIn this excellent short tutorial, Joe Fellows – a UK based graphics artist, demonstrates how to create a 2.5D parallax effect on your still images. A simple way to spruce up your edit. In the tutorial Joe references a stunning sequence he created for WWF using this technique which was racked up over 500,000 views after becoming a Vimeo Staff Pick:How to Create a Zoom Out from Space EffectAnother popular effect is that of the ”huge zoom out” or the ‘Cosmic Zoom Out‘ as the chaps from MacBreak Studio describe it in this Motion tutorial. To create the same effect in After Effects check out this tutorial from Andrew Kramer that has been viewed over 2.7 million times! TV Glitch & Particle EffectsSimon Ubsdell demonstrates how to create a TV glitch/interference effect in Motion 5 from scratch. A common effect but nice to be able to fully customise it yourself.  In the next tutorial Simon demonstrates how to create a particle collision, which also involves a custom lens flare. Understanding these techniques would come in handy for many a title sequence.In the following tutorial After Effects guru Andrew Kramer from Video CoPilot demonstrates a simple but useful effect for adding a selective glow to a particular color. A useful way to highlight key areas of an image, or just explosions!Motion Graphics Inspiration – Apple Intro AnimationIf you watched the Apple Developer’s Conference Keynote earlier this year you will have seen this amazing piece of animation design work. In this short tutorial from the Macbreak Studio guys you can learn some vital things about mimicking this look in Apple’s Motion 5. The next tutorial demonstrates how to use Newton, the physics simulation plugin that design studio Buck used to create parts of the spot. Making The Most of After Effects Latest FeaturesIn this tutorial motion graphics artist and trainer John Dickinson demonstrates what’s new in After Effects 12.1 and in the tutorial below some of the useful new features in Adobe CC. If you’re new to After Effects after subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud then these should give you a taster of what you’ve got at your fingertips.Discover the Latest Features in After EffectsIf you’re after even more resources fellow PremiumBeat writer, Clay Asbury has put together some excellent posts that will furnish you with even more places to learn more about motion graphics:Motion Graphics & VFX Courses5 Sites for Motion Design Elements10 Motion Graphics Resources For Editorslast_img read more

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