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Thanks to the many folks who have filled my career as a farm writer with fun and excitement.

Tim White, Editor, Ohio Farmer

April 29, 2015

3 Min Read


After 38 years on the farm beat, I am moving on at the end of April. No April fools this time. I'm off to retirement as a re-organization here at Penton Media has consolidated my office. Jennifer Kiel will be your new Ohio Farmer content director. And because I recommended her to the company 10 years ago, I know she will do a great job.


I'm very grateful to the many people who helped me to tell the farmers' stories during my tenure as ag writer. I could fill an Ohio Farmer with all the names. Start with my Mom who gave me not just a love for reading, but an appreciation of weeding -- as well as the knowledge to identify the trees, birds and bugs in our back woods. Countless teachers encouraged the good, discouraged the bad and demanded more from my words. A long list of fellow editors gave me an understanding of which news stories were farmer-worthy and dazzled me with the inspirational on-farm photos they took to illustrate that news. Thanks to the graphic artists and most importantly the copy editors who always made it look way better. Thanks also to nearly four decades of researchers, Extension specialists, company reps, commodity execs, state and federal employees who spent untold hours explaining the complex intricacies of the business of agriculture as well as the alphabet soup that goes with USDA and ODA. And of course their communications people who made damn sure I got the message.

Of course most of all I am thankful to the many farm families who answered my phone calls and agreed to let me come to the farm to show me how it all works. You shared your history, your techniques, your new ideas, your production, your successes, your frustrations, your tragedies and your victories. You posed for photos even when you didn't really want a picture taken. You mowed the waterways so the farm would look its best and you moved the tractor or combine so I could get it in the frame. You even trusted me not to run the shots of those fields that really didn't look so good. You treated me like a friend and I always enjoyed my visits.

From the land boom of the 1970s to the financial crisis of the 1980s; from conservation compliance to check-off mandates; from drought threats to export expansion; from hi-tech seeds to high-priced equipment, from big yields and exploding land prices to the challenge of feeding the world, there has been no more exciting topic to cover for the last 40 years than American agriculture. And as much as I like golf, there is nothing more important to write about than farming and farmers. I count my blessings to have been able to do it all in my home state of Ohio.

I have held the title of assistant editor, associate editor, managing editor, senior machinery editor, senior farm management editor, agribusiness reporter and editor. Shockingly my 24 years as editor of Ohio Farmer is the most in the 170 years history of this publication and its predecessor The Ohio Cultivator. As we roll down the age of the Internet, I retire with the title of "content director." For my fellow English majors, put the accent on the second syllable of "content." What a long sweet ride it's been.

I will look for you at a future farm meeting. Out of habit I will probably the one sitting in front scribbling notes.    

About the Author(s)

Tim White

Editor, Ohio Farmer

Tim White has written about farmers and farming for 30 years. He's taken a seat in tractors and combines and kitchen tables all across the state of Ohio. Whether he is at the Ohio Farm Science Review, Power Show Ohio, the Ohio State Fair, or a county field day, he runs into friends from all aspects of Ohio agriculture.

Tim has won the Oscar for Agricultural Writing, and American Agricultural Editor's annual awards for best editorial and best marketing story. He helped to found the Ohio Agricultural Communicators Association and was president of the North American Agricultural Journalists. In 2001 the National Association of Conservation Districts presented him with the award for the nation's top writer on conservation. The Ohio Farm Bureau recognized him as the state's top communicator in 2005.

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