Farmers Ranchers Cooperative (Farmers Ranchers) is a supply cooperative which serves farmers, ranchers, and residents of an eleven-county region in North-Central Nebraska and South-Central South Dakota. The Cooperative has three divisions: agronomy, feed and energy.
Kent Taylor, president and CEO of Farmers Ranchers, wanted more in their company newsletter, Trailhead, than just the latest information on cattle, minerals, tire specials and seed discounts.
“A relationship is the most important thing in any business association,” Kent says. “Money doesn’t last, but people do.” He wanted stories in Trailhead about his customers—farmers and ranchers who live in the area, some for two, three, four generations. “The people you go to ballgames with and sit beside in church. The ones who patronize your business because you have a relationship with them.”
At VistaComm, we have a whole team of master storytellers—experts in capturing the sense of REAL in print newsletters. One of these professional journalists, Connie Smith, writes for Farmers Ranchers and their Trailhead publication and the process works something like this:
The employees and associates at Farmers Ranchers always have their ears open as to what’s going on in the area, and what or who would make a great feature story. With this information, Connie goes to work conducting interviews, taking photos that help tell the story, then finally bringing the story to life.
Understand what we mean by reading some of Connie’s stories for Farmers Ranchers in these publications:
By Kent Taylor, President & CEO
When you think of the Great Plains and our trade region in Nebraska and South Dakota, I’m betting the image that comes to mind is that of rolling hills dotted with cattle, small communities, and fields of grain blowing in the breeze. Today, that idyllic picture has a new twist. The Sandhills are home to some of the very best golfing that the country has to offer, along with a vineyard that produces award-winning wine. These are treasures tucked away from the main highways, and we’re proud to call attention to them in this issue of Trailhead…
Bridging the Ag Gap with Kids
The question was one of several that came in a handwritten letter from a fourthgrade student at Maxey Elementary School in Lincoln, NE. “Where do the cows and the cattle sleep at night?” The young girl finished her letter with a plea: “I hope you answer these questions.”
That type of letter is typically received by Kerry and Anita Keys at their ranch near Elsmere, NE. And yes, Anita did answer the young girl’s questions, plus the many others that came from the class after she paid a personal visit to the school over 270 miles away. The classroom visit and correspondence are all part of the Keys’ involvement in the Nebraska Ag in the Classroom Ag Pen Pal program.
“These kids are our future legislators and leaders,” says Anita. “If they don’t better understand agriculture, then we end up with laws that don’t make sense.” They are also future consumers…
“Of course we want to showcase our company in our newsletter. But if a newsletter is nothing more than a sales tactic, we haven’t done our job. We strive to tell real stories about where we live and the people who live here. It’s all about the people and VistaComm helps us tell the stories that connect.”
– Kent Taylor, President & CEO / Farmers Ranchers Cooperative / Ainsworth, Nebraska