By Gil Gullickson, AAEA President, Successful Farming
If you’re ever looking for a “ghost” byline on every story Successful Farming editors write and on every award plaque we receive, it would belong to Janis Gandy.
That’s because every issue, Janis as copy and production editor patiently shepherds each page that goes not only into Successful Farming, but also those of Ageless Iron Almanac, FFA New Horizons, and certain website stories.
Over the years, she’s saved me from explaining to a northeastern North Dakota farmer why I put his farm in northwestern North Dakota. (Great catch!) She’s saved me from embarrassing grammar and spelling errors while seemingly knowing that some terms and names are spelled in unusual ways. (She never questioned one story from a few years ago regarding why the farmer’s name was Loyd, not Lloyd.)
She’s also kept me and other Successful Farming editors on track with a smile and a rare No! No! No! (that last one was for me after my fumbling around with a new production system that’s been implemented.)
After next week, though, we’ll be on our own. That’s because Janis—after nearly 46 years of loyal service to Successful Farming and our parent company, Meredith Corporation—will retire.
Our editorial content director, Dave Kurns, put it best in the June issue of Successful Farming:
If you ask any member of the staff, there is a common theme: The entire operation would fall into chaos if Janis were not here to keep it organized. She is meticulously organized, is very detail oriented, and has an uncanny ability to hold every editor’s feet to the fire to make deadline.
Sometimes, it’s just the little things. Every Valentine’s Day, there’s always a card and three Hershey’s kisses on my desk from Janis. She decorates the office for Christmas and keeps a steady supply of candy in her cube to tempt wayward staffers (like me) every time we walk by. Then there are the fun office chats that seemingly are about nothing and everything.
Copy and production editors like Janis often aren’t recognized for what they do. Still, the touch that Janis has given our stories has had a lasting impact. We’ll miss her, but are simultaneously happy for her on a well-deserved retirement.