I have a “first day on the job” speech I give all new editorial department employees. After I review the company’s policies, plan the training schedule, and point out the restrooms, I climb on the soapbox.
“Farm and Dairy is a very well-respected newspaper, and that’s something I don’t take lightly,” I begin. “Readers claim a kinship with Farm and Dairy that you just don’t find at other publications.”
It’s true. We are kind of like family.
We mourn together, laugh together, learn together, live together.
We have endured two world wars, the Great Depression, droughts, politicians, farm bankruptcies and floods. We have celebrated new discoveries, individual successes, traditions, entrepreneurial spirits and dreams.
This week’s issue captures all of that.
We embrace the exuberance of Stew Kitchen, the ag college student who leads the Ohio State band (see page 1). We share the heart-wrenching pain of Gwen Karnes, whose husband was killed by a bull on the farm (see page 11). We marvel at the skill of Scott Carlson, who is keeping the nearly lost art of timber framing alive (see page B1). We learn of well-meaning legislators’ decisions regarding horse slaughter (who isn’t against killing horses for meat consumption?), but wonder if we fully understand the costly implications (what are we going to do with all those horses?). And we dream of what we’d do if we won the lottery (see page 1 of Section II).
We work hard to earn your trust and valuable reading time. We want to get it right. Because we know, like family, you’ll let us know when we miss the mark.
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Speaking of family, we’re saying goodbye to reporter Kristy Hebert, who is expecting her first child any day now and has chosen to stay home to raise her child.
For the last 4 1/2 years, we all have benefited from Kristy’s talent. Along the way, she challenged her co-workers to strive for excellence, to become better storytellers, to develop our craft. Farm and Dairy is better for it.
We will share news of Baby Hebert’s birth when the time comes. We’re excited to welcome him or her to the fold.
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And what is a family without a reunion? The Farm Science Review sometimes feels like a reunion, as readers from near and far stop by our tent to say hello. I personally look forward to seeing people I see just this one time a year. It means a lot when you tell us you made a special point of visiting the booth.
We’re not quite sure just how long we’ve been exhibiting at the Review. Without digging in musty files, our best guess is at least 23 years. That’s a lot of reunions.
If you’re headed to the Review, Sept. 19-21, make our booth a priority. We’re in Lot No. 579, at the corner of Soybean Avenue and Silage Street, right where we’ve been the past five or six years. Publisher Scot Darling will be on the grounds Tuesday and Wednesday, and I’ll be there all three days, along with co-workers from the circulation, advertising and news departments.
We hope to see you there.
(Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 800-837-3419 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)