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Farm Forum

The editor of Farm Forum is gone this week so I’m able to take his spot on this page. I don’t have the smooth Southern style of story telling that Stan has but I do enjoy telling ag’s story.

It’s been a year since I made the switch from being Farm Forum editor to being a writer for Farm Forum. During that time, I’ve been able to get out of the office to write about many issues that you, our readers are facing. It’s been good for me as well as gives me more time at home on the farm, learning about our own operation.

Many don’t realize the differences in the position. As editor, Stan is now responsible for making sure there are enough stories that are ready to go on the Farm Forum pages each week. The page count depends on advertisers so we never know what the count will be. Stan answers and processes emails including the word documents and graphics. He fields phone calls from readers and those who like to pitch a story idea. He deals with computer problems and worries about how items are put on page. And he reads through my stories and makes suggestions to improve the information.

Last week was a bit taxing for Stan and I’m glad he can enjoy time with his far-away family. On top of the weekly Farm Forum with layout that needs to be completed by noon on Wednesday, we did layout for the Cattlemen’s Edition that will come out Dec. 12. (That special edition with glossy pages gets shipped to another city for printing which is why it needs to be done early.) And then on Friday, since it’s Thanksgiving week this week, the G section of the Nov. 28 edition needed to be completed.

While Stan worried about processing stories and looking for information, I was able to be out on the Ulmer farm and then attended the Farmers Union Convention in Aberdeen.

Some of you may have seen the story and photos on the operation owned by Ross and Annette Ulmer of Frederick that appeared in the American News Nov. 25. That story will also be in the Cattlemen’s Edition.

Sometimes people ask why certain people get chosen for stories. Sometimes it’s happenstance. I ran into Ross at the sale barn when I was doing a story on cattle prices. He mentioned his barns to me. I wanted to feature a local cattle operation. Since he had the hoop barns, it was a good fit. And boy, did I learn a lot from our chilly morning conversation. I dug my coveralls out for the visit and enjoyed watching the process with the temperature at 13 below zero.

The cattle didn’t mind and neither did I. And Ross has a nice warm business office out by the barns.

I’ve been encouraged to use social media with posting things to Twitter and Facebook. Now I’ve been issued a mini-Ipad so I can improve the photos I take and take videos. I did take some action movies out there and they’ll be found on

We are serious about wanting to know about the issues that are important to you. If you have story ideas and want to share, send that to or call 605-622-2304.

At the Farmers Union Convention on Thursday and Friday, great speakers shared information.

At the convention, I visited with Larry Mitchell, administrator for the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration. That interview will be in the Dec. 5 edition of the Farm Forum.