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Kurns ditches deadlines for retired life

After my version of “40 seasons,” it’s a time of transition.

It’s always hard to know when the time is right to call it quits. The decision is rarely crystal clear.

It’s been 10 years since I took the reins of the Successful Farming brand, and it’s been a joy from the start — and the finish.

I spent seven years in the newspaper business and 33 years here at this company, so my “40 seasons” will draw to a close with the July issue.

Being at one company for so long is unusual these days. What a great ride it has been. My respect and admiration for farmers and ranchers only grew with each story, each photo, each podcast or video that highlighted a producer and their commitment to farming. It is a noble profession, among few.

In my last weeks here, I’ve felt nostalgic about this brand that has been around since 1902. I looked at an old human resources brochure from the 1920s or so. Called “The Human Equation,” it highlights the philosophy of the company, its managers, and its founding principles to help farmers.

One passage in the booklet:

Visitors almost invariably remark on the good feeling and cooperative spirit manifested in the Successful Farming organization. They say, “You appear to be a big, loyal, happy family here.”

We are proud of this fact.

It’s true. The team here is a small but mighty band of talented, committed journalists and professionals who share a mission to keep farmers and ranchers informed — whether that is in the pages of the Successful Farming magazine; on our website,; or through other outlets such as social media.

Speaking to young farmers has always been satisfying for me. Whether it’s National FFA or New Century Farmer students, I enjoy seeing the energy and idealism they hold. I share with them that, much like their future in taking over the family farm, I had very large shoes to fill here.

I replaced Loren Kruse, an editor who had been with the magazine for 36 years, and was editor for 22 years. That’s a legacy.

But I have come to learn that legacy is a blessing, not a burden. Being proud to be part of something outweighs the challenges and demands. We are not larger than the legacy we inherit, or that we pass on.

I won’t miss the deadlines, but I will miss the people — a loyal, happy family that will create a new legacy.

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