After 43 years of meeting deadlines, 40 of those with the High Plains Journal, this is my last one.
My Dad died when I was 12 years old and we had to sell the farm and move to town. At that time I thought my dream of making a living in agriculture was over for good. A twist of fate brought me back to agriculture, not as a farmer but as an agricultural journalist writing about farmers. Judging from what people have told me most of them don’t enjoy their jobs but I have really enjoyed mine. I was fortunate to find a job I could do reasonably well, that I enjoyed and one that someone was willing to pay me to do.
I would like to thank Joe Berkely, Ray Pierce and Galen Hubbs for taking a chance on a young man who had just been fired from his first job in the newspaper business. During my time at HPJ, I worked for four different publishers and four different editors. Thank you all for your faith in me.
My favorite part of the job has been traveling across the country meeting with farmers and ranchers. I would like to thank everyone who invited me to their farms and ranches. Taking time out from their busy schedules to answer my questions and putting up with having their pictures taken. Although nearly every one of them said it would break my camera that never happened.
Agriculture has changed dramatically over the last 40 years but the desire of farmers and ranchers to provide the highest quality food, fiber and fuel for consumers all over the world has not changed.
It was my pleasure to meet each of you and tell your stories to the HPJ readers.
Next I would like to thank my co-workers at HPJ. You not only became my friends but my extended family. From the front office to the back shop you take pride in putting HPJ in the mailboxes of thousands of readers every week. In 40 years you never failed to get the job done despite fires, ice storms and broken equipment.
I met my wife Barbara, the daughter of a western Kansas wheat farmer, while working at HPJ. Thank you Barb for putting up with my crazy travel schedule and keeping things running smoothly at home.
In 1978, I drove from La Cygne, Kansas, to Dodge City, to begin a new adventure. Today I begin a another new adventure without deadlines!
Doug Rich can be reached at 785-749-5304 or [email protected].