A few tough decisions

I am extremely excited for you all to see the Oct. 21 edition of Agweek.

We have put together a dynamite, well-rounded package about the aftermath of the early October blizzard that pummeled the western Dakotas.

Want to know how ranchers are able to push forward and cope with the stress? How the government shutdown affected insurance claims for lost crops and livestock, and how soon claims will be processed now that federal employees are back in their offices? How the sunflower crop looks after so much snow? How the catastrophic losses of cattle in South Dakota will affect the industry?

I’m not going to tell you. Pick up an issue of Agweek Oct. 21.

People in those hard-hit areas are suffering. My job includes choosing what photos will go on the cover each week. This week was a bit tougher than most. The grisly photos of pits and ravines filled with dead cows perfectly show the devastation ranchers face each day, starting as soon as they wake up.

But should it be displayed prominently on the cover of my magazine? Or should the cover show a less-descriptive photo that doesn’t quite communicate to you, the readers, the depth of the horror?

I made that call.

This freak blizzard is perhaps the biggest ag story of the year. I know; we also have an expired farm bill and endured a 16-day partial federal government shutdown that was blocking any progress on it (or anything else). But I’ll repeat myself: This freak blizzard is perhaps the biggest ag story of the year.

So a big thank you goes to my hardworking team of writers and copy editors for putting together this coverage for our magazine.

And healing thoughts to the sources in those stories and all the others in the wake of this storm who struggle daily to cope with the disaster they face, and most likely still are trying to comprehend. Wishing you the very best of luck in your recovery.

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