A Rich History
In 1857, Benjamin Urner was a successful printer in New York City. Among his customers were commission merchants who prepared separate circulars describing the conditions of various consigned agricultural goods. Mr. Urner noted discrepancies in the circulars that he was printing. He realized how difficult it must be for shippers to assimilate market appraisals which were often in variance with each other. This led him to the idea of publishing a single, objective market report. Thus, the Producers Price-Current was born. In later years, the name of the publication changed to Urner Barry's Price-Current.
In the early days of market reporting, it was possible to regularly visit the primary markets located between Fourteenth and Canal Streets in New York City. Interviews conducted each day with the merchants provided insights into what prices were actually being quoted for various agricultural products. Personal relationships with buyers and sellers were very important then. This is just as true today as we rapidly approach the twenty-first century.
Not only did the Producers Price-Current become a professional success, but it was a real bargain as well. For just $1.00, subscribers could receive 52 weeks of the newsletter that was published each Saturday.
From 1858 to 1876, the Producers Price-Current was published by Benjamin Urner. In 1876, Benjamin, his son Frank, and William C. Taber, formed the Urner Publishing Company. The Producers Price- Current was established as a daily.
Somewhat concurrently, in 1873, L. Frank Barry started the New York Daily Market Report. It covered all produce markets and actually became the first such daily publication in the country.
For several years, Urner Publishing Company and L. Frank Barry and Sons successfully coexisted as separate publishing firms. However, keeping up with the demand for service in a rapidly-expanding nation became increasingly more challenging. Recognizing areas of mutual interest, the two publishers merged in 1895 to form the Urner-Barry Company. Primary ownership of the company rested with the Urner, Barry and Tabor families until the 1960's.
By then it was known as Urner Barry Publications, Inc. The headquarters was moved from New York City, NY to Jersey City, NJ. Paul B. Brown, Sr., John Carter, and Michael E. (Bud) O'Shaughnessy joined with Frank Urner as principals of the firm. In the middle 1970's, Frank Urner retired. John M. Carter elected to retire in 1986.
In 1976, the headquarters was moved to its present location in Bayville, New Jersey in the heart of the scenic shore area of Ocean County. During this period, Paul and Bud were joined as partners by their sons Paul Brown, Jr., Rick Brown, and Michael W. O'Shaughnessy. It was under the guidance of this ownership that Urner Barry's next historical milestone was realized.
In 1992, the Brown and O'Shaughnessy families saw an opportunity to utilize Urner Barry's expertise to expand its market reporting base. National Provisioner's, "Yellow Sheet" was acquired in October, broadening Urner Barry's reporting realm into the beef, pork, lamb, veal, and inedible markets.
Building on its leadership position in the field, management has increased the number of publications and services available to the food industry. The company now offers a complete line of Internet and facsimile services, newsletters, directories, reference books, and price history guides highlighting all aspects of the poultry, egg, seafood, and red meat industries. In addition, Urner Barry offers wall charts, seafood import data, research and consultation, and Urner Barry's Prospector, a sales management software package incorporating the company's trade directories. Urner Barry is on the leading edge of the electronic age offering 2 Internet news sites, "COMTELLŪ On-Line" and "Seafoodnet.com." For those demanding the most accessible, up-to-the-minute market news available, Urner Barry's family of on-line services is poised to lead them through this millennium.
In 1997, Paul B. Brown elected to retire after quoting the turkey market for more than 40 years. Bud O'Shaughnessy retired from reporting the chicken market in 1998.
Current principals of Urner Barry Publications, Inc. are:
B. Brown, Jr., President
Richard A. Brown, Vice President and Treasurer
Michael W. O'Shaughnessy, Secretary
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