We’re running this newsletter a day early, because tomorrow is a day better spent for watching football games, eating turkey, enjoying the company of friends and family and counting your blessings.

There’s much to be thankful for this year. For one, the COVID pandemic that has dominated the country for almost two years now is starting to get under control, thanks to the spread of vaccinations. The restaurant industry is starting to open up again, which is great news for all the companies that supply to the foodservice industry. The American public, over the last couple of years, has discovered the importance of their local meat markets and butcher shops, and hopefully that trend will continue.

As a journalist, I’m thankful that I’m able to travel once more. Aside from a couple of trips done early in the year, I spent most of 2020 doing my interviews over the phone or through video chats, and it was so great to be back on the road again. I had great trips to Wisconsin, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Nevada and Illinois. I didn’t even mind the hassles of air travel, like the security lines and flight delays. I wish a few more restaurants had been open at the airports, because airport pizza is absolutely the worst pizza around. But even that was a minor bump in the road. I’m already looking forward to more good trips in 2022 to visit innovative and high-quality processors.

And it goes without saying, I’m thankful to the people who welcomed me into their establishments: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dewig Meats, Pederson’s Natural Farms, Hickory Nut Gap Meats and Inboden’s Gourmet Meats (coming soon!).

Hopefully, you have much to be thankful for this year as well. On behalf of our magazine and the rest of our team, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.

Sam Gazdziak