In England, the Yorkshire city of Huddersfield can be found near the confluence of the River Colne and the River Holme.
The town played a role in the Industrial Revolution when Luddites destroyed textile machinery, and it gained distinction as the birthplace of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the actor James Mason, and, may I add, our longtime Editor, Geraldine Warner.
Geraldine’s journey from Huddersfield to Wenatchee, Washington, her base as Good Fruit Grower editor, is a story with stops at newspapers in England and the United States, stints with the United Nations in Geneva and Paris, and advanced coursework at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Along the way, she’s written for The Packer, The Grower, and others.
Geraldine is retiring at the end of this year, having done perhaps more than anyone to establish this magazine as a leader in agriculture journalism. No other magazine goes as deep as Good Fruit Grower.
No other magazine is as trusted with readers in 50 states and 50 countries. No other agricultural journalist is as respected as Geraldine Warner.
I’ve been around a lot of editors and writers, and I’ve grown to admire Geraldine’s contributions, which far exceed those articles with her byline.
For years, Geraldine has led our editorial team, working closely with Associate Editors Richard Lehnert and Melissa Hansen and many contributors and freelancers.
She has organized the process of deciding our themes, assigning individual stories, and making sure each issue is packed with trusted, useful content for growers and the fruit industry.
Growers sometimes are wary of reporters, but rarely with her; they know she’ll get right even the most complex topics.
Amazingly for someone so meticulous, she’s also fast: she can write up half a dozen articles for an issue, do a first edit on all the other copy, and then catch typos on page proofs—all while taking calls from sources helping with her next batch of articles.
She’s impressive. The fruit industry has twice honored her work, in 1996 with the Washington State Horticultural Association’s Women’s Leadership Through Service Award and in 2002 with the association’s Silver Apple Award.
Her great run ends at the end of December, when she takes her much deserved retirement after 23 years of full-time work for the magazine.
When she told me of her plans last spring, I knew I could never find a replacement. There is only one Geraldine Warner.
I could only find a successor. I needed a person with the smarts, values, and potential to bring new leadership to our editorial team and write a new chapter of excellence.
I found that person in Shannon Dininny, a former Associated Press correspondent who covered agriculture and other subjects from Yakima, Washington.
Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Montana. She’s been a writer and an editor. She’s experienced with web sites and social media. She’s whip smart, warm, and a hard worker.
Shannon starts in September, which gives her time to work with Geraldine through a transition period and meet people throughout the industry.
Growers who already know her are enthused about her appointment, as is the entire staff at Good
Fruit Grower. Shannon will be based at our Yakima offices. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growers have good reason to take pride in this magazine. For its excellence, you have Geraldine Warner to thank for much of that. In Shannon’s capable hands, we’ll continue that excellence and do even more to retain our place as your trusted resource for news and information.
Please join me in thanking Geraldine and welcoming Shannon. •