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Names in the News: March 12, 2014 issue

Published on 11 March 2014

Names in the News

Leroy and Barbara Shatto of Osborn, Missouri, were the talk of the town recently after their family business, Shatto Milk Co., was featured on the Hallmark Channel. Barb spoke with Progressive Dairyman about the experience.

How did your interview with the Hallmark Channel come about?
We had been on Small Town, Big Deal. As a result of that, Hallmark was interested in us. They recommended us to be on the Hallmark Channel.

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Why did you consent to do the interview?
I thought it would be really fun to spotlight our business that way. We were very excited to be on the Hallmark Channel. The people were terrific.

Were you nervous before it? What did you do to prepare?
No, we weren’t nervous. They were all very gracious. We really didn’t have to prepare a whole lot because we were on Small Town, Big Deal . A lot of the stuff Hallmark featured were excerpts from that program. … We were just excited to tell our story.

Have you done other interviews before? Please explain.
Oh, lots of interviews, both for local media and the national press.

What was most odd or surprising to you about the reporter’s visit/questions?
It was interesting to learn how little people really know about family farming and the dairy industry. We were very excited to inform them, to tell our story.

What was the most difficult question you had to answer? Why?
None of them were difficult.

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Leroy and Barbara Shatto of Osborn, Missouri

Were you satisfied with the piece that they produced?
Yes, we were very satisfied. It was lovely. It portrayed us the way things are. We were very pleased by that, how it showcased our products and how we came to be – turning our family farm into a lucrative business. It was a positive tell-all story about our farm.

Have you made any new connections or had any interesting experiences as a result of the story airing?
We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people. Our local news station had us on the air because of it, telling people we were on the Hallmark Channel, and a lot of people from other states have come to the farm to see it because they saw us on Hallmark.

We do tours every day of the week except Sundays and Mondays. We do a lot of school groups, older adults, etc. It grew from 10 years ago. Today, we get around 60,000 visitors a year. … It puts it in perspective when you think we serve only about a 100-square-mile radius.

Overall, was it worthwhile to do the interview?
Absolutely.

What advice would you have for other dairy producers who may be doing interviews?
If given the chance, I think they should do it. Be honest and tell your story. Work with the media. … Agriculture is the wave of the future. I think we should tell our story. PD

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