Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where has the last half decade gone?

I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into back in June 2005, when I reported to work for the first time in the Capital Press main office in Salem, Ore. Frankly, I wasn't sure if I would fit in here. These people were pretty serious about their agriculture here, and I was not, by training or experience, an agriculture journalist. I had worked in the mainstream media for my whole career before coming here.

But, looking back, I had a few things going for me. I grew up in an agriculture business (the aerial spraying business); I went to an ag school (Oregon State, where the journalism department that I got my degree from was based in the ag building); and I'd spent 10 years in California, which was one of the states we cover and was part of the operation I was tasked to oversee at the time.

I certainly did not know if I would still be here 5-years hence. I'd only held one journalism job for at least 5 years up to that time, so the odds were probably against it. But I passed the 5-year mark last month. So, I've spent a little time looking back, in self reflection, this summer. I admit I am disappointed that I've let my contributions to this blog languish. While farmers and other agribusiness professionals and people just plain interested in topics related to their food have grown more active in their blogging, I've been nearly inactive here. Much of my attention for the last year has been on our main website, with some time devoted to our other social media efforts, like Twitter, Facebook and editing videos from our staff that we post on YouTube.

It seems I keep relearning the lesson that you can't do everything. I know I certainly can't, at least not without a whole lot of help. I appreciate all of those who have helped the Capital Press report news about agriculture here, on our website, on Twitter, on Facebook, on our other blogs, and in print. Part of what makes working for the Capital Press so exciting is that we are continuing to look for the best, most innovative ways to help the people in Western agriculture do their important work of growing, or contributing to the growth of, food and fiber. There are lots of good stories out there.

We've changed a lot of things in the 5 years I've been here. We changes our logo, or printed page design, or website design, we went from zero blogs to three (the newest one devoted to helping ag business with digital marketing) and changed the way we we zone our print editions.

I can't say for sure what the next 5 years will bring. But I can safely predict that the ways we continue to cover agriculture will continue to evolve, just as agriculture itself continues to evolve.

Thanks to you, for checking out those stories in our various venues. And thanks to my Capital Press bosses and colleagues for making this such a great place to work for the last 5 years and allowing me to play with your digital and print toys.

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