From the Editor: Changes coming to the Agricultural Review
The Agricultural Review will be implementing several new changes in the coming year in an effort to meet the directive of Gov. Mike Easley for each state agency to reduce its budget. We regret having to make the changes, but feel we must in order to stay within our budget.
The changes being implemented are expected to reduce the number of ads being published, thereby reducing our printing and mailing costs. Our goal is to print 8-page papers most months.
In considering changes, we wanted to make sure ads have a clear agricultural basis. Our overall goal is to sharpen our focus on agriculture-related items and eliminate items that are less clear. To that end, we made the decision to eliminate companion animals and lawnmowers.
Beginning with the March issue, the Agricultural Review will no longer publish any ads for dogs, pot-bellied pigs or lawnmower. Ads in these categories submitted by noon on Jan. 1 will run in the February issue. No dog, pot-bellied pig or lawnmower ads will be accepted after Jan. 1.
In reviewing the small-animal listings, a good number of the dogs listed each month were described as pets, companions, hunters or show-quality animals. Few listings mentioned the work ability of the animals, and most dogs listed were puppies with no actual training in farm work. For those reasons, the decision was made to exclude dogs from the paper.
Likewise, lawnmowers are typically for residential use, not agricultural use, so we will no longer accept these either.
Also beginning with the March issue, we will strictly enforce the 30-word limit for ads. Advertisers are encouraged to pare their own ads down to 30 words before submitting the ads. If more than 30 words are submitted, we will edit the copy down to the appropriate number. The 30-word count includes name, town, telephone number and price.
One additional change is coming about because of new rules by the U.S. Postal Service. Beginning with the February issue, the location of a subscriber’s mailing label will shift from the right side of the page to the left side. The front page will undergo a small redesign to accommodate this change. The Commissioner’s column will move to the bottom of the page, and a shorter column on the left side of the paper will be a place for upcoming events or messages of interest from the editor.
The address label shift will allow the Agricultural Review to be processed by automated machines, hopefully ensuring quicker delivery of the newspaper. In the near future, a bar code will be added on the mail label that will allow each paper to be tracked through the postal system. There is no additional cost for this tracking service, but it is expected to speed the processing and, ultimately, the delivery of the paper.
We will continue to evaluate all items submitted to the Agricultural Review for their agricultural purpose and may make other changes as needed. Because of the ongoing budget situation, we may be forced to implement other changes to the newspaper as needed.
We appreciate your understanding during this difficult budget time.