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It’s great to have Glen back on board!

By Jerry Kirk, Contributing Editor 1/26/2017


Jerry Kirk, Contributing Editor
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For more reasons than I can count on the fingers of both my hands, I’m really pleased that Glen Liford has rejoined Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s Communications and Marketing Department staff as editor of our treasured Tennessee Cooperator.

Glen, who’s also assistant manager of TFC’s newly formed Communications and Marketing Department, is familiar to lots of Co-op folks — members, current and former managers and employees, and countless customers. They remember well his 15-plus years of service as a Cooperator staffer who wrote great stories; snapped wonderful photos of people, places, and happenings that make our state special; and promoted the cooperative way of doing business.

And for those of you who don’t yet know Glen, you’re in for a real treat. Right off the bat, you’ll no doubt notice that he has a distinct East Tennessee accent and that he likes to laugh a lot. A devoted family man, our new editor is also pumped about returning to a job he says he “always loved.”

“The decision to leave Co-op in September 2005 was one of the most difficult things I have ever done,” Glen says. “I loved the job and the people I worked with and all the people at TFC and member Co-ops and the farmers and other folks who were the subjects of our stories. Everyone was just like family.”

It was in September 2005 that Glen and his wife, Tisa, moved back to East Tennessee to be near family. “I knew then that the decision was best for Tisa and me and our families,” Glen says. “But I also knew that this [Co-op job] was probably going to be the best and most enjoyable one of my career. For many years, I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do the work I was doing. I got up most mornings [especially in those early years] excited and eager to get to work.”

Glen says that coming back to Co-op is like coming home. “Lots of faces are new,” he says, “but many are familiar. Some may have a few more wrinkles or a bit more gray hair just like me, but that’s OK. I’ve been welcomed warmly by everyone.”

Stressing that he does, indeed, feel “really privileged” to be editor of the Cooperator, Glen refers to the publication as an “important link among those in the Co-op community, and it’s a humbling experience to be chosen as its editor ... and lots of pressure, too. There’s a long history of excellence here. The Cooperator is so widely read and respected in the cooperative and agriculture worlds. I want to do everything I can to make sure we continue that tradition and continue to grow even more useful to all of our Cooperator stakeholders.”

Our editor says working with farmers is one of the things he’s most looking forward to in his new Co-op role. “My first farm visit was with Travis McConkey in Loudon for the story by Chris Villines in this issue of the Cooperator. Travis was like so many folks I’ve interviewed over the years. He was happy to see me and show me around his farm. He’s proud — and happy — about what he does and was honored to be recognized by Co-op for his farming endeavors. We talked like we had known each other for years and soon discovered that his daughter was in 4-H with my niece and nephew [Allison and Jonah Greene]. It’s just another example of a rewarding Co-op connection.”

Admitting that he has comfortably “slipped back into” his Co-op role, Glen says there was “very little of that awkwardness that usually comes with a new job.” He points to Co-op’s recent statewide Managers’ Meeting he attended in Murfressboro. “I knew most of the folks there, and after a little while, it was just like I had never left.”

Welcome home, Glen!  

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