It’s ironic that after 48 years of making a living with words that I find myself at a loss of them to describe my feelings as I retire. I look back in amazement at the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been. I think back to my high school years working on a grain and livestock farm. With out a doubt those years were great learning years that would pay great dividends for me in ways I could never have imagined. I knew even then I wanted to be on the radio but never thought about being a farm broadcaster. In fact, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as farm broadcasting. To me radio was being a DJ or a sports announcer. When I got into radio I did both and while I enjoyed doing both I found myself wanting more. The radio station I was working at started increasing their farm programming and because of my background I found it interesting and started getting involved in it. Soon I was offered a full time position as assistant farm director. Little did I know what was ahead. Growing up in a very small town in rural Illinois I could never have imagined that someday I would be standing in the Vatican and talking with the Pope. I could never have imagined I would someday stand in the White House and talk with 3 U.S. Presidents. I could never have imagined I would someday be standing next to Fidel Castro at his compound in Cuba. I could never have imagined I would visit the great pyramids in Egypt, the D Day beaches in Normandy, the Alps in Switzerland or the Panama Canal. God has indeed opened many doors for me through agriculture. Mostly though it has been a great honor to be invited into so many homes, vehicles and work places by listeners over the years. It’s a special relationship that I value greatly. I have tried and hopefully succeeded in some degree to help inform farmers and ranchers about topics important to them and their operations and also to inform non farmers about where their food comes from and the people who produce it. While I look forward to seeing what God has planned for me next, I am extremely grateful for a career that has enabled me to make friends all over the country even in places I’ve never been. Since the announcement of my retirement I have heard from many of them and it has reminded me of how blessed I am. I have also been blessed to work with so many talented people over the years and I thank them for all of their help and support. It has been an amazing journey and I hope I have done some good along the way. As I head into retirement I would sum things up with two words. THANK YOU!