Some of you youngsters out there may not know this, but there was a time when Western Producer subscriptions were purchased with chickens.
Other produce also served as payment, back when farms were not churning out any actual cash to speak of.
Times have changed, to say the least. The chicken has been replaced with the credit card.
However, these old stories and reminiscences are resurfacing as we move closer to our 90th anniversary here at The Producer.
We recently published advertisements asking if you had a story that fits our theme and have already received quite a number of letters and emails. They describe marriages that came about through WP personal ads, relationships formed through pen-pals found in the classifieds and people scraping together a little money during hard times to buy a paper.
In other cases, older folks have shared that they, or their parents, have been reading the WP for decades. Decades! I think that is so cool.
We want to share some of these stories with our readers as we reach that big 90th milestone, which officially happens Aug. 27. For several weeks, we hope to publish readers’ stories before they are lost to history.
History is, in many ways, what we do here — what all newspapers do.
Newspapers provide information, true, but they are also archives of our collective lives. They chronicle life and death, war and peace, politics and policy. If that sounds grandiose, I do not apologize. It is true.
In the case of agricultural papers, we also chronicle recipes (food, and how we cook it, changes remarkably over time), cattle shows, 4-H winners, developments in agronomy and machinery, market changes and so many other topics.
Looking back over the last 90 years, I wonder how many stories, how many column inches, how many photos and how many ads we have published. It’s staggering. It’s amazing.
It’s worth celebrating. Be a part of it, and send us your story as it connects with us.
You can go online and submit your story at www.producer.com/tellusyourstory, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it the historical way to Tell Us Your Story, The Western Producer, P.O. Box 2500, Saskatoon, Sask. S7K 2C4.