Much like the mix of investors, entrepreneurs, visionaries and artists who brought back the Stockyards, this project also fields a diverse team. Each member of the film production company shares a love for the Stockyards and the cowboy life. In addition to creating this documentary film, these individuals have spent countless hours over the last years arranging the interviews, filming individuals and the stockyards and editing down hundreds of hours of footage to the final product debuting this spring 2016.
Rosalie McLeod – Project Coordinator
After years building a specialty insurance agency in the equine and livestock industry, Rosalie found herself working in retail in the Stockyards and contributing on a volunteer basis to the many events in the area. In a passing conversation with Steve Murrin, after losing a mutual friend who had been active in the development of many issues in the Stockyards, it was lamented “wish we had his story and we need to capture this history.”
Thus, “The Fort Worth Stockyards, A Marriage of Preservation and Progress” was conceived. Rosalie feels she “fell into a project of a lifetime.” Rosalie’s background running a high-profile, fast-growing insurance practice prepared her for the logistics, coordination, financial oversight and vison required to shepherd the film project from concept to production. This story is about the last 30 years of re-invention, and where it stands today, looking to the future.
“Steve Murrin has said ‘It was always been about the cattle. It’s still all about the cattle.’ I hope we’ve been able to capture that,” she explains. Raised in the Northwest, Rosalie saw in the Stockyards a “whole town of antiquity,” which played well with her interest in architecture, antiques and cowgirl tendencies.
“Seeing it then and now, we still realize these buildings could all stand in ruin or be razed, and we would have nothing to show for what it was,” said McLeod. “It has not been easy; just like a marriage: fightin’, squallin’, makin’ up and lovin’ it.”
“This is the only stockyards in the country that has re-invented itself and lives as it does in Fort Worth,Texas,” She added. “I think it’s amazing.”
Joel Walters – Producer
Joel Walters is a native Texan who has had an interest in writing stories since childhood. After graduating college and making a start in media production, he became acquainted with the Fort Worth Stockyards through cattlemen who hired him to help them broadcast auctions, beginning on a part time basis in 1991. Since that time, Joel has had the pleasure of many years of television and media production work centered on livestock and related industries. In addition to an exemplary broadcast production workload, Joel had two notable assignments including acting as Producer and Director of the award-winning documentary, “Wall Street of the West, The Story of the Fort Worth Stockyards,” for the North Fort Worth Historical Society. The second was during his time with Superior Livestock, serving as Producer and Director of “The American Rancher” Television Series for 7 ½ years where each week stories of livestock producers and were brought to a national audience over RFD-TV. According to Joel, “Fort Worth Stockyards, A Marriage of Preservation and Progress” is a sequel documentary to “Wall Street of the West.”
“We felt strongly this story was the next chapter, documenting the closing years of the Fort Worth Stockyards as it transitioned from the greatest livestock and packing center of the southwest to a world-renowned center of business, entertainment and western heritage, he said. “And telling that story through the voices and stories of the men and women that made that transition possible, through good times and bad.”
According to Joel, the story and perspective it brings is even more vital as the transition continues today. The Stockyards is experiencing the pull of both preservation and progress on its fate as it moves into the future.
B. Douglas Harman, Ph.D. – Advisor
Doug is a consultant, writer and public speaker on a broad range of history, heritage and tourism topics. Owner of Harman Tourism Consulting and Harman Antiques he is a noted volunteer on numerous heritage and educational projects, the former President and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, and was Fort Worth City Manager. His love of Texas and its heritage is evident in the many leadership and special committee positions he has held in vital historical, tourism, educational and business development organizations in the Stockyards, Fort Worth, and Texas.
In addition to his 30+ years in public service and tourism, Dr. Harmon is also a speaker at numerous professional meetings and conferences on a wide range of topics, including Fort Worth and Texas history, tourism marketing and management, heritage and preservation, cowboy history and gear, antiques and aviation, He has written more than 60 published articles appearing in professional journals, developed a number of museum exhibits on Texas, Fort Worth and Western heritage topics, including the current “Chisholm Trail Exhibit” at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and with two associates developed the Quanah Parker exhibit which has traveled to over 30 locations.
He has also developed and assisted in historical exhibits in Frisco, Sherman, Weatherford and Graham, Texas, and helped with museum exhibits at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, the National Cowgirl Museum, the Fort Worth Library and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Exhibit chair for the “JFK in Fort Worth: A Lasting Impression” in 2013. Developed and installed the “Cowboy Culture” exhibit for Lewisville, Texas and “The Vaquero” exhibit at the Fort Worth Library. Assisted THC in the development of their brochure on the Chisholm Trail in 2002. His illustrations on tourism and local government have appeared in various booklets, journals and newsletters.
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