Tempting as it was to lazily pad this issue (or the last) with some kind of “year in review,” as those years pile up I find myself far more interested in looking forward.
This is Farm Gate’s 98th issue, so as the 100th approaches next month, what’s also tempting is some kind of celebratory look back over this publication’s still-brief lifespan. But as the kids say these days, “I’m not feeling that right now.” I’d much rather look forward and lay out some of our aspirations and goals and whatnot, so here’s some of that:
MORE GATES. Duh! We had a good thing going with “Great Gates” until it got lost in the shuffle of less-fun stuff. It’s simple: Send us a photo of a working gate on your farm and a brief description of its function. In return I’ll send you some kind of trinket — probably a vintage farm memo book (like those pictured above) because I ran out of the Farm Gate gloves. (They weren’t very good gloves anyway. Sorry.)
MORE INTERACTIVITY. Just because my brain’s a cluttered mess and I can’t seem to flush it out without writing stuff down doesn’t mean everyone’s wired the same way. Even so, I’d love to hear more from Farm Gate readers: what’s coming up on your Farm Bureau calendars, how that thing went last week, what you want more/less of, etc.
MORE COUNTY. I know you miss your county Farm Bureau newsletters, and I don’t really blame you. As the very notion of local seems to erode before our bleary eyes (don’t get me started), ending county newsletters seems more like part of the problem than the solution. How to resume the flow and sharing of county-level news and information remains one of the most highlighted, underlined and daunting tasks on my to-do list. But it’s not going anywhere soon, so I’m all ears.
MORE READERS. Expanding Farm Gate’s distribution is another top priority, because from the get-go our squint-worthy reach widely missed the mark of its very purpose. Long story short we’ve been stuck in classic preaching-to-the-choir mode, but I’m assured that fix is around the corner.
MORE UPCOMING. We’re better at looking back than forward, but really need to flip that around. From its inception one of Farm Gate’s priorities has been to encourage member involvement, which inherently involves sharing information about upcoming opportunities for you to attend, take part, network… Like your democracy, your grassroots organization is meant to be participatory, and we want to do a better job sharing the what, when, where and how of involvement.
MORE PERSONAL. Farm Gate’s proud to provide a forum for sharing the human, personal, social, family side of your organization. This is a hugging zone where it’s even safe to shed a manly tear or two. Seriously: The ‘family’ component of our Family of Companies has become my favorite part, and I’m eager to continue exploring how Farm Gate can help share, foster and cultivate that side. Ideas? Lay ‘em on me.
MORE YOU. This is repeating some of the above, but you’ve read this far… The Farm Gate of my dreams is a living, breathing forum — more of a place than a publication — a place where we (=more you, less me) can share our ideas like a potluck or one of those vegetable seedling or cookie exchanges. Do those still happen? I’ll never know if you don’t share it here!