As the incoming managing editor of Good Fruit Grower, each day I walk past a framed copy of the magazine’s first issue, published in April 1946. Decades before the Internet was to transform communications and contribute to the closure of newspapers and magazines, Editor F.W. Shields wondered if his ­publication would last. “My stomach is doing flip-flops, and my heart seems to have moved up into my throat,” he wrote.

Today, Shields would be proud that his publication survives and thrives. Good Fruit Grower remains an indispensable source of news and information to advertisers and readers in 43 countries. The ­magazine enjoys a global reputation of excellence, thanks to a remarkably dedicated team of professionals working in ­editorial, advertising, circulation, design, and production offices. F.W. Shields would do flip-flops of astonishment over the magazine’s celebrated cover images and its sophisticated coverage. His heart would race at the range of articles, images, and video accessible to the world via the magazine’s online site.

A steward

I’m a steward of what Shields began. I hope to sustain and grow the work so ably led for 20 years by Jim Black, the retiring managing editor. In an era where readers have countless sources of information from which to choose, Jim kept the magazine relevant, timely, and respected, and that, in turn, sustained finances and circulation. I’ve met many growers who say how much they enjoy the magazine’s editorial team, Editor Geraldine Warner, Associate Editor Melissa Hansen, and Associate Editor Richard Lehnert.

No publication survives unless it ­provides value to its audience. Geraldine, Melissa, and Richard are passionate about the fruit industry and are painstaking in reporting news in such areas as research on pest management, labor, equipment, new fruit varieties, marketing, and trends in global markets. I’ve learned our editors have earned their ­reputations because of an underlying admiration for growers.

The magazine has thrived because its staff is constantly connecting with people and sharing information that is valuable. One of my top goals is to pattern myself after Geraldine, Melissa, and Richard by working hard to meet people, learning more about the industry, and relentlessly seeking ways to make the magazine even more useful to the people we serve.

That takes us back to F.W. Shields, who, in that first issue, identified the goal of the publication: “To watch and report regularly the news, data, and information of dollars-and-cents value to its readers.”

Delivering value to you is what it’s all about. I’m honored to join the magazine. Now and always, I welcome your ­guidance and comments.

Managing Editor Casey Corr can be reached at or (509) 853-3512.