Middle Wins Four Regional Best of NAMA Awards 

Our team won four regional Best of NAMA awards for our work with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program! Click the links below to view our work.

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First Place Website directed to consumers
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Merit Company or producer-funded PR campaign element directed to consumers

Each year, the National Agri-Marketing Association recognizes the best work in agricultural communications and marketing through the Best of NAMA awards. Awards are given in 63 categories, and there were 274 entries in our region this year. All entries must place at the regional level to advance to the national contest, and all four of our award-winning entries are eligible to advance to the national contest in April.

“Competing against some of the leading agricultural agencies and brands who have larger teams and bigger budgets is always intimidating, and this recognition reaffirms that our ingenuity is our greatest asset,” said Ashley Fuhrman, strategy director at Middle. “We work best when clients like the United Sorghum Checkoff Program trust us to take risks and experiment. It’s been such a rewarding experience collaborating with them.”

For the Sorghum Secret campaign, our challenge was to flip sorghum’s perception as the “forgotten grain” to “food’s best-kept secret” and differentiate sorghum from other whole grains. We used bright, bold visuals paired with content that used an irreverent and humorous tone — creative choices that are the exact opposite of what consumers typically see in “wholesome” grain or health food marketing. All of these decisions helped create an attention-grabbing and memorable digital campaign.

“We spent five days in a cold warehouse last January filming a series of 6-15 second ads for Sorghum Secret,” said Killian Millner, production specialist at Middle. “People don’t realize what it takes to create even the shortest bits of content. No matter how much planning goes into it, there’s a lot of trial and error to get the best shots that make your vision come to life.”

For the Sorghum at School educational video, our challenge was to explain complex information about sorghum and create an engaging video for 6-12 year old students without any original production. Within only six minutes of video, we used a variety of teaching techniques like signaling, open questions, interactive games, analogies, illustrations, and reviews to explain new concepts and keep students engaged. Since we had to rely on existing visual assets, we paired these techniques with animations, sound effects, and quick cuts — all strategic editing choices  — to give the video more excitement, originality, and momentum throughout.

“I used to teach public speaking to undergraduate students, so it was a blast getting to feel like a teacher again while writing this script and considering the different techniques we could use to teach young students about sorghum,” said Fuhrman.

The national Best of NAMA awards ceremony is April 24 in Kansas City. Stay tuned to see the final results!

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