Editors' Notebook

Giving Thanks for Great Talent

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D. Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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Senior Editor Victoria Myers, left, who retires at the end of 2023 and incoming Senior Livestock Editor Jennifer Carrico. (Photos courtesy of Victoria Myers and Jennifer Carrico)

For the past 15 Thanksgivings, one of the things I've given thanks for is the incredibly dedicated, professional team of journalists, analysts, editors and meteorologists that make up the DTN/Progressive Farmer newsroom.

I've worked at most of the major ag press nameplates in my career, and there is no place like this place because there are no people like the people who bring content to you in these spaces every day.

This Thanksgiving, I'm especially thankful for two particular DTN team members. One is leaving us, one just came on board.

If you've been a reader of Progressive Farmer magazine or of these digital pages, the byline of Victoria G. Myers is no doubt familiar. Vicki has led our livestock and land coverage, including editing the CattleLink section in Progressive Farmer and the online e-newsletter, since 2009. But her byline in Progressive Farmer goes back to her being named then Cotton Editor in 1989. At the time, her talents at Cotton Farming magazine were noticed by Progressive Farmer regional editor Earl Manning, and he and colleague Del Deterling worked on the powers that be to bring young Vicki aboard.

There, she blossomed, writing a host of important stories on the cotton beat, and also being part of the PF team that created a multi-part series on deaths in agriculture, highlighting the dangers this way of life has, particularly at that time when everything in ag, from equipment to storage facilities to herd size, was getting bigger and more powerful, but safety features and training struggled to keep up. That series won a host of awards inside and outside of ag, and launched the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, which continues to this day fostering farm safety.

One of Vicki's highest values, though, was her willingness to pitch in where needed, and to pitch ALL-in. When then magazine editor Jack Odle saw a need to increase livestock coverage, he turned to Vicki. "I was cotton editor, and I knew that world, but at the time I barely knew one end of the cow from the other," Vicki said recently. "But thanks to Jack, and Becky Mills, I learned a lot quickly."

Since that time, Vicki has methodically, and with care, covered some of the biggest stories in the cattle world, from the ongoing battle over country of origin labeling to the ups and downs of the cattle cycle and the producers who have thrived during all that has been thrown at them in the past 14 years.

She leaves us to take on a whole new set of charges: While she was winning writing awards and fans, Vicki was also secretly working on a law degree. She recently launched a civil and probate law practice, with the goal of helping families work through the inheritance and succession planning and being an advocate for elderly who often find themselves with few supportive voices as they transition to assisted living. Her clients have a trusted, caring tiger in their corner, I can assure them. We will miss her, truly. I will miss that no-nonsense Tennessee accent and the hard-nosed reporter that came with it, even more.

But fear not, livestock producers. We are excitedly proud to announce that veteran ag editor Jennifer Carrico has joined our team to lead our livestock coverage as Senior Livestock Editor. Jennifer comes to us as former Editor of Wallaces Farmer, where she covered her home state of Iowa. Jennifer has also been a reporter and editor for Iowa Farmer Today and High Plains Journal, where she covered the cattle industry among other subjects.

Just as importantly, this award-winning journalist knows the cattle business by living it. She currently runs the beef cattle operation on her family's Heritage Farm near Redfield, Iowa, where she proudly notes her children are the sixth generation to grow up on the farm. You can read more about her life and philosophy here https://www.dtnpf.com/….

I've known Jennifer professionally for more than two decades, and she's long been on my "some day I want to work with that person" list. So, I am beyond thankful that we are bringing her talents, her knowledge, and her deep caring for the livestock industry to the readers and customers of DTN and Progressive Farmer.

May you and your families give thanks for the many blessings you have during this holiday. I'm certainly thankful for all the blessings we have here at DTN/Progressive Farmer, and those include all of you. Be safe, be well.

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

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @greghorstmeier

Greg Horstmeier