It might not be as good as a golden ticket that gets you into Willy Wonka’s secret factory, but we’re pretty pleased with the golden issue that you hopefully found in your mailbox this month. The golden cover and the pages that follow are somewhat like a 94-page history lesson on the successes, people and innovations that have shaped the beef industry into what it is. As one person who has read this 50th anniversary magazine cover to cover, over and over again, I promise you each page will be an inspiration.
This milestone has been a longtime in the making and we have an exciting 50th year of publication ahead of us. Don’t expect this fun to stop when we flip the calendar page to October -- this is just the start of our special coverage. And we promise to continue the same industry coverage for many years to come.
Our website is plumb full of new articles and features that highlight our 50th anniversary celebration. Here are five must-read stories from our BEEF 50 collection:
This summer I celebrated my 25th birthday. To me, a quarter-century seemed like a big accomplishment, but after reading through this list, I was reminded there is a lot of living left ahead of me. Think of industry greats like Minnie Lou Bradley, who is an inspiration for many cattlewomen; or Paul Engler or Mick Colvin. These leaders were already well on their way to making their mark on the beef industry at 25, and continued to be innovators and shakers well into their retirement. Fifty-two men and women were honored in this list, each one contributing to the genetics, management and consumer innovations that we use daily. Read the list and share with your family and friends. 
BEEF edtiors have had a great seat from which to watch the changes unfold in the beef industry over the past 50 years. In this photo gallery, we're opening that time capsule and sharing it with you. Many of these moments captured by these grainy photographs were game-changers for beef producers.
Talk about a tough job. In early July, we sent a survey to readers and asked them to rank the most important beef industry innovations of the past 50 years. Hundreds of tools and technologies made the final cut and readers ranked the top three in each category to be the best of the best. Here are the final rankings both as a top 10 overall and in each category.  Is there anything you would add?
For many of you, Paul Andre is a familar face. As the foundation behind BEEF magazine, he penned hundreds of articles and visited with many producers over his tenure with the company. Burt Rutherford, BEEF Senior Editor, did an excellent job capturing his spirit and drive in this feature article we ran in the September issue . And if you want even more of a history lesson, read Andre's first editorial here . It's our goal to never stray too far from the "house that Paul built."
And finally, we want you to help us celebrate our history by sharing yours. It doesn't matter if you are a fifth-generation rancher or the first generation, we want to hear from you. Enter our latest BEEF Daily photo contest  by sending in a photo (or two) that showcases the history of your family farm. Maybe it's a photo of multiple generations working side by side, a barn that has stood the test of time, or a future generation ready to help in a few years. Simply email your photo to [email protected]  by Friday, Sept. 20, to enter. We have two really great gift certificates from Michelle Weber Custom Painting ready for winners and, as always, prizes for voters as well. See the gorgeous entries so far and send your photo in today! 
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