A Perspective Worth Printing

Western Ag Vignettes

Private breeding company story of interest.

Published on: October 29, 2012

We get lot of calls and e-mails from commercial firms looking for press, and in most cases we avoid solicitations from product enterprise unless something newsworthy justifies use in Western Farmer-Stockman.

When Syngenta called to ask if we wanted to interview their PNW breeder, the red flag went up. But after further thought, we found the story to be one that our readers hopefully will find of interest. It will appear in our December issue.

What we try to avoid is a lot of chatter in these kinds of articles about how wonderful the company or product is acclaimed to be by the source. In the Syngenta article, the focus is on the future of wheats for the PNW and not on the virtues of the company – so much.

In this kind of presentation, I hope we have skirted the commercial solicitation issue in your minds. It is an utmost priority of our publication not to reprint items from industry which may erroneously take on the patina of news.

At the same time, the ag businesses which provide you with your products do often have legitimate ideas for features, and I personally feel we have a responsibility to present such articles along with those sourced by other contacts.

Perhaps the unwritten bottom line here is to discover how our readers feel about such treatment in the your magazine. You are, after all, the reader. Without your respect and involvement, we'd be dead in the water.

In 1929 on Nov. 29, a day known as "Black Monday" dawned to the sound of the Stock Market crashing. What a day to remember for those who might. Along with Kennedy's assassination and 9/11, it was an event etched on our history forever.

That we overcame, just as we are rising above the financial disarray of today, is a lesson in American strength, capability and endurance. What it tells me is that no matter what curves we're pitched, there's a hitter somewhere on the roster. We just have to seek it out and bring the alpha batter up (my poor attempt to parallel the World Series interests).

I grew up in that backwash of the Depression, and remember my parent's penny-pinching and waste-not mentality clearly. I remember uncles who stole bread to feed their family, and mothers who baked pies to make ends meet. While I am only a product of the memory of the Depression, it was a constant factor in my upbringing by those who did in fact experience the crash.

My Dad was a drummer in a speakeasy long before I was born, and that's how he helped get my mother and brother through the tough times. For some reason, despite my pleadings, he would never teach me to handle the drum sticks, perhaps identifying them with a time of narrow passages to survival. I had to settle for bongos.

My Dad was a hard-working day laborer at the factory who taught me the work ethic by example. For that, I say thanks often, and for the fortitude he and his generation demonstrated in rising above the Great Depression.

Have faith.