Apr 7, 2007
Assistant Editor No Stranger to the Industry

What goes around comes around, they say. But is it progress when you end up so close to where you started?

I was born and raised just a few miles from here (Sparta, Mich.). One of the first pictures of me shows a 2-year-old in my uncle’s apple orchard. My dad worked in Fruit Ridge orchards during World War II, before starting a dairy farm and giving me my real farm childhood.

I left home at 17, going to Michigan State University (MSU) for a degree in journalism and my first job as a student writing about MSU ag research. After a brief stint as a newspaper reporter, I joined the staff of Michigan Farmer, where I spent 26 years, the last 15 as editor. I spend most of my career in Michigan’s capital city.

Michigan Farmer was sold and “reorganized” in 1991, sending me off to spend 14 years as a freelance writer. It’s been a real experience, writing for dozens of magazines and doing writing projects of many kinds – newsletters, books, book chapters – on all kinds of agricultural topics as diverse as on-farm poultry processing, growing sod, composting manure, farming organically, growing potatoes, apples and Asian pears, managing forage, grazing livestock, marketing milk, using sustainable farm practices, making money on small acreage, adding value, lots more.

I spent two years back at MSU, writing about animal agriculture in Agriculture Hall, three floors up from where I started during my student years. I was in Ag Hall when John Kennedy was shot in 1963 and when 9/11 happened in 2001.

Now I’m back close to where I started, and writing about fruit and vegetables for Great American Publishing. GAP has a great reputation in the industry, and I’m proud to be here. I look forward to continuing work in an industry where I know so many fine people and there are still so many interesting stories to tell.


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