An appreciation of Sally Schuff |

An appreciation of Sally Schuff

By Jerry Hagstrom, The Hagstrom Report
Sally Schuff during her ranching days in Nebraska. Courtesy photo

It is my sad duty to announce that Sally Schuff, a renowned agricultural journalist and my dear friend, died Jan. 2 in Wyoming.

Schuff died in a hospice center in Riverton, Wyo., but had been living in recent years in Buffalo, Wyo., near her daughter, Susannah Skiles. Earlier in retirement Schuff lived in Denver.

Schuff was the Washington editor for Feedstuffs, the Minnesota-based newspaper for agribusiness, from 1999 to 2012, when she retired. Schuff covered everything about animal agriculture for Feedstuffs, but she particularly liked writing her column.

Sally Schuff during her ranching days in Nebraska. Courtesy photo

During her Washington years Schuff and I became close friends and collaborators. I will never forget Schuff’s first day on the job in Washington. She came to Capitol Hill properly dressed in high heels, but we reporters had to go quickly, almost running, from the Longworth House Office Building through the basement of the Capitol to another event in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Schuff never wore high heels to Capitol Hill again, but she never quite accepted the fact that Washington women have to dress for the whole day when they go to work in the morning, since they usually can’t go home to freshen up for the evening.

Schuff and I started out sharing news tips and insights comfortably because we did not compete directly, but the friendship soon became personal. We often had dinner together at the Chef Geoff’s restaurant on New Mexico Avenue NW in Washington on Friday when our work week was over. Schuff’s favorite drink was an Old Fashioned, although when I visited her in Buffalo she thought it was fun to get margaritas from the drive-up window at Crazy Woman Liquors.

In her spare time, Schuff was a talented photographer, particularly of country scenes, and a stamp and coin collector.

Two of my favorite memories of Schuff were trips to Rome to cover the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and to Paris for a meeting of the World Organization for Animal Health.

Schuff was also a great comfort when she traveled to North Dakota after my mother died in 2007. I will be able to remember Schuff because she gave me her silver serving dishes when her children said they had polished them enough for one lifetime. She loved seeing photos of those dishes whenever I used them.

Before moving to Washington, Schuff was the editor of Colorado Rancher and Farmer. She began her journalism career in Nebraska where she worked for the Sutherland Courier-Times from 1975 to 1979, the North Platte Telegraph from 1979 to 1982 and the Nebraska Farmer magazine from 1982 to 1987, when she moved to Denver.

Schuff was born on April 7, 1944, in Louisville, Ky., the daughter of Mary and Bill Stark. She grew up mostly in Cincinnati and studied journalism at the University of Arizona before marrying Ted Schuff and moving to a ranch in Nebraska.

Sally is survived by her daughter Susannah Skiles and grandson Samuel Skiles of Buffalo, son Theo Schuff, a veterinarian, daughter-in-law Lee Ann Schuff and grandson Kipling Schuff of Jackson, Wyo., and a sister Sivey Anderson and her husband, Lyle, of Sierra Vista, Ariz..

Condolences may be sent to Theo Schuff, P.O. Box 1814, Wilson, WY 83014.

The family suggests memorial donations to Schuff’s favorite charity, the American Red Cross.

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