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Across the Editor's Desk: November 2007

Agriculture.com Staff 11/02/2007 @ 10:55am

Most of the editors of Successful Farming magazine joined the staff with one goal in mind: Produce great articles to help readers farm better.

New technologies changed how we went about that job over my 31-year career. But for most of those years, our single focus was printing words and pictures monthly on paper.

In 1995, we plunged into a brand-new communications medium when we launched Agriculture Online. We moved so quickly, in fact, that we procured what I consider the prime ag address on the Web: agriculture.com.

Suddenly a staff of monthly magazine editors could instantly break news to the world. It stoked our journalistic juices and changed our approach to information gathering and reporting.

In recent years we've ramped up the amount of video on Agriculture Online. We also learned a great deal about television as Successful Farming launched the Living the Country Life TV show three years ago as an extension of our new Living the Country Life magazine.

As that brand grew to become a separate business this year no longer under the wing of Successful Farming, we sought new opportunities in TV.

We quickly agreed that farm machinery and equipment as a theme would be popular. Thus, the Successful Farming Machinery Show (SFMS) debuts November 1 on the RFD-TV channel. Click here for broadcast times and more information about the show, which covers everything from high-tech farming to antique tractors.

"Its focus is on the grassroots stories of farmers themselves in segments like All Around the Farm, Top Shops and Tractor Whisperer with Roger Welsch," says the show's director, John Walter.

Other segments feature the latest innovations in tools and machinery as well as our Ultimate ATV and Utility Vehicle Test. Machinery Editor Dave Mowitz is the show host. Tune in and let me know how you like it.

SFMS isn't our only new addition. I am delighted to welcome back Alan Kluis as a contributing editor. Kluis is a veteran market adviser who heads up Kluis Commodities. Find his column, "Your profit," on page 36 of this month's edition of Successful Farming.

I say "welcome back" because Kluis was seen regularly in Successful Farming magazine in the late 1970s and early 1980s. That's when I was the magazine's farm business editor and he was a key source for marketing advice. We spent many hours together as I tagged along to dozens of his marketing seminars in six or seven states.

A year and a half ago, I caught up with Kluis at a conference for farmers in northwest Iowa. A speaker on market outlook, he mentioned an occurrence in market behavior that had repeated 26 of the past 30 years.

My first reaction was to wonder why Kluis hadn't included that fact in our book, Charting for Profit, which he co-wrote with his partner, the late Leroy Louwagie, and me. But then I remembered more than 25 years had passed since that book was written and published by Successful Farming! Time does fly.

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