Smith inducted into LPC Hall of Fame posthumously
By Kelli Fulkerson
American Royal Intern
Annually the Livestock Publications Council honors one deserving individual with induction to the LPC Hall of Fame.
The 2011 inductee was A.J. Smith of Tuttle, Okla. Smith was honored posthumously at the 2011 LPC Royal Gala held during the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City, Mo. on Oct. 28.
Smith was a 1963 graduate of the Oklahoma State University animal science department. After graduation, he had no idea where his career would lead.
Smith's career began with his return to the family's registered seedstock operation. He soon realized the large financial commitment and understood the importance of finding an off-the-farm job. He began as an agricultural and 4-H educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. After gaining experience he realized he wanted to begin writing. Smith touched many lives through his written word in Better Beef Business, Gulf Coast Cattlemen, and Weekly Livestock Reporter; and in 1985, he began his 24-year career as editor of the Oklahoma Cowman.
Smith was an icon in the world of livestock representatives. Writing over 295 editorials, countless feature stories, thousands of photographs, numerous ranch tours, and many cattle sales. College roommate and fellow auctioneer Eddie Sims said, "Often I have referred to A.J. as the Will Rogers of our industry. He never met a man he didn't like. In my estimation he was one of the best livestock journalists, ring stewards, and marketers I've ever seen in my 41-year career."
During the 2009 Oklahoma Cattlemen's Convention and Trade Show the former Air National Guardsmen lost his battle with cancer.
Matt Sims, livestock sales manager and close friend said, "He devoted countless hours to the betterment of agricultural youth in Oklahoma, through Saddle and Sirloin, and Oklahoma State University. He was always eager to help or teach anyone that he could and took great pride in watching those he had mentored, succeed." Knowing his passion for youth and the livestock publishing industry, colleagues raised $50,000 in one night for the OSU A.J. Smith Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship will eventually be matched 100 percent and will continue his legacy by helping students pursuing a career in livestock publishing, representation, or sales management.
The LPC Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to honor livestock publishing leaders. This award is given annually to a person showcasing high standards of professionalism. The award can be presented to anyone who has been listed on the masthead of an LPC member publication or a service member and is in sales, circulation, production and editorial. Nominees do not have to be active within their career in order to be nominated for this award.