Anyone involved in agriculture is familiar with the name Ed Johnson. Ohio State alum Matt Reese said that a visit from Ed Johnson to the Reese family’s Christmas tree farm that Matt worked at as a high schooler, was what inspired him to get into agricultural communication. Little did Matt know that just a few short years after meeting Ed Johnson, he would be working for Ed at “Ohio’s Country Journal.”
While an undergrad in agricultural communication, Matt Reese worked for several years as the photo editor for the “Lantern.” With a position at The Ohio State University’s student-published newspaper, Matt was allowed the opportunity to be an “agvocate” before that was ever a thing. After spending his years in college spreading awareness of agriculture through both his relationships at the “Lantern” and performing with the OSU Men’s Glee Club, Matt graduated in 1999 only to then earn his master’s in agricultural education.
With one quarter left of classes before graduation, Matt landed his dream job as the assistant editor of “Ohio’s Country Journal.” Matt now serves as the editor. Matt divulged that the job has allowed him to develop a huge number of friendships and professional relationship with some of the best people in the world — Ohio’s farmers and agribusiness professionals.
As the editor, Matt oversees the editorial content of “Ohio’s Country Journal,” as well as posting daily content on their website. With a small staff, Matt says that he does a little bit of everything, including video work and occasional radio interviews, although he mostly focuses his energy and attention on writing, content development, and photography.
Talking about his job, Matt also admits, “I have also gained in depth knowledge on an incredibly broad array of issues impacting and impacted by the world’s most important industry and vocation: agriculture. It is so humbling and rewarding to play even my small role in such an important and vital endeavor. I believe one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind is the set of miracles that take place as a matter of course in the regular cycles required for agriculture to produce products deemed valuable by society. What an honor it is to be able to serve such an industry!”
When asked to give advice to prospective or current students, Matt was a wealth of information. Below is a list of Matt’s Top 12 Pieces of Advice:
- Figure out what you are good at and what you are not so good at, then capitalize on your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. Success is a combination of maximizing your strengths, but also understanding what you are not so good at and either improving or relying on others in those areas.
- Be extremely careful about feeling like you deserve anything. You don’t. No one owes you anything. The second you start to feel entitled to something is the second that you need to realize that you don’t deserve it. Think about that and remember it — that applies to EVERYTHING.
- Do not make decisions based upon fear, selfishness or a feeling of entitlement, but instead upon doing what is right by God and others. Doing this is not easy, but extremely worthwhile long term (even if it doesn’t seem like it short term).
- Celebrate and enjoy what you have relentlessly instead of wishing for what you do not have. But, at the same time, relentlessly set goals to make yourself better at serving others.
- Get off your phone and learn how to read people and interact face to face. This will give you an automatic advantage in nearly every professional interpersonal situation.
- Learn to manage your time, your actions, and your words based on a clear set of personal priorities. My suggested priorities in order: God, spouse, children, extended family, work, everything else, self.
- Take care of your health through moderation and exercise. The days you do not break a sweat should be a rarity.
- Don’t drink too much pop.
- Being kind and forgiving others is really a favor to yourself.
- Make sure your heroes deserve to be your heroes (they often don’t)
- Network and make friends everywhere you go and in everything you do.
- Every career is ultimately about people.