From The Field

Always Done It That Way?

Published in the July 2009 Issue Published online: Jul 05, 2009 Tyler J. Baum, Editor
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Consistency is always a good thing, but so is a little change now and then. Sometimes we need to rearrange the furniture in our offices or our homes so the place doesn't become stale. Once our surroundings become stale, so will the way we do things. Before we realize it, we'll become shackled to the phrase "That's the way we've always done it" and will never consider changing it. And we won't even know why. So much for innovation.

Some changes need to be big-like the telecommunications industry-while others need to be small, like the very subtle changes in the Coca-Cola logo since the late 19th Century. But just like death and taxes, change is inevitable as well as necessary, and that's especially true with periodicals, because periodicals must-are you ready for this?-periodically change.

On a shelf in my office are volumes and volumes of Potato Grower back issues hard bound together, dating back to its inaugural issue, which was the September/October 1972 issue of Potato Grower of Idaho. Because it was launched years before off-set printing and desktop publishing software, each magazine almost exclusively contained black and white photography due to the complicated and expensive nature of running color pages. The editor was a man named D. Brent Clement, and the publisher was none other than the Harris Publishing (our magazine's parent company) founder, Darryl W. Harris.

In over 36 years of publication, the magazine has justifiably changed many times, including several cover and interior redesigns, as well as the landmark transition in 1995 from Potato Grower of Idaho to simply Potato Grower, to better serve the potato industry throughout the country.

While Potato Grower magazine has consistently been bringing you the latest and the greatest in the industry to help you stay ahead and current on what's out there, now that we've got new blood-a new editor and new advertising director-we're taking a second look at the magazine. It's been over 11 years since the last time our magazine's logo was redesigned, and at least two years since the interior was redesigned. We've decided that now would be the best time to cast aside the phrase "That's the way we've always done it" and do it differently.

Starting with the August issue, you'll notice as soon as you pick up the magazine that the logo has changed-a more classy-looking font than the traditional all-caps "Potato" and cursive "Grower" beneath it, with more action on the cover rather than just a field or a pile of potatoes. But we're changing more than just the look. We're rearranging and consolidating. Look for more and better feature spreads. We'll now have an official department called "Digging In" to catch all of the stories that aren't quite features but are even more important for growers to know. Look for periodic contests to win a free Potato Grower cap. And be on the lookout for the October issue, our annual Industry Directory, which will go through such an overhaul you may not recognize it.

And don't forget to frequently visit our website at for the most up-to-date industry news as well as monthly magazine feature teasers, an industry directory, new products and an online forum, a chance to chat with other growers out there. Periodically there'll be an online poll for growers to throw in their two cents. The results will be published in subsequent issues.

By all means, please tell us how you like the re-design. Is it better? Is there something you'd like us to include more often? Less often? Please let us know. This magazine is for you, and we want to hear from you.