Meg's Messages

Bringing you news about my adventures in agriculture


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From Madison to Shoreview… and Everything In-Between!

This week, I had the opportunity to spend some time outside of the office with the Filament Purina Flock team. As the middle of August approaches, this time of the year becomes busy in the marketing department with 2016 planning.

I was lucky enough to travel with the team up to Shoreview, Minnesota to see first-hand how planning sessions work between our clients and the agency. I had a wonderful time not only learning about the process, but getting to spend time with Chad, Sarah, Jeff and Kiley from Purina Animal Nutrition as well.

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A lot of ideas calls for a lot of group interaction.

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And a lot of space on the walls and whiteboard!

Throughout the day, ideas for the entire 2016 term were mapped out and responsibilities were divided amongst the team and our client. It was astounding to me how much was accomplished in just 8-hours of work.

We took a break at lunch to refuel and also to visit the fair going on at the Land O’Lakes headquarters. Not only was the food great, but the entertainment was great as well.

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This was my first time visiting the Land O’Lakes facility and it did not disappoint!

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The lawn outside of headquarters was transformed into a beautiful fairgrounds full of tents and entertaining activities for all.

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This was by far my favorite display. What can beat livestock, right?

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Channeling our inner Bob Barker, the team even tried their hand at Plinko.

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Of course, we couldn’t resist getting a picture in front of the Purina Poultry display!

I am very grateful for the opportunity to travel with the team this week. It was not only a fun experience, but one that allowed me to see a different part of the marketing business as well. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a road trip, right?


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ECP’s Daily Reminder

This week, I feel accomplished. My to-do list that has consumed my entire yellow notepad for the past few weeks has finally been demolished. It’s freeing to know that I can take on projects, sit in on more meetings and comfortably finish out my week strong. As I was in between projects this afternoon, I took some time to scan through my email. With every fews clicks, messages were getting filed, deleted or responded to with ease.

As I went down through my inbox, I started coming across some frequent emails from Filament’s president, Ed (or ECP if you follow along with our office short-hand). Sure, a variety of the messages were work related, but for the most part, these emails are what I like to refer to as ECP’s Daily Reminders. Each email begins with the date, followed by an inspirational quote.

I love these emails because in the middle of a stressful day, these short bursts of inspiration really help to lift me up and give me motivation to finish whatever I’m trying to do.

I’ve referred to a few of these quotes before in my blog, but with summer moving entirely too fast, I’ve lost touch with writing each down before today. In an attempt to save these bits of inspiration, I compiled all the quotes into one simple document that I can take with me at the end of the summer. As I was reading ,and for some quotes, rereading, I couldn’t help but to think that these were meant to be shared.

Take a few seconds or a few minutes if you like, but either way I think you’ll find these to be worth the read!

  • “I never took a day off in my 20s. Not one.” – Bill Gates
  • “Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.” – Brian Chesky
  • “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.” – Unknown
  • “Timing, perseverance, and 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone
  • “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “It is irreverence, foolish confidence, and naivety combined with persistence, open mindedness and a continual ability to learn that created Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Microsoft, Apple, Juniper, AOL, Sun Microsystems, and others.” – Vinod Khosla
  • “There is no limit to the amount of good a person can do if they don’t care who gets the credit.” – Unknown
  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
  • “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar   Wilde                                                                         
  • “Sometimes you just have to stop worrying, wondering and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how they are meant to be.” – Unknown                                                                         
  • “I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it would be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleep and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist.” – Jack London
  • “Leadership means you feel things with others; it does not mean you go in and fix them.” – Unknown
  • “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life forever.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “Any idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.” – William Bernbach
  • “Never look back, unless you are actually planning to go that way.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” – Unknown
  • “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the present without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz
  • “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” – Harold Whitman        
  • “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” – George “W.” Bush
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein                                                                                      
  • “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
  • “At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything else.” – George Leonard
  • “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”– Abraham Lincoln
  • “Appreciate your ability to live in the present, for the past can be found only in receipts and the future holds no reservations.” – Ryan Kacvinsky
  • “If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some people against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you and nobody for you.” – Bill Bernbach
  • “Sooner or later, we must realize there is no station – no one place to arrive at once, and for all. The true joy of life is the trip.” – Robert J. Hastings
  • “Laugh when you can, cry when you must; work hard, play hard – wear out, don’t rust.”
  • “Wine is sunlight held together by water.” – Galileo
  • “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” – Unknown
  • “Many times stress has less to do with what we have to get done versus how we choose to do it.”
  • “Martin Luther King had a dream, not a plan.”
  • “There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” – Zayn Malik


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It’s That Time of Year Again

Why does it always seem that the last few weeks of July seem to fly by? One moment, I’m exploring castles and sites in the U.K. and the next I am almost finished with my summer in Madison. As the summer continues to shorten, more projects need wrapped up before Laci and I head back across the country to our respective homes.

