This is the last column I get to write as the Managing Editor at Ozarks Farm & Neighbor. Wow, those are some tough words to say. But don’t fret, dear reader, for we have wonderful things in store for you. I’m writing today to share memories of my own, and to introduce to you a talented and successful woman who will be taking my place, Mrs. Lane McConnell.
To begin, let me say, I love OFN. Putting together editorial content for you, our reader, over the past four years, has been a joy. I am on to different ventures, but before I go, I want to reflect on some of the fond memories I have made, not only with my colleagues – but also with you all, our readers. 
I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, Lane McConnell. Hers is a name you’ve seen in these pages before as a freelance writer. Lane is a writer and a farm girl. She comes to us having worked at both the Brownfield Radio Network and the Missouri Department of Agriculture. She knows OFN and the people this paper serves. I could not think of a better person to step in seamlessly, and take OFN to the next level. I’m excited to see what she has in store for you.
So many of you have impressed upon me the importance of being willing and able to adapt, to grow, in our ever-changing industry. In my time here I have seen resilience from our region’s dairy farmers and innovation from our diversified family farms. From our beef farmers I continually see a desire to improve our methods and our product. You, the farmers, work so hard, so we can better feed our country. Is there a more noble profession, or endeavor?
My heart bursts with pride as I think of what agriculture has done for our country, and the people of agriculture who have been the catalysts of that progress. We fight for our way of life every year, against urbanization, against vegetarianism, and perhaps worst of all, against a consumer so far removed from the frolicking calf in the tall green grass. As my dear friend Frank Farmer so brilliantly wrote once, “Food is not free to mankind. Only the opportunity to produce it is there for the taking.” I think his words express exactly what sets us, the agriculturists of our nation, apart.
I cannot stress enough how honored I have been to tell the story of agriculture in the Ozarks. I cannot say enough how each of you, the livestock producers and farmers of this region have impacted my life, as you work so hard to advance agriculture. Please, stay the course.
Blessings and love to you all.


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