The 2015 Golden ARC Winners Announced

June 25, 2015 – Denver, CO. – Winners of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) 2015 Golden ARC Awards Contest were announced June 25 at the organization’s annual professional development meeting in Denver, CO. Recipients of this year’s 23 Golden ARC Awards and 18 Merit Awards join an elite group of highly-respected leaders in agricultural public relations in the elite awards program.

For the fourth straight year the Golden ARC de Excellence Award was awarded. The 2015 winner was Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company for the entry entitled “Sugar’s Last Stand – Transforming Urban Legends to Make Hawaiian Sugarcane Sweet Again.” This year’s selected entry was from the Campaigns Division, Organization or Corporate Reputation category. Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company also received a Golden ARC Award for the entry. 

On the client side, Verdesian Life Sciences received the largest quantity of Golden ARC Awards winning three Golden ARC Awards, recognizing work submitted by agencies Osborn Barr and Broadhead.

Agency Osborn Barr won the most awards of the night with seven total, including five Golden ARC Awards and two merits. Their awards were received on behalf of work done for clients United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, Verdesian Life Sciences, United Soybean Board and the Monsanto Advocacy Team.

Broadhead tied for the most Golden ARC Awards with Osborn Barr, capturing a total of five trophies on behalf of clients USDA, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Minnesota Pork Board, AGCO Corporation, Verdesian Life Sciences and 

FLM+ came in second place for the most awards of the night with a total of six awards, including two Golden ARC Awards and four merit awards. The agency received awards on behalf of clients National Association of Wheat Growers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Illinois Soybean Association, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, and FMC. 

Two agencies tied for three awards each, including one Golden ARC Award and two merits. Bringing home the honors were AdFarm and G&S Business Communications. California FFA and Elanco Animal Health were represented by AdFarm; while G&S Communications accepted their recognition on behalf of Syngenta. 

Many organizations collected two prizes each including this year’s Golden ARC de Excellence winner the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and Rabo AgriFinance with two Golden ARC Awards each. David & Associates, GROWMARK, Inc., Ketchum, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association all were each awarded one Golden ARC and one Merit award; while the American Farm Bureau won two Merit awards. 

Other award winners were CropLife America, winning one Golden ARC Award, and Lessing Flynn and Paradowski collecting one Merit Award each. 

“The quality of this year’s entries again surpassed previous years’ submissions, and judges provided valuable comments and critiques for each submission to enable entrants to continue to improve their craft,” said Amy Keith McDonald, contest co-manager. “The presence of most Golden ARC Award winners at the annual meeting banquet indicates the respect ARC members hold for the competition.” 

“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.”

This year’s competition was judged by members of the Sunshine District Public Relations Society of America. “The judges focused on a number of objectives including audience analysis, creativity, execution and campaign results, especially measurability,” said Adelita Tyson, contest co-manager.

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 46 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 2015 Golden ARC Awards Contest follows.

To view the 2015 Golden ARC Award Winners, click here.

To view the 2015 Golden ARC Award merit winners, click here.