Editor is a driving force at national agriculture youth magazine
By Amanda Schutz
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Marissa Tankersley has a vital role as editor of Drive, a national agricultural youth publication.
“We want it to be something that kids can pick up and take a message away from,” Tankersley said in a phone interview. Drive was designed to encourage today’s youth to be involved in agriculture. It recognizes youth and their families for their achievements.
Tankersley received her bachelor’s degree in animal science and journalism and mass communications in 2009 from Kansas State University. During college, she was an intern for the American Hereford Association where she gained a solid foundation in writing skills. After college, Tankersley gained sales and magazine production experience while working at Live Auction, a company that promotes livestock auctions.
Tankersley has been with Drive since its creation. The inaugural issue of Drive debuted in January 2011.
She met Jackie Lackey, the founder of Drive, through a previous work engagement. Tankersley’s prior experiences in sales and magazine publications made her a great fit for Drive; she was hired as one of its first managing editors. Now, Tankersley is the publication’s sole editor.
Tankersley says the focus going into the creation of this magazine was to not only give advertisers quality pieces, but also to have a competitive editorial side with a focus on youth and their interests.
As editor, Tankersley has numerous responsibilities. Drive’s editorial pieces are written by freelance writers, so Tankersley brainstorms and schedules all the stories one year in advance. She then organizes and plans each issue.
Tankersley also previews each issue before it goes to press. All editorial pieces and advertisements are looked over carefully. Although Drive has its own copy editor, Tankersley checks the entire publication to make sure it is error-free.
Although her job has many challenges, the deadline schedule seems to be her biggest hurdle. With a tight deadline and a new production schedule, the turn-around time for advertisers is challenging.
While Tankersley might not have predicted a job in agricultural publications when she graduated from college, her drive and ambition has been a key to her success in the magazine industry.