Column

Life’s calling is no longer a secret

It’s no secret, I love newspapers. And it’s a secret no longer that I’m officially intertwining my future with newspapers.

It is with much excitement this week we announce the transition of ownership of The Day County Printing Co., Inc., the parent company of the Reporter & Farmer, from John and LeAnn Suhr to myself. How fitting we could make this announcement during National Newspaper Week.

This is the fulfillment of a dream which started half a lifetime ago. For me, being in the newspaper industry has never been “just a job.” This work has always been my life’s calling. I’ve felt God’s guiding hand on my life steering me towards this moment.

Ever since I was young, I’ve been intrigued by the printed word and the impact it can have. The concept of capturing a moment of history, either in word or image, for future generations to look back upon has fueled my passion for this work. Add in the importance of playing the role of our society’s watchman (Isaiah 52:8) to local governments and the awesomeness of it all is nothing short of invigorating.

My introduction to this industry came through the Onida Watchman right out of high school. That’s where I really fell in love with newspapers. In the more than 15 years since, I’ve been privileged to learn from world-class newspaper men and women from across South Dakota and the nation.

That’s not to say I haven’t had my struggles over the years or some times it’s not been difficult. But don’t let anyone ever say you can’t do something because of a stereotype. I’m a homeschool farm kid lacking a college education. It really is about hard work, using the brain God gave you and always making the next right decision. Oh, and never be afraid to ask a dumb question – no one else is brave enough to.

At the beginning of this new adventure, I know I still have a lot to learn. But learning on the job is nothing new to me since that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today. No doubt, I will make mistakes but in the event of such, I hope you will have patience and give grace as I work to right those errors. I promise I will always put forth my best efforts in serving the communities of Day County to the highest degree I am capable. This is, after all, a place I’ve come to love and now call home.

Plus, know there’s an amazing team at the Reporter & Farmer to help me along the way. Of course, John and LeAnn will be sticking around to make sure I know what I’m doing. Despite their talk of it, I’m really not sure they’re all that ready for retirement just yet – thank you both for sticking around, for your mentorship and continued guidance. Staff members Pat Sass, Megan Garry and Janice Kennedy – thank you for always bringing your best to the team.

There is a whole host of people, both past and present, who have helped get me here – each has my eternal gratitude.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the advertisers, customers and readers. Your support is really what makes this possible.

~af~

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