When he was too young to remember, Matt Bartmann’s family moved from Chicago to the foothills west of Fort Collins and built a cabin. Somehow, he survived, having had a very long leash at a very young age.
When old enough, Matt attended Stove Prairie Elementary School, and enrolled in 4-H, raising geese, turkeys, chickens, goats, rabbits, and studying bugs, among other projects. And playing with toy cars.
Both his parents being artists, Matt was always exposed to the arts, both visual and literary.
Prior to middle school, Matt and his family moved to town. He maintained ties to the lands at higher elevation to the west, spending weekends in the mountains.
After graduating from high school in Fort Collins, Matt embarked on a long, 15 year career of pizza delivery, usually driving cars that were older than he was.
In 1999, he and his brother started an Internet business focused on magnets, science, and alternative energy, especially wind and solar. He no longer has an ownership interest in that business, but it remains a subject of practical interest to him.
In 2001, Matt and two partners bought a property near where he grew up, which is now his home. He and naturalist Sally Roth met online in 2009 and finally met in person in 2010. Both loving the Pacific Northwest, their first date was a spontaneous road trip to Oregon.
They were married in 2012. In their time together, they have collaborated on several book projects under their own non-profit publishing company Happy Crab Press, as well as other writing and photographic ventures, now including The North Forty News, a publication that they both love and are glad to now be a part of.
Blaine Howerton is an award winning program creator and Producer, Publisher, and News photojournalist. His mission is to create and communicate compelling stories, and to provide a vehicle for award winning story telling. How he’s gone about achieving this mission has taken many forms over the years.
From his beginnings as a News Stringer covering the Four Corners region, to his stints as award-winning news photographer, live truck engineer and Technical Operations Manager, to his recent National Telly Awards as a Production Manager and NATAS Heartland Emmy nomination, Howerton continues to find ways to tell stories and broadcast live events.
He now brings more than 20 years experience in the media industry, and more than 10 years as a Photojournalist, to a documentary and event production company called YGHDtv (April 2009).
The television bug bit Howerton early on. And, no matter how he tried to shake it, it stuck with him. While still in college, he set a passion-driven goal of becoming a forest ranger aside to go to work for a small television news station out of Farmington, New Mexico. As a news stringer, he covered news in the Four Corners Region (ranging from breaking news to the small community event). Howerton had discovered his love for story-telling.
As a student pursuing a degree in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, he led the Campus Television station to several student Emmy Production Awards. From there he went to work for KOAA television in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Colorado Broadcaster’s Association recognized his work as a News Reporter/Photographer.
It was his experience in Salt Lake City, Utah that pushed his skills to the next level. Not only was Howerton a news Photojournalist, but also he engineered a microwave live truck for the evening news. After countless ENG live shots and thousands of hours of news coverage, the Utah Broadcaster’s Association honored him for his work in Breaking News. The hard work paid off. Howerton got the opportunity to work in his hometown of Denver, Colorado.
He was part of the start up team for KDVR Fox 31 in Denver in 2001. The launch of the 9 10 o’clock newscast for this Fox Owned and Operated station was the most successful in Fox Television’s history. After a 10-year news career, it was at KDVR where Howerton chose a different path. He was entrusted with the responsibility of starting the station’s first Commercial Production Department. Later, he held a position in middle management as Technical Operations Manager overseeing a staff of 31 people (responsible for all news production and Master Control Operations).
Howerton left KDVR in 2006 to pursue an opportunity to create quality local programming. KWHD (a small independent television station) hired Howerton as their Production Manager. Howerton was challenged to bring a somewhat defunct production arm of a failing station back to life. In two short years, he successfully re-built production operations, re-designed a production truck, and re-vamped a 10,000 square foot studio.
He never let his love for story-telling fall by the wayside. As Production Manager at KWHD, Howerton created and launched more than 10 original television shows. These shows earned national recognition, receiving two National Telly Awards in 2009.
During his time at KWHD, Howerton created a niche for large screen music festival Video Production. He formed a team, placing video on jumbo screens at more than 80 festivals and performances over 2 years. In only 2 years, his team provided video services for more than 100,000 people at regional festivals.
In 2009, Howerton branched out by launching 3 more businesses all centered around Video Production. In the past 8 years, he has helped to build a suite of successful companies and he continues to work on all levels of Production supporting those companies. In 2017, he acquired North Forty News and is currently acting Publisher.
As President of the Regional Emmy Awards (Heartland Chapter), Producer of Regional Emmy Shows around the country, and on the Trustee (Governing) Board of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Howerton strives for recognizing the quality of Professionalism in the Television and Media Industries.
Howerton lives in Fort Collins, CO with his wife and 2 sons.
Libby James has been a freelance writer for North Forty News for more than a decade. She especially enjoys getting up into the mountain communities and writing features about people. She has been a freelancer for Triangle Review, former weekly in Fort Collins, editor for an older version of Fort Collins Magazine and also for Greeley Style Magazine. She has written two middle grade novels and text for a picture book Muffin Magic. White Shadow is her first venture into adult historical fiction. I guess she must like having homework. When she’s not writing, she makes notecards from used teabags and runs in an incredibly small age group. She has four children and twelve grandchildren. Some of them run and some of them write. None of them are interested in used tea bags.
When little Marty Metzger pulled away from her mother at a stalled parade to tightly wrap her arms around the leg of a mighty draft horse, it was irrefutable: she was horse-crazy (Marty prefers horse-sane). Her terrified mother looked on in dread until the wagon driver’s assistant pried the 2-year-old loose from the 2000-pound object of her affection. Marty sobbed like her world was ending.
