Editor's Notebook: Please Don't Be A Stranger

September 26, 2015 02:36 AM
Editor's Notebook: Please Don't Be A Stranger

I will never forget an early evening walk my mom and I took down our gravel road more than 23 years ago. I was a ball of uncertainty, worrying about how I could possibly continue working as Farm Journal’s machinery editor and still be a good mom to Alex, our first baby. As I shared my concern that I might need to quit my job, Mom, who was always a farmer in motion, stopped dead in her tracks. 

She sat me straight. “We’re going to stand here until you understand the greatest mothers teach their children to be the best they can be and make a difference,” she said. “You will turn your back on that if you leave Farm Journal. You have a powerful opportunity to live in Missouri and serve farmers across the nation. Women in agriculture have always worked and raised a family, why would you be any different just because you work for a company rather than a family farm? At Farm Journal, you have the chance to work for all family farms.”

Those words really struck me as true. I went home ready to embrace both the responsibility and ability I had
with Farm Journal—and our growing family.

Mom didn’t live to see me become editor of Farm Journal, but she was proud I didn’t walk away from the 
opportunities I had to make a difference through a company that always puts farmers first. She was especially proud of my no-nonsense reporting and the Farm Journal Test Plots our Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie and I started in 1992 to give farmers independent agronomic knowledge. 

Today, Alex is a second-year rural medical school student at Mizzou, and his two sisters are no longer little girls. Caroline is a third-year landscape architecture student who counts Farm Journal friends as some of her strongest supporters at K-State. Elizabeth, who is a high school junior with a new driver’s license, is the best writer in the family. All three love our land and our family’s farming legacy. My husband, Jonathan, and I count our blessings every day. Mom was 100% right.

It’s that chance to make a difference that makes this my last issue as Farm Journal Editor. After 10 years at the helm, I’m proud to turn over the reins to Susan Luke, an accomplished journalist who understands farmers and the fabric of rural America. 

I’m not going anywhere—and I’ll still be working with farmers and ranchers, just in a different role. Farm Journal Media is rapidly growing in new and different markets. With Susan onboard, I turn my full attention to helping shape the future footprint of our company by creating new ways to serve, as Mom put it, all family farms. 

Thank you for your loyal readership and being part of the Farm Journal family. If you ever have ideas for services or products that would make your farm more productive or profitable, drop me a note. I’m all ears! 


Meet the 10th Editor in Farm Journal’s 138 Years

It took considering more than 100 applicants during the past year, but I’m proud to introduce you to Susan Skiles Luke, who takes over as editor of Farm Journal with the November issue. Susan is exactly the kind of leader I had in mind to fill the prestigious role. She’s passionate about agriculture, and she’s an incredibly talented journalist who understands the value of service journalism. I’m confident she will lead Farm Journal to new heights, and I look forward to having a ringside seat to the progress! Please join me in welcoming Susan. You can reach her at sluke@farmjournal.com.

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Spell Check

Laurie Johns
West Des Moines, IA
12/18/2015 04:29 PM

  Thank you for supporting working women and mothers who share their talents in the name of farmers everywhere; we are all in this together! God bless!

Michele Payn-Knoper
Lebanon, IN
9/28/2015 10:03 AM

  What a great statement about motherhood - thank you. Best wishes to you both in your service to agriculture!

9/28/2015 07:54 AM

  Best of luck to you both. I'm not a farmer but live in rural Maine surrounded by many Ag operations of all kinds so appreciate the hard-working farmers and like to stay informed of what's going on in that world that surrounds me. Farm Journal and it's various forms of media have been my primary source for that.


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