Back to the field once again

December 21, 2012

The first paying job I ever had involved a short walk across the street. That’s where the asparagus field was.

 I protested the indignity of having to get up and pick asparagus — some days before and after school. My parents, who did not negotiate with whiny little terrorists, marched me into that field, where I vowed to never have another job involving agriculture.

 Instead, that job picking asparagus established a vocational pattern. Before graduating from high school, I spent my summers tending blueberries, apples, cherries, plums, peaches, huge truck gardens and even currants.

 My daily newspaper stops always involved writing about agriculture. For nine years, I was an editor at this company during most of the 1990s before changing paths and attending graduate school. Even during those years, I worked as a produce clerk.

 I didn’t realize that my foot-dragging treks to the asparagus field marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with agriculture in general and fruits and vegetables in particular.

 Neither did I realize that all those bags and packages of fresh-cut produce I stocked in that Meijer store would be another sign of things to come. That experience, working with the product and with the people who purchased it, is going to be very useful to me as the new editorial director for Great American Media Services and the new editor of Fresh Cut magazine.

 The world of fresh-cut produce is a fascinating and complex realm. Food safety, new products/blends, the intricate array of equipment, marketing, packaging, government regulations and the companies and workers who put healthy fresh-cut produce on the dining tables of the world: What a mix!

 Our goal for Fresh Cut in all its platforms (magazine, website, newsletter, YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter) is to present content that is dedicated solely to the fresh-cut produce industry. We want that content to be driven by the kind of information you want and need.

 How can we help you understand this industry better? How can we help share your unique knowledge and expertise with your peers? Are there ways we can help you increase your profitability? Please let me know how Fresh Cut can serve you in these and any other ways that can help you be better at what you do.

 Lee Dean, editorial director