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Corn+Soybean Digest

Farewell But Not Goodbye


This is an eventful article for me, because it’s my last Profits column for Corn & Soybean Digest.

My first article was in the January 2000 issue of the Soybean Digest, so with this issue it has been 12 years that I’ve written a column for this magazine.

In the fall of 1999, John Russnogle, who worked for the Soybean Digest, asked me if I would be interested in writing what was then called the Riskwise column. I reminded John the worst grades I received in college were in English Composition, so I thought he’d been smoking something he shouldn’t have been.

I am forever grateful to him for the reference, and since then John and I have become great friends and he’s been a great mentor.

Twelve years is long enough. My readers’ patience can only extend so far. It has been a pleasure writing for such a fine magazine, and the editors and staff have been extremely enjoyable to work with for so many years. They are great professionals.

Most of all I have appreciated the calls I have received from readers. It motivated me to continue to write when I knew people read them.

The article that received the most calls was the Late November 2010 article “Make Your Own Luck” (see, where I wrote about taking the high road to personal accountability. All were favorable. Calls on other articles were extremely appreciated, and I learned something from talking to each reader who called.

Another call came from a farmer who when I answered my phone the first words he said were, “You kept your promise.”

Startled, I asked what he was talking about. He said he met me at a seminar six years earlier, and I said I would always answer my own phone. When I’m not traveling I still do. I don’t remember saying that so my readers have much better memories that I do.

When I wrote my first column No. 2 yellow corn in Central Illinois was $1.89/bu., soybeans $4.35/bu., crude oil was $24/barrel, gold was $291/oz. and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 11,494, about where it is now. As I write this it is 11,985.

Agriculture has definitely done better than the rest of the economy, but if you recall my article on cycles; things will change.

From here on I will still continue to write, just wearing a different hat. One of my heroes is Peter Drucker – he wrote and spoke until he was 95 – so I’m looking forward to continuing to speak and write in addition to my responsibilities of heading Russell Consulting Group.

Please continue to call, I love hearing from you and badly need your wisdom and advice. Thank you, my readers, and thank you, Corn & Soybean Digest. It’s been a great ride.

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