Lauren Neale on Celebrating 5 Years at Tennessee Cattlemen's Association
September marked my fifth year as an employee of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association and sixth year of living in Tennessee. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my background, here’s a little about me. I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and earned degrees in both journalism and anthropology at the University of Iowa. I had very little agriculture involvement at that time. I spent one summer caring for chimpanzees in a sanctuary in Oregon during college as a way to learn about their use in media. The following summer, I took a completely different path and interned at the Montana Stockgrowers Association in Helena, MT, marking my first major exposure to agriculture. There, I worked on beef advocacy using photos and videos. That internship led to a full-time position of story-telling for Montana ranchers. While there, I became involved in the young producers’ programs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and it was while volunteering for the Young Producers’ Council that I met Ben, my husband.
Our love brought me down south and the Director of Communications position opened up. I was excited to accept it! I manage our monthly magazine, Tennessee Cattle Business, along with overseeing our social media platforms and website.
When I first started, I found the magazine to be intimidating. I wanted to make sure that it not only looked good but had content that all readers would enjoy. Now with 60 issues under my belt, I still get nervous with each hit of the “publish” button but my love of it has grown and grown. It’s not perfect and thank you for your patience as I hone in my design and editing skills.
This post is to mainly thank the members of TCA for supporting me over the years...whether that is through sending in photos from your farm, letting me visit for our feature stories, teaching me about how cattle are produced in the southeast, and being my friend. To our 7,000 members and growing, thank you for spending your hard-earned money to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Thank you for your trust in us to work for you and tell your story.
Another big thank you goes to the staff of TCA. Under the guidance of Charles Hord, I am able to do what I love...be creative and still be a mama to my three children. Without support from him, Rheba, and Melinda, I would not be able to do this (and a thank you to my husband, Ben). Without question, I couldn’t ask for a better place to work!
If you have any suggestions for things you would like to see more of in our publication or online, please let me know! Or if you have photos from your farm to share, send them my way: Lauren@tncattle.org.