Winners of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) 2013 Golden ARC Awards Contest were announced recently at the organization's annual professional development meeting in Oklahoma City, OK. The 14 Golden ARC winners and 18 Merit winners rank among the elite in agricultural public relations, as recognized through the Golden ARC Awards Contest, sponsored by ARC.

American Farm Bureau Federationwins the Golden ARC de Excellence Award.Congratulations! to the American Farm Bureau Federation for winning the Golden ARC de Excellence Award. Their entry, "Estate Tax Campaign" was the highest scoring public relations campaign, which also won a Golden ARC Award in their category for public relations campaign - public affairs. Mace Thornton of the American Farm Bureau Federation and past ARC President accepted the Golden ARC de Excellence from current ARC board of directors member Darren Williams.

For the second straight year the Golden ARC de Excellence Award was awarded. This award was for the best all-around entry in the campaign division. The winner this year was the American Farm Bureau Federation for the public relations campaign, public affairs entry "Estate Tax Campaign". The American Farm Bureau Federation was also awarded a Golden ARC Award for the entry.

Agency Charleston | Orwig led the prize winners with five Golden ARC Awards and three Merit awards for clients Novartis Animal Health, Illinois Soybean Association, Smithfield Foods Inc. and the AgChat Foundation. Other organizations winning multiple Golden ARC Awards included Osborn Barr with three Golden ARC Awards and four Merit Awards. Farmer Lumpe + McClelland also won seven awards, of which two were Golden ARC Awards and five were Merit Awards.

Also bringing home multiple awards were Weber Shandwick with three Golden ARC Awards and one Merit Award; Bader Rutter & Associates with three Merit Awards and American Farm Bureau Federation with one Golden ARC Award and Merit Award. Other organizations winning multiple Golden ARC Awards included CropLife America with two Merit Awards and David & Associates with one Merit Award.

"This year's contest included many strong, creative entries with impressive measurable results," said Amy Keith McDonald, contest manager. "In its history, the Golden ARC Awards Contest has established a precedent of being the most prestigious agricultural PR awards program in the nation.

"The Golden ARC Awards Contest is unique in that it is the only award competition directed to agricultural marketing communications professionals that is not judged by our peers in agriculture," she continued. "The competition is judged by public relations professionals who are not directly or indirectly linked to the entries."

The competition was judged by members of the Florida Public Relations Association. "The judges focused on a number of objectives including audience analysis, creativity, execution and campaign results," she said. "They then provided constructive feedback to allow entrants to grow professionally from the opportunity."

Originated in 1990, the Golden ARC Awards Contest recognizes the best and brightest in agricultural public relations, and is open to both ARC and non-ARC members. The 38 categories reflect the broad scope of contemporary public relations activities.

The format and requirements for the Golden ARC awards are similar to other leading public relations awards programs, based on best practices for public relations campaigns and tactics. More information is available at or at the ARC website,

A complete winners' listing of the 2013 Golden ARC Awards follows: