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LPC's Headliner Award Program
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Inaugurated in 1980 was designed to annually salute an individual for meritorious service to the live-stock and/or livestock publishing industry. From the beginning, this award has been one of the top honors bestowed in the field of animal agriculture.

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LPC's Hall of Fame Award
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Instituted in 1990, honors livestock publishing leaders. At the same time eligibility for the Headliner Award was limited to livestock industry leaders. For consistency, publishing personnel previously honored with the Headliner Award are listed in this Directory under Hall of Fame.

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Student Award Program

In 1984 a Student Award Program was instituted by LPC with the first recipient named in 1985. The program is designed to recognize an outstanding student with special interest, skill or background in both livestock and communications.

The award is an all expense-paid trip to, and participation in, LPC's annual meeting. The program's purpose is fostering closer relationship and exchange among member publications, university journalism and communication departments and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), the student Ag Journalism organization.

Chester Peterson, Simmental Shield, and Susan Wagner, The Cattleman, did yeoman work in getting the program established. It is funded by donations from member publications and Service members and by fund raising activ-ities that take place during annual meetings.

Upon Forrest Bassford's retirement announcement in 1991, the LPC Board approved changing the name of the LPC Student Award to the Forrest Bassford Student Award. This was done to honor Bassford's special interest in the student program. The first student named to receive the Forrest Bassford award was Doyce L. Elliott of Texas, in 1992.

In 1993, an associate member, Mary Hearn of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), introduced a proposal to officials of the CME that a $2,500 scholarship be awarded to LPC's Forrest Bassford Student Award winner. The first CME Scholarship was awarded to the 1993 student winner.

A Distinguished Service Award was initiated by President Larry E. Mead in 1994. Purpose is to annually recognize an individual who has provided special service to LPC over a period of time. In addition to an individual award the one selected for the honor has his or her name engraved on a perpetual trophy. Winner of the first DSA award in 1994 was Audie Rackley, executive editor of the Quarter Horse Journal and of the Quarter Racing Journal, both publications of the American Quarter Horse Association of Amarillo, Texas. Rackley is also a past board member and president of LPC, who remained an active member following his term as a board member and officer.

Next person to receive the Distinguished Service Award, in 1995, was an Associate mem-ber, Wes Ishmael, director of communications and advertising for the North American Limousin Foundation of Englewood, Colorado.

In 1996, Amber Spafford, former LPC president and now a Service member, was presented the award for her contributions. In 1997, Wayne Bollum, was honored and in 1998, long-time LPC supporter, Cheryl Oxley, Angus Journal was presented with the award.

At the 1999 winter meeting the board decided to honor the late Ed Bible and renamed the award to include his name. Mary Atchison, ACJ, the official publication of the American Chianina Association was awarded the newly named award. The following year Terry Atchison, Maine Anjou Voice received the award presented to him by his wife.

In 2001, longtime LPC member, supporter and past president Todd Domer, of the Kansas Stockman received the award. 2002 honored Greg Henderson, Drovers and Angie Denton of Angus Productions was presented with this award in 2003.

In 2004, a first was presented with three very active members from Boelte-Hall being awarded the DSA award. Don Norton, Paul Shanks and Rob Giseburt all were recognized for this prestigious award. For 2005, the committee chose to honor long time Ag Media Summit assitants Kristin Johnson and Nancy Anderson both from Lindsborg, Kansas. Jay Carlson, BEEF magazine was presented with the award for his enthusiasm for the LPC Gala fundraising efforts along with his years of work in this industry. Then in 2007, Shelly Sitton, Oklahoma State University was honored for her years of work on the contest, her service as a national advisor to the ACT organization and her undying desire to help make LPC better.

LPC's charter membership included eight breed magazines, six livestock newspapers, five general livestock magazines (primarily beef), two state cattle association magazines and one horse publication. Membership broadened in the early 1980s, becoming truly representative of the livestock industry, encompassing beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, goats, llamas, bison and elk. Purebred books, state and multi-breed magazines and newsprint publications are all well represent-ed.

Early thrust of the organization zeroed in on dialogue for self-improvement, concentrating on getting the advertising and editorial messages across to readership in the most effective manner.

As the organization grew it was evident some self-promotion needed to be done. An LPC logo was designed by Karla King of the Angus Journal, and adopted for use by member- publications. In 2004, Dale Smith, American Southdown Breeders Journal, developed a new logo to tie into the 30th Anniversary of LPC.

Closer dialogue was established with academia through the student award program and internships. National publicity has been given to the Publications Contest, the Headliner, Hall of Fame, CME Scholarship and Forrest Bassford Student Award and now the Distinguished Service Award.

One of the best media for LPC communications has been Actiongram, the monthly newsletter. Circulation has been expanded beyond members and associates to include journalism professors, students, livestock association leaders and allied individuals.

The four-page monthly is packed with news of LPC members, resumés of successful campaigns and stories appearing in member publications. Help wanted and situation wanted blurbs appear in nearly every issue, resulting in helping many young people find their first jobs and also benefiting the livestock publishing industry. With the advent of the computer, this is now distributed via e-mail.

A major step was made in 1988 at the direction of President Paul D. Andre. He asked Audie Rackley, 1st vice president of LPC and editor of the Quarter Horse Journal, to conduct a salary and compensation survey of members. Rackley and Dr. Edward Smith of Texas A & M University organized and conducted the survey and published the results for members-only use. Forty-two publications participated. In 1997 another survey was done to update the members are the current situation of compensation in the ag communications industry.

In 1994 at the close of the 20th anniversary annual meeting held in Irving, Texas, Cheryl Oxley proposed to the LPC board that a mentoring program be established between LPC and members of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Following approval for the idea at that meeting she began a program to research the subject. This led to a pilot program held during the 1995-96 school year. Purpose of the program is twofold. It is designed to better prepare ag communications students to enter the field as well as to provide a qualified pool of people to work on livestock publications. The pilot program has been successful and the mentoring program will be expanded in the years ahead.

After four years of planning, the first ever joint meeting of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), American Publishers Association (APA) and LPC met in Denver. Appropriately named Agricultural Publications Summit, it included the collegiate group of Ag Communicator’s of Tomorrow (ACT). This event was projected to be a turning point for LPC. More than 500 people registered for this monumental occasion. Success was determined from all attending and the boards of all three organizations decided unanimously to continue indefinitely with the event.

In 1998, Bill Shepard resigned as executive director and Diane Johnson, Fort Worth, was named as only the third executive director in the 25 year history. The organization continues to thrive and move forward with new ideas and programs as the century proceeds.

The newest program developed in 2004 was the first ever LPC Royal Gala. This event was a fund raiser for the new LPC Hall of Honor and Hall of History which will become a permanent fixture of the American Royal facilities in Kansas City. Attendees generously helped raise more than $6,000 to kick off this exciting effort which will bring even more exposure to LPC and its past history.

Since its beginning in 1974, LPC has grown and prospered through the efforts of members and Associate (now Service) members, even during the livestock industry's lean years.

LPC has been blessed with active, unselfish officers and board members. To them the livestock business owes a debt of gratitude. Under their leadership the livestock press has dramatically improved the dissemination of news, advertising and developments pertinent to the industry.

Wisdom of the founders in setting up an organization in which a free exchange of ideas and practices is possible is admirably exemplified by the leadership of Jim Flanagan of the Florida Cattleman. It was Flanagan who, as president, set LPC's course with the newsletter, the con-tests, the workshops and seminars. His examples and the work of other early officers and directors have been carried on by able successors.

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