Farm and Dairy: It takes a thief


True confessions: I’m a thief.
I steal good ideas wherever I can find them. And hopefully, you’re the beneficiary.
In particular, I look for ways to make Farm and Dairy better. More fun. More usable. More ‘must-read’.
Take our vacation photo feature. Stole that one (don’t remember where). And it almost never made it into print, because each time I suggested the idea in a staff meeting, it typically met with a “humor her, she’s the editor, but we think it’s a really stupid idea” reaction.
After about two years of lukewarm staff buy-in, I pulled rank and said, “We’re doing it.”
Our editorial intern Adam Barbee was going to a Pittsburgh Pirates game, so I shoved a Farm and Dairy in his hand and said, “Have someone take your picture.”
And in June 1998, “Vacation With Us” was born. It’s been an adventure ever since.
Today, we’re starting two features and drawing your attention to two others we’ve unveiled in recent weeks.
Lots of questions. On page B20 in The Auction Guide section, you’ll find our newest column “Does Anyone Know?” It’s kind of a conversation between neighbors, with readers sending in questions and readers supplying the answers.
For example, pediatricians don’t recommend using baby powder on infants anymore, but a reader has a huge bottle from a baby shower. Are there other uses for baby powder?
Or how can you tell if the paint on your walls are latex or oil-based?
We know Farm and Dairy readers are eager to help each other, so we’re hoping you’ll step up to the plate with your answers, or submit some questions you need answered. You’ll find all the details about sending in answers or questions on B20.
It’s a great way to exchange information among friends.
Lots of laughs. We hope you’ve enjoyed the first few weeks of another new column, “Feelin’ Funny,” which you’ll find on page B3.
Laughter really is the best medicine, so we added a weekly joke feature. We’ve got a stash of good ones, but we also want to hear from you. So if you’ve got a good clean story or joke to share, let’s hear it.
Lots of challenges. OK, I resisted trying a Sudoku puzzle for a long time. After all, I’m a rebel and don’t like to try something just because everyone is talking about it. (Plus I stink at math and this involves numbers.)
But here’s true confession No. 2: I’m hooked. (There’s really no math involved.)
So sharpen your pencils and turn to A36. There, below the crossword puzzle, you find our first Sudoku puzzle. You fill in the grid so every row, every column and every 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9.
Let us know what you think: Is this one too easy or just about right? (Don’t give up, it took me two or three times before I got the hang of it.)
Lots to read. We know there’s lots of good stuff in each issue and it’s hard to get everything read some weeks. So the newsroom created “Our Picks”, a quick index on the bottom of this page (A4) of two or three stories we don’t want you to miss.
They may be important news articles, quirky tidbits, or just something that piqued our interest, and we want you to read them, too. Take our word for it.
Lots to come. Keep watching Farm and Dairy because you never know where we might “find” another great idea.
In the late 1980s, then-assistant editor Cathie (McCullough) DeFazio started the granddaddy of all our interactive reader columns, “Hazard a Guess”, which has been going strong now for 20 years.
And she stole the idea from a Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District field day exhibit.
(Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 800-837-3419 or at


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