For some 30 years, he worked tirelessly and often behind the scenes to bring beef producers the information they need to do their jobs better. For 22 years, he held the title and responsibility of editor of BEEF magazine, and in those years, observed and reported on a remarkable series of changes in the beef business, and perhaps was the driver behind some of them.
And several weeks ago, my friend, mentor and former boss, Joe Roybal, was recognized for his distinguished career at BEEF by his alma mater, South Dakota State University (SDSU), when it bestowed the 2015 South Dakota State University Friend of the Beef Industry award on him.
They could not have chosen a more deserving person.
When he began with BEEF magazine in 1985, it was purely a print effort. When Roybal left the publication in May 2015, BEEF staff was producing 12 monthly issues of the print magazine for its 100,000 beef industry readers, 300 electronic newsletters per year, and a website, beefmagazine.com, logging 7 million page views annually. Among the digital launches during his tenure were BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly, a news and commentary publication aimed at the cow-calf sector; BEEF Daily, a daily newsletter and blog; BEEF Stocker for the backgrounding/stocker segment of the beef industry; and BEEF Market Weekly. Roybal also helped oversee the launch the quarterly BEEF Vet magazine in 2012 to provide information for bovine practitioners.
"Joe is an industry leader when it comes to agricultural advocacy. He has helped the beef industry by delivering clear, research-based information about beef that is heard by groups both in and outside of agriculture, policy makers and the consuming public," says Barry Dunn, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and SDSU Extension director. "Not only was Joe the editor of the most influential print publication for the beef industry, but he also did a fabulous job of making the move to the electronic age without diminishing the quality and scope of a widely respected print publication and the information being provided."
A SDSU journalism graduate and feature writer for the SDSU Collegian while in college, Roybal's professional work experience has included sports writing for the Rapid City Journal, serving as city staff editor for the Brookings Register, writer with SDSU's Office of University Marketing and Communications, managing editor of Dairy Herd Management, contributor to Feedstuffs, and editor of Feedlot Management. He's currently working with the Jorgensen family of Ideal, S.D., in producing a biography of Martin Jorgensen, Jr., the patriarch of Jorgensen Land and Cattle.
And it’s not the first time SDSU recognized his journalistic abilities. Roybal was recognized by the SDSU Journalism Department in 2007 as a distinguished alumnus.
Congratulations, Joe. It’s an honor that’s well deserved.
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