For some change is a scary thing, for others it can be an exciting event, and there are some, like me, that seek it out. In the last newsletter I announced the next stage of the succession planning that I initiated two years ago, the transition to a new General Manager. I can tell you that it is progressing well and exceeding my expectations. As part of this transition, Mike will be producing the newsletter to our customers and supporters. I asked Mike to challenge everything we do and if we cannot make a convincing statement for continuation then it will require change. Already, we have implemented changes in our use of technology to improve efficiency, safety, time management, and customer support to name a few. For those of us involved every day in Shepherd’s Grain, our routine or “groove” was working well. I began to ask myself a couple years ago the question, “when does a groove become a rut?” I don’t believe we had “fallen” into the rut yet, but a fresh set of eyes brings new perspective and new ideas. This basic look within should be a wake-up call for anyone who has not only dreamed but chased their dream into a viable business. The fear of accepting change is overcome when you fully embrace and involve yourself within the change. In doing so, the excitement of all involved feels less to the outgoing GM as a “what was I, chopped liver” statement, but rather a refreshing new look at the old groove, as that realization that it could easily have become a rut. The excitement within Shepherd’s Grain today is very rewarding because I recognize we made the right decision at the right time. You can always question the timing and in my case begin to ask “should it have been sooner” but after taking a moment to reflect you see it as a perfect renewed beginning. I am confident the rate of change Shepherd’s Grain has exhibited within the food industry in its’ first 11 years will continue and may even accelerate with the leadership of Mike Moran. I am also fortunate to be able to still contribute to this leadership in the role of Strategic Advisor. As Mike states, my job is to stay out on the edge of the cliff and see the best path forward. “Be a shepherd” (to guide or guard in the manner of a shepherd, Webster’s 1973) is his request and a task I approach with renewed enthusiasm. We look forward to continuing to provide all our current and future customers with innovative ways to differentiate their businesses in part through the great story of Shepherd’s Grain. As always, thank you for your support.