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The Inside Scoop of a Livestock Production

Extra! Extra! Read All About The Western Livestock Journal!

Sixty-eight pages that are filled with that of the agriculture industry from bull sales, the cattle market, trends in the sheep industry, and horse prices at an all-time high, leads to a record-breaking page number for the Western Livestock Journal on Feb. 8, 2018.

The Western Livestock Journal was founded in 1922, by Nelson Crow and is family owned today by Pete Crow. This newspaper is a third-generation family heirloom that is close to Western Americans hearts; so close that it holds the number one ranking for beef industry news in the nation.

Meet the Staff – Devin Murnin, Lisa Maliff and Kerry Halladay

The staff members at Western Livestock Journal

The Western Livestock Journal currently employs eight members to conclude their team. Devin Murnin, the field executive manager of the Western Livestock Journal holds an interesting but essential position. Always on the road, Murnin travels all over the country to contribute to the Western Livestock Journal by getting livestock producers to purchase ad spots in their newspaper.

“The luxury of my job is that I get to have the freedom of when to make phone calls on my own time and that is self-inspired; but when someone advertises their bull sale date, its pretty well set that I’m making a promise to be there” said Murnin.

Having educated conversations with people is key. This position pushes Murnin out of his comfort zone by making him have that conversation with some of the most well-known cattle producers in the nation.

Advertising Guru

The Advertising Coordinator Lisa Maliff, and Murnin work hand in hand. Maliff compiles the weeks advertisements and strategically places them in the newspaper along side the editorial column, the classifieds and freelance stories.

“We do not like advertisers who compete on the same page or across from each other. We make our advertisers happy by not putting them by their competitor” said Maliff.

Good advertisement comes at a price. Livestock advertisers typically purchase 40 inches of ad space to equal a grand total of $1140 for a one-time appearance in the paper. Color is an additional cost of $450. The prices vary, as the ad varies in size, color, and number of run times.

Maliff has a number of responsibilities as the advertising coordinator starting on Monday morning. The layout of the newspaper is essential each week because there are new ads coming in as well as old ads departing the paper. Maliff keeps herself in line, along with the other staff members by creating a pagination of the newspaper layout.

This can directly send a message to Murnin and other field managers, as well as the editorial staff about how many pages are still available. Whether more information needs to be gathered, or information needs to be cut, Maliff can keep the newspaper running in an orderly fashion.

Editorial- The Substance of the Paper  

Kerry Halladay, managing editor, has a stressful weekly schedule, but none stressful enough to degrade her passion for writing.

“I get paid to learn things. I get to contact people and have conversations with those people who might not otherwise pay attention to me. I really enjoy writing” said Halladay.

But, its these things that make her schedule stress related. Scheduling interviews with busy ranchers and contacting those who are afraid to disclose too much information can make for a bad, sensitive story.

“I have to make a decision of how I am going to use the information in a moral element. It can keep me up at night” said Halladay.

Thursday evening of every week, the paper goes to print. For the small team at Western Livestock Journal, Monday though Thursday are jam-packed. As the Western Livestock Journal provides their readers with 52 issues annually, they also provide their readers with a unique opportunity each year.

Livestock Tours

The founder of the Western Livestock Journal, Nelson Crow, started giving tours to his loyal readers as an educational opportunity. Something that began 60+ years ago, continues down the line of the Crow family and has yet to miss a year.

Each year, 130 members are able to sign up for tours held by the Western Livestock Journal with a small cost to pay for hotels, food, tour fees and travel. This year the members will be visiting Tusla, Oklahoma, Bentonville Arkansas; home of Tyson Foods and the largest can of Budweiser and Missouri.

In between the three states, the members will be able to tour outstanding cattle ranches, large corporations, relax on an evening dinner cruise and enjoy the company from people just alike.

There is nothing better than a crowd of ranchers enjoying the company from one another. After all, the  Western Livestock Journal brings the agriculture community together multiple times a year though each issue they publish.

On the road to success

Through this class, I anticipate that I will be able to gain that audience I’m searching for, for Lee Club Lambs, by learning how to provide the clients of Lee Club Lambs with more information. Not just text or a picture through our Facebook page, but how to professionally sell our company through more mediums like audio, video, blogging and updating our website will be an attraction. Our business is relatively new but has the potential to take off. I believe, that by becoming more advanced in this area will help our business substantially.

Katie Lee showing her market lamb at the Wyoming State Fair

I would like to report upon how the process of Lee Club Lambs works. There is the breeding, lambing, selling and showing aspect and many more aspects that go in to having a business in the show industry that a lot of people don’t realize. I would like to report on each of these topics individually and go in to detail explaining all that they entail. I could report events that we attend such as Livestock sales and shows. A big one is National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO. This is a national livestock show that is extremely popular amongst the show industry businesses. The Rocky Mountain Jackpot Series is a cool program that has a lot of young members of 4-H and FFA getting involved in the show industry as well. The RMJS holds several jackpots throughout the year. Not only, is it a means of recognition for the family’s business, but there is also big money involved. These two examples are only a few in the mist and I have plenty more options to choose from.

The University of Wyoming sheep unit would be another exciting means to report upon. I love that the university has a place in the community that is so similar to my home in Baggs. This would be a fun blogging experience because I could learn new, innovative methods as to how they handle their livestock. The sheep unit assistant manager is Kalli Koepke and she would be a great contact to talk about what her role is on the farm. I could also talk to some of the students that work there and get a hands on experience because of the local advantage. The topics to write on the sheep unit are endless.

Blogging outside of my horizons will open up a whole new level of expertise for my families business. Learning all the tricks will make me a better PR for our business and also a better ranch hand by accepting all the new knowledge I will be learning.