As many readers of this blog know, I’ve been talking about retirement or at least slowing down for several years now. With this posting I’m writing my last blog about my experiences and thoughts regarding the swine industry worldwide as I actually begin working at slowing down.
I wrote my first blog with the sponsorship of the Minnesota Pork Board on June 12, 2008. In the 9+ years since that post I’ve kept up an almost weekly dialogue with you on issues impacting the industry, management tips for facilities, my opinions on the appropriate response to changes and challenges and some of my personal tragedies and family triumphs. I am aware that the audience reading my postings has grown worldwide, and for that I am grateful.
While I won’t be posting at this blog site after today, the Minnesota Pork Board will keep the link active so you can access old posts. I’ve heard from many of you stating how you hunt through my blogs to find where I made specific management recommendations or cited specific statistics that you wanted to reference again.
The end of the blog does not mean a complete departure from the industry. While I will be doing less meetings and site visits, I’m not stepping away completely. I’m afraid a complete withdrawal would impact me similar to how a heroin addict suffers when they are forced to go ‘cold turkey’. I have too many friends and contacts in the industry to not maintain some on-going involvement.
It is now time for me to enjoy the fruits of my many years of industry involvement by taking more time to travel for enjoyment (rather than to participate in a meeting or visit a production site), spend even more time with grandkids, play more cribbage, read more books, grow a bigger garden and renew some hobbies that have been neglected for so many years. Who knows, I may even take up golf or another useless pursuit. Its now 2+ years since my wife died of cancer and I’ve been lucky enough this year to meet someone who wants to do many of these things with me making this decision easier. My goal is to exit the industry while I’m still relevant, rather than be thought of as irrelevant at retirement.
While I will continue to work with clients as my ‘new’ schedule allows I will clearly be doing less of the day-to-day involvement that I’ve had for over 40 years. I’ve been asked who will take over the many things I do for clients, ranging from site visits to producer meetings to blog writing to participation in research planning sessions. My response – the industry has always had people step forward when the time came and they will continue to step up after my slow-down. They will do things in a different way and with a different perspective and that is probably good for the industry in the long term.
Thank you for bearing with me as I rambled at this blog site for the past 9 years. I only hope I’ve somehow helped you improve your production skills and/or understanding of the US and world pork industry in some small way during this time.