These have been among the best years of my life.
I say that as I prepare to depart from my job as Brandon bureau
news reporter with the Western Producer.
The adventure began when our editor, Barb Glen, hired me in June 1998. Since then, I have never stopped learning new things about journalism, about agriculture, about the world in general and about myself.
I could fill the pages of The Producer many times over with the names of people to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for all they have done for me during the past eight years. However, there are some people in particular that I would like to thank.
Those people include the farmers of Western Canada, especially those who shared their time, thoughts and stories with me. They have been generous in more ways than I can mention here. I learned a great deal from them, including the meaning of courage, honesty and perseverance. I thank them for inspiring me.
I am grateful to all the researchers and extension people (federal, provincial and private) who patiently explained the intricacies of their work and the relevance that it has to agriculture.
I am generally cynical of governments and bureaucracies, but I cannot recall a researcher, research assistant or extension person who was not sincere and passionate about their work. I thank them for enlightening me.
I would be remiss if I did not also thank the people trying to shape policies for the betterment of agriculture, particularly farming. Those people extend from the farm commodity groups and lobby groups through to politicians. There are many among them who have gone far beyond anything that could be expected of them. They have sacrificed much to defend what they believe in. I thank them for giving me hope.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I would like to thank the Producer for all the opportunities it has given me.
The paper is staffed with an extremely talented group of people and, considering some of the things that I have put my colleagues through, I would also have to describe them as an extremely patient group of people.
We have laughed together, cried together and learned together. They gave my life a richness beyond anything I could have imagined when I started work here eight years ago. I would offer them my thanks, but none would suffice.
And with that, I say goodbye.