Writing my first Editor’s Note for The Communicator is bittersweet. I am excited to personally address CAAR members but, this opportunity came with the news that our Editor-in-Chief, Lynda Nicol, was leaving CAAR after 10 years with the association. It was a pleasure to work with Lynda, and I wish her all the best in the future.

My name is Laura Wiens. I have now been writing about agriculture for two years and have served as editor of The Communicator for the past year. I always knew I wanted a career in writing and editing, but before starting with Suckerpunch, I had no experience with agriculture, let alone ag retail.

Working in ag communications, I realize just how much my city-peers and I take the growing of our food for granted. Growing up, we understood that you needed money to buy food and that many people were less fortunate than we were. But, as long as you could afford it, food would always be waiting for you on store shelves.

Now I understand that we owe our plentiful and high-quality food to farmers and the ag value chain, and that there are a whole host of social and regulatory factors that influence farmers’ ability to continue producing safe, high-quality crops to feed the world.

Knowing what I know now, I am frustrated to see the attitudes, often accompanied by misinformed “facts,” with which many people regard modern agriculture. If technology and innovation can improve society when it comes to medicine, transportation and more, why should agriculture and food be any different?

For this issue I had the great pleasure to work on our feature article “A Persistent Perception Challenge.” When preparing for and writing this story, I knew it would be crucial to highlight the importance of modern agriculture and how incorrect perceptions about the tools used by farmers can harm the long-term sustainability of agriculture. I am very proud to be able to use my writing to support such an important cause.

I have learned, and continue to learn, about ag through the events I’ve attended, the reading I’ve done, and perhaps most importantly, the conversations I’ve had with CAAR members and others, who have been more than happy to share their stories with me, and help a city girl better understand this industry.

That’s why I believe it is important for people, like you, who work in agriculture to continue sharing your stories and defending your industry against people who choose to ignore facts and who spread fear about modern agriculture. Just as we are thankful for food, we should be thankful for the tools that make a plentiful, reliable food source possible. Thankful; not afraid.

Enjoy the December issue,

Laura Wiens

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