Photo By Javin Leonard

One perk of working in trade publishing is the travel. Although, it’s not the jet-setting lifestyle you’d imagine – in fact, it’s a lot of focused work – the time away from the office is extremely rewarding in the sense that I get to meet the many farmers, growers and agricultural businesses that keep our country fed.

Walking through the showroom floor of the Keystone Farm Show in York, Pennsylvania, last month, I see the culmination of what is read throughout the pages of Farming. Of course, I saw the plethora of equipment and services offered for farmers, but I realized this business is so much more than revenue and profits.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, there are more than 2 million farms in this country (roughly 63,000 in Pennsylvania) with 97 percent of them operated by families. Family members who perused through the farm show. such as attendee Crystal Smith from York Springs, Pennsylvania. While visiting our booth at the show, Smith, who’s expecting a baby this year, talked about how farming runs through her family genes and what a passion it is for her.

We didn’t talk about the general direction of the nation’s farms or the impending legislation that would affect it, we discussed the small matters – keeping track of the harvesting, what items were sold, what was fed, etc. I had moments like this with Smith as well as others at the show. It really placed things in proper perceptive.

In this issue and the year ahead, we want to bring you the stories that offer those small matters that mean a great deal to your farm. For instance – and one of Smith’s favorite departments – our Working Horses section advises on the proper way to “back” your horse. In our business section, Curt Harler tells you how to navigate the various crop insurance options, and Winton Pitcoff keeps it real when it comes to authentic maple syrup.

Also, we have some new entries for the year. This month, we focus on the state of Pennsylvania, talking with Russell Redding, who’s part of Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team.

If you noticed as well, the cover and the following pages have a different look. That’s right, we have undergone a sort of facelift, per se. As you read through our helpful material, you’ll see the updated and fresh design. In fact, our Associate Publisher Barb Sweet will explain more in her fresh, new column.

Enjoy the February issue, and let’s keep the conversation going!