Opinion: Farewell and thank you

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copyright the Chronicle September 3, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

Dear Chronicle readers,

This week’s paper marks my last as an editor for your weekly edition of the Chronicle. I’ve done this work for you for almost three decades. I’ll miss it — and you — dearly.

This is just to say thank you for letting me into your homes, for calling me or stopping me in the C&C Supermarket or Currier’s Market to tell me your stories, and for bearing with me when I didn’t know what to do about something tricky.

Many times I thought to myself that even though you did not all sign my paychecks, you were my true bosses.

As bosses, the 7,500 of you sometimes had conflicting goals and demands. Sometimes I would think to myself, well, what would MOST of the readers want me to do here?

It’s been fascinating, challenging, and deeply satisfying work.

I developed a particular interest in stories about the agricultural economy in the Northeast Kingdom. As the then-wife of a dairy farmer, I lived the story of dairy farms going out of business while I was writing about these issues.

All this led me to write some articles about a small upstart nonprofit organization in Hardwick trying to create a new farm and food system. The group is called the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE).

In the spring I took a part-time job with CAE. It’s work that is similar to journalism in some ways but allows me to get directly involved. It’s work I find exciting, complicated, challenging and rewarding as well.

I recently had an opportunity to add hours to my week there, and I’ve decided to take it.

For anyone interested in learning more about CAE and my work there, I’d love to see you at an open house there on Friday. CAE is at 140 Junction Road in Hardwick. The open house is Friday from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Thanks again for your support. Now I will become one of you, a Chronicle reader.

Maybe I’ll call the editors sometimes and tell them what to do.

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