By Elizabeth Vaughn
Copy Editor, Valley Ag Voice
April 3rd of last year marked a new tide for the Kern County Valley Ag Voice. This was the date Russell Johnson, Kyle Jones, and Dave Plivelich became partners buying the publication from then owner Eddy Tudor who began the paper in 2013 with a goal to reach the vast agriculture community within Kern County. Since the new ownership, the name was shortened to Valley Ag Voice, and the subscription widely increased due to the new online and social media presence.
This online success was no coincidence, as it was spearheaded by Dave Plivelich, President & CEO of the Marcom Group, were he also leads as Creative Director. Additionally, Dave’s design team now works to ensure the paper is executed properly and in a time frame to deliver each paper by the beginning of the month, with a further reach.
Russell is owner of his consulting firm, Common Sense Consulting, were he serves the community through a plethora of roles including government affairs and public relations. Back at the end of 2018, Russell saw the potential of Eddy’s monthly ag paper and was excited by the prospect to expand on the success of the Kern County Valley Ag Voice.
Knowing the depth of their respective skills, Russell reached out to Kyle and Dave to enter the partnership. Since then, Kyle Jones increased the Valley Ag Voice’s strength through partnership and the services he provides the community through the Law Office of Kyle Jones. Many may recognize Kyle from his time as a regular contributor and guest on the “Moneywise Guys” on Kern Radio News Talk AM 1180.
“It feels great to be a small part of the vital ag community here in the Central Valley. Feeding the world is no small task, and yet somehow our local farmers make it seem effortless,” commented Kyle Jones.
Russell Johnson added, “I am personally excited to provide a local voice for our agriculture community. The agriculture industry is a $7 billion dollar a year contributor to Kern County’s economy. Valley Ag Voice stands ready to contribute a unified voice for those in agriculture, so together we can push back on the misinformation and regulatory environment that make it difficult to work in California.”
Dave chimes in with, “It’s more than just the opportunity to be a voice for the agriculture community. I love discovering the diversity of our readership. Valley Ag Voice reaches so many in our region who have a true interest in what is going on in the Valley. It’s great to be a part of something that shows what we are dealing with and the efforts to make things better.”
Russell Johnson is a Bakersfield native. Mr. Johnson has an extensive history in government. He has served as a District Representative for a local State Senator, Chief of Staff to a County Supervisor, Planning Commissioner and Councilmember at the City of Bakersfield. In 2010, Russell started the government affairs firm, Common Sense Consulting where he has helped clients with issues such as land entitlement, assessment appeals, permits, and association management.
Dave Plivelich founded The Marcom Group in 1998 and, with the help of his wife and creative team, has since built the company into one of the most well-respected advertising agencies in California’s Central Valley. Dave considers himself a problem-solver and there’s no challenge he’s not willing to meet for a client. Dave is experienced in every aspect of the advertising trade, from sales and marketing to graphic design and web development. His team works with a variety of agriculture companies, consulting and developing everything from packaging design, websites, social media, marketing materials, corporate videos, point of sale and even tradeshow displays. Never afraid to learn something new, he continues to build on his professional skills. Dave graduated from Leadership Bakersfield in 2003, which gave him a better understanding of his community and his role in it.
Kyle was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. After graduating from Stockdale High in 1995 Kyle went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara and then a Juris Doctorate from the Santa Clara University School of Law. Kyle’s area of practice includes Estate Planning and plaintiff Personal Injury. You can hear him as a guest on the “Moneywise Guys” radio show or on his new podcast “Our Two Cents.”