Christmas, I always find, is a time for reflection and thanksgiving more than Thanks- giving.
Looking back, it has been a madly busy year at The Western Producer. In May, we began creating original videos to complement our online offerings, and they have been well received (thank you, viewers.)
To achieve this, we hired Robin Booker, who has plunged whole-heartedly into editing and posting the videos. Not all of our staff have video cameras yet, but we’re working on it. Expect more in the new year.
Our reporters, as always, were everywhere, covering machinery in Hanover, Germany, advances in animal treatment in The Netherlands and the surprise WTO agreement in Bali. Indeed, Barry Wilson was the only Canadian reporter on the ground when the news broke.
We were all over the United States, at meetings in Western Canada and at farm shows across the country. Bad colds, airport food, long hours and endless flights did not daunt WP reporters.
For our readers, it was a year of huge crops, lowering prices, transportation frustration and livestock labelling issues. We covered it all.
In the next three days, we will complete two WP editions and a supplement, and then hopefully take a deep breath, getting ready for our own family celebrations.
As I write this, there is a new Versatile tractor sitting on our front lawn. Tomorrow, we will decorate it, gathering in the snow for our coming-together, end-of-year tradition. If you’re near Saskatoon, drive by the office on Millar Avenue and check it out.
It was not a perfect year for us. It was the year Barry decided to retire, leaving us to wrestle with how to manage without our consummate Parliament Hill reporter.
He will leave a hole in our pages, and in our hearts, when he moves on in January.
Being in the holiday mood, I will focus on how great it was to have Barry at The WP for 35 years … and how great it is to work with this brilliant group of people.
From all of us to all of you, may you have a wonderful and safe holiday season, and a very happy, prosperous 2014.