Whew! The Master Farmer stories are officially written and ready for press.
Each year, this is a fun, yet extremely daunting, task. Meeting the winners and photographing their farm is a pleasure. It’s great to pick their brains and ask anything and everything about their farm and life.
For me, the history portion is very interesting. I love hearing how the Master Farmer’s ancestors ended up in Illinois. It’s also intriguing to hear how the farm operation evolved over the years. (I’d say just over half the folks have a story about exiting hog production.)
Of course, after all the photos and interviews, I end up back at my office, sitting in front of the computer, waiting for the story to materialize on the screen. This is where the tough part begins.
How do you condense such an accomplished person’s life in 1,000 words? It’s not easy, I’ll tell you that. Once I’ve written the story, I’ll flip back through my notes and cringe. There are so many great quotes and points that I didn’t get to include because of space constraints, it’s painful.
When the March issue comes out, I hope you enjoy reading about the 2011 Master Farmers. Just remember, we only scratched the surface.
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