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If you have lived in the era from 1949 to present day, you have lived in the most exciting period in American agriculture. Even if you are just old enough to be aware of the period from 1972 forward, you really have lived in the entire era of modern agriculture.

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Joe Berkely was the original publisher of High Plains Journal. He purchased the Dodge City Journal with another partner in 1945, then changing the focus to agriculture and renaming the publication High Plains Journal. 

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Tom Taylor, the current publisher of High Plains Journal, stands next to the Joe Berkely and Duane Ross. Berkely was the first publisher of High Plains Journaland Ross was the second publisher. (Journal photo by Kylene Scott.)

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When the idea of High Plains Journal readers taking pictures with old articles of themselves in honor of the publication’s 65th anniversary came up, this reporter had to call on the subject of his first story for the publication 25 years ago.

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What do you get when you put a retired publisher, a retired editor and two senior field editors around a table for an hour and a half?

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For as long as I can remember, there was always a subscription to High Plains Journal at our house.

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In the 65 years of publication under the banner of High Plains Journal, agriculture has undergone rapid change. In times of plenty and success, to times of drought and disaster, the staff of High Plains Journal has been there, right alongside you, telling your stories and educating you about…

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I wasn’t entirely sure whether the word “nostalgia” was a good one or not, and after consulting the dictionary I’m still a bit baffled. I think I have some nostalgia, and I think there is a lot of it in our industry, but it seems to be a bit of a two-edged sword.

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David Winkler shakes the hand of Mike Cox. Winkler has been a circulation representative for High Plains Journal for 29 years. Most producers will recognize him from as the guy with the big book at farm shows. Cox is renewing one of the first subscriptions Winkler ever sold in Weskan, Kansas…

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In this 1983 photo, then Managing Editor Galen Hubbs works at his desk while Publisher Joe Berkely and Editor Ray Pierce look on.

#HPJ65

Now and Then

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This image shows the meat and marbling of an average ribeye in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Cattlemen’s Beef Board.)

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This image shows the meat and marbling of an average ribeye in the 1960s. (Photo courtesy of Cattlemen’s Beef Board.)

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The average age of a farmer in 1949 was 39 years old. In 2012, the averag age was 58. (Source: U.S. Census of Ag)

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The difference in the number of pages of the farm bills from 1949 to 2014 illustrate the increase of governmental involvement in agriculture. In 1949, the Agricultural Act of 1949 was 11 pages long. In 2014, the bill was 357 pages long. (Journal photo by Holly Martin.)