It is with regret that Meister Media Worldwide announces the passing of long-time editor Gordon L. Berg, 93. Berg was Editor of Farm Chemicals magazine (now CropLife® magazine) from 1961 until his retirement in 1985.
“Gordon was the Editor of Farm Chemicals during a period of great technological expansion with fertilizers, pesticides, and application equipment, but also a time when agriculture was under almost daily attack from environmentalists and others who feared change and made doomsday predictions,” said Richard T. Meister, Chairman Emeritus and Editor-in-Chief, Meister Media Worldwide. “In every monthly issue, Gordon took up his pen to refute these claims and to fight for a strong industry, a strong agriculture, and a strong America. It was in Farm Chemicals that his strong and often opinionated editorials challenged the industry to never be satisfied with the status quo.”
Berg also edited County Agent and Vo-Ag Teacher magazine, later Ag Consultant, championing the expanding growth of independent crop consultants and their services to agriculture service and winning lifetime membership of the National Association of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC).
Berg was born in 1920 in Reeder, ND, population less than 200. When he finished high school he started a newspaper and was its editor, printer, and salesman, then hired onto another newspaper where he was proud of his skill at running a Linotype machine setting type from hot metal. He graduated from South Dakota State University and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. He was one of the few remaining survivors of the Battle of the Bulge, which he fought with the 191st Field Artillery Battalion, 3rd Army. After the war he wrote a history of the 191st Battalion.
Words and writing were Berg’s love and passion. After college he became an Extension editor at Pennsylvania State University, then editor of Everybody’s Poultry magazine. Later he moved to Philadelphia, PA, to take the reins of County Agent and Vo-Ag Teacher and Farm Chemicals magazines. When these titles were acquired by Meister Publishing Company (now Meister Media Worldwide) in 1961, he moved with them to Willoughby, OH, where he lived for 53 years until his death.
Berg often railed against agricultural regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When an exasperated EPA official characterized him as a “wild turkey,” Berg formed a “Wild Turkey Club” to encourage industry support for reasonable regulations that would not stifle farm productivity. Always a fighter, Berg said at his retirement: “I intend to keep on ruffling feathers and fighting for a strong agriculture and a strong America.”