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Agrimarketing : Agribusiness Employer Guide 2008
ATYPICAL AGRICULTURAL CAREERS/continued from page 33 Yet many of Rubin’s comics and greeting cards are related to agri- culture. His daily syndicated comic, “Rubes,” appears in more than 400 newspapers worldwide, including some agricultural publi- cations. Rubin’s cow cartoons were also featured throughout the opening sequence of a film titled “Moola” that was released in May 2008. He says that while he didn’t grow up on a farm, he would always see farm animals when driving down the highway. Those animals served as his connection to agriculture. “I draw lots of different animals, but I’m more familiar with the tradi- tional farm animals,” Rubin said. “I think most people can relate to them because everyone is connected to agriculture by the food we eat and the clothes we wear.” Rubin said he never imagined that he would be involved with the agricultural industry on any level. He studied advertising arts at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA, and worked for his father’s printing company. “I had worked for my dad at the printing company, sold real estate, and been a janitor,” Rubin said. “I knew I didn’t want to do any of those things, but couldn’t figure out what I should do with my life. Then I saw a card collection by Sandra Boynton, and thought wait a minute, I can do something like that.” In 1978 he sold his first card at his father’s print shop. There on the outside of the card was a picture of a Leigh Rubin’s cartoons bring laughter and a reminder that we are all connected to agriculture by the food we eat and the clothes we wear. raccoon eating a large ear of corn. Inside the card said, “I’d like to nib- ble on your ear.” In 1981 he began a new product line called “Notable Quotes.” The products contained comical quotes with musical note graphics. The designs were placed on mugs and other paraphernalia and sold at street fairs. He was promoting a book of “Notable Quotes” in Lancaster, CA, when the local paper wrote an article about him. “I became friends with the enter- tainment editor and he asked me if I wanted to do a daily cartoon for the newspaper,” Rubin said. “In November 1984 my first daily car- toon appeared in the Antelope Valley Press.” In 2002 Rubin stumbled across Capital Press, a Northwestern agri- cultural weekly newspaper. Because he designed many agriculture- related cartoons, he contacted the publication and they agreed to run his comic. “After my success with Capital Press, I began sending other agricul- tural publications examples of my work, and they began picking it up,” Rubin said. Later that year, Rubin released four books of cartoon collections, two of which were completely agri- 34 culture related. He received a call from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association asking for 500 books to use as gifts at their annual conven- tion. Rubin attended the convention and has been participating in agri- cultural trade shows and events ever since. “The folks that I have run into at the agricultural events are really appreciative of what I draw,” Rubin said. “Obviously I don’t have an agricultural background, but people don’t mind it. They are welcoming anyway.” Rubin now receives various agri- cultural publications at his home in Nipomo, CA, and said he reads them all. He said that although creating agricultural cartoons is not a “tradi- tional” way to earn a living in agri- culture, he enjoys his connection with the industry. “It would be presumptuous of me to say I understand the agricul- tural industry, because there is a lot I don’t know about it,” Rubin said. “But I enjoy reading and learning about agriculture and have a great respect for the industry because of the amazing people I’ve met.” APPLYING TECHNOLOGY Keith Hartley agrees that the agricul- tural industry is filled with good-
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08