With your indulgence, I'll use my space this week to note a couple of Farm Press staff changes and to do a bit of horn-tooting.
First of all, we're pleased that after a short hiatus, our publisher for the previous four years, Greg Frey, has returned as group publisher.
To the readers of a publication, the publisher, for the most part, is mostly a name in the masthead, involved chiefly with the business aspects.
To that extent, Greg hasn't been a visible, week-in, week-out presence for our readers — but his appreciation for, and leadership of Farm Press have been a strong, guiding force in keeping our publications at the top of the heap in the agricultural publishing business.
Even before he became our publisher, he had more than a decade of experience on the business end of the overall group that included the Farm Presses, which afforded him an intimate understanding of their history and the deep-seated loyalty of their readers.
Aside from all that, Greg's just a heckuva nice guy, and we're delighted to have him back at the helm.
The other change entails a move up the ladder for Forrest Laws, our executive editor, who now becomes associate publisher.
The most visible, most prolific member of our editorial team, his column has appeared on this page each week for many years, and the articles he has written, on every ag topic under the sun, run into the tens of thousands. There are few in the business more knowledgeable of the issues of agriculture, from farm bill wrangling and key legislation, to trade, biotech, the environment — you name it.
In his more than 25 years with Farm Press, he's been deeply involved with agriculture at every level, from interviewing farmers in their fields in blistering summer heat in order to share their ideas and experiences with our readers, to discussing issues with congressional and administration leaders in Washington, to extensive international travel for meetings with farmers, government/trade officials, and agribusiness leaders.
He has become one of the most respected ag journalists in the country, and the friends he's made and the experience he has gained will serve him well in his new role.
While we'll miss his contributions on the editorial side (he'll continue to write his column on a semi-regular basis), we know the qualities that made him an outstanding editor will be reflected in the ongoing progress of the publications as he assumes his broader duties.
And as we note these evolutionary changes in the Farm Presses, may I take this opportunity, on behalf of all our staff — publishers, sales, editorial, production, classified, marketing — to express our heartfelt appreciation to you, our readers and advertisers, for your support and loyalty for more than half a century.
In survey after survey, ours and others, the Farm Presses are top-ranked in readership, reader preference, and reader loyalty.
Delta Farm Press, our flagship publication, has long been known as “the bible for the Mid-South farmer.”
We're humbled by that. And grateful. And our goal is to continue to do our best to deserve your loyalty.