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Published August 03, 2010, 09:52 AM

Close encounters of the public kind

FARGO, N.D. — Noel LeTexier is the consummate outside person for an organization. He most relished meeting Agweek readers and advertisers at farm shows like Big Iron in Fargo, N.D., the KMOT Ag Show in Minot, N.D., the West River Ag Expo in Dickinson, N.D., and the KFYR Agri-International show in Bismarck. He spent happy hours chatting it up visitors at the Red River Valley Winter Show in Crookston, Minn., the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City, N.D., and the M.A.T.E. Show in Great Falls, Mont.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — Noel LeTexier is the consummate outside person for an organization. He most relished meeting Agweek readers and advertisers at farm shows like Big Iron in Fargo, N.D., the KMOT Ag Show in Minot, N.D., the West River Ag Expo in Dickinson, N.D., and the KFYR Agri-International show in Bismarck. He spent happy hours chatting it up visitors at the Red River Valley Winter Show in Crookston, Minn., the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City, N.D., and the M.A.T.E. Show in Great Falls, Mont.

Readers energized him, they would tell him information they got in the magazine improved their lives and businesses.

“It made you feel good because they respected the magazine,” he says. “When I talked to people and told them I worked for Agweek, that meant something.”

Wherever he went, Agweek readers approached him.

“One time I was speaking to a Gideon’s group at Harvey, N.D.,” LeTexier says. “There was a fellow there from Wolf Point, Mont., who heard I worked for Agweek. He came up to me after the speech and said he got Agweek. He says he learned from the magazine that if he hauled his cattle hundreds of miles to Dickinson he’d make more money. Later, I talked to Larry Schnell at Stockmen’s Livestock in Dickinson, and he said yeah, that fellow now brought his cattle to Dickinson every December.”

“The farm wives, especially, would tell us it was their husbands’ ‘bible,’” of agricultural information, LeTexier says. “I remember one woman saying that her husband would drive to the mailbox and sit there, waiting for it to come on Mondays.”

Of course, there were the occasional complaints.

“I remember getting an angry letter from a farmer in Finland,” LeTexier says, laughing. “He was complaining because we’d canceled his subscription while his check was in the mail. There must have been something in Agweek that he liked.”

LeTexier remembers one particular dust-up with an advertiser.

“This advertiser was in the western part of the state and took serious offense at a story we had in Agweek,” LeTexier recalls.

With a clear divide between ads and news, LeTexier had to take the heat from the caller.

“He didn’t spend much money with us at all and he spent a huge amount with one of our competitors,” LeTexier says.

“We started investigating the story and it turned out the same item had run in the competitors’ publication two weeks earlier. Turns out, nobody had even noticed it (in that publication). That’s how thoroughly they read Agweek — word for word.”

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