Hi y’all! I’m Kyla Copeland, owner and business manager of Focus Marketing Group, Inc.
“Life is short, don’t be lazy.” Sophia Amoruso.
That is one of my favorite quotes. I’ve always considered myself a busy body, I love to work and keep busy, and I am always pushing myself to do something bigger and better and want to challenge myself every day. I simply cannot sit still! To understand the work we do at Focus Marketing Group, you will need to understand a little bit about me … I’m a communicator, cattlewoman, businesswoman and an artist.
I grew up on a farm in rural Baltic, South Dakota. For a brief period of time (when I was very young) we milked dairy cattle and ran a commercial beef herd. We dispersed the dairy herd and concentrated on the beef herd. My love of cattle started very early. I started exhibiting cattle at a young age and competed at a local, state and national level. A big thank you goes out to my parents who put up with me, supported me and let me go after what I loved. I also owe so much of my knowledge of the cattle world to a wonderful man who took me in at a young age and showed me the ropes. He was my second dad for a big part of my life (and still holds a special place in my heart), Ron Bruns. Without him, I’m not sure what I would be doing at this point in my life for a career. But because of him, I’m doing something I truly love and am passionate about. We had many years on the show road where I learned how to win humbly and lose gracefully. I made so many special memories I will forever cherish. If you are ever around the Baltic, South Dakota area, stop in and see Ron and talk to him, his knowledge is astounding and he is truly a wonderful man.
I graduated from South Dakota State University in 2003 with a degree in Ag Journalism and a minor in Animal Science. In January 2004, I started working as the director of communications for the American Maine-Anjou Association (AMAA) and editor of the Maine-Anjou Voice, the AMAA’s publication in Platte City, Mo. (just north of Kansas City). I also helped out with the various shows and events put on by the AMAA. Again, I owe a lot of my personal growth and knowledge to that job and also in my life to John Boddicker (CEO of the AMAA). John is someone else I really look up to, he is so well respected in this business, something we all strive for.
I currently live in Nara Visa, N.M. (we are located about 90 miles northwest of Amarillo, Texas; 40 miles southwest of Dalhart, Texas and 40 miles straight south of Clayton, N.M.) with my husband Matt. We live on the family’s ranch - Copeland & Sons LLC - where we run registered Hereford cattle, commercial purebred Herefords and club calf cows. We sit on about 28,000 acres at about 4,500 feet elevation and are 5th generation in the family operation. I also have to take this time to thank Matt for his continued support over the years.
The ranch was established in 1943 (then called Jack Copeland and Sons Herefords) by Jack and Mary Alice Copeland and Jack’s parents Otis R. and Belinda Copeland. The ranch was strictly a commercial Hereford operation in the beginning and then diversified into a combination registered and commercial Hereford operation. Although from the beginning ranch cattle were exhibited at shows locally and nationally, the cattle have always been bred for survival under range conditions and to produce all of the performance our severe southwest climate will allow.
I love living on a working ranch where they do things “the cowboy way”. Everything is done on horseback on our ranch. Horses are a secret passion of mine, sometimes I wish I could spend some more time with them. In my downtime, I enjoy getting on a horse and heading out to a pasture to gather cattle or just to go for a ride.
Every fall we have a production sale with long time family friends, the Langfords in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The Event is held the third Sunday in October. We offer our very best registered Hereford females and on occasion a few registered Hereford bulls in this sale and the Langford name speaks for itself with their Hereford genetics. We also hold two online club calf sales in October and also sell a few private treaty cattle throughout the year.
We travel to most of the major shows throughout the year with our Hereford cattle. Customer service is a theme around here, and we enjoy helping our “families” at shows with the cattle we sell.
We have been very fortunate to have done very well with Copeland raised Herefords. This past Denver was one for the books for us! We raised the National Champion Horned Female who was purchased by Fawcett’s Elm Creek Ranch and McKay Cattle Company, thank you guys for your trust in that female. We also had a few division champions and reserves. But the biggest accomplishment for us was winning the Premier Horned Hereford Breeder award, something that was truly humbling for us all. Our club calves from our online sales have also gone on to do some great things for all families involved.
“If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.”
After Matt and I got married, life took a few turns and I ended up starting my own company with a great, longtime friend of mine, Kent Jaecke. Focus Marketing Group, Inc. (FMG) came to be in November of 2010 at the Cardinal Hall of Fame Café in Louisville, Kentucky. I will never forget that day.
From there it was a leap of faith and a lot of hard work, but this business grew and it grew FAST, furious and big. We began this journey with four dedicated team members. From the start, we made sure to treat people right and offer top-notch customer service. We wanted to be a “one stop shop” for the livestock industry and make the marketing process easier on our customers. Today, we have nine talented FMG crew members who cover sale photography and videography, show photography, web and print design, social media management, creative photography and promotional videography for our customers from coast to coast. Our motto remains, “Our only FOCUS is you”.
Like any job, some days can be challenging, but we still have fun with our customers and each other. Together, we strive to make livestock marketing an enjoyable process for all parties involved. My co-workers are my ROCKS, I couldn’t do this without them and FMG would not be where it is today without them. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and time they put into this company. Y’all are AWESOME!
Historically, picture/video day is stressful for everyone involved and we work hard to make it more enjoyable! If the photographer is a little more laid back and easygoing it creates a more relaxed environment, which allows everyone else to loosen up and even the cattle aren’t as tense … well most of the time …
I also would like to take this time to thank all of our FMG customers for the continued support. You have shown incredible patience and unrelenting faith in our work, as well as allowed us to take risks and try new things. You know who you all are.
The customers, friends and acquaintances I’ve made along the way I will forever hold close to my heart. You all make this craziness worth the long hours, late night drives and hard work. The friendships I have made through this all are endless.
I’ll end this with another one of my favorite quotes, “Create your own job. Become the master of what you do. Fully immerse yourself in your culture. Be humble. You are never above having to pack boxes. Never forget where you came from. And always be polite. Good old-fashioned manners can get you very far.” Jenne Lomardo.
Life is a crazy adventure, enjoy every minute of it! I’ve been blessed to have a great one so far.
Thank you to The ShowTimes for asking me to write an article for the magazine. Keep up the great work gang!