Sale Book Portal Provides Efficiency and Enhanced Customer Experience
The Pasture to Publish online portal is helping to create a more efficient and successful sale season for cattle breeders.
When the average cattle producer first hears the word “mouse,” their mind likely conjures up a small, brown rodent. But with an ever-growing dependency on digital communication in the agriculture industry, initial thoughts may soon shift to images of a keyboard’s companion rather than a fuzzy animal.
Angus Media understands the advantages of utilizing digital media. To help producers take the digital world by the horns, its team has developed Pasture to Publish.
“It’s a content management system for creating your sale book — but it’s more than that, too,” explains Jenna Kauzlarich, Angus Media print services coordinator and graphic artist.
Pasture to Publish is an online portal where breeders can submit all the information needed to create their sale books and then easily access and edit the various components of the book. In addition to the portal, breeders have the option of working closely with the Angus Media team to create, design and proof their sale books.
Kauzlarich says the portal itself is a smart system and will work to assist users with actions like creating lot orders or editing preexisting ones. Cutlines and footnotes are also always available for editing and proofing by the breeder.
Pasture to Publish was initiated at Angus Media nearly three years ago. The portal became internally available fall 2020 and available to breeders spring 2021. More than 300 Angus breeders were using the portal by May of this year.
Kauzlarich says since breeders first received access, Pasture to Publish has been allowing operations to reach a wider audience during sale season, as well as tying together all advertising efforts offered to producers by Angus Media.
“Its original purpose was to really help the process of creating a sale book easier,” Kauzlarich says. “But it’s grown and continues growing. We have so many plans for it in the future.”
Grazing on success
Tyler Musgrave of Musgrave Angus in Pike County, Ill., says he has been publishing his sale books through Angus Media for nearly 10 years. This year, however, he was introduced to Pasture to Publish, and he says he’s never been happier.
“It’s just simple,” he says of the entire portal. “That’s probably the biggest selling point for me — how smoothly it went. I don’t think anybody who uses Pasture to Publish would be disappointed.”
From start to finish, Musgrave says Pasture to Publish was both an efficient and enjoyable experience. The ability to upload and organize all the images at a time of his choice is one of his favorite parts of working with the portal during this year’s production sale.
“There were at least 80 lots photographed and all the support photos,” he explains. “Pasture to Publish saved a lot of time and a lot of frustration on my end.”
Once the photos are uploaded, Musgrave says his ability to work on the book is extensive. Even as the Angus Media team works to proofread and edit the book, Musgrave was able to enter the portal and make changes or corrections. The entire process created an organized, well-composed book that still reflected the voice of his operation, he added.
Even better — the book for this year’s sale was online 10 days sooner and in mailboxes sooner than any prior sale for Musgrave Angus. Musgrave believes utilizing both Pasture to Publish and printed sale books are the key to success.
“If you didn’t have an online presence, I don’t think you’d be in business,” he says.
Matt MacFarlane, sale manager of M3 Marketing who has marketed purebred genetics for almost 25 years, agrees that selling cattle takes a balanced use of digital and print media. While he says the digital era is here to stay, MacFarlane still knows some breeders prefer to have things in writing.
With Pasture to Publish and the help of the Angus Media team, sale managers and breeders across the country have the unique opportunity to get the best of both print and digital during sale season without hurting their pocketbook or requiring time to be taken away from their already packed schedules.
“The time saved and efficiency of it is hard to beat,” MacFarlane says.
He was introduced to Pasture to Publish through the American Angus Association’s regional managers earlier this year, and he says he’s already a big fan of the portal. He completed four spring bull sales using the portal, and says all the northwestern and California sales he manages this fall will also be done with Pasture to Publish.
In terms of advancing with a digital presence, MacFarlane says the portal is easy to use and allows for breeders to have a say in how the online book comes together.
“The creative part I really like, with all the different layout and designs,” he explains. “It’s actually really fun to do.”
With a single storage area, MacFarlane says users do not have to worry about piecing the puzzle of a sale book together. Photos, videos, live expected progeny differences (EPDs) and more are all kept in the same location, making the creation of a book much simpler.
Another selling point behind Pasture to Publish is the connection to Angus Media, he adds. With the online portal, MacFarlane says he and the staff can work on the books at time that fits into their schedule.
Even using the online portal, MacFarlane says the option to market through print publication is still strong. Working with Pasture to Publish also allows breeders to take advantage of Angus Media’s mailing list.
“As far as benefiting the cattle industry,” he says, “Pasture to Publish is benefiting the purebred breeders in their efficiency.”
Producing future victories
Gail Lombardino, print media team lead, says the Association is always searching for ways to more efficiently provide information to members through programs such as Pasture to Publish, utilizing feedback from both internal and external sources. Several key new features have been planned as modifications to the portal and are set to launch fall 2021.
To help create a more personalized approach to viewing sale books, Lombardino says breeders can look forward to customizing their dashboard appearance. Depending on the preferences of the viewer, videos or lot information and EPDs will be able to be enlarged and prioritized.
Kauzlarich says the portal currently features an online flipbook as the sole viewing option, but the new “web view” and “video view” will be integrated for use of potential customers.
Later this year, Kauzlarich says Angus Media also plans on expanding the analytics available to individuals with sale books posted on Pasture to Publish. With the current edition of the portal, analytics currently are emailed to breeders once a week while their book is available for viewing. Along with updates, the amount of insight available is growing and breeders will be able to view that data on their dashboard at all times.
Another anticipated enhancement coming to Pasture to Publish is creating and sharing watchlists. Lombardino says this feature will allow viewers to mark specific lots that have gained their attention in a sale book. These selected lots will be added to a separate list associated with the book, where the user can add notes on specific lots or the whole offering. These watchlists can also be easily shared with others through a simple link.
Since its creation, the portal has given and will continue to provide breeders a chance to showcase their livestock and their operation to a wider audience, all while working alongside the Angus Media team, Kauzlarich says.
“It’s been fun working with the team to create Pasture to Publish and watch it come to life,” Kauzlarich says. “It’s come a long way very recently.”
As the portal grows and more users start taking advantage of all its capabilities, Kauzlarich says the faces behind Angus Media will continue to create and edit features to help Pasture to Publish serve Angus breeders and their customers.
“Pasture to Publish is only in its infancy,” she says, “The sky is the limit.”
For more information on Pasture to Publish, go to www.angus.org/Media/Services/PastureToPublish.