Prairie Farmer Logo

Work hard, play hard and say hello to a new Prairie Farmer editorial team member: Jill Loehr.

Holly Spangler, Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer

January 4, 2016

2 Min Read

We do a lot of writing in the farm magazine business about working relationships: often between fathers and sons, but also among daughters, siblings, spouses, grandparents, co-owners and the like. And in the end, those relationships get amplified because they all work together. All day long.

I get that, in part because we farm and I have observed the occasional inter-family farm relationship. Also because I’ve worked for a company for 18 years, with dozens of awesome people over those years.

And boy, have I been fortunate. Mike Wilson was my first boss. Our editorial team back in those days consisted of Mike, Cherry Stout and myself. It was a good time and my learning curve was steep. Mike dispensed timeless advice next to the light table. (“Never shoot a fat man from the side.”) He gave me back edited copy full of red ink and wisdom. I just tried to soak it all up. And he and Cherry both showed me what it was to ask hard questions while appreciating the salt-of-the-earth people we do it for.

Later, Mike moved to Farm Futures and Cherry and I manned the ship ourselves. Then Cherry left to pursue her horse passions, and Josh Flint came on board. Not coming from a farm background, Josh’s learning curve was steep, too, but he was a quick study. We developed an incredibly entertaining working relationship, complete with random texts and his utter understanding that sometimes I had to go drive a semi. Or clean up after a small person occasionally. Because he did, too.

This week marks a new change in the Prairie Farmer staff, and the chance for new relationships. Jill Loehr has joined our team as an associate editor. Jill is a farm girl from northwest Iowa and she earned a degree in ag journalism from Iowa State University. (Don’t hold that against her! I-L-L forever.) Her career took her to agency work in Wisconsin and northern Illinois, then most recently to the communications team at Wyffels Hybrids.

All of this is to say that she knows corn and Illinois agriculture, and she’s already done time at the Farm Progress Show. Frankly, that’s half the battle here.

So I hope you’ll welcome Jill to our pages, both paper and digital. She’s already dug in, with a story this morning on the recent floods across central and southern Illinois. We’ve had a lot of editors in our history, dating back to 1841. I’m confident Jill will be another of the great ones.

And in the meantime, we’ll have a lot of fun covering Illinois agriculture together. Because that’s the other half of the battle.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like