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Lessons learned, lessons to share

FG Editor Lynn Olsen Published on 22 July 2010
Farm Show

For most of you, my name is a new addition to Progressive Forage Grower.

I have been working behind the scenes at Progressive Publishing for a number of years, coordinating article contributions and also doing some work in the circulation department. I’ve been around, but not very visible. So, let me briefly introduce myself.

I grew up on what I would call a “hobby farm” – originally in Arizona and later in Idaho. My dad was a banker, working primarily with agricultural loans, and we always had enough plants and animals around the place to “teach us responsibility” (according to my dad, who I now actually believe did know what he was talking about, even though I wasn’t too sure at the time).

And, if there wasn’t enough to do at our house, he made sure we helped at the neighbors.

I truly learned to love being outdoors, whether it was on the back of a horse or on the seat of a tractor. I went to college and got a degree in plant science, knowing I wanted to be involved in agriculture but still wondering where life’s road would take me.

After getting married, I found myself being a stay-at-home mom of four awesome kids. As they got older and into school, I was able to go back to work, not on the farm where I might have pictured myself, but in an office writing e-mails and making phone calls.

I still smile when I get dirt under my fingernails weeding the garden or smell a freshly-cut field of alfalfa next door, but I’m definitely not outside like I used to be. However, I still feel I have an important part to play.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Springfield, Missouri, to the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) annual conference (click here to see a short re-cap of the event).

It was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with many of the editorial contributors I have worked with over the past few years and also get a good reminder about how important forages are to agriculture.

Producers and industry professionals alike were there to learn more about how to grow the best forages they could, not simply for the sake of growing it, but because of the impact it has on animal agriculture and the environment.

I view our role at Progressive Forage Grower as being a source that you can turn to for production-related information about all aspects of growing hay, silage and pasture. We do it by calling on the most knowledgeable and experienced people in the business.

Who are those people? They are the producer that has learned when to cut hay for the best quality. They are the grazier who has learned how to manage their pasture for optimal animal gain.

They are the researcher who has worked to improve silage feed value for a dairy farmer. In short, they are you.

The front cover photo and the one above (taken at one of the stops on the hay tour at the AFGC meeting) are perfect examples of what I hope to continue to see in the magazine over the coming years.

It represents the exchange of ideas between producers, industry and education. All have something valuable to contribute.

I would invite you to share your knowledge and experiences by sending your photos, comments or suggestions for what you would like to see in upcoming issues.

I hope the print magazine and on-line forums will be a place where the lessons learned in the field can become a benefit to all.  FG

Lynn Olsen
Progressive Forage Grower Editor