Diane Johnson on Twitter LPC Blog LPC on Facebook

Livestock Publications Council


It’s about relationships


While Dr. Miles McKee shared his heartfelt appreciation at the podium during the 2015 LPC Vision event, I looked around the room and couldn’t help but feel slightly overwhelmed and extremely thankful. The joint passion this group shares for the livestock industry and for the people in it is undeniable. It still feels like yesterday that I attended my first LPC event and met Diane Johnson and Angie Denton. And here I am today with the privilege of giving back to this organization by serving on the LPC board under Angie and Diane’s leadership.

It’s an opportunity that I don’t take lightly. After a 3-day strategic planning session and board meeting before the Vision event, I can assure you that the wheels are in motion to continue providing our members with the greatest opportunities possible. And it’s through events like these that we hope to enhance your membership to help you network, grow professionally, and have a little fun, too.

Vision was designed with two major goals in mind. 1) Provide a free educational opportunity for our members and industry friends – this year’s panel of Ryan Goodman, agriculture advocate; Karen Hanson, registered dietician with Hy-Vee; and Margaret Ziegler, Global Harvest Initiative’s Executive Director, explored the safety of our food supply and critical issues ranging from social concerns to economics to marketing. 2) Honor our LPC Hall of Fame award winners Dick and Pete Crow and our LPC Headliner award winner Dr. Miles McKee.

A few hours before the event, I watched Dr. McKee, one of my mentors at Kansas State University, hang his plaque in the LPC Hall of Honor at the American Royal. And then the tears threatened to fall when he walked over and stood by the plaque of Dr. Don Good and quietly whispered, “This is my mentor. He was a good friend. It’s quite something to be hanging on the same wall as he is.”

A few spots further down the wall, my eyes rested on the plaque of the man who hired me into my first position in the livestock industry and provided me with the opportunity to attend my first LPC event – Darrell Anderson. I’m not even going to get started on how he changed my life. That’s another story. But isn’t it a beautiful theme? The livestock industry is powered by people and relationships that span generations. We all are blessed to be a part of this industry because of someone who took the time to show us the way in.

-Jennifer Shike, LPC board member

Posted in General | Comments Off on It’s about relationships

Student Section: A few thoughts on networking

We’re kicking off a new monthly series where seasoned professionals will give ag communications students the scoop on all things related to growing a career in the livestock publications business.

Without networking, I’m not sure where I’d be today. As a college freshman, I listened to Susan Grebner share about her job in agricultural communications at a career day at Black Hawk College East Campus.  I immediately knew she was someone I needed to meet. But for this small-town Iowa girl, mustering up the nerve to meet Susan afterwards was a little scary.

However, that networking experience went on to develop into a mentoring relationship that helped me go on to find exciting internships and my future career (that didn’t even exist when I was a freshman in college). Before coming to the University of Illinois in December 2009, I spent nearly 10 years as the Director of Junior Activities for the National Swine Registry. One of my favorite parts of that job was organizing our youth leadership conferences and working with our junior board of directors.

My best advice to you as youth: Get out there and network. You have to make the first move – you can’t expect others to network for you.

I attended my first Livestock Publications Council conference in 1998 (before it was the joint event it is today – Agricultural Media Summit) and was fortunate to meet Diane Johnson, Angie Denton and many others who have gone on to become good friends and trusted colleagues in the industry. Networking with them opened doors and not only helped me land great internships and jobs, but also helped me develop my skillset further when I became a member of the LPC Board of Directors.

I hope you will consider attending a professional development event that will allow you opportunities to network with industry leaders. Here are a few tips to help make networking even more meaningful and productive this year.

1. Be early. Showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there late. You’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have a group to visit with yet. If possible, take a look at the list of  attendees coming to the event in advance so you can strategize who you would like to get to know.

2. Start the conversation. Don’t wait around the outside of the room for someone to approach you. Walk up to a person or a group and get the conversation started by asking to join them. And then listen. It’s the best way to get to know a person.

3. Share your passion. Leave a lasting impression by telling stories that help reveal your character and personality. Talk about what you enjoy. Then, encourage other people to share their passion, creating a memorable two-way conversation.