This week at Filament I worked on several projects including the master media list, testimonial copy decks, publication distribution and a Facebook presentation for 2016 planning. I also began planning for my internship video that I will unveil at my exit presentation on August 19.

With everything going on, it was very easy to feel pressure and even a little stress along the way. Luckily for me, I am an avid pinner. When I needed some inspiration, I only had to click a button and Pinterest handed me these five awesome quotes that kept my energy up and spirits high. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Stop Waiting for Friday

Let Your Light Shine

Keep the Faith

Be A Girl

To Live A Creative Life


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Photo Friday: Media Week at Filament Marketing

Ever wondered what it’s like to meet the media? During my internship this week, I had the opportunity to visit with representatives from several different media groups. Each group gave a presentation about their publications, companies and the opportunities they could offer both Filament and our clients.

As a student, I appreciated the variety of publications and how each had their own specializations. These meetings also allowed me to compare different mediums that Filament could potentially use to convey our clients’ messages. I particularly was interested in the dynamic digital advertising that can be done online.

Below are a few photos from meetings that I had the opportunity to attend. Enjoy!

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Not a bad view during our meeting with Meredith Agrimedia. I really enjoyed learning about all their publications, including Living The Country Life magazine.

Vance Publishing gave a great overview of their agriculture publications which included magazines such as Bovine Veterinarian and Drovers CattleNetwork.

Vance Publishing gave a great overview of their agriculture publications which included magazines such as Bovine Veterinarian and Drovers CattleNetwork.

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Penton is an information services company that drives performance for more than eighteen million professionals each and every day. Specifically for Filament’s clients, Penton presented information on BEEF magazine, National Hog Farmer and Feedstuffs.

Hoard's Dairyman spent a majority of their presentation discussing online advertising opportunities. Digital marketing was a theme throughout the week with each media group.

Hoard’s Dairyman spent a majority of their presentation discussing online advertising opportunities. Digital marketing was a theme throughout the week with each media group.

Farm Journal Media included its 138-year-old flagship magazine, Farm Journal, along with Top Producer, Beef Today, and Dairy Today in their media week presentation.

Farm Journal Media included its 138-year-old flagship magazine, Farm Journal, along with Top Producer, Beef Today, and Dairy Today in their media week presentation.


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D is for Database.

When I think of the word database, images of long computer codes and intimate number sequences easily come to mind. At Filament, a good part of my summer responsibilities have been creating or updating our own versions of databases.

Luckily for me, these databases do not challenge my lacking computer code abilities. Managing various number of clients and the memberships, sponsorships and events that go along with them can be challenging at times.

Lately, I have been tasked with a number of databases for site tours, associations and media outreach. In short, this past week has been full of lists, research and Excel spreadsheets. In order for me to accomplish these updates, I block off chunks of time mostly in the morning. If you follow my blog, you know how much I like crossing stuff off lists. It is a really good feeling to accomplish these tasks first-thing.

With our monthly AFA meeting starting on Thursday, I knew I only had three days to accomplish tasks before my work week was over. I had to make every click of my keyboard count for something. By no means did I complete my entire summer’s worth of database updates, but I did finish creating an in-house master database for an association from various years of data sheets.

Feeling pretty good, I left the office on Wednesday night to finish packing and headed out to the airport early the next morning for Omaha, Nebraska. It is never a dull moment when you bring our nine-member team together. We had a packed three days full of industry tours, conference planning and group discussion.

Throughout our time, silence was nowhere to be found. In fact, laughter filled the room more often than not. It was during this time I came to a realization.

There is more than one kind of database – and the most important kind was the one I was a part of this weekend.

I had an amazing weekend with amazing people in Omaha!

I had an amazing weekend with amazing people in Omaha!

Our group is made up individuals from various backgrounds, yet it feels like we have known each other our entire lives. I have never experienced a bond quite like this outside my immediate family before.

We form our own kind of database – one of trust, friendship and agriculture. I know that I can truly count on each of these individuals if I were to ever need a helping hand, a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. These people truly make me feel at home even when we are miles apart and for this, I am forever grateful.


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Just a Click Away

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am a planner. I am not one to run headfirst into an idea because I must think about every aspect of the decision – consequences, benefits, time commitment and all. Usually, this old habit of mine comes in handy on a day-to-day basis, but this week, a little spontaneity proved to be just what I needed in my life.

