September 22, 2020 | Arlette Sambs
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About That Fork in the Road

A new role for Feed & Grain’s publisher

In 1989, I was the production manager for Feed & Grain. My job was to make sure the magazine ads were in on time, the ads were correct, all the articles and so forth were in place, and the magazine was printed and mailed on time. For some reason, one of the publishers in our group suggested I go into ad sales.  

An intriguing opportunity — except, I was told, “if you don’t make it in sales, you can’t go back to your old job. We’ll already have given that to someone else.” 

An interesting fork in the road — complacency with what I was doing went one way; take a risk and go into sales, went the other way. I took the risky route ... and haven’t looked back since!

Taking that fork in the road made sense. Growing up on a dairy and hog farm, agriculture was in my blood. I liked everything about the industry and the opportunity. I sold ads into my first issue of the magazine in September 1989. 

Certainly there were many trials by fire, mistakes made and lessons learned. And I’ve learned so much!

With many, many mentors in the feed and grain industry and in the media business, all willing to share a little information, provide a little guidance, to help me do a better job. I’m proud to say many became, and still are, good friends. 

Which made choosing at the  next fork in the road more  challenging. After wrestling with the decision for more than a year, with plenty of discussions and “what ifs” with my team on Feed & Grain and at the Farm Bureau, I’ve decided to cut back and work part time. Time to let someone else take the reins, enjoy the opportunities and challenges. (And yes, get rid of some of the headaches of being a manager.) 

After 44 years in the media  business and 41 years on Feed & Grain, I am cutting back to about 20 hours a week. I am still involved in taking care of my customers and selling ads and digital products, so some of you will still be hearing from me. 

We plan to introduce the new Feed & Grain publisher in our December 2020 issue, and I will always do my best to be the  kind of friend and mentor to them that so many people were for me throughout my career.

Thanks to all of my clients and our dynamic readers and digital users. You have been great to work with and for. I hope to see you soon — when things are a bit more normal — at the next industry event.  

Please take care and be safe out there! ■

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