4. Don’t steal the show. The most successful networkers are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

5. Follow up. Networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.

–Jennifer Shike, director for communications and marketing, University of Illinois


Posted in General, Special Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Student Section | Comments Off on Student Section: A few thoughts on networking

Celebrate, good times, come on — to VISION


You’ve seen the postcard in your mailbox, the mentions in the Actiongram, the posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter. (You are following us on Facebook and Twitter, aren’t you?) But maybe you’re undecided still.  Here’s 5 reasons you should make plans now to attend VISION, an industry celebration.

1.  Everything happens within a four-hour period. That means minimum time away from work, family and other obligations.

2. The educational seminar is free — and the speakers are top notch. That means no convincing your boss it’s worth it!

3.  There will be lots of fun. Is there ever not a lot of fun at a LPC event?

4. We’ll be celebrating Dick and Pete Crow and Dr. Miles McKee. Come congratulate them in person and show your support.

5. No new outfit required. Business casual attire is appropriate for the entire event.


While you’re welcome to just show up for the free educational seminar, we do need your RSVP for the dinner by Sunday, Nov. 1. Just shoot Diane an email at dianej@flash.net and let her know you’ll be there!

-Katrina Huffstutler, Social Media Committee Chair


Posted in General | Comments Off on Celebrate, good times, come on — to VISION

Giving back helps students move forward


We all have them–the people who pushed you, connected you to opportunities and gave your career that kick-start or boost it needed.

I can give you names. Dr. Tim Nichols at South Dakota State University (SDSU), Laurie Langstraat at National Crop Insurance Services, Kevin Schulz while at The Land Magazine and Russ Weathers at Agriculture Future of America. I still hear the voice of Dave Graves, my editor at SDSU University Relations, when I use one of the lessons he taught me.

A graduation day shot of my husband and me with one of those great Jackrabbit mentors, Tim Nichols.

These people gave me a chance. They helped me hone my writing, photography and leadership skills. And the amazing part is that they selflessly did this for dozens—and in some cases hundreds or thousands—of other young people.

These people are the reason that I cannot simply “be a member” of Livestock Publications Council. I feel inspired to give back.

For the past several years, I’ve chaired the LPC Student Development Committee as a way to help create and promote opportunities for students studying agriculture communications. I want them to know the wide array of careers they could have in this big ole livestock journalism family and I want them to know how to land the one they want.

We’ve had programs that run the gamut from starting the American Royal Internship to Office Bombardment Days.

Today we have two efforts in motion. We’re promoting the LPC student internship program, which will be hosted by Hereford Publications Inc. this year. The deadline for applications is December 1, so please pass the word to any students that you think would be a good fit. (Feel free to re-share the announcement from our Facebook or Twitter feeds, too.)

We’re also in the beginning stages of helping the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow to find speakers for their Professional Development Conference in Stillwater, Okla., this winter.

Are you passionate about photography? Got a new angle on design or social media? Or have you heard a great presenter in these arenas? Perhaps your company or organization would like to sponsor this event or underwrite a speaker? These are all ways to support students and give back.

Please contact Shelly Sitton, Oklahoma State University, if you want to share your talents or resources with this group of motivated young professionals.

These are just two current examples of projects the Student Development Committee works on throughout the year. If you’ve got ideas and want to pitch in, join us! We’re a fun bunch, I promise.

Just think of it as an active tribute to all the Tims, Russes and Lauries in your life.

–Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef LLC

Student Development Committee Chair

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Giving back helps students move forward

Members Matter


We need you — your thoughts, your ideas, your excitement and your involvement.

As I said in Scottsdale during the Livestock Publications Council (LPC) Annual Meeting, this organization is about you — its members. In November, the LPC Board of Directors will be participating in a long-range planning session and developing a road map for LPC’s future. Prior to that session we will be sending out a membership survey — please take the time to respond. Let us know what ideas and concerns you have.

