July 29 2016 06:29 AM

Building an extensive photo library sets us apart.

Hundreds of photos appear within the pages of Hoard's Dairyman, as well as on our website, www.hoards.com, and in our weekly electronic newsletter, Hoard's Dairyman Intel. There is a constant demand for new photos to populate our media channels.

Enjoy a few of Ryan's images (above) from a recent trip to California.

We work in a fast-paced environment. Articles get written, edited, and printed in a fairly short window. Trying to locate a photo to match the story can be a challenge. The editorial team at Hoard's Dairyman and Hay & Forage Grower has made it a priority to build and maintain an extensive library for use in our publications.

Each year our art director, Ryan Ebert, travels to different regions of the U.S. to photograph dairy cows, their caretakers, and their surroundings. He looks for a variety of breeds, management styles, and facilities to reflect the diversity in our readers' operations.

Ryan's work has been displayed on over 80 covers for Hoard's Dairyman and Hay & Forage Grower. His annual trips for the magazine and our online offerings has also been a great opportunity to capture scenes for our annual Hoard's Dairyman calendar (which will be available at World Dairy Expo). While not every calendar image is captured by Ryan, he has taken the majority. Other photography displayed in the calendars have been from our editors and freelance photographers. The goal of the calendar is a beautiful collection of the North American dairy landscape. A piece anyone - even a nondairy person - could appreciate for its vibrant colors, personality of the subjects, and large, crisp images.

There are obviously stock photos available for purchase online, but we like our images to be unique, and therefore they are only used in our products and not shared with outside vendors. Additionally, we are a print magazine, and image quality is very important to us. Photos taken on smart phones may look good on screen, but rarely reproduce as well in printed form. So, having control of the image quality from the start keeps the standards high.

"I really enjoy visiting with producers across the country. Seeing how each operation makes their unique setup work for them. It's great being able to capture the beauty in real, unposed, American dairy operations," shared Ryan Ebert when talking about his annual trips.

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The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.