Reaping Rewards is Part of the Journey [Opinion]

Children are the reward of life. At least that’s according to an African proverb. Having raised three daughters — the youngest one is a junior in college, so by my calculations, I’m rounding third and heading home — I happen to agree with the proverb, and for more than its face value. Let me tell you why.

For the past 16 years, I have worked on American Vegetable Grower® (AVG) magazine and have immersed myself in the vegetable industry, covering everything from farm bills to the consolidation of companies, to putting together AVG’s 100th Anniversary issue, to traveling to Spain and Germany to see how growers outside of the U.S. operate, to presenting AVG’s annual Grower Achievement AwardSM — just to name a few of the highlights.

Much of what I learned came from visits to your fields, and not just grower fields. I spent several summer and sometimes early fall days with seed company representatives in their respective test plots finding out what varieties will be available next and reporting back to you on the ones that were both grower friendly, tasted good, and offered a comprehensive disease-resistance package.

It was in your fields, however, where I had opportunities to see you in action: planting and harvesting. I also toured state-of-the-art packinghouses and even watching precision lettuce thinners do their job.

Getting back to the proverb, however, each issue of AVG, in some ways, has been like a child to me. Just like we encourage our children to be the best they can be, each month, we develop stories based on those visits to fields and interviews with researchers that present information to help you be a better and more successful vegetable grower.

So, by my calculations, that’s about 192 issues over the past 16 years, or 192 “children.” I’d say that’s a pretty good reward.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’m now passing those “rewards” along to a new editor. The reins of American Vegetable Grower are in the capable and experienced hands of Carol Miller. Carol has nearly two decades of experience as an editor, and has spent the last five years leading some of our sister publications here at Meister Media Worldwide.

You’re already familiar with her work as Editor of our American Farm Marketer® supplements throughout 2016. It is my hope that she achieves the same rewards.

As for me, I am not leaving. I’m just taking on some new responsibilities focusing on grower programs and events such as the VegetableGrowerConnectSM and others. So don’t count me out. You’ll still see my name pop up from time to time, and I look forward to continuing to work with many of you on our events.

And, as always, if you want to reach me, please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call.

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