My father often told a story about a salesman who brought the first radio to our farm. He left it with my grandfather for a week, hoping that he would like it and buy it after the trial period. The radio provided news and entertainment for the whole family that week, but when the salesman returned he was unable to complete the sale. The reason? The radio cost $10, a handsome sum at the time.

The first time I heard that story I found it incredible. After all, we had radios in most of our vehicles by that time, and the neighbors even had tractors with radios. We also had a black and white television that picked up two different stations!

But you don’t need to be half-a-century old to be amazed by the changes technology has brought to the communications industries. Today, computers are as common in American homes as televisions were when I was school-age. And most junior-high-school-age children either have their own cell phones or at least access to one.

Americans now have access to many sources for news, information and entertainment. This revolution in communication provides many options for beef producers to gather business and market information. Internet and cell phone use is rapidly changing how and when cattlemen access business news. And that technology is also rapidly changing the way Drovers offers business information to you.

On page 3 of this issue you’ll find our standard table of contents — an outline of where to find this month’s feature articles, columns and departments. Beginning this month, however, we’re also providing you with directions to Drovers’ online, e-mail and mobile news and information — content that is not found inside the magazine. On page 4 of this issue you’ll find Drovers channel guide, a table of contents for, Drovers Alert and Drovers Mobile.

We’re devoting more time and resources to providing you with the business news you need when you want it, how you want it and wherever you want it. In many instances, that means over the Internet. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to ignore our print product — Drovers magazine. Indeed, recent research conducted by Drovers indicates that most of you still prefer to receive beef industry information through the pages of our magazine, and we’ll continue to provide business information and market analysis you’ve come to expect through these pages.

Technology, however, has made it possible for Drovers to provide you with updates to news and information throughout the month, and that’s what we’re doing with our Web site, our e-mail newsletters and through our mobile text alerts. We’re also teaming up with Drovers/CattleNetwork, our sister Web site devoted to cattle industry news and current market information, to strengthen our position as “America’s Beef Business Source.” (Drovers and Drovers/CattleNetwork are owned by Vance Publishing Corporation.)

While the communications business is rapidly changing, we also recognize today’s economic climate is placing new stresses on you and your operation  —  in many instances, it has become a crisis. To help you in these unprecedented times, we have created the Crisis Management Resource Center, located on

On our Crisis Management Resource Center you will find information and resources directed to finance, human capital/employee issues, legal issues, stress and related psychological issues, marketing/risk management, and counseling hotlines.

Today, our business and your business is more than just beef. It’s about navigating through new obstacles and finding new solutions. Drovers and Drovers/CattleNetwork are committed to providing you the information you need, when and where you need it and how you want to receive it.