It nearly did when, just three years later, her father died. Subsequently, money became as scarce as horse feathers… and horses even scarcer.
Now the closest she could get to her beloved animals were the occasional themed toy or library book— until she realized she could write and draw her own horse-filled stables! No limit to herd size, no zoning worries, no financial restrictions. Over subsequent decades, Marty bought many dozens of real horses that joined her paper ones. She paid their way by working at riding facilities where she boarded.
As things usually do, one led to another. Marty moved from Ohio to Colorado in 1982 with her beautiful Appaloosa mare, Darby, and Darby’s 3-month-old filly, Chelsea, in tow. Creative ways to supplement full-time jobs kept everyone eating. First published in 1967 in Horse Lovers magazine, she now sought out a rural or local publication.
The Fence Post newspaper was seeking freelance writers in 1987. Perfect! A few full-time newspaper positions followed, including with the Triangle Review and The Forum. Like a tree, Marty branched out to Business World Magazine, Style, and published a fiction feature story in Young Rider.
She’s written feature stories and served as a reporter for the North 40 News since shortly after its inception by founder JoAn Bjarko, and is excited to be part of the paper’s new direction.
Marty also still regularly contributes to the Fence Post, is fervently involved with horse rescue, and sells antiques and collectibles.
An Ohio native, Mark moved to Colorado to attend college at Northern Colorado. Armed with a degree in Communications, he was more than qualified to do almost nothing, therefore joined in the family business. Moody would spend the next 14 years in the optical industry moving all over the midwest with stops in Kansas City, Wichita among other exotic locales.
A true high point, however, was participating in the book restoration project at the C.S.U Library shortly after the Spring Creek Flood of 1997.
As a long time member of the N40 family Mark joined the publication in August 2001 with the primary function of advertising sales. An early journalistic assignment was thrust upon him as he traveled to New York City to cover the 9/11 aftermath.
Approaching the time when it might be best to slow down, Moody cut back to three jobs as the owner of the newly opened Whampus Used Books in Loveland, fitness instructor at Miramont Family Fitness, and ad sales rep for the N40.
Currently Mark enjoys long walks on the beach and an occasional glass of red wine
Award-winning author/illustrator/graphic designer, Gary Raham, has written science columns and designed ads for the North Forty News for over ten years. He’s watched Wellington grow from a town of 1,200—where everyone made U-turns on Cleveland Avenue—to a community of 8,500+ learning to play nice with three traffic lights. Raham helped raise two amazing daughters with his astounding wife, Sharon.
Author of 18 books of both science fact and science fiction and a former biology teacher, Raham loves getting people excited about science and nature. As an illustrator, he also enjoys creating images that tap into people’s sense of wonder.
Raham is a member of the Colorado Authors’ League, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and Science Fiction Writers of America. He volunteers actively with both the Poudre School District and the City of Fort Collins Master Naturalists’ program, introducing others to the local opportunities to explore nature and science.
Raham’s goal with the North Forty News is to create eye-catching ads for local businesses and to translate what’s happening in the world of science with accuracy—and just a dash of humor.
I’m so pleased to be back at the North Forty News as a writer and editor. A new owner, new technology and daily updates on the web version of the paper have proven the North Forty News to be a dynamic force in the world of journalism and capable of exponential growth. Working with old friends is an added bonus.
I’ve been writing off and on my whole life, even though my first ambition was to be a visual artist. I began working for the North Forty News in 2002 as an ad designer, then branching out as a food columnist. I stretched my skills even further writing features for the paper, including covering Livermore, Glacier View and Red Feather Lakes during the High Park Fire. I also won an award from the Colorado Press Association for a story about Lee, the Horse Logger who travels back and forth across the U.S. in a Conestoga wagon pulled by a distinctive team of draft horses. Five years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea for a novel and decided to go for it. Now, with one novel under my belt, I’m working on a second book, more as a favorite hobby than as a career novelist.
Working from home is an added bonus, although I love the thrill of chasing down off-beat, interesting stories. Sometimes homecoming is the best adventure.
Ten years ago, lifelong naturalist and gardener Sally Roth completely uprooted her normal-person life and moved to a small, entirely off-grid cabin high in the foothills of north-central Larimer County, where she lives happily with her husband, Matt Bartmann. Plenty of seclusion, wild nature all around…and, yay, satellite wifi! She is thrilled to be writing for the North Forty News, which she’s read and loved ever since she moved to Colorado.
A plant nut/bird nut/moth nut/anything-outside nut, Sally is the author of The Backyard Bird Lover’s Bible, a New York Times bestseller, and more than 20 other books about birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, gardening, garden design and other topics near and dear to her heart.
Sally’s a contributing editor of Birds & Blooms and former contributing editor of Fine Gardening. She’s written for Organic Gardening, Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and many other magazines. She’s worked in every aspect of publishing, from writing code way back in the dinosaur days of COBOL to layout, design, page makeup, proofreading, editing and managing.
“Wanna see something cool?” is something Sally says a lot, because she just can’t resist sharing the fun of nature. She’s been a keynote speaker at Cornell University, the Marchand International Horticulture Conference, the University of Wisconsin, regional Master Gardener conferences, and many other symposiums; a guest on national TV and radio shows; and a consultant to HGTV, Hearst, Time Inc., Reader’s Digest, and American, British and Australian publishers.
When she’s not learning online (or, shhh, playing on Facebook), Sally watches birds for science and pleasure and gardens obsessively, despite the “help” of pocket gophers, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and the occasional moose. But then again, she also loves to complain.