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Signing off, for now

Progressive Dairy Editor Emily Gwin Published on 24 November 2021

By the time this issue hits mailboxes, my husband and I will have, the Lord willing, settled in at home with our third baby girl. Especially compared to the journey we went through with our second daughter, this pregnancy was mostly uneventful – until I was hospitalized with COVID-19 for a week in September.

During our fifth wedding anniversary. And because of which we had to cancel the maiden voyage we had planned with our 1987 motorhome. I know I’m whining, but I don’t take for granted how blessed we are that my experience was as short-lived as it was. Despite the extra medical bills coming in and the additional monitoring for the baby we went through for six weeks, I know our brush with this unpredictable virus could have been much, much worse.

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Being without my family for a week gave me a lot of time to think about how I wanted to spend my time once our little one joined our family. After we found out we were expecting No. 3, my plan had already been to cut back hours at work, allowing me more time to spend with all three girls and opening my schedule to better handle the appointments and therapies for our second daughter. After I recovered, I began to transition most of my current workload to fellow co-workers. While I plan to still help out as needed for a couple of hours each month, I’ll likely have much less to do with the production of the magazine.

During my hospital stay, I also did a lot of reminiscing about my time at this company. I stepped off the plane in the fall of 2009, eager to begin my new job but ill-prepared for the bitter cold wind slicing through me and the snow flurries flying through the air. During my internship the summer prior, seemingly every day had been bone dry and 80 degrees or above, so I just assumed I’d be fine to box up and send all of my winter clothes and jackets after I had moved in. Luckily, the warm welcome I received from co-workers was enough to assuage my feelings that I had made a mistake in moving across the country for 18 months. I moved back to Pennsylvania in 2010 to work from home. I had the best of both worlds – a career I loved with the encouragement and training to develop my skills while still being close enough to home to experience the babyhood days of my nieces and nephew.

Up until I went to part-time work with my oldest daughter in 2017, I greatly enjoyed the opportunities to travel in this role – to places like Texas and California and even internationally to Singapore and Vietnam. But my favorite place to visit was always Idaho, returning once or twice a year for company meetings and training (pre-pandemic, obviously). It always felt like I was coming home.

So in what is likely my final column for the magazine and the company that has treated me so well and shaped most of my 20s, I want to extend a word of thanks.

Thank you to my fellow editors who have served as mentors, sounding boards and devil’s advocates when needed (looking at you especially, Karen Lee). Thank you to the rest of the team at Progressive Publishing, who have always cared for me and about me and my family. I so deeply felt your prayers and support during some of our toughest days and weeks.

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Thank you to my parents – who were even more nervous than me about me taking this job so far away but have always supported me and read every single editorial I’ve written. Thank you to my husband who saw how much this work has meant to me and did his best to pick up the slack with the girls as I finished writing said editorials or proofed pages. And thank you to my girls, who mostly behaved during Zoom meetings these past couple of years. I can’t wait to watch you three chase your own dreams.

And thank you, Progressive Dairy readers. Thank you for your emails and notes of encouragement throughout these 12 years. Thank you for opening up your farms and for engaging in conversation with me on bus tours and at dairy conferences. Thank you for allowing me to help share your story, and thank you for following along with mine. I will be forever grateful for this industry and the people in it. God bless you all and Merry Christmas.  end mark

"Emily
  • Emily Gwin

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