Guest Blogger: The Reid Family

We are excited about this month’s FMG Guest Blogger(s)! Brian, Laurie and Lisa Reid from Colorado are known for being excellent showmen across multiple species, as well as being  innovative and inspirational with their well-known livestock publication, The Showtimes Jr Livestock Magazine.

We wanted to know a little bit more about their creative process and their family dynamic.

Brian, Laurie & Lisa — thanks so much for answering our questions and providing excellent content for our readers. Can’t wait to see you down the show road!

1. Please share a little bit of your background in the livestock industry.
Brian ? All three of us grew up showing livestock in Adams County, Colorado. We showed everything from steers, heifers, hogs and lambs, to goats, and even chickens and dairy cattle for a year or two. Our favorite was always cattle? especially market steers. We had the opportunity to work with many great individuals including Tom McBride, Mark Dorsey, Rod Kerchal, Kirk Stierwalt, Kirk Roecker, Adam Pryor, Bob May, Steve Bonham, Travis Otterstad, Darrin Straka, Mike Frink, Mark Overman, Matt Lautner, the Habeger Family, Nick Reimann and John Sullivan. Some of our top accomplishments showing in 4-H was exhibiting the Grand Champion Steer at the Colorado State Fair in 2004, 2007 and 2010 as well as Reserve Champion Steer in 2009. We also had the Colorado State Fair Grand Champion Goat in 2003, Grand and Reserve at the Wyoming State Fair in 2004 as well as 2004 at Ak-Sar-Ben. I exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Lamb at the NILE in 2002. In recent years, we have enjoyed showing Maine, Chi and Shorthorn Heifers nationally. Both Laurie and Lisa served as national junior board members for the American Jr. Maine-Anjou Association. We enjoy partnering on club calf bulls as well. Some of the bulls we have partnered on are Tomahawk Chop, Daddy of ?Em All, Skyfall, Road Trip (Currently named I-67), Safe and Sound, and Prestige. We currently show Shorthorn cattle and enjoying traveling to shows with our magazine.
Brian with his steer Buckeye with Adam Pryor and dad Jim Reid at the 2004 Rocky Mountain Junior Beef Expo. Image was used for The Showtimes logo and shield logo.
2. Why did you want to start a magazine for those of us actively showing livestock?
Lisa ? I highly doubt that being a national livestock magazine owner was the result of any of our career aptitude tests in middle school.  God, however, has a way of opening doors and taking you down the right path if you let Him.  That is what happened with us.  When we first thought of starting The Showtimes, there was no magazine that covered Colorado and Wyoming.  The magazine was our way of combining the three of our various skills and revolving it around an industry we loved.  It was a good fit as we were all still junior exhibitors when we started and simply produced a product that we ourselves would find interesting and beneficial.  It also enabled us to stay active in the industry as we got older.   

I remember growing up hearing people say that showing was just a ?hobby? and that sooner or later we would have to get a job and join the ?real world.? That was never an option for us. 

We recognized all of the positive qualities of the livestock industry, and could never picture ourselves working elsewhere.
3. What are the “steps” in preparing a magazine to go to print?
Lisa? 1. Brainstorm ideas for articles and features.

            2. Sell Advertisements.

            3. Work on layout & design.

4. Proofing ? Proofing becomes a full family event.  No matter what time of the day we finish laying out the magazine, the entire family gathers together to look over every single page to make sure there are no errors.  It works in an assembly line fashion where as soon as one person is done looking over a page, it is passed on to the next person.

            5. Send magazine files to the printer.

            6. Proof entire magazine one more time with soft proof.

            7. Press Check.

            8. Magazine mails out to subscribers, shows, and advertisers.

4. What is your favorite part of the process?
Laurie ? My favorite part of the process is the moment an issue gets sent of the printer. It is a feeling of accomplishment having weeks of hard work come together. Similar to the feeling you get on the last day of school, after your last final, and it?s time for summer.  Of course there is always the next issue?

Lisa ? Without question, my favorite part of the magazine is getting the articles or conducting interviews.  It has been so much fun for me to really get to know so many great individuals from within our industry.  A lot of times I feel people have preconceived notions about others without ever getting to know them.  The articles we feature allow people to get an inside glimpse of who people are, where they came from, and what they have to offer our industry. 
Brian ? For me, it is coming up with the next idea. I could be walking through the mall and see a tag on a pair of jeans and think, ?something like that would look really cool as a cover.? It?s finding the perfect font or even playing around with an ad or layout and something comes together just right.

