Welcome to BEEF magazine's 40th anniversary issue. We have a lot of surprises in store for you this month. The most obvious, of course, is our new look.

Our intent with the redesign, our first in a dozen years, was to update the look and retool the mechanics to provide readers with a more informational, user-friendly and attractive package. To that end, you'll find a whole passel of tweaks and full turns.

You'll find new typefaces and fonts, redesigned departments and feature pages, and a new color palette. We've reworked our head, deck and photo cutlines to provide readers with a quicker grab of the story. We've also added a new monthly feature called “Beef Xpress” (pages 6-7), which will provide readers with quick synopses of the issue's major stories and news of interest.

All this is designed to make your BEEF reading experience more meaningful. It's the result of an intensive staff effort over the past few months directed by Krista Trempe, graphics/production editor. She's pictured below in the staff photo of BEEF folks welcoming you to our 40th anniversary issue.

Speaking of which, the cornerstone of this issue is the BEEF Top 40, our recognition of some of the industry's most talented and hardworking contributors. Around that, we offer retrospective pieces on the past 40 years, and some good looks at what could be ahead for this great industry.

It was a fun, but hectic, exercise pulling all this together for our 40th anniversary, and we're glad you can join us for the celebration.