Editors' Notebook

New Faces, New Expertise

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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Jason Jenkins and Susan Payne joined the DTN/Progressive Farmer team in late summer. (DTN photos)

It's always exciting to add new members to the DTN/Progressive Farmer team, so I'm tickled to introduce not one but two new staff members, Crops Editor Jason Jenkins and Social Media and Young Farmer Editor Susan Payne. Careful readers may have already noticed these new bylines popping up in DTN articles the past few weeks: Payne came aboard in early August and Jenkins joined us at the end of that month.

Both bring two key traits that dovetail with the entire DTN team: Undying belief in the power of journalism and an overriding appreciation for farming and the agriculture industry.

Payne's position is brand new for us. Her title shows the commitment we have to platforms of social media as both a way to quickly inform readers and customers, but also to connect with younger generations of farmers.

We have a variety of young-farmer-focused efforts, the capstone being our annual America's Best Young Farmers and Ranchers awards program. Those awards have been championed by our Progressive Farmer magazine, its Editor-in-Chief Gregg Hillyer and Senior Editor Dan Miller who handles our machinery and technology areas.

Payne will add to those efforts by reporting on the issues of special importance to new farmers and ranchers and ultimately help the entire DTN staff make sure we are well-rounded in our coverage in issues that have varying influences on different generations or time in agriculture. She comes to us with a strong background in community journalism, having spent time at The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs, Iowa where she managed the paper's website and social media efforts while also writing and editing news content.

Speaking of social media, if you're not following us and seeing the updates Payne and the team post each day, you can do that at Facebook.com/DTNProgressiveFarmer or on Twitter at @dtnpf.

Jenkins grew up in rural Illinois and comes to the DTN/PF team with more than two decades experience covering agriculture, farm equipment, crops, and rural issues as an ag and science writer for the University of Missouri, as managing editor of Rural Missouri magazine, and through his own business, Mill Creek Communication Services.

He adds to the already strong bench of our crops team, which includes Crops Technology Editor Pam Smith and Crops Editor Matthew Wilde.

As an aside, readers may have noticed the absence of one of our crops team members, former reporter Emily Unglesbee. While sad to report that Unglesbee left us in mid-summer, I'm happy to report she's still creating informative weed control and related content for farmers as the director of outreach and extension for the Getting Rid Of Weeds project at Virginia Tech University.

Farm and ranch issues continue to be more complicated, and the need for timely knowledge and analysis of those issues are more important all the time. That's why DTN continues to invest in top-flight journalists to bring you what you need to know, when you need to know it.

Join me in welcoming them aboard, and I hope you'll look forward to reading their contributions and connecting with them as they travel to various agriculture events.

Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at greg.horstmeier@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier


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