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Editors Pick Favorite Stories of 2013

December 30, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
Farm Journal Media

We here at Farm Journal Media are so honored to provide you with the latest, most interesting and helpful news and content.

Whether you read us in print (Farm Journal, Top Producer, Beef Today, Dairy Today), watch us on TV (AgDay, U.S. Farm Report), listen to us on AgriTalk or visit us here at or attend one of our 40 or so live events, we appreciate your time and hope we’ve made a positive difference for your farm or ranch.

As we prepare to put 2013 to bed, several of our editors reminisced about the past year and identified the stories, pieces and clips they enjoyed producing the most. Please enjoy our short trip down memory lane.

What to Do When the Tractor Won’t Budge

July 17, 2013
By Jen Russell, Managing editor

Russell: "While this wasn’t the most challenging story to write, it certainly was a heck of a lot of fun. Safety stories can get dry and dull pretty quickly, but fortunately Mr. Whitford is a fantastic speaker and great on camera. In the end, this story turned into a nice little 'how-to' multimedia piece with lots of take-home tips that farmers can use. I think it serves our audience well, which is why I’m especially proud of it."

Beef Today

Standing Tall

Beef Today September Issue
By Sara Brown, Livestock and Production Editor

Brown: "This was the first article of our new redesign. After years of drought, tight forage supplies and tough genetic choices in their operations, cattlemen are truly standing tall in the midst of the storm—and thriving towards new profit opportunities. For me, this was the best piece of encouragement I could give to our readers."

Food Versus Feed

Beef Today December Issue
By Wyatt Bechtel, Associate Editor

Bechtel: "This one was my favorite article because it was one of my first pieces that I worked on after joining the Farm Journal Media team."

Dairy Today

Hope in a Glass Bottle

Dairy Today October Issue
By Cathy Merlo, Western and Online Editor

Merlo: "This was my favorite piece of work from this year. It was a simple, upbeat story about a California dairy that’s added retail marketing of deliciously flavored milk in glass bottles. After years of reporting on tough dairy conditions—especially in California—it was a pleasure to highlight this out-of-the-box venture, where the Rosa family turned an old-fashioned product into a modern, marketable one. And I liked the headline, which reflected the gist of the story in just five words."

Nowhere But Up

Dairy Today March Issue
By Jim Dickrell, Editor

Dickrell: "Like most dairy farmers, Jerry and Karen Dakin were frustrated that they were only receiving a 'commodity price' for their milk. They thought they could do better on price and marketing by processing their own milk. So they did—and found that the road to retail riches were filled with potholes and speed bumps they never anticipated. But they persevered, learning many hard lesson along the way."

Farm Journal

A Tale of Two Soils

Farm Journal October Issue
By Darrell Smith, Conservation and Machinery Editor

Smith: "On behalf of Ken Ferrie, as well as me, I pick this one as my favorite story. I think we received as much or more reader feedback, all positive, on that story as on anything we've ever done. I was told NRCS linked to the story on their website. At any rate, it was an innovative story that could not have been provided by anybody except Ken. No one else would have had access to, and records on, similar fields that had been farmed differently."


Homegrown Energy: Exploring the Future of Fuel and Fertilizer on the Farm

Farm Journal Mid-November Issue
By Ben Potter, Technology and Crop Editor

Potter: "I love writing about the wilder side of farming, and this year’s Farm of the Future series has let me indulge in a lot of that. From weed-zapping robots to tractors that drive themselves to 3-D printed meat, it has been a fun project to work on. My favorite of the bunch was this story. Maybe I read too much science fiction, but I always envisioned a future where we could dump our table scraps into some sort of cold fusion reactor that would power our homes. While that particular idea still seems pretty far-fetched, there are a plethora of alternative energy solutions researchers are working on today. It’s still hard to predict which of these technologies will break big, but make no mistake—some type of large-scale renewable energy source is on its way."

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