Tribune Opinion: Thank you, Bill Jackson for all you did; and thanks to all those who have shared their support after his passing
October 2, 2015
First, thank you to so many in the community, and so many journalists from around the country, who have reached out to us and offered their sympathy and support after Bill Jackson died of a heart attack on Sunday while driving near Montrose. Second, thank you, Bill, for enriching our newspaper, our newsroom and our lives.
Bill had a 33-year career at The Tribune, covering agriculture and water. Since Weld County ranks ninth nationally in ag production — it is the only non-California county in the top 10 — it goes without saying ag and water have been among our most important coverage topics for decades.
As a prominent Colorado water attorney said in an email about Jackson's unique relationship with farmers and ranchers, "It was his calling to tell their story. I think he believed that their story was vitally important and needed to be told. And he was so articulate in telling it."
Wrote another longtime news source in an email: "For agriculture, which impacts everyone but is understood by relatively few, it's critical to have a voice in the middle who can eloquently communicate to the public the complexities of our industry, explain the challenges farmers and ranchers endure, and ultimately put a face and name with the food that people consume every day." Bill was one of the very best at telling that story, he added.
We would wholeheartedly agree with all of that.
We would add Bill was one of the most enjoyable colleagues we've worked with in his 30-plus years here. He had a never-ending library of jokes. We loved his laugh and smile. He taught our young journalists a passion for journalism, the importance of building relationships and trust with sources, and how to have fun in a newsroom. And he taught every young journalist in our newsroom the difference between a cow, a steer and a heifer.
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As former Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Ament said, "When you mention his name, I have to admit, I start smiling ear to ear just thinking about everything we did together."
Yup. We agree.
Thank you, Bill. We'll miss you.
— The Tribune Editorial Board