When I was a senior in college, I heard that Loren Kruse, managing editor of Successful Farming magazine, was coming to the journalism school to do "mock" interviews, a valuable training experience for students. I thought, "Mock, my foot -- I want to work for this guy." I put on the only suit I owned, grabbed my clip book of stories from an internship at the Delmarva Farmer, and sat down with Loren. He was kind and encouraging, but said he wasn't hiring at that time. However, he would call me if something opened up.
Months later, after I had graduated and taken another job, Loren called. He wondered if I wanted to interview for the job of Assistant Swine Editor. This is possibly the lowliest job in journalism, but I wanted it. The interview with Loren's boss didn't go great -- I lost my voice from nervousness among other things. But I was hired based on my clip book of stories, and Loren's faith in me.
Twenty eight years later, I am still at Meredith Corporation, the home of Successful Farming and Living the Country Life, and this is the first day that Loren is no longer here. He retired yesterday and took a new job as owner of Kruse Christmas Farm, Grundy Center, Iowa. His duties are to prune evergreens and play golf with his wife, Liz.
I owe Loren my job. He took a chance hiring a mouthy girl from Maryland. He supported and encouraged me every step of my career, providing wisdom and counsel. Thank you, my friend.