Happy birthday to us… and to you!


Patrick Gadola, who has been designing Farm and Dairy’s front page every week since 1995 (he’ll create his 500th page 1 in 2004!), is probably the only one to remember our birthday.

Each week, he changes the numbers at the top of page 1 that read “Volume 00, No. 0.” No one – other than Patrick – pays those numbers any attention.

But this week, I want you to pay attention, because each reader has played a role in those numbers.

The volume number tells you how old Farm and Dairy is, in years. The second number indicates which issue it is in that particular publication year (not calendar year).

The numbers this week read: Volume 90 – No. 1.

With this issue, we turn 90!

Ninety years of Farm and Dairy. Ninety years of rural news. Ninety years of national ag commentaries.

Ninety years of reaching out into rural and urban communities.

And it’s all because of you, our loyal readers and advertisers. It is only with your support that we have reached this milestone.

Farm and Dairy premiered as The Tri-County Farmer Oct. 1, 1914, proclaiming itself as “a local farm journal devoted exclusively to the rural interests of Stark, Mahoning and Columbiana” counties, the “old McKinley Congressional district.”

In 1917, the publication name changed to Farm and Dairy Profit, and the following year, the word “profit” was dropped and we’ve been Farm and Dairy ever since.

Behind the scenes. The family behind the newspaper is the Darling family, which has owned it since 1937 (although the first Darling at the helm, J.T. Darling, actually served as advertising manager from 1921 to 1926).

J.T. Darling returned to the Farm and Dairy during the struggles of the Great Depression, restoring the company to financial health. He served as publisher until his death in 1958, at which time his son, Wayne, assumed full responsibility for the printing and publishing business.

Wayne spent 40 years guiding Farm and Dairy until retiring as publisher in 1997. But you can’t keep a good many down, and Wayne still maintains an office at Farm and Dairy, although he and wife Sally winter in Naples, Fla.

A third generation of Darlings now lead the company. Scot Darling serves as publisher and Tom Darling is president of the company’s printing arm, Lyle Printing and Publishing.

Humbling. All of us here at Farm and Dairy are certainly proud of turning 90, but we’re also a little overwhelmed.

It’s very humbling to have the great honor of serving the agricultural and rural communities in the way that we do. We work hard to earn your respect and business every week. It’s been a privilege.

Exciting times. One of the pioneers of agricultural journalism, whose connection to Farm and Dairy spanned nearly five decades, Elden R. Groves, put it this way prior to retiring as editor in 1982:

“It has been an exciting time to be alive and reporting agricultural activities. There have been more changes in farming during my lifetime, than happened in all recorded history before then.”

Farm and Dairy has truly witnessed an agricultural revolution. It has been an exciting time, but we’re looking forward an even stronger future.

There are many magazines and many newspapers, but there is only one Farm and Dairy.

Happy birthday to you!

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