I believe the key ingredients to a successful organization are leaders who care and a strong membership. It’s important for an organization to have a clear mission and achievable goals. Successful organizations need leaders who are not complacent or satisfied with status quo.

LPC President Angie Denton and LPC Immediate Past President Don Norton in Scottsdale.

I have always liked the quote: “I will accept things I cannot change and change the things I can.”

During my tenure on the LPC Board, I believe we have worked as a team to develop and tweak programs to fit today’s livestock publishing industry. And as a group, we are committed and excited about the opportunity to work on a strategic plan that will guide our organization for the next five to 10 years.

Please mark your calendars for Vision 2015. Join us in Kansas City Nov. 10 for an educational seminar followed by a dinner and recognition of our 2015 Hall of Honor recipients — Miles McKee, Headliner award winner; and Pete and Dick Crow, Hall of Fame inductees.  Watch for more information, including a schedule to be posted to the LPC website and blog in September.

Thanks again for the opportunity to serve as your president. I’m looking forward to the next year. If you have any ideas or suggestion don’t hesitate to email me at adenton@hereford.org.

-Angie Denton, LPC President



Posted in General | Comments Off on Members Matter

NEW Photo Showcase Contest

The purpose of this new program is to showcase our members’ photography talent and display winning photos in Kansas City in/near our LPC Heritage Center at the American Royal facilities. The winning photos will also appear on the LPC website.
1. Only LPC members may enter.
2. Photos may be entered in both the Photo Showcase and the Best of the Bunch Contest.
3. LPC has the right to print one to display and/or sell as a  fundraiser.
4. Photographer must sign a release form and submit with entry.
5. Photo must include livestock as defined by LPC by-laws. “For the purpose of this organization, the term “livestock industry” refers to the production and marketing of beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, llamas and ranch/game species such as elk, deer and bison. Excluded from membership are publications for feather-bearing species, small fur-bearing species and species generally regarded as exotic animals.”
6. Entry fee: $25.00. Payment must be submitted with entry.
7. A panel of judges will evaluate the entries and select up to 6 (six) winners.
8. The winning photographs will be printed on to stretched canvas with the size to be determined and displayed on the wall for one calendar year starting on October 1.

To enter: E-mail your digital file to the LPC office to diane@livestockpublications.com.
A release form will then be sent to you to fill out and return.
Deadline for entries 12 NOON on AUGUST 5

Posted in General | Comments Off on NEW Photo Showcase Contest

Ag Media Summit hotel rooms

If you are looking for a hotel room for AMS there are still options available through booking sites including www.hotels.com. Suggestion is to make your reservation with one of them but let Diane know to add you to the Hyatt waiting list. There ARE still rooms available in downtown Buffalo but book now!

Posted in General | Comments Off on Ag Media Summit hotel rooms

Go ahead and get registered for Ag Media Summit

It’s a great time to get registered for Ag Media Summit this summer in Buffalo, New York! What are you waiting for?! www.agmediasummitregistration.com

Also be sure to join us on Facebook for all of the latest updates.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Go ahead and get registered for Ag Media Summit

Students! Deadline for Forrest Bassford Student Award is this Friday!

Are you eligible?

•            Yes — if you will be a college junior or senior at the start of the 2013-14 college year with at least one semester before graduation.

•            Yes — if you are a student member of the Livestock Publications Council. Membership is $35 for students. A membership application can be found at http://www.livestockpublications.com

The top winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship and a $500 travel scholarship to attend LPC’s annual convention and Ag Media Summit in Buffalo, NY, August 3-7, 2013. Up to three $750 travel scholarships to attend the convention will be given in addition to the top award. Students participating in the convention will have the opportunity to interact with more than 500 livestock publication managerial, editorial, advertising, production and circulation personnel while attending workshops and seminars specifically related to this specialized publishing field.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Students! Deadline for Forrest Bassford Student Award is this Friday!

January newsletter available

The new LPC Actiongram is now availalbe. Click on January under the year  2013. Enjoy!
Also be sure to RSVP for the annual luncheon in Tampa on February 7. Details in the newsletter!

Posted in General | Comments Off on January newsletter available