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Former WP editor retires after 32 years working to inform readers

Mike Raine provided readers with the information they needed to conduct their business.
Mike Raine could be found at farm shows across Canada, as well as the United States and even Germany.

SASKATOON — We recently learned our long-time colleague Mike Raine is retiring after more than 30 years here at the Western Producer.

It seems only fitting that we take a few words to acknowledge his contributions in the many roles, both official and unofficial, he filled around the office over the past three decades.

Mike joined the Producer’s editorial team in 1992 as a photographer, and his technical talent and eye for a unique shot soon revolutionized how we visually tell farm stories.

Not satisfied to tell stories only with his camera, Mike soon picked up the pen as well and became a versatile member of our reporting team.

He was eventually promoted to farm management editor, then managing editor and finally, editor.

The paper benefited from Mike’s ability to provide readers with the information they needed to conduct their business, but his contributions went far beyond what was seen on the printed page.

Mike grew up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan and played a major role in that operation for most of his time at the Producer. He is a true farm boy with the ability to fix — or figure out how to fix — just about anything, whether it is a misbehaving computer or an unco-operative heating system.

It wasn’t unheard of to see Mike at the office in the morning in a suit and tie after covering a farm meeting and then later in the day sporting overalls as he set about repairing some mechanical problem.

Mike’s generosity knew no bounds, and he brought a diverse set of skills to his work. If he sometimes stretched himself a little thin, it was only because he could never say “no.”

He was also tremendously proud to be a working farmer while also serving as a farm journalist.

His passion for agriculture and farm journalism are among his most endearing qualities.

He lived our belief here at the Western Producer that everything we do at the paper has to be about farmers. He frequently expressed his “farmer’s view” at our departmental editorial meetings.

That passion resonated with readers. He was a fixture at farm conferences, where he seemed to know everybody.

Producer staff members used to talk about how long it would take to get anywhere while walking with Mike across a crowded trade show floor because of the number of people who would stop to say hello.

He kept farmers’ hours too, often making calls to producers and industry representatives in the early morning hours before they left for the field.

It’s his can-do attitude and passion for farming that we will miss the most around here.

On behalf of all of us at the Producer, it’s my privilege and honour to offer my congratulations to Mike. Our best wishes for a long and happy retirement.

Bruce Dyck is news editor at the Western Producer.