As I write this, I am proud to note that I am celebrating my 30-year anniversary as a trade press editor. Of that 30 years, almost 25 has been spent covering the aggregates industry.
Nothing beats experience.
I started out as a greenhorn staff writer back in the late 1980s, however I already knew a little bit about what goes on in the aggregates industry. I had previously worked as a weights and measures inspector, where part of my job included certifying the accuracy of truck scales at sand and gravel operations. I learned quite a bit standing around chatting with the workers while the scale tech pounded beams with a hammer. (This was prior to load cells.)
In the pursuit of information, I have visited quarries in 29 states, and have attended countless trade shows, conventions, conferences and seminars. Heck I remember when the big show was just Con/Agg, before the merger; and there was a National Stone Association and a National Aggregates Association, before the merger.
In addition to making the rounds of the United States, my travels have taken me to Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe.
Back when I started as a trade press editor, typewriters were just on the way out and we were moving toward using primitive word-processing machines. Graphic designers employed such antiquated tools as a pica ruler and a drafting table to lay out the publication.
Since that time, I have witnessed the emergence of computers, desktop publishing, scanners, the Internet, websites, email, digital cameras, cell phones, apps and so much more. Producing a magazine is a totally different animal now as opposed to the late 1980s.
One thing that has not changed is the necessity to produce a printed product. Despite the importance of the digital revolution, aggregates producers all over the country still value the opportunity to page through an issue, sitting in their office or work trailer, often in remote areas or several ledges deep in the quarry.
Yes, nothing beats experience. Especially when it comes to making sure Rock Products remains the most-read magazine, equipment and technology leader, and voice of authority for the aggregates industry.
Here’s to the next 30 years.