Laurie holding cans in the holding area at the
Badger Kick-Off Classic in West Allis, Wisconsin
5. At a show, where can we find you?
BrianYou can find us throughout the barn. Many shows such as the National Western, American Royal, Junior Nationals and Jackpots you can find us at our booth. We always have black and white banners with our logo. Shows where we don?t have a booth look for free magazines in the stands by the show ring, at a supply trailer or in the barns. We always ship thousands of magazines to shows all over the country so people can read the latest issue.
6. Tell us a little bit about working with your family every day – Do you get along pretty well? How do you solve arguments?
Lisa ? I can honestly not imagine working with anyone else.  Our parents have owned their own company for almost 30 years, so when we decided to start The Showtimes, working together as a family came as second nature.  Traveling the country to shows side-by-side in the back of a pickup truck since we were little also did not hurt in teaching us how to get along!  Of course we get into arguments like any other family; but when it boils down to it, we have a love and trust for one another that a business does not easily find with its employees.  While many other companies brainstorm during board meetings or conference calls, a lot of our better ideas come up while working in the barn or on a walk.  When an argument does come up, we usually talk it out.  It is not like working for a major publication where you would have to get approval before moving forward on a job.  If we have an idea, we run with it. 
7. What makes this magazine different from others?
BrianWith The Showtimes, we always try to make a magazine that we would want to read. We like to think outside the box. A few years ago when everyone was printing half black and white/half color we thought going full color would really be cool. The biggest advantage at the time was offering full color show results. It seemed like everyone was printing show results with busy backgrounds. We went with a clean cut layout that was color coordinated and featured the show?s location, judge, photographer and what the animals sold for.

Other ways we stand out are our many features. Whether it is a flashback with photos of the last ten years of champions, page 28, full length exhibitor articles or our show previews, we like to focus on the exhibitors. We want to be more than just cover to cover ads, and be more like a magazine with stories and features.

I would say the one thing that makes us different more than any other is attention to layout. Whether it is the fonts, lines and graphics inside the magazine or our unique spine, we spend a lot of time fine tuning each issue. It is always fun printing covers that fold out or use metallic or neon ink. It is also important for us to get each issue into the hands of the showmen. We travel to shows all over the country distributing our magazine. We enjoy taking photos, video, and visiting with the people we make the magazine for. We are always looking down the road and to the future. What will we do next? How can we be better? What has never been done? We are always planning ideas for issues four or five months out. Right now, we have been discussing ideas for around Ak-Sar-Ben and even our Year End Issue.

 Lisa showing her Shorthorn heifer at the 2013 NAILE.
8. You sponsor a lot of awards for livestock shows, how does that benefit The Showtimes?
Laurie ? Growing up in the livestock world, I was always appreciative of those who supported me as an exhibitor. The reason we support many shows and sponsor awards is for the kids. They work hard all summer, and it?s exciting when they can get something special at a show. We sponsor awards that we would like to get.

9. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
BrianThe most rewarding part for me is seeing people reading our magazine. Whether it is a 10 year old exhibitor, someone in college, or a 75 year old rancher. Also, another great feeling is when its 11PM at night and an issue finally comes together before going to print.
10. Who is your role model?
Laurie ? My parents. They are two of the hardest working people I know. They have supported my siblings and myself in everything we do. From sporting events growing up and traveling the country, to the crazy business venture of starting a magazine. They are strong in their faith and instilled that in us. I hope someday I can make a life for my kids, as they have for me.
11. Where do you get inspiration for stories for the magazine?
Lisa ? Everywhere.  Having an active lifestyle in the livestock industry, we are constantly coming up with ideas for feature articles.  Whether it is attending a show, receiving input from our readers about what they would enjoy seeing in a future issue, or trying to share with others someone or something that has impacted our lives. There is always a story to be told.        
12. Any other “big” projects for The Showtimes in the near future?
BrianWe just announced on May 9th our new Online Steer Show. It is an all online show where everyone can take a 15 second video of their calf and 1 photo. They send us their video and photo, and then everyone can vote for their favorite on September 2-9, 2014! It is really a different way for people to show their steers. Now a steer in Illinois can compete against a steer in New Mexico without ever leaving their barn. It?s free to enter and the champion will win $500! 

It seems like every other week we talk about cool ideas that have never been done. Just this evening (right before we started writing this), we came up with a pretty neat idea. On some of them, it is finding the right time to do them. We have some really wild ideas for printing different covers? sometimes we have to wait for the right fit with an advertiser. We might try something fun on the cover of our State Fair Issue. We also have a few cool projects we are working on that we will announce later this summer.

Be sure to read our new May/June 2014 Junior National Edition available online starting May 13th and in print on May 20th

All 3 of us would like to thank everyone with Focus for asking us to be part of your blog! We look forward to seeing you guys at shows later this year! ? Brian, Laurie and Lisa Reid