Drovers, as you might know, has been around in one form or another since 1873. Over the years, we have evolved along with the industry and the changing information needs of beef producers, leading to today’s Drovers/CattleNetwork, offering an array of print and online content.
We’ve recently made significant changes, and the evolution will continue, including transitions in the people who lead the Drovers/CattleNetwork brand into the future. In this issue, we mark two such transitions, announcing the appointment of a new editor and the passing of an early visionary who helped shape this publication and modern agricultural journalism.
Allan McGhee, who served on the Drovers staff for more than 40 years, including as editor, passed away in early October at the age of 96. He joined the staff of the Chicago Daily Drovers Journal in 1940, working as a reporter and photographer. Back then, Drovers reporters covered market activity at the Chicago stockyards. Later, Allan moved to suburban Kansas City to serve as editor of what became Drovers Journal, until he retired in 1982. Since then, Drovers Journal, which became Drovers/CattleNetwork in 2011, has had just two chief editors — Fred Knopp who served until retiring in 1990, and Greg Henderson who left the position earlier this year.
Now we are happy to announce that Mary Soukup has taken the reigns as the new editor of Drovers/CattleNetwork. You’ll see her words on this page beginning in the December issue.
Mary is a graduate of Kansas State University and has extensive experience in the beef business, agricultural production and policy. She most recently served as communications director for the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Prior to that, she worked in NCBA’s Washington, D.C., office as associate director of communications. Also in D.C. she worked as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins and legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer. She spent several years as a special projects coordinator for K-State’s College of Agriculture.
She and her husband live near Ellsworth, Kan., where they raise commercial Angus cattle and farm with their family, and she is a member of NCBA.
I have been proud to fill in as “interim editor” of Drovers/CattleNetwork for the past few months and will continue to serve as managing editor while also focusing on my duties as editor of Bovine Veterinarian.
Over the coming months we plan to introduce a variety of new voices to our dialog with beef producers, including contributing writers, columnists and online bloggers from diverse backgrounds and expertise.
We believe in a bright future for the beef industry and U.S. agriculture overall, as our producers continue to advance their competitive edge in feeding the growing global population. With that in mind, we are consciously focusing on the younger generations, emphasizing opportunities for young people to prosper in agricultural careers while contributing to the advancement of modern, sustainable and profitable food production. In this issue, we profile the individuals selected for our inaugural “40 under 40 Award” program, recognizing young leaders in our industry who will be instrumental in meeting the challenge of feeding an expected 9 billion people by 2050. Advancements in production technology will be critical toward meeting that goal, and our younger agriculturists will develop and apply that technology.
So, watch your mailbox for your issues of the new Drovers/CattleNetwork magazine in the coming months, and check online regularly at Drovers/ CattleNetwork.com to see the results of our efforts. We think you will like what you find.