My desk at Filament is covered with sticky notes outlining my current projects, work hours, and motivational quotes to keep me going throughout the day. These little pieces of paper are my lifelines at the office. If I find myself veering off from the daily plan, I can simply look down and see what I need to do next.

Example A: One of my many lists from last week!

Example A: One of my many lists from last week!

With the Fourth of July being last week, it was even more important that I stick to a schedule if I was going to work as many hours as humanly possible before Friday. Let’s just say, each 10-hour day definitely started off with hot tea and ended with a diet pop of some sort!

I worked on an array of projects including a client’s master database, testimonials, video downloading, a 2016 event calendar, the MoDairy Campaign planning, social media reports, copy writing and media circulation research. Somewhere in between Chad, Laci and I also moved down to our new office in Suite 104.

Needless to say, the sticky notes on my desk were at an all time high. With everything going on, keeping a routine was just what I needed, right?

A few days before this, I had a crazy idea. With all the flying I’ve done lately, I was bound to have frequent flyer miles wracked up. With a little luck and some help from a very special someone, I found a flight or two heading out of Madison and landing in Dayton, Ohio on Thursday evening.

Spending July Fourth back home sounded like a perfect way to end my week, but it just wasn’t that simple. I had projects at the office I needed to keep working on and if I decided to go home, bags would need packed, AFA items needed done, and my room desperately needed some attention.

It didn’t take long though before I started looking at pictures of friends, family and many great memories. And after all, home was just a computer click away.

I am not going to lie. I had some anxiety leading up to Thursday, but I am so glad I was a bit spontaneous with my trip plans. And I believe my parents were, too!

“You can devise all the plans in the world, but if you don’t welcome spontaneity; you will just disappoint yourself.” ― Abigail Biddinger


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Beauty, Brewing and a Bit of Bonding

I can’t believe it is already Friday and time for another reflection. This week was filled with many activities and projects – including some volunteering at a local truck and tractor pull!

What better way to start the week off than to volunteer? Edgerton FFA hosts an annual truck and tractor pull to raise money for their educational scholarships. Laci and I had a blast running around in this Polaris Ranger!

What better way to start the week off than to volunteer? Edgerton FFA hosts an annual truck and tractor pull to raise money for their educational scholarships. Laci and I had a blast running around in this Polaris Ranger!

Webinars aren’t always the most exciting thing, but I am really glad I sat in on this presentation on Tuesday!

Throughout the week, I worked on several projects including press releases, research stories, and database updates. I also was a part of a lot of meetings in regards to new product launches and World Dairy Expo events. Among these items, I also sat in on a webinar that focused on marketing to the right consumer at the right time. This program was very insightful and used real-world examples. For a college student, this type of presentation really made the connection between classroom teachings the real-world.

Throughout the week, I worked on several projects including press releases, research stories, and database updates. I also was a part of a lot of meetings in regards to new product launches and World Dairy Expo events. Among these items, I also sat in on a webinar that focused on marketing to the right consumer at the right time. This program was very insightful and used real-world examples. For a college student, this type of presentation really made the connection between classroom teachings the real-world.

I truly love the fact that Filament cares about more than just traditional marketing work. This week, the team headed out to Verona, WI, for a tour and tasting of the Wisconsin Brewery Company!

The tour started off with a quick informational video.

The tour started off with a quick informational video.

The facility was very impressive. We toured on a very busy day, so it was also very hot!

The facility was very impressive. We toured on a very busy day, so it was also very hot!

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Wisconsin Brewing Company actually tests each of their new recipes on this smaller machine. Otherwise, if the recipe was less than perfect, it would be expensive to throw out the unwanted beer.

Aside from touring the facility, we met with the company's marketing coordinator. It was great to hear her views on their marketing strategy and how their vision had to change and adapt to consumer needs.

Aside from touring the facility, we met with the company’s marketing coordinator. It was great to hear her views on Wisconsin Brewing Company’s marketing strategy and how their vision had to change and adapt to consumer needs.

Though I am not a fan of beer, I didn't mind tasting Ol' Reliable, one of Wisconsin Brewing Company's lightest beers.

Though I am not a fan of beer, I didn’t mind tasting Ol’ Reliable, one of Wisconsin Brewing Company’s lightest beers.

As some of you may know, I’ve picked up a hobby while in Madison this summer. This city has great bike and walking trails to explore. Last night, I found some beautiful country on my way out to Picnic Point.

This view is the perfect definition of serenity.

This view is the perfect definition of serenity.

This place reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Robert Frost. I just couldn't help but to snap a picture.

This place reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Robert Frost. I just couldn’t help but to snap a picture.