May 6, 2014

Farmer wins General Excellence award in State Newspaper Contest

The McKenzie County Farmer won the General Excellence award, as well as the Overall Design Excellence award, along with 28 other awards in advertising, writing and photography during the 128th Annual North Dakota Newspaper Convention in Bismarck.
Including the first place awards in General Excellence and Overall Design Excellence, the Farmer also received eight other first place awards.
In awarding the Farmer first place honors in General Excellence among the state’s largest weeklies, the judges from the Oklahoma Newspaper Association said, Clean. Good headline writing. Photos and advertising both jump off the page.”
“It is a great honor to be recognized by our peers in the newspaper industry for producing a quality newspaper,” stated Neal Shipman, Farmer editor, on the Farmer receiving the first place award in the General Excellence category. “With every single issue that we produce, the entire staff at the McKenzie County Farmer is dedicated to producing the very best newspaper that we can. We want to carry news and feature stories of the events that are impacting the lives of our readers. But we also strive to have the very best photographs and ads that we can produce. Being honored as the best weekly newspaper in North Dakota in our circulation size is a testament of that commitment by our entire staff.”
Advertising Awards
The first place advertising awards included the Best Political Ad by Jane Hadley for a public forum ad for the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1; the Best Financial Ad by Neal A. Shipman for a Merry Christmas ad for First International Bank & Trust; and the Best Apparel Ad for a Gifts For Your Valentine ad for Meyer’s Dept. Store.
Receiving second place awards in the Best Political Ad was an ad designed by Neal A. Shipman for the Watford City EDC on using the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund; and  Jane Hadley and Neal Shipman for the Best Apparel ad for the grand opening of Whippin’ Stitch. Shipman also received a second place award in the Best Promotion of the Newspaper - Advertising for a Veterans Day Deadlines ad.
Receiving third place awards in the  Best Home/Garden Ad category was an ad for McKenzie Building Center by Neal A. Shipman; the Best Entertainment/Liquor ad category for an  ad by Ginger Brunett for Outsiders Bar and Grill; and the Best Ad Series for Christmas ads for the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce by Jane Hadley. Brunett also received a third place award in the Best Small Space Ad category for an ad for Foley Contracting.
Ads receiving Honorable Mention included the Best Healthcare Ad for a Holiday Greeting Message for the McKenzie County Healthcare System by Neal A. Shipman; the Promotion of Newspaper - Advertising, for a Memorial Day Deadlines ad by Ginger Brunett; and Promotion of the Newspaper, Readership, for a student subscription ad by Ginger Brunett.
News & Editorial Awards
In the Reporting Series category, Kate Ruggles won second place for her stories on the postal service issues, while her article on the need for more judges in the NW Judicial District won Honorable Mention in the Reporting category. Ruggles also won an Honorable Mention in the Spot News category for her article on a gas outage affecting residents of McKenzie County.
Neal A. Shipman won first place in the Government Reporting category for an article on the city of Watford City being short-changed by the Legislature, and took second place in the Government Reporting Series with his stories related to the creation of the electrical franchise agreements in Watford City.
In the Business News Reporting category, Olivia Sundeen won first place for her article on construction of a new veterinary clinic, while Neal A. Shipman won third place in that category for a story on Oppidan breaking ground on a $20 million development in Watford City.
Sundeen also took third place in Sports Feature for her article on the riders in the Maah Daah Hey 100.
Neal A. Shipman received a second place award in  Personal Column - Serious, for his article on emotions running high at a child’s wedding. Shipman also won first place in the Best Web Site category for the McKenzie County Farmer’s web site
Photography & Graphics
A photo of a bucking bronc during the McKenzie County Fair’s Rodeo earned Neal A. Shipman first place honors in the Sports Photo category, while he also received a second place award in the Agricultural Photo category of a Farm Rescue combine harvesting wheat. Shipman took third place in the Portrait Photo category of a young girl at the Arnegard Fourth of July, and an Honorable Mention in the Spot News Photo category of a photo of firemen battling a fire at a foam insulation business.
Shipman also won first place in Informational Graphics for a graphic on the overload of cases in the Judicial System.
The McKenzie County Farmer competes in the weekly newspapers with a circulation of 2,000 or more, which is the largest weekly newspaper category in the state.